Local artists paint trash cans in downtown Stevens Point

STEVENS POINT, Wisconsin (WSAW) – Some Stevens Point creatives are turning eyesores into art across the city. It is part of the 4th annual Trash Canvas project, which transforms downtown trash cans into public art.

Trash Canvas is a way for local artists to showcase their talent and add a little color to boring trash cans. The project is a partnership between the City of Stevens Point, Sherwin-Williams and CREATE Portage County.

“We’re doing an inventory of downtown trash cans and determining how many artists we need. Open as many positions and start sending this application out to artists in the community,” said Chris Klesmith, event organizer for Trash Canvas.

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

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

The otherwise overlooked containers are getting some attention.

“I think it’s so fun because even though a trash can is usually so boring, people are drawn to it,” said Nicole Fitzgerald.

Many of the artists said it took hours 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 start with general ideas and just rode with it. I was just like I’d add that, I want to add that and just let my instincts dictate what I was doing,” said Kiba Freeman.

“My trash canvases are trash pandas, you know, it was a last second idea,” said Cody Csepp, an artist.

The artists use outdoor latex acrylic paint to ensure their art stands up to the weather and the environment.

“I’m a big fan of the process. Therefore, the process is the most important thing for me when it comes to my artworks. The bottom line is for everyone else,” Freeman said.

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

“If anybody has that creative itch and wants to get involved next year because it’s really fun to be a part of,” Kinney said.

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

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