Art Outside the Box

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About Art Outside the Box

In 2015 representatives from the Coronado Friends of the Library (FOL) approached the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission regarding a project to engage local students to "artistically decorate" utility boxes along Orange Avenue (SR75). During Coronado's 125 Anniversary Celebration a project took shape to wrap fourteen utility boxes along our community's main thoroughfare. As the project was developed it was determined that graphic wraps were the best method of accomplishing this installation for many reasons. Wraps are the preferred method for many reasons:

  • Durability
  • Ease of Replacement/Repair
  • Accurate execution of reviewed artwork
  • Artist Safety

Life of Wrap is three to five years on average, making this is a "Temporary" Public Art installation

Also, upon the end of the wrap's lifetime, it can be easily removed. Upon removal, the box can be re-wrapped or left in its original condition.

In a collaboration between the Coronado Unified School District and the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission, an after-school public art course was developed. Young artists enrolled in a specially-designed 10-week after-school program "Art Outside the Box" to learn about our community's public art collection as well as the process of creating public art for temporary display on utility boxes along Orange Avenue. The course, taught by local mosaic artist Kirstin Green mentored 15 students in grades 5-9 to create public art entries. The students and their artwork went through a preliminary and final jury process before going before the City Council and Caltrans for installation approval. The course worked with students to create designs that were transferred to vinyl and wrapped around Caltrans traffic utility boxes. The vision is that by using these generic boxes as a "canvas" for local young artists they will create a beautiful, safe, and interesting "gallery" for pedestrians and commuters alike along the main thoroughfare of Coronado.

Funding for this public art project was accomplished through the generous donations of several sponsors including the Pastor Foundation, the Coronado Public Library Friends of the Library organization, the Coronado Unified School District and the City of Coronado. The Cultural Arts commission's goal for Art Outside the Box is to inspire and promote Coronado's amazing student artists while turning generic utility boxes into works of art.

The project is divided into two phases. Phase one includes eight boxes located along Orange Avenue from Third Avenue to Avenida Las Arenas. The utility boxes are owned and operated by Caltrans and are located at corners where traffic signals are located. The eight utility boxes were wrapped in March 2018 and formally dedicated in April 2018.

The remaining six boxes located on the Silver Strand were completed in spring 2019 and dedicated in March 2019. They feature photography of three artists, Brian Lippe, Daron Case and Jody Esquer.

The artist-designed wraps were applied using a standard graphic film and installation method. Artists used a variety of media in their designs and took into consideration their location when developing the box's themes. All box designs were juried twice by a panel comprised of art professionals. Final designs were recommended for approval to the Coronado City Council and Caltrans.