From industrial to creative, re-branding Sacramento with artful dumpsters

The Power Inn Alliance of Sacramento brought together ten local artists to paint a very unusual canvas for a public art exhibit called “Art of the Dumpster.” Video produced by Marinda Johnson Gorman, shot by Martin Christian and edited by Jose Luis Romero, KVIE.

The southeastern quadrant of Sacramento is an industrial community that has seen many industries come through: mining, truck farming, recycling. Now, a group that advocates for the community has decided to re-brand it by asking artists to paint dumpsters.

“What better thing to use as our canvas than our history? You see them all over the city whether you’re in the best part of the city or the not great part of the city,” said Sally Freedlander, vice chairwoman of the Power Inn Alliance and the organizer of the community art project. “With the help of the artists, we turn these boxes into works of art.”


Each artist has taken a different approach to their dumpster. Some are realistic; others are more abstract. But, no matter what the design is, the goal is the same.

“I hope that the people who live and work in this neighborhood can see their neighborhood in a fresh new light,” said Gioia Fonda, one of the artists. “I hope that they can maybe see that their whole corridor is a blank canvas waiting for things to happen on it.”

Local Beat is a weekly series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.