Painting trash cans a blast for hacks and artists alike

Written by on August 28, 2013 in Featured - 1 Comment

Residents show off their best attempts to Hack the Trash. They gathered for this impromptu painting session on Sunday, Aug. 18. There were also sessions on Aug. 11 and 25. The painters are, from left: Marcia Horn, Willow Collins, Delaney Edwards, John Whitmore, Emma Edwards, Phyllis Fung, Ashley Watson, Donyae Bogues, Leigh Peterson, Leanna Whitmore, Robyn Miller, Christian Kayhanfar, Scott Meeks and Rachel Skorupski.). - Photo by Phyllis Fung

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Ashley Watson designs a floral motif. - Photo by Phyllis Fung

There is no questioning Donyae Bogues’ loyalty. - Photo by Phyllis Fung

- Photo by Brian Schneider,

Local artist Ben Peterson educates the group on Harris Creek, a vital watershed that runs through and under Patterson Park before making its way to Canton Harbor. - Photo by Brian Schneider,

Thanks to residents working in concert with local artists, Patterson Park should be cleaner—and prettier—very soon.

“Hack the Trash,” a grant-winning program conceived by Patterson-Park-area resident Brian Schneider and friends wrapped up last weekend. In Hack the Trash, the community was awarded $1,200 to pay for 30 brand new trashcans to be artfully painted.

With about 15 residents showing up in each of three painting sessions held on consecutive Sundays, the endeavor has been a complete success, Schneider said.

“Overall, it’s been really good,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from the community.”

“Almost everybody that’s been here lives around the park and uses it,” he added. “That was kind of the goal.”

The colorful cans speak for themselves. Schneider said that his personal favorite was Marcia Horn’s watermelon can. Horn continued the fruit theme the following week with a strawberry can.

The workshops were held on Sunday afternoons, when people were less likely to have other plans. Some made Hack the Trash a destination; others were strolling through and happened upon the opportunity to test their artistry.

It was a popular attraction for parents wandering by with young children.

“I feel like all I’ve been doing is painting over kids’ cans,” laughed Maria Cavacos, layering a rational base color over a glop-hued, swirly mess, unmistakably the handiwork of someone under the age of 2.

In the meantime, the young artiste was led off into the sunset by his parents. Clad only in a diaper—and dotted, slashed, and striped in the full spectrum of paint colors—he looked like a loin-clothed, miniature Indian brave who maybe got a little too crazy with the war paint in anticipation of his first battle.

Cavacos was the artist/advisor for the last session. Leading the other two sessions were local artists Ben Peterson and Leanna Whitmore.

Schneider said that the painted cans will be coated with a clear and protective substance. The 30 new cans will basically double the park’s capacity for trash, he added.

“After walking through parks in other cities, I realized that they had a lot more trash cans, and not as much trash on the ground,” Schneider said.

The cans should be out in time for the Lantern Parade, Schneider said.

Painting and utilizing the 30 new cans was just the first phase of Hack the Trash, he added. Next, he wants to pick up the sorry, battered cans currently distributed throughout the park, clean them, refurbish them, and give them to local artists and elementary schools to decorate.

by Erik Zygmont

One Comment on "Painting trash cans a blast for hacks and artists alike"

  1. Donna Michaels September 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm · Reply

    Well aint that pretty! With this beauty, I would be ashamed to throw my rubbish anywhere. You did a great job!!!

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