EcoSuperior Rain Barrel Annual Auction Starts

Eco Superior Rain Barrels - get your bids going online
Eco Superior Rain Barrels - get your bids going online

Eco Superior Rain Barrels - get your bids going online
Eco Superior Rain Barrels – get your bids going online

Thunder Bay – Skyscapes and scenes from outer space are among this year’s themes for EcoSuperior’s annual Painted Rain Barrel Auction, which launched online this week.

Prospective buyers can now bid on painted rain barrels that have been completed so far: The online auction runs until March 31. Then the top bids will be carried over to the main event, the silent auction at the Spring Home & Garden Show from April 1-3 at the Sports Dome.

To celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, returning artist Chris Rantala painted the Starship Enterprise with planets in the background. First-time participant Ashley Moreau painted her barrel with the glow-in-the-dark Northern Lights dancing across a city scene. Other barrels feature art inspired by local wildlife, including native fish and animals of the boreal forest.

Typically the barrel number is capped at 30, but due to high interest in this initiative, the project has expanded this year to thirty two hand-painted rain barrels. Each one will be on display to showcase the talent and creativity of local artists, school groups and organizations.

“The response from the artistic community has been huge, and each year we see new themes emerging. Last year it was birds—specifically herons–and this year we have at several barrels painted with skyscapes, nebulas and scenes from outer space,” says Julia Prinselaar, program coordinator for EcoSuperior.

Hundreds of dollars in cash prizes are awarded to artists, and last year’s top-selling barrel sold for $475—the highest in the auction’s history. Bids start at $65.

The 6th annual event is presented this year by Landale Gardens and DST Consulting Engineers, and promotes water conservation through functional backyard art. The project raises thousands of dollars in proceeds each year that support EcoSuperior’s community environmental programming and educational outreach.

“We can’t thank our sponsors enough—they provide cash prizes for artists and help make this event a continued success,” said Prinselaar.

Additional project supporters include Northern Window and Door Manufacturing, Dougall Media, Northern Credit Union, Artistic Landscaping, Pinewood Ford and Auto Home Paints.

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