Historic Plant City Main Street and MAKE Plant City teamed up with local artist Victoria Creel to take a utilitarian piece of equipment that is functional, but an eyesore, and turn it into a whimsical public art piece.

Historic Plant City Main Street Inc. and MAKE Plant City teamed up for a public art project known as Trash Can-Vas. The project is intended to enhance access to the arts by working with local artists to create and paint designs that celebrate Florida nature on downtown dumpsters. The newest one, created by Victoria Creel, was unveiled on May 23. The Trash Can-Vas is located in the parking lot behind Krazy Kup, located at 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. on the corner of Collins Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Creel, a resident of Valrico, is also a photographer with Victoria Michelle Photography. The theme for this year’s project was ‘Florida Nature.’

Creel said, “I grew up in Plant City and camped and did a lot of nature stuff. I though about all the things I saw and what I wanted to seek, like otters.”

Creel added, “Our current world is very busy. I wanted to create a sense of calm and serenity. If my art is something that someone can look at and feel peaceful and reflect on their childhood memories, I am pleased.”

Erin Hollenkamp spearheaded the project with the first dumpster in 2023.

Erin said, “I was trying to incorporate art into the downtown area. I wanted to put art in an unexpected area.”

Jay Hollenkamp expanded by adding, “We wanted to turn an eyesore into a positive.”

MAKE Plant City monitored the status of the dumpster created in 2023 to see how it withheld use and the elements. It remains a beautiful piece.

Creel’s piece is festooned with all sorts of flora and fauna that are indigenous to the area, even otters.

The Trash Can-Vas project is funded by a Community Arts Impact Grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough Couty (funding specifically comes from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners). Martine Collier, division director for the arts council, said, “The arts council launched the Community Arts Impact Grant in 2018 to try and reach deeper into the community and support grassroots arts initiatives. This Plant City project is a perfect match for this funding and evidence that impact of this grant reaches broadly across the entire county.”

For more information on the events and projects of Historic Plant City Main Street and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, please visit www.plantcitymainstreet.org and http://hillsborougharts.org/. You can follow MAKE Plant City on Facebook and Instagram.

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