Fourth Columbia traffic signal box will receive makeover

Friday, December 10, 2010 | 1:09 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The District is in the process of getting a face lift. The Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs is looking for an artist to paint the traffic signal box at Broadway and Seventh Street.

The box will be the fourth painted in the Traffic Box Art Project, which already includes boxes at the intersections of Broadway and Hitt Street, Broadway and Ninth Street and Broadway and Tenth Street.

Sarah Skaggs, program specialist for the Office of Cultural Affairs, said that the goal of the program is to deter vandalism by creating a piece of art that will foster community pride.

"We are proud to address a specific community issue while showcasing the talents of local artists," she said.

The Cultural Affairs website offers requirements for submissions, including a template for the box. Submissions must be postmarked by Feb. 18.

The artist will be selected by representatives from the downtown area and the Standing Committee for Public Art. The chosen artist will receive a stipend of $1,500 and will be reimbursed for up to $500 in materials from a fund created by a collaboration of city departments, including the Columbia Police Department, the Department of Public Works and the Office of Cultural Affairs, Skaggs said.

Skaggs said the painting is scheduled to begin next summer and she estimates it will be done in October.

"It is a long selection process," she said, "and we want to work around the artist's schedule and the weather."

Started in 2007, the program selects an artist to paint one box a year. None of the previous boxes have been vandalized, Skaggs said.

The project website has before and after pictures of the boxes.

"This project offers a unique experience for the citizens of Columbia," Skaggs said. "Not only does it brighten the streets, but it also gives them the opportunity to watch art being created."

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Tye Gerfan December 10, 2010 | 1:47 p.m.

Biggest waste of time, energy and money EVER !

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield December 10, 2010 | 2:40 p.m.

I'd rather see the artists paid to paint stripes on the road. This city's leadership sure has some screwed-up priorities.

Remember this the next time city hall cries poverty and wants to raise taxes, utility rates, fees, etc.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum December 10, 2010 | 3:19 p.m.

In a lot of places, graffiti is free and looks a lot better than the paintings on these boxes. Just sayin... Still, love the pseudo free-spirited nature of this...

(Report Comment)

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