Move over, crazy-paint pianos. A new form of outdoor, public art will soon bring color to downtown Mansfield.
The City Council on Monday night approved city environmental manager Howard Redfearn’s idea to solicit artists who can be inspired by four commercial trash bins.
It’s not unlike the ongoing art project that has artists using pianos as their canvasses. The finished products are scattered around Mansfield in front of shopping centers and individual businesses.
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But Redfearn has a different angle. He’s hoping the downtown businesses in the 100 block of North Main Street will find the dumpsters adorable and start using them – especially businesses that traditionally have used trash bags.
They set out the bags for commercial pickup behind their buildings, facing Walnut Street to the west and Smith Street to the east.
“Right now, a majority of businesses now collect their trash in bags,” Redfearn said. “It’s a little unaesthetic.”
It also can be a public health issue, if the businesses toss food into the bags.
“If they set it out, they run the risk of animals getting into it and leaving it strewn in the street,” he said.
So the four dumpsters, once painted on all sides, will be placed on each corner of blocks of Walnut and Smith that lie behind Main Street. Each site first has to have concrete pads and approaches poured, and he has to figure out an artist application process. All that should take a couple of months, he said.
The idea was inspired not by the painted pianos but by the colorful dumpster program he saw in Durango, Colo., last summer.
Durango’s historic downtown area is larger than Mansfield’s and so has more bins.
“They were painted in all different types of art,” he said.
Each artist who applies for the Mansfield opportunity will first have to submit a rendering of their concepts.
The dumpsters will be four cubic yards in capacity, 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide, much smaller, Redfearn said, than the standard commercial bins.
The idea is to make them less intrusive as they draw attention.
Robert Cadwallader, 817-390-7641