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Preventing Litter With a Painting - KOAM TV 7

Preventing Litter With a Painting

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

It's not your typical canvas. 

"Every time I come out to paint I've gotta brush off all the cigarette butts all around it," artist Mick Lindsay said. 

It's also not his typical source of inspiration. 

"The drain just suggested a big mouth," Lindsay said. 

It's a storm drain. and Mick Lindsay's newest art piece. 

"Sounds a little hokey, but sometimes you've got to let the work tell you where to go next, Lindsay said looking at his painting of a catfish on a Pittsburg sidewalk. The head leads to the curb. The storm drain is the catfish's mouth. 

If successful, folks walking by will think about the trash they leave and where it ends up. 

"It's gonna have a message on it asking people, you know, not to throw trash in the storm drains," Lindsay said. "Because what the fish eats winds up in what we drink." 

The painting was supposed to be much smaller. Now it's expanded to more than 10-feet, with the tail wrapping around the TJ Leland's building. 

"It continues to grow so, yeah, it's well over keeper size if you're out fishing," Downtown District Coordinator Jeff Wilbert said. 

The Downtown District Board is commissioning the project with help. 

"Economic Development Council provides the Downtown District with funding every year to support projects like this," Wilbert said. 

The storm drain, in front of TJ Leland's on 6th street, flows into Cow Creek. And the art will hopefully remind people, before leaving trash or garbage around, that it's actually going somewhere.

"Just kind of a reminder that debris, and cigarette butts, trash, we need to do our best to keep those from going inside the storm drains," Wilbert said. 

The project started in October. Lindsay says this first painting is nearly complete, and hopes it's the first of many. 

"We've got clearance to go from 11th street to Euclid. One block either side of Broadway ,wherever the property owners want one," Lindsay said. "So it could be quite a lot of them."

Simply; more art, less trash.

The Downtown District Board hopes to find other businesses in Pittsburg willing to have similar pieces in front of their stores, and add more through downtown in the Spring.    
 

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