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Local artists paint trash cans in downtown Stevens Point

Vote for your favorite Trash Canvas
21 receptacles are part of the 4th Annual Trash Can-Vas Project
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 7:34 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Some Stevens Point creatives are turning eyesores into art throughout the city. It’s part of the 4th annual Trash Canvas project that turns downtown trashcans into public art.

Trash Canvas is a way for local artists to show off their talent and add some color to bland disposal bins. The project is a partnership between the City of Stevens Point, Sherwin-Williams, and CREATE Portage County.

“We take an inventory of the trashcans in the downtown, figure out how many artists we need. Open up that many spots and start sending out that application to artists in the community,” said Chris Klesmith, event organizer for Trash Canvas.

Klesmith said Trash Canvas is a way to get the community involved in local artwork. He also said it gives artists some hands-on experience to take on bigger projects.

“And so that they understand how it feels, what the expectations are so if they want to apply for a larger project or they want to paint a mural, say on the side of a building, inside of a building, anywhere, they have some experience in painting in the public eye,” said Klesmith.

The otherwise overlooked bins are getting some attention.

“I think it’s so fun because even though, you know, a trashcan typically is so boring, it attracts people then,” said Nicole Fitzgerald.

Many of the artists said it took hours for them to complete their masterpieces.

“I did it in about 3 days, but it was about 10 hours,” said Renee Kinney, artist.

The artists found inspiration for their projects in many different ways.

“I kind of start with general ideas and I just ran with it. I was just like I want to add this, I want to add this, and just kind of let my instincts dictate what I did,” said Kiba Freeman.

“My trash canvas is trash pandas, you know, it was a last-second kind of idea,” said Cody Csepp, an artist.

The artists use exterior latex acrylic paint to make sure their art withstands the weather and environment.

“I’m a big fan of the process. So the process is the most important to me when it comes to my artwork. The end result is for everyone else,” said Freeman.

The artists encourage people to participate in next year’s Trash Canvas.

“If anybody has that creative itch and they want to share to participate next year because it’s a really fun thing to be a part of,” said Kinney.

People can vote for their favorite trash can by clicking here.

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