Ariel Carrillo is a seasoned art student, but painting a garbage can is a whole new concept to her.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done this,” said Carrillo, a recent graduate of Papillion-La Vista High School who plans on studying art in college.

“I thought it would be fun.”

Carrillo was one of a handful of artists on hand to paint garbage cans at Central Park on June 29. It’s part of a beautifying project put forth by the La Vista Mayor’s Youth Council.

“We’ve been putting this together for about six months,” said Sam Cahill, a member of the council. “We wanted to do something that would engage the community and brighten up public spaces. We thought of this and started to look at what other cities were doing and got some ideas from that.”

Cahill said applications were put in local businesses in search of artists. Several local artists responded, ranging from middle school age to adults.

“It’s really a multi-pronged project,” said Tommy Prouhet, assistant to the city administrator in La Vista. “It’s beautification, it’s engaging the public and it’s an outreach for the youth council.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever asked people if they wanted to paint garbage cans, but it turns out people are willing to do it.”

Reilly Healey, who will be a sophomore at Papillion-La Vista High School this fall, doesn’t consider herself an expert when it comes to the art, but she enjoyed the opportunity to lend a piece of her creativity to the city.

“I like doing art and thought this would be fun,” Healey said.

Mitch Beaumont, community relations coordinator for La Vista, said the cans will be on display at the Taste of La Vista event in Central Park on July 27.

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