Edmonton

Trash can art competition a highlight of Alberta Culture Days

Some of the more mundane parts of everyday life at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre got a makeover this weekend as part of Alberta Culture Days.

The trash can work of these 27 artists will be featured at Edmonton's city hall

Artists have gathered at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre for Alberta Culture Days to turn trash cans at the centre into art pieces. (Scott Neufeld/CBC News)

Some of the more mundane parts of everyday life got a makeover this weekend as part of Alberta Culture Days at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

Artists gathered at the centre to paint 25 old trash cans as part of the month-long provincial celebration of arts and culture. The finished products will be taken on an exhibition around Edmonton in October.

From more than 40 applications, 27 artists started working on Saturday and Sunday to spruce up these everyday garbage bins. They'll have until Sept. 25 to finish their art pieces.

The artists themselves come from a variety of skill and experience levels, with one artist being as young as seven years old. Sim Senol, executive director of the Edmonton Intercultural Centre said it was important to bring in artists that represent 20 different cultures,  

"We're not art curators. So for me, the priority was the uniqueness," Senol said. 

"We didn't choose (artists) based on the quality of their work or their experience level. If you were one of the unique countries, you got in automatically."

Artists have gathered at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre for Alberta Culture Days to turn trash cans at the centre into art pieces. (Scott Neufeld/CBC News)

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre's work is to offer programs and services that support more inclusive communities. Because of this, Senol said their goal was to bring together a diverse representation of artists.

The artists competing in the contest are painting trash cans with art inspired by their Somalian, Danish, Turkish, Japanese, Peruvian, Indigenous and Métis backgrounds, among others.

Artists have until Sept. 25 to finish painting their cans. As of Sept. 28, a travelling exhibition will begin to show off their work, with plans to showcase the trash cans at the Edmonton City Hall.

Edmontonians will also be able to vote on which design they like the most during this exhibition. The winning artist, crowned in late October, will receive a $1,000 prize, with second place taking home $500.

The newly spruced up trash cans will then populate the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

Artists have gathered at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre for Alberta Culture Days to turn trash cans at the centre into art pieces. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Hannah Lind, one of the event's artists, said she thought it sounded like a cool opportunity to make something inspired from her Danish-Canadian heritage.

Her trash can is inspired by her culture's mythology and Hans Christian Andersen's stories. It also highlights Dickson, Alberta where many Danish settlers including her great-grandfather settled.

"It goes from the old world to the new. It'll be Viking settlements and then ships, because Denmark has a large navy," Lind said. "And then it will go around into Canada where people settled."

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