It Forward

Covering it All

Murals by Bay Area Artist Spread the Word about Paint Recycling

Art lovers, DIY-ers, and friends of the environment alike will notice a new mural to promote paint recycling in California is now up.

This is the first in a series of three murals that will appear this summer at the corner of Market and Octavia Streets (near the entrance to Highway 101) in San Francisco.

As part of a new campaign to raise awareness about paint recycling in California, PaintCare, a nonprofit organization established by paint manufacturers to run recycling programs (now in seven states) has teamed up with San Francisco-based muralist, Sirron Norris, to design and paint three large murals to illustrate each of PaintCare’s key messages: “Buy right. Use it up. Recycle the Rest.”

The first installation, which will be up for three weeks starting July 6, features Norris’ well-known and loveable characters painting a San Francisco home using PaintCare brand colors. The house itself stands out in full color, while the rest of the landscape is in monochromatic colors. The mural aims to communicate that you should buy just the right amount of paint to add color to your world. The second and third murals will feature imagery that demonstrate using up leftover household paint and recycling paint at one of PaintCare’s many drop-off sites conveniently located throughout the state.

All of the paint for this project is from San Francisco’s household hazardous waste facility at Recology San Francisco, the operator of the waste transfer station and recycling center. The facility is one of 19 places in San Francisco that accept most types of paint, stain, and varnish from the public. As part of a contract between PaintCare and the Department of the Environment (City & County of San Francisco), the facility also remixes thousands of gallons of paint to give away to the public for free each year.

“We wanted to work a local artist who would creatively depict paint recycling,” said Paul Fresina, director of communications at PaintCare. “We especially like the fact that Sirron Norris was on board to use recycled paint for the murals. His creative and recognizable style really lent itself to our messaging, and we hope that people will be inspired to use up and recycle their leftover paint.”

Sirron Norris is uniquely qualified to promote paint recycling through his work. He is well known in San Francisco, and has painted several murals in the Mission District close to this installation. His colorful characters and use of house paint (rather than aerosols) invoke a graffiti style with an important distinction — they are commissions and/or painted on buildings with permission from the owner, not unwelcome tags or vandalism.

Sirron is also part of the community of local artists using recycled materials. In 2005 he was one of the artists in residence at Recology San Francisco’s award-winning art program where artists use only recycled materials in all of their work to “make art, not landfill.”

“When PaintCare approached me about partnering for this project, I couldn’t wait to get started,” said Norris. “It’s an honor to be able to use my art for projects that both bring a socially responsible message to the community, as well as use materials in a responsible way.”

The second mural will be installed July 27 for two weeks; the third and final mural will go up on August 10 for three weeks. Be sure to “like” PaintCare on Facebook to get details on the mural project and get behind the scenes footage of the artist at work or follow #recycleyourpaint.