The city of Stevens Point has created a new program, called ‘UnWASTEd Space,’ to put local artwork on the city’s waste and recycling trucks. Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza said the city’s Streets Superintendent Chris Johnson came up with the idea. Johnson said he got the idea while driving around and noticed the other artwork projects and murals in the city. “And we figured all the vehicles we have, ones that hit the road every week, [it’d] be pretty neat to have some of that art being displayed, [on wheels],” Johnson explained. “We’ve got trash canvas with the garbage cans painted downtown. In the winter, we do paint the plows with some of the schools to put art on the front of our snowplows, and now we’ve gotten these garbage trucks just sitting here with a billboard waiting to have something done to it,” Mayor Wiza said.
The project calls for people to submit a high-resolution picture [300 dpi] of a piece of art that portrays Stevens Point, recycling or sustainability. The program will then turn submissions into a 4-foot by 8-foot display on the sides of the trucks, in partnership with Bushman Signs. “I think it’ll bring people together. I think a lot of people like to get involved with projects like this and arts, one of those things that really tend to bring people together, whether it’s supporting your local artists or just sharing ideas that everyone can you agree to,” Johnson said.
The city doesn’t have a hard deadline on submissions, however, it is looking to review submissions by the end of the month, in order to look over them and get them installed by the end of July or early August. The city anticipates that the artwork will last for several years since it will be placed in a location that doesn’t come in contact with anything else. “The cool thing about art is it’s a little bit different for everyone, what they like and what they don’t like, but that’s kind of how our community is it’s very diverse. So with all of the murals that you have, and all of the public art installations with the Scarab Bokeo Art Museum and the Q Gallery, the Noel Fine Arts Center, we’ve got lots of opportunities for people to express themselves. And the cool thing about our community is we’re willing to accept that we accept that version of expression,” Mayor Wiza said.