Friday, June 10, 2016

When a Utility Box is More Than Just a Utility Box

Have you wondered why all the utility boxes in downtown South Pas suddenly transformed into colorful works of art?  We have the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) to thank for repurposing the dull box surfaces into whimsical public art pieces.  Here's a quote from SPARC about the project:

Traffic signal boxes, usually painted drab grey or green, have been enhanced and transformed into creative artworks in many cities around the country. The City of South Pasadena, in its update to the Strategic Plan has identified Art and Culture as one of its goals going forward. One of the recommendations was to include more public art throughout the City. As a result the City awarded SPARC funding to support the creation of the first ten (10) boxes.  The first boxes have been completed and this is Phase II, which includes an additional 10 traffic signal boxes.

Keep a look out for new boxes to be created in Phase II.  And if you are an artist with a perfect idea for a box, you can submit your proposal.  The deadline is June 24, 2016. ( Learn more and download an application here.)

I can't pick a favorite box among those in the collection, but the one above makes me smile every time I walk past it to go to Wells Fargo or Starbucks.  (For those of you wondering about South Pasadena's fascination with ostriches, here's a little history.)

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan (and member!) of SPARC.  The group's mission statement sums it up well:

SPARC promotes the arts in order to recognize local artists as a rich resource within our city and build appreciation and understanding of the value of the arts within the community.

SPARC is not only about public art projects, but also visual art exhibitions, music and dance events, as well as much needed school and community arts advocacy. A bonus? SPARC has some of the most fun, wine-filled soirees you'll ever attend.  If you're an artist, writer, filmmaker, musician or just all-around lover of the arts, I encourage you to join us.

I'll showcase more of the boxes here soon.  In the meanwhile, here's a map of where to find them around town.

Want to leave a comment? Head on over to the new Glimpses of South Pasadena Forum and start a conversation!