You can find them all over town now. They bring an explosion of color and whimsy to the streets of Silicon Valley and smiles to the people passing by.
Common grey traffic utility boxes that are turned into art pieces. They are always standing at intersections and every one has its own style. Over the last couple weeks I took pictures of six different ones and I found out that the City of Campbell has its own program called “Art outside the box” and right now they are 11 finished boxes within the municipal area of Campbell. Here you can see all of them with their artists and sponsors.
The “Art Box Project San Jose” is driven by Tina Morrill, a community activist in the city of San Jose. Since September 2011, when the first Art Box was done at the corner of The Alameda and Julian Street, almost 40 boxes have been completed and several more are in work. The San Jose Mercury News even ran a competition for the “most eye-catching, personal favorites and the box that best brightens a difficult corner”.
Once I started to google art boxes, I realize that this is apparently rather new here in the valley, but you can find this genre of Street Art all over the world. I found websites about art boxes in many places of the US, Canada, Europe and I learned that the German expression is “Stomkastenkunst” (which means power box art). You can find over 500 posts with this hashtag on Instagram and over a 1000 with #utilityboxart.
I love this small beautification of the city and I think it totally raises the level of its coolness, makes it feel less suburban.
Start looking for the art boxes in your neighborhood, I’m sure you’ll find one. Take a pic and post it in the comment section. Have a wonderful weekend!