Family Friendly Oakland
Play Oakland Mosaic Trash Can Makeovers
We'll create opportunities for kids and families to overcome boredom and blight by installing playful and engaging ceramic tile mosaics on 10 city trash cans at bus stops and busy street corners in Oakland where low-income children and caregivers often wait.
Like many cities and communities across the country, we've got cement trashcans all over Oakland, but they're mundane, ugly and easy targets for graffiti and dumping. These decades-old trash containers are a blight to our urban landscape and costly to maintain, as the City and taggers trade off covering the cans with paint. Furthermore, there are long stretches of treeless sidewalks in our targeted neighborhoods with nothing but litter and cracked sidewalks to look at and hop over. Yuck!
By adding art and whimsy we'll provide surprising moments of wonder where children and adults least expect. This simple, durable, scalable and replicable project will support local artists and community-based efforts by extending a recent mosaic trash can trend that has grown organically from neighborhood to neighborhood in Oakland. Yay!
This project will add two new twists to the local mosaic movement: led by parents and passionate volunteers in the community, we'll engage low-income neighborhoods where residents have not had the resources to self-fund these projects but do have the community interest. And, unlike existing trash can mosaics, we've partnered with local artists to create more kid friendly designs that re-enforce early childhood development concepts and foster local and cultural pride.
By creating fun works of art around town, we'll inspire kids and families by prompting inquiry, activity and conversation. Imagine a maze that wraps around all sides, a giant basketball net, waiting for a slam dunk, a lifecycle theme with a hungry caterpillar on one side and a butterfly on the other, Chinese lion dancers circling around the can, or jumping, leaping local wildlife and the word "JUMP!"" in different languages. Yippee!
We have already seen how mosaic "trash-formations" can reduce littering and graffiti and increase neighborhood and city-pride. Now with our playful and kid-centered mosaics, we will grow the next generation of community stewards by inspiring kids and families to get involved in creating community art, be more active and curious and make disposing trash fun and memorable. Yes!
- Tiffany Eng