Artists beautify Ireland recycling bins

Photos by Candy Neal/The Herald
Ann Kissel writes “Cardboard” on the farm scene bin. Each bin will have on it the name of the recyclable that’s supposed to go into it.


IRELAND — Drivers coming into Ireland from the west side will likely notice the new artwork that now graces some recycling bins at the recycling and trash center.

They’ll first see a seascape that is located in the country of Ireland. If they turn into the recycling center, they will see the other pieces, like Roscoe, a dog at the Dubois County Humane Society; a cherry blossom tree in bloom; Pixar characters, Wall-E and Eve; and Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Eight local artists — Abby Laux, Emily Meyer, Liz Wertman, George Smith, Danielle Hulsman, Ann Kissel, Maggie Getzin and Emily Colucci Peak — worked all day Wednesday to put their designs on nine bins at the Ireland trash and recycling center on State Road 56.

“It’s a project that came from the St. Patrick’s Celebration Committee,” said Collucci Peak. She sat on the ground with Getzin to put the final touches on “Starry Night.”

Maggie Getzin, left, and Emily Colucci Peak work on “Starry night."

Committee member Craig Greulich got permission from the Dubois County Commissioners to allow paintings on some of the bins. “We wanted to do a beautification project here,” he said. “I saw online that another place did this and we thought it was a good idea.”

Greulich contacted the Jasper Arts Center for help, and they were glad to get on board, said Colucci Peak, visual arts coordinator at the arts center.

“(Starry Night) was mentioned when Craig [Greulich] brought the idea to us,” she said. “So we volunteered to do it.”

The other designs were created by the different artists and submitted to the committee for approval. “We gave them free rein,” Greulich said. “The only thing we wanted was to make sure there was nothing political or controversial. But we let them do pretty much what they wanted.”

Kissel chose to create a farm scene that includes a cow, corn and a tractor against a blue sky.

Roscoe the beagle was painted by George Smith, who plans to adopt the dog from the Dubois County Humane Society.

“I did a little research and discovered that what Ireland the country and Ireland, Indiana, have in common is cattle. It’s a common denominator,” she said. “After I had that thought and started messing around with putting a cow in my design, I thought about what’s around here in this community. And it all goes back to farming. Everywhere you turn there’s a crop or a field. There’s a farmer in front of you on the road. There are tractors. There’s corn behind the recycling area. So I decided to include that. Our area is based in farming and agriculture.”

Kissel added another special touch to the painting: a tag with a shamrock on one of the cow’s ears and a tribute to the Ireland Spuds and the community’s zip code on the other ear. “It’s her earrings,” Kissel said.

Most of the creations were completed on Wednesday. But at least one will take a little longer.

“I’m going to try paint 80 to 100 bugs on this,” Wertman said about her artwork called “Curiosity.” The design is of a young person looking through blades of grass to discover nature’s smaller creatures.

“I wanted to create something that emphasizes the environment and plays into taking care of what’s here,” she said. “To me, it’s having that curiosity to teach and discover the little things that live among us, that being bugs and nature itself. That is what we’re trying to protect.”

Greulich, who was the water boy and gopher for the artists on Wednesday, was happy with the results.

“This is better than I thought it would be,” he said. “It is what I was hoping for, and even better. This is amazing.”

Liz Wertman, working on “Curiosity."

More on