Meet Artist Don MacIntosh
Sanitation trucks can be things of beauty
Art is everywhere in the City of Stuart. Beautiful murals, majestic sculptures and colorful sidewalk mosaics create memorable experiences and celebrate the past, present and future, and now the city’s sanitation fleet will be adorned with a vibrant mobile art gallery as the fleet does its weekly sanitation rounds in residential neighborhoods and business zones.
Meet watercolor artist Donald MacIntosh. A native of Jamaica, Don has been involved in the graphic and fine arts field for over 50 years. Educated at the prestigious Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla, while there, he received the acclaimed Gold Seal award for an outstanding portrait rendering.
After graduating from Ringling, and time spent traveling and painting throughout Europe and the United States, Don dabbled in a variety of businesses, including the funeral business, and eventually settled in Martin County.
When COVID hit and the world self-isolated, Don unpacked his brushes and watercolors and began painting, which was therapeutic and a form of release for him during the pandemic. Friends and family liked his art, and it was the perfect inspiration for Don to rekindle his creative talents.
In 2022, Don answered a call to artists for Public Works of Art issued by the City of Stuart Sanitation Division.
“We embarked on a public art project for our sanitation service fleet,” explained Anne Ellig, Program Manager for the city’s Utility and Engineering Department. “Our goal was to feature traveling murals that showcased the vibrancy of the City of Stuart, inspiring pride and reflecting the collaboration between our sanitation team and community in sustaining clean, beautiful spaces and places.”
Artists were invited to create pieces that featured Stuart’s prominent or historic landmarks, or illustrate the recycling paradigm of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
Don submitted several designs, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”
“We had multiple entries, and our selection committee had a real challenge narrowing down the art that represented the city and that would achieve our program goals,” said Jeff Coleman, Sanitation Manager, City of Stuart. “Don’s art captured the essence of our city landmarks. We’re extremely excited to see the project come to reality.”
When asked what he thought when he saw his watercolor enlarged on the City of Stuart sanitation truck, Don remarked, “It was overwhelming and I am so very proud to be a part of this project, which showcases the city I love to paint.”
Currently, Don’s art—the Stuart Feed Store, Haney Circle, and a medley of the City of Stuart Water Tower, Memorial Park and Sailfish Circle—is on three sanitation trucks. Two more watercolors will be installed this year—these depicting Guy Davis Park, and either Kiwanis Park or Shephard Park. All trucks have a rendering on the opposite side of the truck of the Stuart RiverWalk with the message: “Pitch In, Keep Stuart Beautiful.”
Anne Ellig added, “The goal is to convert the entire sanitation fleet to the new campaign within the next couple of years and we expect five-or-six more fleet truck artwork applications will occur in 2024.”
Thanks to Don, his art captures the vibrancy of the City of Stuart, and it can be enjoyed by thousands as the sanitation trucks travel throughout the city.