Dumpsters on Parade gives trash bins an artistic new look in Huntington Beach

A shark furiously tries to free itself from a net as trash is strewn about the ocean floor and two young children do their best to gather the refuse before it can affect other marine life.

This artistic rendition, with a message about keeping oceans clean, can be seen on an unlikely canvas: a trash bin.

Thirty bins featuring paintings by local artists will soon be placed throughout downtown Huntington Beach as part of an ongoing mission by the Huntington Beach Public Art Alliance to beautify the city.

The trash containers will be rolled down Main Street at 10 a.m. Saturday as part of the Dumpsters on Parade project. The artists who painted the bins will offer other pieces of their art for sale.

Kim Kramer, 68, co-founder of the Public Art Alliance, said city leaders will attend Saturday’s parade and that Mayor Barbara Delgleize will push one of the bins. The group is expecting thousands of people to turn out after an intensive marketing campaign, Kramer said.

Jody Williams, 53, who designed the piece with the trash-plagued ocean, said she hopes to convey a simple environmental message: People need to pick up after themselves.

The piece also is a homage to her family, as Williams employed the artistic talents of her daughter Samantha Seguine, 11, and granddaughter Rayna Duran, 8, for the project.

In her more than 30-year career as an artist, Williams has painted several public art pieces in Huntington Beach.

Another piece in Dumpsters on Parade depicts the Huntington Beach Pier at sunset. Artist Melissa Murphy, 33, grew up surfing near the pier and used the artwork to capture her memories of the “beautiful fall sunsets.”

Each trash bin will be coated with a special film to protect against graffiti.

The event also will feature a canned-food drive. Visitors who bring six or more cans will get a chance to win a variety of prizes, including lunch with Delgleize or Police Chief Robert Handy or a ride on a police helicopter.

City Councilman Patrick Brenden, left, and Huntington Beach Public Art Alliance co-founders Barbara Haynes and Kim Kramer pose with some of the trash bins in the Dumpsters on Parade project.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer )

Kramer and Barbara Haynes, 64, founded the Public Art Alliance a few months ago. Their mission is to beautify the downtown area and eventually other parts of the city.

“They are inspiring others to do more by showing people that things can get done,”said City Councilman Patrick Brenden, who has been working with the group.

Brenden said the best part is that no public funds were used for the project. Kramer said the group has raised about $40,000 since its inception.

The alliance’s first project was decorating a utility box on the pier in May.

Kramer said the group is just getting started, with many more projects in the works.

“We don’t intend to stop,” he said.