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Keys Courthouse Adds New 'Upcycled' Benches

Savannah Koval
Monroe County Public Information
Local artist Robert D'Antonio installs one of the new courthouse benches while Elizabeth Young, executive director of the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, looks on.

Propane tanks once used for home heating have found new life in the Florida Keys, as art and resting places.

California artist Colin Selig made a bench and loveseat from the old tanks. The new pieces were recently installed at the Monroe County Courthouse in Marathon.

Credit Courtesy of Colin Selig
Artist Colin Selig works on a bench created from a salvaged propane tank at his workshop in California.

  The county sets aside 1 percent of the budget for art from all major new construction and renovation projects (except for sewage treatment plants). The budget for the new benches was $14,200.

The county's Art in Public Places Committee was particularly impressed with the "upcycling" technique that re-uses old materials — especially since they are "100 percent maintenance free and permanent — an essential component for public art," committee chair Susann D'Antonio said, according to a press release from the county.

A local artist installed the benches, along with county employees and inmates from the county jail.

Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
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