Small Change Windsor » Water Bottle Art, a How To and a Why

Alley Art Bomb 1

Water Bottle Art, a How To and a Why

Okay, this is easy to do. Not super, super easy like making Mac’n’Cheese from a box (at least I hope that’s easy for you…), but compared to the rest of the work that residents and neighbourhood strategy staff do, it is easy.

Not only is it easy, it also has a few benefits. But here I am getting ahead of myself again.

What I’m talking about is water bottle art. Fortunately these little single serving water containers – I’m not condoning their use mind you – will fit very well into a chain link fence, one of the less attractive means of separating public from private in Windsor. But if you have the eyes of an artist – or if you are a regular ‘subscriber’ to Small Change Windsor – you will realize that everything is a canvas or an opportunity for something better, no matter how foreboding it seems right away.

Here is what you will need:

  • A chain link fence. Don’t worry, I expect you won’t have too much trouble finding one in Windsor.
  • Next, permission. *Ahem*
  • Spray paint. There are options here. Follow the link to the original Facebook Event for different ways to colour your bottle.
  • A (cross-stitch) pattern of your choosing. Make it nice and community friendly fellow Windsorites.
  • Water bottles. I know you know someone who goes through these things like … water, and start collecting them before they are “recycled” / end up in our garbage dumps.
  • Grab some friends, neighbours, and volunteers – because it’s always more fun with other people – and start making art.

Pink rose

There were a bunch of us at the May Court building in the Wyandotte Town Centre BIA area and each person had a job. One person had pattern in hand and was calling out, line by line, each colour needed. There was the person shoving the bottle in, and the other person pulling on the other side. There were people grabbing the bottles as they were called out. And we had people spray-painting the bottles – placing the nozzle into the neck of a mostly dry water bottle and giving it a quick but steady blast – as we ran out. It went from single lines of colourful bottles stuck in the fence to a beautiful pink rose in celebration of the May Court Club, a charity that was established in 1934.

I mentioned benefits:

  • It makes our disordered places like alleys (graffiti tags, litter, dumping) more beautiful, and ultimately safer.
  • It’s a chance to work and coordinate with your neighbours.
  • It recycles these pesky little bottles in an appealing way.

If you want advice, give us a shout. But this is one of those small actions you can make in your community, paired with other things, that can create a big impact.

Also, keep in mind we want to do more of this in the Glengarry / Wyandotte Town Centre neighbourhood. Let us know if you want to get involved.

The IGNR would like to thank Julie Butler Art, everyone who collected and coloured bottles, the May Court Club shop volunteers, and all of the other volunteers who came out to help with the art installation.

AM800 Media Coverage

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Coordinator of The Intiative: Glengarry to Marentette – a United Way Centraide of Windsor – Essex funded neighbourhood improvement strategy – Patrick has been working in community development since June of 2013. With a demanding work and life schedule, authoring blog posts is a good way to pursue his passion for writing, photography, and community building.

  1. Davette says:

    Thanks!!..we needed more garbage in the alley!! sure your going to clean it up too….

    • Patrick Firth says:

      We appreciate your concern Davette. The Initative and May Court have been working hard to make this alley a safer and cleaner space for the neighbourhood. The decision to do a public art installation using coloured water bottles – something that has worked in other neighbourhoods – is one part of this. Beyond this we are doing clean sweeps, graffiti removal, and vegetation clearing in partnership with residents and volunteer businesses and organizations. Given your concerns we would invite you to get in touch with us and get involved – the more neighbours involved the more likely any of our actions and installations in our neighbourhood will be free from tampering. Again, this is just one small piece of what we are doing. If any of our actions end up being bad for the neighbourhood we promise to take responsibility for it (clean up) and creatively come up with more solutions to neighbourhood concerns, like improper garbage disposal. While we regularly check on the whole neighbourhood, we encourage our neighbours to contact us if anything we have done is vandalized so that we can address it.

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