Ocean City Today

Beach can art lasts through summer, program continues

By Katie Tabeling | Nov 16, 2017
Courtesy of: Rina Thaler The Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association sponsored “Art Can Clean Beaches” program last summer, which only had 30 cans painted in its first year.

(Nov. 17, 2017) After a successful summer, the “Art Can Clean Beaches” program will continue next year. In agreeing this week to extend the can plan, the City Council hopes more beach trash cans will be painted to inspire others to leave no trash behind.

The council renewed the program after all 30 trash barrels, each fitted with a vinyl wrap of on the bottom and top, survived the season. The center was left unwrapped because “the beast” custom-made trash truck grabs that area with a metal arm.

“It really was impressive, not one piece of artwork was scratched at all,” said Councilman Tony DeLuca, who came up with the program. “Some of the cans were mutilated by the beast or the beach, but the art was almost perfect.”

DeLuca and the Green Team committee developed “Art Can Clean Beaches” as an anti-litter campaign that also brought art to the beach. The Art League took the reins on the project, and asked its members to submit their work depicting Ocean City or the Eastern Shore.

Art League Executive Director Rina Thaler applied for a $5,000 grant from “Keep Maryland Beautiful” for the pilot. But when she realized that only the top and the bottom of the barrels would be painted, she saved some money.

“Keep Maryland Beautiful would be willing to transfer those funds over next year, and we could leverage it for more grants,” she said during Tuesday’s work session. “We also asked businesses to sponsor the cans at $260 for a tasteful logo.”

Maryland Coastal Bays Program receives $10 of the sponsorship money for clean-up efforts.

The council voted unanimously to expand the program for the 800 barrels that dot the beach in the summertime. DeLuca said he hoped that this would open the doors for other sponsorship opportunities.

“We could use some of the grant money and push it to more sponsorships, and we could reach out to businesses to sponsor a cluster of cans,” he said. “It was really Rina’s leadership that brought all this together.”

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