The Columbia Arts Council completed a public art project that turned highly-visible City utility boxes into works of art. Funded in part by an ABC grant awarded by the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Council partnered with two local photographers to showcase their beautiful photography. Vinyl wraps of those images were created and professionally installed, completely transforming four utility boxes in the Downtown/Arts District area from boring to beautiful.
Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder remarked, “I am so happy with this latest example of the arts-friendly city Columbia has become. As a city, we must continue to do everything we can to promote and advance arts in our community, and this is another step in the right direction.”
The utility boxes include one electrical box on North Garden Street near the intersection of 7th Street and three signalization boxes located at the intersections of 7th and North Garden Street, 7th and High Street, and 7th and School Street. Local photographers Ross Jaynes and Sarah B. Gilliam were chosen to participate in this project. Ross Jaynes is acknowledged as a successful and award-winning multimedia producer specialized in marketing, cinematography, videography, photography, graphic design, and other visual media. Sarah B. Gilliam is a professional photographer and native of Columbia. She is a community advocate and recently opened Portrait Park, a public art project featuring large-scale photographs of people in her hometown of Columbia, Tennessee.
The art blankets the entire utility boxes so the images are visible from the sidewalk and the street. The Columbia Arts Council plans to do similar public art projects with future grant fund opportunities that contribute to the beautification transformation happening in Columbia.