Call for submissions to traffic box public art competition

HAMILTON — The local developers of the Downtown Hamilton Public Art Reserve is searching for artists to paint and reanimate downtown utility boxes in a $90,000 project that comes in the form of a competition.

Commonly covered in graffiti art and tag names, the city wants to turn its downtown traffic boxes into public art, by asking young emerging artists for art on 32 traffic boxes with each artists being awarded $650 if their work is installed.

A signal box is usually plain black or grey in colour and located on the ground at every intersection that is controlled by signal lights. The boxes are 1.5 metres high, 0.84 metres wide and a half-metre deep. As well, the city is looking for an established artist to design art for five larger electrical boxes in the downtown core, and the successful artist will receive $4,000 for their work.

Judging and choosing the winning submissions will be a citizen jury that includes artists, downtown stakeholders and youth that have an eye for colour and beauty.

Submissions for the competition are due by 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 20. While the deadline for submissions for the series of electrical boxes is 3 p.m. on June 11.

It has been said that wraps for the boxes could be installed as early as August of this year.

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