Artists dive into dumpster art in Albany

This colorful dumpster sits outside The Frame House in Albany. (KATU Photo)

Putting art on dumpsters is growing in popularity, bringing eyeballs and business to the Willamette Valley.

People are stopping by The Frame House, owned by Al Severson, to visit the dumpster that sits in the alley outside his business.

“There’s been a constant parade of people,” Severson says. “I’ve had people come through my front door looking for it.”

The front of the dumpster is adorned with a colorful scene of flowers that includes a cat and a barn, complete with a child who appears to be reading or singing to a horse.

The vision comes from Albany’s Art Commission. It’s an effort to beautify and draw people downtown. The commission got the idea from some towns in California.

Trish Irwin had to see the dumpster outside Severson’s business for herself.

“Why not? Where else would you put art? You can put it on the building, but a lot of people are already doing that. So dumpsters seem like a perfect idea,” she says.

Local artists come up with the designs. Then another local business produces the graphics, which are then glued to the big trash cans. No public money is used. The bins are sponsored for $1,000. Half is used to create the decal, and the rest goes to the artist.

Another decorated bin sits outside Jeremy McLain’s piercing and tattoo parlor.

“To me, it’s an awesome idea,” McLain says.

The bin, McLain says, is no longer known as the blue, sore thumb.

McLain wants the pilot project to turn permanent.

“I was born and raised in Albany, and I’ve always been big on trying to get more art,” he says.

While the art is a visual treat, there’s no way to pretty up the smell. Still, visitors don’t seem fazed by that.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more of it pop up,” says Severson. “It’s going to be interesting to see.”

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