Local Artists Transform Traffic Boxes into Local Public Art
TALLAHASSEE, Fla – Six local artists will have their artwork showcased through the Art of the Box pilot project that is being led by KCCI (Knight Creative Communities Institute) and The City of Tallahassee with support from COCA and Leon County. The pilot project will transform functional Traffic Control Boxes into works of art by local artists during Placemaking Week 2020, Sept. 21-25. The traffic boxes provide ideal canvases to enhance streetscapes and promote a sense of place among residents and visitors to the area.
“The Art of the Box pilot project will beautify public areas while making more local art accessible to everyone,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI Executive Director. “The designs selected will enhance the surrounding environment with color and creativity.”
Five of the artists’ designs will be transferred onto city Traffic Control Boxes, and one of the designs will be transferred onto a county utility box. The following artists were selected through a free online application process that was open to all local residents: Christopher Barnhart, Nipa Eason, Powell Kay Kreis, Mary Liz Tippin-Moody, Perdita Ross, and Walter Thorner.
- Barnhart’s “Infinite Possibilities” (the image on this page) demonstrates his talent in mixed media artwork. He has been known to touch many mediums throughout his career and is not afraid to tackle any subject matter. He is most recognized for his razor etchings; more work can be seen @razorartwork on Instagram.
- Eason identifies as a creative director, visual storyteller, client consultant and traditional and digital art creator. Her selected work is “Southern Magnolias,” featuring a traditional flower symbol of Tallahassee in a modern, stylized and bright way that shows forward progress in our community.
- Kreis has experience in teaching art, guest speaking at schools, presenting at workshops, painting, printmaking and creating glasswork and jewelry. “Florida at Night” is her imaginative vision of Florida during nighttime.
- Tippin-Moody is a freelancer who creates illustrations, murals, collages, graphic design projects and writing content. Her “Thin Red Line of Hope” depicts creatures native to the Tallahassee region sharing a thin red ribbon that represents their ability to survive despite many threats.
- Ross specializes in fluorescent paint mixing, shape painting, and interactive 3D black lighting. “Harmony” by Ross is a colorful paper collage constructed from painted recycled cardboard boxes.
- Thorner works in graphic arts, clay, wood, and stained-glass installations and has taught at the college, elementary, middle and high school levels. His abstract artwork selected for Art of the Box is “Moving On.”
The Traffic Control Boxes invite viewers to enjoy creations covering their physical box form, while still maintaining their intended safety function. This artistic initiative encourages creative experiences in unexpected public places by integrating artwork into non-traditional venues.
“The Art of the Box project will enhance public areas with unique artistic designs,” said Mayor John Dailey. “In Tallahassee we are committed to supporting local artists and making art accessible for everyone, and this project helps to further these efforts.”
Each Art of the Box design will be visible to viewers of all ages and cultural backgrounds, broadening exposure to and interest in public art. The project will stimulate local economies by welcoming cultural tourism and will offer an economic incentive to empower local Leon County based artists.
“KCCI is excited to work alongside the City of Tallahassee, COCA, and our local artists to beautify neighborhoods and major thoroughfares,” said Couch.
This project supports the City of Tallahassee/Leon County Capital Area Cultural Plan that was adopted in 2014 by creating more art in public spaces. The plan outlines a vision and programmatic direction for public art in Tallahassee/Leon County. Public art projects are one of the categories of projects deemed to be most beneficial to the City of Tallahassee/Leon County. For more information about the Capital Area Cultural Plan, visit https://coca.tallahasseearts.org/about-coca/cultural-plan.
For more information about KCCI, visit https://kccitallahassee.com/