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Sacramento Artist Gives Midtown Dumpster Fresh Look

Jonathan Ayestas / Capital Public Radio

Artist Andy Duong describes the theme for the vinyl wrap on a dumpster in the alleyway near Insight Coffee Roasters on 16th and P Streets in. This dumpster is part of a beautification process for alleyways in Midtown Sacramento.

Jonathan Ayestas / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento artist Andy Duong gave a dumpster in the alley near Insight Coffee Roasters on 16th and P Streets a fresh new look with a vinyl wrap. He was brought into the beautification project by his friend and developer, Bay Miry.

Miry wants to see the alleyway beautified for coffee shop customers and residents of the nearby 16 Powerhouse lofts.

“We’re really going through a renaissance with some really cool mixed use buildings being built or planned and starting soon, so we’re starting to really see that influx of folks that want to move and live closer and closer in the urban core,” Miry says.

Duong had only worked in two dimensions. He created posters for bars and nightclubs. He found the vinyl wrap design for the dumpster a challenge.

He can see his finished product in the mornings when he looks out his window of his loft.

“As an artist, I naturally look out the window for inspiration or when I want to break up the monotony of my work and conveniently seeing something like this — my eye just catches and I hope that other people, non-artists and artists can have that effect when they have their normal walk down the street,” Duong says.

Dumpster 1 032516PSide view of a dumpster beautified with a vinyl wrap as part of an alley activation effort to make alleyways in Midtown Sacramento more accessible. Jonathan Ayestas / Capital Public Radio 

Executive Director of the Midtown Business Association Emily Baime Michaels says beautifying the dumpster cost about $1,000 for the vinyl wrapping. Duong donated the design.

The funding was pooled together between 16 Powerhouse, Waste Management and the Midtown Business Association.

“So now we have this beautiful example of what alleyways can be — even being functional for our dumpsters but still allowing them to be beautiful and allow for commerce,” Baime Michaels says.

Another part of the alley activation program includes replacing most dumpsters with trash compactors. Baime Michaels explains that one compactor takes up the space of one dumpster but does the job of several.

“So that’ll be the next thing that we’ll be looking to install in our alleyways,” Baime Michaels says. “Hopefully, by summertime, we’ll have one up and running.”

Dumpster 2 032516View of the alleyway near Insight Coffee Roasters where a dumpster was beautified as part of alley activation efforts in Midtown Sacramento. Jonathan Ayestas / Capital Public Radio

Baime Michaels hopes beautified alleyways will result in decreased nighttime scavenging because of the amount of time spent toward cleaning up the streets from people raiding dumpsters.

Andy Duong believes hosting design contests would bring together other local artists to help beautify the other dumpsters in Midtown. While he’s glad it’s easy to wipe graffiti off the vinyl material, he says he finds the concept charming.

“Art on top of art on top of a garbage bin — there’s a weird paradox behind it,” Duong says.