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Dumpster art to make a return to Fernie

The Arts Station’s popular beautification project will be back for a seventh year
Station Square with the dumpsters being painted as part of the ‘Out of the Box Dumpster Project’ in July 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Another round of Fernie’s dumpsters are in line to be glowed up this summer.

The Arts Station’s ‘Out of the Box Dumpster Project’ is returning for a seventh (or eighth, counting interruptions) year, and with lots of artist interest, locals can expect there to be some colourful new additions to a back alley near you.

In 2021 nine dumpsters were slathered with art. “I’m hoping we can get a few more because of the interest from artists,” said Louise Ferguson of the Arts Station.

Submissions from artists closed last week (June 24), with artist proposals to be judged by an independent panel, and successful artists announced in coming weeks.

“There was lots of interest, plus new artists that hadn’t applied before which is really exciting,” said Ferguson.

This year, the Arts Station received a grant from the BC Arts Council that allows them to pay professional artists that applied and are successful in being selected. There will be three categories of artists painting dumpsters: professional, emerging, and community.

Successful artists will be coming together at Station Square to paint the dumpsters in public, so locals can watch creation in action at the end of August, while the final pieces will all be on display on August 31, just in time for the last Wednesday Social of the season (or, “Dumpster Social”).

Like last year, locals will be asked to vote for their favourites when it all wraps up.

Dumpsters that are painted are delivered by the collection company, GFL, for artists to paint. They are then distributed throughout town.

With the project going for years now, you’d think Fernie would be running out of dumpsters to beautify – and it is, but mural art like the dumpster art has a shelf-life due to being outdoors, so some might be renewed as the project goes on. Originally, explained Ferguson, the dumpster art was expected to last only two years, but many from the very beginning are still in rotation today.

“There’s a couple that can be renewed, so I don’t think we’ll run out,” she said. So far, about 50 dumpsters around Fernie have been painted as part of the program.

As noted, the dumpsters are delivered and distributed by GFL, and paints are donated by NuFloors in Fernie.

READ MORE: Dumpster art brightens Fernie
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