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Winners of Ecomaine’s annual art contest to paint single-sort recycling containers

Ecomaine’s Recycling is a Work of Art contest has given four local artists the opportunity to make single-sort recycling containers a work of art.

PORTLAND, Maine — Ecomaine’s Annual Recycling is a Work of Art contest gives local artists an opportunity to showcase their work on Ecomaine’s single-sort recycling containers.

“Our ‘Recycling is a Work of Art" contest is designed to increase public awareness of sustainable recycling in Maine, and what better way to do that than these eye-catching containers,” Matt Grondin, director of communications and public affairs at Ecomaine, said.

Four local artists have won this year’s contest and will be painting 22-foot-long steel containers in the next few weeks. Three containers will be worked on in Payson Park in Portland.

“It’s really exciting. I’ve never done anything this large scale before and I’m used to drawing instead of painting so it’s definitely a new experience and a learning experience, but it’s been really fun so far to kind of translate my mostly-drawing skills into painting,” Bailey DeBiase, a local artist and contest winner, said.

“My overall theme for it is butterflies and caterpillars, so I’m going to have caterpillars on here and leaves they’ve chewed and butterfly wings and some chrysalises,” DeBiase said.

DeBiase plans to incorporate hidden scenes within her piece to follow the theme of reuse, reduce, and recycle.

“I hope it adds value to whatever space it ends up in. I like doing art for myself but it’s cooler knowing that it’s like a part of something people will get to enjoy somewhere," Victor Stewart, another winning artist from Portland, said.

The two other winners of the contest are Elliot Walsh and Jen Sawtelle.

“One thing that we hope people will take note of when they see these containers, in addition to appreciating the incredible artwork, is to just learn a little bit more about recycling and what is and what isn’t recyclable,” Grondin said.

Once the containers are finished being painted, they will be moved to where Ecomaine offers services in Maine.

The four artists who won the competition this year received a 500 dollar stipend and were reimbursed 500 dollars for supplies.

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