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Pick of the Litter: The artists behind Lane Avenue’s eye-catching dumpsters

Pick of the Litter: The artists behind Lane Avenue’s eye-catching dumpsters


Campus went from trash to treasure after 10 muralized dumpsters popped up as a part of a project put on by The University District in the alley between West Lane Avenue and Norwich.

(614) Spoke with the artists behind these eye-catching pieces of street art, referred to below by their Instagram handles.


If you want to start creating art take Lance Johnson’s advice: practice developing style, look at the art around you, and seek to find your own unique voice. Lance’s style is a splattering of colors that contrast drastically. He overlaps layers to create depth and leaves little to no empty space.

Photos: Willow Mollenkopf

It’s so interesting to see how his style combines with fellow artist Stephanie Rond on the dumpster they created together. Rond works with two or three-tone stencils, giving so much value out of one or two colors. Here she uses navy blue, light blue, and white to create characters that come to life and interact with their surroundings. In this case we see a young person admiring what is unmistakably the work of her counterpart. She also included a cute little raccoon. How fitting!


The first piece I saw by @jellofever (aka Khalia and Tyler) has white and blue horizontal streaks, the color of healthy skies, that are partially obstructed by a vertical orange line. Doodles on the metal canvas make you want to grab a Sharpie and join in. Khalia tells us that after their first day of painting, she refused to come back without gloves. Tyler also thought working around trash was kind of gross. He added that the occasional dump truck also, understandably, made their work difficult.

When it comes to using art in order to convey a message, Tyler said, “As long as you’re creating, you’re saying something.” The “HAPPY TRASH” juxtaposition is on point with the mission of this project: to make the ordinarily ugly into a source of beauty and positivity. Khalia and Tyler’s goal with Jellofever is to encourage others to read more and make more art, which is why I think local students should feel empowered to grab a Sharpie and join in the fun.


In Adam Hernandez’s work, colorful bubbles abound. It’s like a mosaic that’s never perfectly straight, but never perfectly round. Or a puzzle of the coolest Lego bricks you’ve ever found. All that being said, the birds are by far my favorite part. The different subjects from different angles suggests his simple theme, but highlight his sophisticated execution.

Through his art, Hernandez wants people like me and you to be more con dent in our individuality. If you see Hernandez’s work, he hopes that your day is brightened, even in “our oftentimes bleak world.” I for one am glad that his art has become a part of our community.

See more work/apparel at



“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Lisa “Sweet Thang” Celeste brought us tentacles on the treasure chest, but it’s her skull mural that really caught my eye from down the block. This beautifully juxtaposed skull depicts life breaking free from its forehead. Big bright leafy vegetation wraps itself around and grows through slowly decaying bones. You can count me amongst Sweet Thang’s fans, aka the #ThangGang. I love the colors—so alive against the dark background. Even from a distance this thing pops.

When I talked to Sweet Thang, I learned that she painted 10 murals in the past year as a side hustle. Sweet Thang works from concepts traditionally deemed creepy or out of the ordinary, and gives them a very unique allure. Thus, the charming name, “Sweet Thang.” Sweet Thang encourages aspiring artists to practice as much as they can.


My jaw drops for the big heartthrob box.
It doesn’t ask the viewer to think a lot.
Maybe that’s just what you need when you’re freezing in this parking lot. Simply a message of positivity while you try to find a parking spot.
Or maybe you’re out here hoping that you don’t get caught smoking like a chimney top.

*Thank you*

With all this beauty being added to our community in the most unlikely of places, it makes me wish dumpster murals were the norm in every community. In the words of Spongebob Squarepants, “You can’t have dirty garbage.”

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