Students paint Aspen Times newspaper boxes
November 24, 2011
ASPEN – When Aspenites are picking up their daily newspaper, now they will get the chance to enjoy pieces of art from the town’s youngest artists.
The Aspen Times has partnered with the art programs at the Aspen Middle School and the Aspen Country Day School to allow students to paint and recycle old delivery boxes on the street.
“They were excited to do public art and they’re excited to have their art in town – something that they created that other people will see,” said Rae Lampe, fine arts teacher at Aspen Middle School.
The old pick-up boxes, which needed to be repainted, were donated to The Aspen Times from another newspaper. Dottie Wolcott, The Aspen Times office manager, approached the two schools about the project.
“The kids were so enthusiastic and they thought it would be a great project,” Wolcott said. “They can be a part of our community and the community can see how talented our school children are.”
Wolcott said she got the idea while traveling in Florida, and saw public U.S. Postal Service mail boxes painted.
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Lampe said she liked the idea of reusing the boxes and not having them go to waste.
“I love recycled projects,” Lampe said. “Art consumes so much materials, paint and paper. So I love the idea of using recycled stuff.”
Some kids painted the boxes in groups of three or four, and some kids worked on them individually. Before all of the boxes were painted, kids had to submit a design to their teachers and Wolcott. They picked the best, most practical submissions.
The boxes were painted with the same paint used for outdoor murals and coated in a glaze. The glaze is resistant to the wind, sun, rain and snow. They were designed and painted to be seen from all four sides.
Hilary Forsyth, an art teacher at Aspen Community School also helped coordinate the project with her students. She said the students were excited about entering their designs, and the students who were picked worked hard to make them look great. The large boxes, which need multiple layers of paint during the process, have been a daunting task for the kids, Forsyth said. But both teachers say they came out great and believe the community will love them.
Readers will still be able to recognize The Aspen Times pick-up boxes when grabbing a copy. The new, more colorful boxes will still prominently feature the distinguishing purple color.