The prettiest dumpster in Fargo, ND

Let’s talk about dumpsters.

The large, box-like structure you walk past in alleyways that smells like stale milk and sour bread. They are for trash. And also are pretty much invisible. Just as soon as you acknowledge the existence of a dumpster, the thought leaves your mind.

Here in Fargo, we like to do things differently. There has been a renaissance over the last couple years involving street art and dumpster revitalization that goes along with the encouraging the use of alleyways and providing an uniqueness to downtown Fargo-Moorhead. The thought was that art can be anywhere: on the walls in the back alley behind the restaurant, and on the dumpster that holds their trash. Instead of thinking of these things as what they’re used for (an actual alley or a physical dumpster) why don’t we think of them as art pieces, giving our city more of a presence and a voice. Art is everywhere, dumpsters are everywhere, therefore, art equals dumpsters. #Math

Although our visitors center is not located downtown, we wanted to be a part of this art resurgence. So we reached out to our local Sons of Norway’s rosemaling club to see if they would be interested in bringing our heritage (the majority of the population in the Fargo-Moorhead area has Scandinavian ancestors) to art life. We worked with Patty at the Sons of Norway to put our idea into motion. She asked her (rather reluctant) fellow rosemalers to take on this project. Though wary, they agreed. It would be the biggest project they’ve done.

The rosemaling club came up with the design, which is a telemark style (bet ya didn’t know that!), and painted the dumpster. The process took about 7 weeks and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau couldn’t be happier with the end product. The front has a beautiful composition consisting of flowers, scrolls, and leaves. The words velkommen and nord av normal meaning “welcome” and “north of normal” can be found on the art piece as well. Because art.

North of Normal Dumpster 2

The Sons of Norway had the dumpster sitting in their auditorium through the duration of the painting process, and visitors and staff alike loved it. In fact, once some of them heard we were actually going to have the dumpster be in use, they were appalled. But that’s what dumpsters are for after all: trash. We just wanted to make our trash keepers a little more enjoyable.

You can find the dumpster in the parking lot at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.

Remember. Art is everywhere. Dumpsters are everywhere. Art equals dumpsters. Because math.

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