Home News FNA baits artists for Feed the Fish project

FNA baits artists for Feed the Fish project

Fishtown Neighbors Association anti-litter public arts project seeking assistance

One fish’s trash: One of the original Feed the Fish cans that aim to improve responsible waste disposal in Fishtown. LINDSEY NOLEN / STAR PHOTO

By Lindsey Nolen

A staple of the Fishtown community, in 2014, Feed the Fish, a Fishtown Neighbors Association anti-litter public arts project, led the creation of dozens of trash cans throughout the neighborhood sporting fish head-shaped lids. Three years later, the organization is once again seeking artists to design 12 fiberglass fish heads for display.
Designed to “foster community collaboration” and to “unlitter the neighborhood,” this public art project needs the additional lids to top litter cans that will line “the busy Fishtown corridors of Frankford Avenue, Girard Avenue and Front Street.” Furthermore, the Fishtown. Co and Johnny Brenda’s-sponsored initiative hopes to use this as an opportunity to bring together local artists, civic communities and the local business community.
“We decided to launch a second round of our Feed the Fish project because the reception to the first round of 12 cans has been so overwhelmingly positive,” Monica King, chair of the FNA Beautification Committee, said. “Ever since we launched the first 20 Feed the Fish cans, we’ve had many people send us requests for more fish head trash cans. Litter remains a major quality of life issue in Fishtown.”
King continued that because there are only a handful of trash cans in Fishtown that are maintained by the city, a lot of the responsibility of street cleaning is put on the residents and businesses. Therefore, the Feed the Fish project is a creative solution that not only addresses the problem of litter but also embraces the local art community.
“Earlier this year, Paul Kimport from Johnny Brenda’s and Fishtown. Co purchased the 12 additional fish heads. We are so happy to have continued support and engagement of the local business community in helping us with our anti-litter initiatives,” King said.
While the FNA is encouraging all local artists to submit up to three designs for the new fish heads, there are strict guidelines they must follow. For example, each proposed design must be suitable for outdoor use and must include a full color sample, with at least a three-quarter view and side view, using the template, which can be found at: https://goo.gl/XT2qtd.
“We’re open to different styles that reflect the individual aesthetics of the artist, whether that’s traditional, modern or anywhere in between,” King said. “However, we would like the designs to showcase the features of the fish, since we are in Fishtown after all. It’d also be a plus if the artist uses colors or materials that draw attention to the fish head, because there aren’t a lot of fish head cans out there, we want people to be able to spot them from far away.”
Upon announcing the winners, selected artists will then be required to sign an artist agreement that explains artists will use paint materials suitable for outdoor use, paint the fish head at their own location, releases the copyright and photo rights of the design for the FNA to use in promoting the program and that they will incorporate his/her name onto the design in the lower back area.
“We want to acknowledge the artists’ contribution to this neighborhood project,” King said.
While there exists the freedom of creativity in designing the fish head, the artists will not be permitted to subsequently use the design for profit, but can use it in a portfolio, or to duplicate the design for other uses. Furthermore, artists will hold harmless the FNA for any liability when designing the fish head.
In turn, the FNA will provide each artist with a $50 stipend to help defray material cost. It will also assume responsibility for the arrangement of the delivery and pick up of the fish head, will transport it to the location chosen by the sponsor and install can, handle all major repairs and will recognize each artist in promotional materials such as its newsletter and Facebook posts.
Chosen artists will receive their fish heads by Tuesday, Aug. 22, and they must be completed by Friday, Sept. 15. To enter a design, email the submission(s) to beautification@fishtown.org by Tuesday, Aug. 15. Early submissions and designs that are noticeable from afar are encouraged.
“In addition to receiving the designs from the artists and moving this project forward, I hope this project will bring together our broader community to unite in tackling quality of life issues like litter and greening,” King said.
The beautification committee of Fishtown Neighbors Association meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Check the fishtown.org website to confirm location.
She added residents or businesses interested in making Fishtown cleaner and greener should also contact beautification@fishtown.org.
Political, derogatory, corporate logos, slogans or commercial identities cannot be included as part of the statue’s artwork.

Some technical information:
Oil-based enamels, whether from an aerosol can, brushed or applied with professional spray equipment, adhere very well to the surface of the fish head, as it comes from a factory. Polyurethane or urethane based paints will perform equally as well. An exterior grade of sealer that is non-reactive, non-toxic, UV resistant and waterproof is strongly recommended, and a minimum of two coats of matte or gloss varnish are required. For more information, view the submission form.

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