Huntington turns to local artists, ‘upcycled’ benches for community project – WANE

Huntington turns to local artists, ‘upcycled’ benches for community project – WANE

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — A three-way partnership between two Huntington organizations and an Ohio furniture manufacturer aims to utilize local artists and “upcycled” benches to make upgrades to the community.

The partnership — a triumvirate of Huntington Parks & Recreation, the Lafontaine Arts Council, and Canvus — will bring 13 outdoor benches to Huntington’s parks, trails and downtown area.

A traditional metal bench and a bench designed by Canvus sit next to each other on the corner of Jefferson and Franklin streets in downtown Huntington Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. City of Huntington officials wanted to replace some of the benches around the city that were worn out.

Canvus designed the benches by repurposing wind turbines, and Huntington Parks & Recreation Superintendent Steven Yoder said the benches will be more affordable and durable than the current benches utilized by the city.

“We starting looking at the benches downtown that needed to be replaced due to deterioration — just aging and whatnot … once we got in touch with [Canvus], we starting looking more at it, and the cost and durability of these compared to the metal benches we currently use just seemed to work out best,” Yoder said.

Ann Richard, president of the Lafontaine Arts Council, said the program offers a sustainable option for discarded wind turbines.

“In the past, I think one of the main arguments against wind turbines is what do you do with them when they become obsolete, and so here’s one possible solution,” Richard said.

Four of the 13 benches planned for Huntington have already been installed, with one bench being placed in Memorial Park and three of them being located along Jefferson Street in downtown Huntington.

Each bench will also come with a QR code that can be scanned to learn about how Canvus made the bench and things happening around Huntington.

The Lafontaine Arts Council also plans to enlist local artists in sprucing up some of the benches by hosting a contest where people can submit designs that may be selected by the organization.

A plaque attached to one of 13 benches to be installed around Huntington displays a message from the City of Huntington and a QR code. When scanned, the QR code will teach people about how the bench was made.

“It’s also going to add beauty to the community and engage artists in our community and hopefully bring others in to experience these benches and see what Huntington has to offer,” Richard said.

Winning artists will receives a stipend for their work from the Lafontaine Arts Council and a grant from the City of Huntington.

Those interested in participating in the contest can learn more by emailing the Lafontaine Arts Council at