Traffic Box Street Art

A Utilitarian Transformation Trend

You have driven by them a hundred times and probably never noticed them. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they sit near the intersection of every stoplight, but they are completely forgettable. Until now.

Utility boxes house the equipment that controls the traffic signals in cities all over the world. They are usually painted a nondescript gray or black, and frequently fall victim to vandalism. But forward-thinking cities like Danbury, CT, have commissioned local artists to transform the blighted boxes into vibrant public art.

As a muralist, I am a big supporter of public art, and of getting art out of traditional spaces and into the community, so being invited to participate in Danbury’s Traffic Box Art Project was an exciting opportunity. I designed three boxes for the city, which were printed on vinyl wraps and installed by a local print shop.

One of the great things about Danbury is that it already has such a strong, iconic, visual identity. For the traffic box designs, I sought to highlight that identity, both as a colorful mosaic map, and as a stylized representation of historic Main Street.

Seven artists designed nearly a dozen boxes around the city. It is so much fun to discover them as I walk and drive along the streets of Danbury!

Photo credits: Get Downtown Danbury and Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media

Client Testimonial

The gray metal boxes used to be a magnet for graffiti. But other cities — like Stamford and Bridgeport — have opened up applications for street art on the utility closets, so Danbury opened an application to try to bring more color and vibrancy to downtown. Now they’ve become a place where people can express themselves through art.

–Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton

Project Details

Date: August 2018
Client: The City of Danbury
Material: Vinyl wrap on steel utility boxes, Graphic Design by Mural Envy