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.
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.
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!