Mayor Presents Trash Drums to Upper State Street

July 8, 2010

Decorated trash drums will be presented to the City of New Haven by the Yale University and Oil Drum Art on the steps of City Hall on July 21st. Mayor DeStefano will then donate the drums to the Upper State Street Association to help with litter and to beautify the area.

Last fall Jack Lardis, president of Oil Drum Art, and the Yale Office of Sustainability collaborated with the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and the Yale Student Taskforce for Environmental Partnership to launch the project on the Yale campus by having students paint six recycled 55-gallon oil drums with ecological themes. The visual themes of the drums were energy, the life cycle, food, environmental fuel, water, and recycling. Last spring students from the New Haven Solar Youth after-school program continued to paint the drums at Erector Square and students from Southern Connecticut’s “buildOn” program then completed the project.

On July 21 Melissa Goodall of the Yale Office of Sustainability and Jack Lardis of Oil Drum Art will present the colorful drums to the City of New Haven in a Presentation Ceremony on the steps of City Hall. Mayor John DeStefano will be the keynote speaker followed by the city’s Christine Eppstein-Tang and Yale’s Melissa Goodall. The mayor will then present the drums to Deanna Nickel or a representative of the Upper State Street Association who will provide the closing remarks for the ceremony.

In 2009 the City of New Haven Department of Cultural Affairs and Public Art endorsed the project and offered to donate the artistic drums to the Upper State Street Association to help in their efforts to improve the appearance of the Upper State Street neighborhoods. Margaret Bodell of the Department of Cultural Affairs encouraged the project as part of the city’s campaign to brighten up communities with a variety of public art projects.

The colorful environmental drums will encourage depositing litter in the containers while providing public art for the residents to enjoy. The Upper State Street Association will place the drums on Humphrey Street between West and State Streets. Deanna Nickel, president of the Association, said, “This is an artistic project that will help beautify the area for the residents.”

The Trash Drum Art project is part of a statewide program that includes 45 painted drums in Waterbury schools and over 75 drums placed in Bridgeport’s Seaside Park and Upper Main Street. The Department of Environmental Protection also sponsored similar projects for Hartford and New Haven as part of the Environmental Justice Summer Program called “No Child Left Inside.” Mr. Lardis said more than 300 drums have been painted by students and artists in the past six years for the improvement of parks and urban streets throughout Connecticut.

The Presentation Ceremony on July 21st at 3:30 PM will take place on the steps of City Hall and is open to the public. It will follow the CitySeed Farmer’s Market on Church Street and New Haven Green that is open between 11AM to 3PM.

Update: Click here for coverage on the event by The New Haven Independent.