Dumpsters to decorate campus this Sustainability Week

Students show what sustainability means to them on improbable backdrop

Dumpster from contest in 2018.

This Sustainability Week, Queen’s campus will be colourfully decorated with environmentally themed paintings on an unlikely canvas—dumpsters.

On Sept. 22, Queen’s Society for Conservation Biology’s (SCB) third annual dumpster art contest will display its painted submissions outside of Ontario hall.

In the event’s first year in 2017, the event was run by University’s Sustainability Office. But from 2018 onward, the Office has collaborated with the SCB on the artistic competition.

SCB co-president Andreea Bosorogan (ArtSci ’20,) has been involved with the society since 2018. This is the second dumpster art contest she’ll be involved in organizing, and she has high hopes for its success.

“Last year when I got involved, we got quite a positive message. People were excited and everybody seemed to talk about it,” Bosorogan told The Journal.

Despite being an artistic competition, the contest isn’t judged by the painters’ skill. Instead, the judges look for creativity, composition, and message.

“We’re looking for someone that shows initiative and that communicates clearly through their design what sustainability is for them,” she said.

Last year, the submissions came from all faculties.

“We were excited to see that they weren’t only Fine Arts [contestants] that participated in the art contest. We had entries from the Engineering faculty, as well as Arts and Science,” said Bosorogan.

“It’s basically just getting people to express a sustainable message via imagery.”

To enter, contestants must submit a one-page proposal that conveys their environmental message and how it relates to the Queen’s and Kingston community, along with its broader intent. Alongside the written proposal, participants must include a sketch of their intended design. This is all due by Sept. 13.

Students can enter individually or as a team, as long as this is mentioned in the submission. The only condition on teams participating is that if they win, the prize money must be equally distributed.

After they’re chosen, they have a seven- to 10-day period to paint their dumpsters before they’re revealed to the public outside Ontario Hall during Sustainability Week from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.

The event started as a way to get students to pay more attention to how they consume and dispose of garbage.

“We chose dumpsters because they’re huge, first of all, they catch attention, but they’re something we throw garbage or recycling in, and we think it’s impactful to see that imagery. It has a powerful message,” said Bosorogan.

The SCB’s focus is on sustainability and incorporating it into our daily conversations. Their goal is to get students talking about what the issues facing our society are, and how we can change to combat them.

That’s why the competition’s overall object is to continue the conversation surrounding sustainability and the current state of the environment.



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