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More on Art Bins

Special ‘art bins’ help deal with litter woes in south-end neighbourhood

Abuse threatens the innovative community-led solution that has helped brighten up neighbourhoods

Robert Barron, The Daily News

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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The steady proliferation of brightly coloured art bins throughout our neighborhood has been a joy to behold. Currently there are upward of 30 bins spread throughout the neighborhood and beyond. The bins have brought some much needed color and vibrancy to the neighborhood as well as making a huge difference to what was once a chronic litter problem in the south end. Recently a number of “art bin minders” , (those of us who host the bins and regularly empty the trash) have been troubled by the tendency of some residents to misuse the bins for regular household garbage, cat litter and other unwanted trash. One or two have even removed their bins from circulation, and others are considering doing likewise. This is an Art Bin rallying call! Stand firm oh trusty Art Bin Minders…We shall overcome! Look no further than the founding mother of the Art Bin movement, Maggie Wooterlot, who having had her bin stolen, (art theft!), sniffed back a quick tear, vented a summary curse at the injustice of the world, then painted up another can and there it stands, a symbol of south end fortitude and resilience! Over the years there have been instances of bins being battered, kicked around, dented and abused, but what have we done?….we’ve gathered them up, brought them to the Miners Picnic where they have been lovingly restored by Barbara, Harold et al, then returned to their rightful posts in the neighborhood.

The bin that I look after on the corner of Needham and Haliburton was, for a while, being used by someone to dispose of cat litter. I left a note by the bin, introducing myself, politely explaining the purpose of the bin and asking that the person refrain from disposing of their cat litter in this way. It seems to have worked and with the odd exception, the bin is now functioning as intended. Perhaps we could attach a similar note adjacent to all the cans in the neighborhood? Perhaps a hand delivered note to neighborhood residents educating and informing them about the project? Let’s talk about it at our next meeting and come up with a plan of action cheers all, Douglas

PS. Three times in a row someone has placed their domestic garbage bag in my art bin at 746 Haliburton.  I removed my bin. If the guilty party is reading this posting, these bins are not for your garbage, but for street litter. Please show a little  consideration and cease doing this.   Larry

Jan 12, a note from Blog co-editor Barbara.

Flora Green, who normally sits beside Tong’s in the 700 block of Haliburton has wandered.  She’s up in the Arbutus Books parking lot with Eyeleen.

I am not sure if she has a same-sex crush on her and rolled up on her own or if she got taken for a joy-ride.

If you are in the vicinity and have the room in your vehicle, perhaps you could tell her that the party is over and take her home to her spot at Tangs?

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Last year we set up our first “Art Bin Beauty Salon” at the Miner’s Picnic, and it was a TON of fun.  Here’s how it works:

  • We have 10 new bins purchased and getting all primed up for Saturday.  Come and release your inner artist…!  Paint a whole bin or bring along a buddy and make it a group project.
  • If you are hosting an art bin and it needs to have a little paint touch-up or get a few dints removed, bring it along.
  • Or if you want to learn more about out Art Bin initiative and how you can become part of it, talk to the folks there.

The bins that are painted at the Picnic will soon go to work on the streets of the South End (after they are christened and profiled here on the blog, of course…:)

The Art Bin Salon will be open between 10 AM and 3 PM.

 

 

 

 

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Introducing….

Eyleen, the newest Art Bin to grace Nicol street, seen here with her guardian, Neal Brown, outside his store, Arbutus Books.  Eyeleen will be keeping a watchful set of eyes (because she’s got LOTs of them) on the street for litter.  (And she will, be hopefully cheering on Jean Crowder’s campaign workers next door.)

Eyeleen replaces another bin, who unfortunately met his demise at the feet of some vandals and is currently In the Art Bin Hospital, awaiting surgery.  If he doesn’t pull through, a memorial will be held at a later date…:)

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A few months ago, we told you about the bold and daring Art Bins that had made it safely across Nicol Street to take up watch around Victoria Road.   Well, well, now we’re discoving that they are stud-ly as well..:)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lookie here, sprouting up in Nob Hill…a couple of real beauts….!

How sweet it is.

Welcome on board, Nob Hillers.  We neighbours might just be able to start a movement…if we haven’t already….:)

 

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It was standing room only at Mark Lakeman‘s talk and visual presentation on Sunday Nov. 29.  He told us that City Repair began when a handful of neighbors painted an intersection to slow the traffic. From there the concept grew to include cob benches, tea rooms (both fixed and mobile) tree and verge planting, public art of all description, community gardens and a beautiful village for the homeless. City Repair has now expanded to 20 cities across Canada and the USA.  SECA is already on the right path, according to Mark, both with the projects we are working on and our mindset.

Councilors Fred Pattje and Jim Kipp attended, as did Matt Hussman of the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, and many city planners. Nice to see a lot of younger people there. Everyone seemed very inspired by the talk.

A big thank you to the Nanaimo Museum and staff and a special thanks to Barbara Densmore who did a fantastic job arranging the meeting.

Click here to see a slideshow of the evening.

——————————

MarkLakemanMark Lakeman is a visionary architect, founding member of Portland’s City Repair & the 10-Day Village Building Convergence/VBC, and director of the ecological design firm Communitecture.

Formed in 1996, City Repair was conceived as an “anti-virus” to combat isolation and over-commodification of conventionally designed cities, by literally inserting villages into cities.

Now a national movement, City Repair combines architecture, urban planning, anthropology, community development, public art, permaculture and ecological design in projects that transform public space.

Visit www.cityrepair.org

See pics of Portland City Repair projects from one of our previous posts.  Click here.

The talk was organized by The South End Community Association (SECA) with the support of the Planning Institute of BC, North Vancouver Island Chapter.

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Why this lane? was the question we started with on March 16th when the South End Community Association hosted a meeting of property owners, managers, and residents, as well as City of Nanaimo and law enforcement officials, to talk about problems in the laneway bordered by Haliburton, Milton, Nicol, and Farquhar.

With the help of city staff and RCMP, we identified places where gaps in fencing allow people to easily evade police, niches and ledges that encourage loitering, areas where high fences block sight lines, and weeds and refuse that send a clear message that “no one cares.”

That message changed on April 25th.  With the cooperation of many owners, tenants, and surrounding neighbours:

  • We cleaned and hauled.  We weeded.  We dug and planted.
  • We painted.
  • We created the image that this is not a neglected laneway.
  • Then we took back the lane, and held a lunch party, complete with DJ music and Gord Fuller’s famous BBQ hot dogs.

Over 50 people came out to turn the lane into a thing of beauty..ok, ok…better than it was…WAY better….!

For photos of the clean up event,  click HERE

Or click here for Daily News article!

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

What’s Next?

Residents asked for more painting in the lane, so we’re planning a second painting day in July.

Some are even dreaming about a community garden. which we’re likely too late for this year, but we can keep working on it.

But for now, we believe we’re getting the new message across loud and clear: that this is a strong community that is staking its claim on the laneway.

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