Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Big Belly cans meet Smart Art students

...and the result is dressed-up solar compactors in Manayunk

Big Belly cans meet Smart Art students

A Big Belly trash station in Manyunk gets a new look with artwork by students at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
A Big Belly trash station in Manyunk gets a new look with artwork by students at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

When the city first started installing Big Belly recycling and solar compacting trash stations, one of the many benefits touted was that their sides provided perfect surfaces for messages and public art.

So...how about frogs and geese and fish, all done in the style of Andy Warhol, Henri Rousseau and Vincent Van Gogh?

That's what's happening along Main Street in Manayunk, thanks to students from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

In a project dubbed "Smart Partners in Art," they wrapped 14 Big Belly stations in art.

The idea is to combine art with a learning experience.

Each piece of art includes an animal indigenous to the Schuylkill River -- which runs alongside Manayunk -- created in the style of a well-known artist.

That's how they wound up with a frog that looks as if Warhol might have painted it, a Van Gogh-ish fish, and a goose done in the magical realism style of Rousseau. And a whole lot more. Visit, and see if you can guess which is modeled after Salvador Dali's style. Or Jackson Pollock's.

The Academy is all about green. It received the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Award in 2012, has multiple solar panel arrays atop its buildings, and is working towards a zero-waste cafeteria, according to officials there.

Academy president Priscilla Sands said the art project was "emblematic of a school that is dedicated to sustainability, creativity, and innovation. We have a long history of partnerships, such as this one with the Manayunk Development Corporation, which help our students explore their passions in a real-world context.”

Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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Our panel of experts, in partnership with My Milkcrate, will offer information on how to live sustainably and reduce your carbon footprint. We'll be featuring sustainable businesses, steering you toward green local events, and catching up with Philadelphians who we consider green-living gurus.

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