Surplus military shipping containers have new life as food storage units at the University of Georgia's UGArden, part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, thanks to students from the Lamar Dodd School of Art and a few gallons of paint.
Once covered in camouflage, the containers now are bright green with colorful flowers, butterflies, bees and vegetables — peppers, carrots, beets and tomatoes — painted on the sides. The repurposed storage units hold produce grown at the student-run garden for use by the UGA Public Service and Outreach Office of Service-Learning’s Campus Kitchen, another student-run group that provides meals to older adults in the Athens area.
The artists were part of the Ideas and Creative Exploration Arts Initiative at the School of Art, a network of faculty, students and community members from all disciplines of the visual and performing arts in addition to other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.
Master of fine arts students Rachel Seburn, Zahria Cook and AJ Aremu met with Campus Kitchen director Andie Bisceglia to plan the project. In exchange for their creativity, the art students learned more about food systems and UGA’s efforts to fight food insecurity in Athens.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this interdisciplinary program,” Seburn said. “We’re out here in the middle of it, learning all about vegetables and plants. And we have the opportunity to use our talents to help share the story of the important work being done here.”
See the evolution of the containers below.
All photos by Shannah Montgomery