'Talk about a project of the times': Artists decorate hand sanitizer stations throughout Belmar

Artists decorate hand sanitizer stations throughout Belmar

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After being stuck in her home for so long, Lakewood based artist Kaitlin Ziesmer said the opportunity to work on an outdoor public art project was a nice reason to get outside.

Rather than working on fine art painting or outdoor murals like she is accustomed to, Ziesmer got to paint something she didn't imagine she would be working on at the beginning of the year — hand sanitizer stations.

Ziesmer was one of 18 artists to paint 30 hand sanitizer stations throughout Lakewood's Belmar area during the week of June 15. The stations can be found near Lakewood Commons and Belmar and feature a variety of designs including insects, flowers, trees and more.

Ziesmer, who is part of Heck Studios, painted colored water droplets on two barrels as a way to remind people to keep their hands clean.

“Talk about a project of the times,” Ziesmer said, regarding the hand sanitizer stations. “It was just a different approach to look at public art projects, and it ended up being such a blast.”

Jane Falkenberg of Denver was another artist who participated in the project. She painted a goldfish with a sky background on one barrel and another one that contained handprints.

Falkenberg said she was looking for an opportunity to display her art, and the hand sanitizer stations provided that for her.

“It just adds a decorative element to a situation that is serious, and I am glad that these things are available for people to take advantage of. It adds color and flair to (Belmar),” she said. “I think it is a good help for public awareness for the pandemic.”

The project is another example of an effort to beautify the Belmar area.

In February, 12 traffic electrical boxes were wrapped up with vinyl on Alameda from Depew to Garrison with art from five local artists and three other artists based in Wyoming. The concept of the project was to decorate the boxes with nature themes.

The hand sanitizer stations were funded by the Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District.

“We were looking for a way to help reduce the threat of the spread of coronavirus and boost confidence in people to be out in public areas. They are functioning hand sanitizer stations, and they are works of public art,” said Tom Quinn, executive director of Alameda Connects, a nonprofit that promotes the Alameda Corridor.

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