It took me nearly 15 years to work up enough favors to get this project off the ground, and I’m using every last one of them up.

Here, my old friend Erik Beerbower takes his hand to one of our newspaper boxes, which will be filled with Fresh newspapers come Wednesday morning.

We wanted to do something different with our street presence, break up the monotony of those staid, routine boxes. So we rounded up some artist friends to paint our traditional vending units into individual works.

For the rest, we’re using Beerbower’s plan.

Among artists, Beerbower is known as a carrion feeder. He amasses large quantities of inexpensive parts — bike frames and tires, machine parts, scrap metal — and lets the material dictate the subject.

He proposed to me that we use old, repurposed gym lockers for outdoor distribution bins. I thought it was genius.

I picked these up in Statesville, from a man named Dave who told me they came from a machine shop somewhere nearby, a vestige of North Carolina’s industrial past.

We’ll put them to good use on Wednesday morning.

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