Public Art

Recently I heard from my friend Allison Wooley, who I met during a residency I did through through the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Art Futures Program. Allison has since moved to Cleveland and sent me images of a public art project she is part of.

Allison has had two works accepted for public display through the Shaker Arts Council. These are electrical utility boxes that are wrapped with an image designed by a local artist. The images are printed on a plastic material and are permanently adhered to the utility boxes.

Artwork by Allison Wooley

I was first reminded of the various similar project that sprang up several years ago in the Philadelphia area – the RCA dogs in Moorestown, cows and dinosaurs somewhere else. Those projects involved artists decorating a fabricated replica of whatever animal was being placed around the town. The animals had some significance to the area; the RCA dog related to the company being local to that area of New Jersey.

Artwork by Allison Wooley

What I like about the project Allison is involved in is that it takes something that is part of our everyday infrastructure and modifies it so it is something pleasant to look at. As a person that does not like extra ‘stuff’, the utility of this project appeals to me (no pun intended). I had to ask, since Allison’s first design showed a street light, if the project had to be related to electricity but it does not. Her most recent one, that is currently being printed up, is of a fish bone she saw at Lake Erie.

You can see additional designs for the utility boxes here. Congrats to Allison!

6 thoughts on “Public Art

  1. Hi Diane,

    A similar project was carried out in Philly a few years ago (possibly after you left the area). Large utility boxes that inhabit many corners of center city blocks (or squares as the old-timers said) were wrapped similarly with designs by, I believe, UArts students. They are all well done, visually interesting, and either festive or disruptive (in a good way) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Long time ago I decorated one of those animal figures – it was a lion for Penn state Brandywine. The size of a medium dog, it was. They auctioned them for a fundraiser. We visited the display before the auction. It was nice to imagine them all out in the world. I like these electric box wraps. I’ve seen some around here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, something else I never knew about you! That is nice that they auctioned them off. I also have seen them used as a community scavenger hunt type thing.


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