Picture a utility box: functional, gray, utilitarian, serious. These are the metallic boxes that punctuate streets and corners across the nation. They share an austere blankness that seems to uniformly tempt rebels armed with cans of spray paint and naughty obscenities.
In Salinas, California, the surface of electrical boxes has become an arena for fighting vandalism. The city has instituted the Salinas Urban Art Project in the name of community pride and art appreciation. UGallery artist Drew McSherry has joined this force.
The project’s mission is to have local artist, like McSherry, paint a total of 30 utility boxes from North Main to South Street.
McSherry has placed his own playful image outside of the Salinas Cesar Chavez Public Library. The brightly colored and eye-catching painting increases the beauty of the street and deters vandalism.
The characters painted on the box come from a children’s book written by McSherry and his wife entitled, Terrance the Trapezoid. In the book, Terrence and his geometric friends are shapes that transform into objects through teamwork, imaginative thinking, and celebration of differences. It proves to be an aptly selected subject, as McSherry transforms the unimaginative geometry of electrical into a display of creativity.