Written by Janet Wang
In February, the Gunn Art Department teamed up with the company GreenWaste in a project to paint a trailer that will be used in a Repair Café, a nonprofit organization that repairs and recycles items. It will be located at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto. GreenWaste, a recycling and waste company, focuses on achieving zero waste and sponsors Repair Cafés. They reached out to the district office and the sustainability representative Rebecca Navarro, who recommended Gunn art teacher Deanna Messinger and her students to take on the project.
Messinger selected five students to design and paint the new trailer. “I chose students who have a strong foundation in rendering and acrylic paint and are very responsible peo- ple,” she said. “They decided that one side [of the trailer] is going to be of the Baylands, with a variety of waterfowl, and the other side is open woodlands, with golden hills and a big oak.”
Senior Courtney Griffin says that the design of the trailer was inspired by the nature in Palo Alto. “We see [the hills] every day but a lot of people take them for granted. It could have been industrialized a long time ago but it wasn’t,” she said. “We wanted to show the environment and how GreenWaste Palo Alto is really helping the community and making it a lot greener so that we can have these beautiful places like the Baylands to enjoy.”
For the group, the project has been a new artistic experience. “This is our first time spray painting so it’s interesting to use these different materials and experiment at the same time,” Griffin said. “I feel really proud that we get to take this art into the community and share it with kids who might be inspired by it.”
On Feb. 20, the trailer will be featured at a Repair Café. GreenWaste Public Educa- tion Specialist Eliza Lubetkin says that the trailer will be utilized as a storage facil- ity for Repair Café tools and supplies. “At [Repair Café] events, people can bring materials and items that are broken and hopefully get them repaired,” she said. “The more that we’re fixing things and not throwing them away is a whole different mindset. It helps make a bigger statement when we have a beautifully painted trailer.”
Lubetkin hopes that the painted trailer at the Repair Café will help draw attention to preserving the environment. “Working at GreenWaste, we deal with garbage and recycling, and we see how much goes to the landfill. It’s so easy to just throw something away, but it has to go somewhere and sit there,” she said. “Instead of buying a new pair of pants, you could fix the hole in the pants you already have.”