Plastic trash barrels have been transformed by student and local artists, thanks to a new program that's being officially unveiled in Bay St. Louis, Wednesday, November 7th.
- story by Lisa Monti
The litter containers - whose only adornment are the BSL initials - are being turned into showcases for art reflecting the Gulf Coast, according to Don Siebenkittel, the city’s code enforcement officer who is coordinating the mayor’s art project.
“All the barrels are being painted by local artists from youth organizations and local schools,” he said. “Most of the schools have art programs which are awesome, and these litter barrels are going to look fabulous.”
Some barrels will bear inspirational messages or school spirit shout-outs, but most will follow the Gulf Coast theme with original renditions of crabs, fish, boats or other coastal characteristics and inhabitants. None will be used to advertise businesses, though.
Adult artists in the community have also volunteered to take on the painting of a barrel.
Siebenkittel said he’s enjoying getting out and working with the artists, along with his duties as the city’s code enforcement official, a job he's held less than a year. But it's been an enormously busy one: more than 800 properties have been cleaned up under Siebenkittel's watch.
So far about 30 litter barrels have been painted and will be placed along Beach Boulevard and Main Street. “Our goal is to have 100 of them by the end of the school year,” Siebenkittel said.
The public will get a look at the first collection of painted barrels when they are unveiled Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. at City Hall. They will be placed around town starting the following week.
Siebenkittel hinted that the project might be expanded to making rain drums or other environmentally friendly assets for the city.
“There are so many different environmental and educational ways to use the barrels,” he said.