Encinitas dresses up its electrical boxes thanks to local artists

July 10, 2013 by  

The City of Encinitas has turned to local artists to beautify downtown by painting San Diego Gas & Electric’s electrical boxes.

Encinitas has undertaken what it calls ‘101 MainStreet’s Utility of Art Project’ – an effort to make the downtown area more attractive by commissioning painters to cover the plain, industrial gray electrical boxes with their own work. The paintings, which were done on only five boxes, are just the first phase of the project. The overall goal of the ongoing project is to create a sort of “public art gallery” that represents Encinitas’s cultural in a visual manner, and that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

The three artists chosen for this phase of the project are Monika Whisenhunt, Bryan Helfand, and Bre Custodio. Whisenhunt and Custodio painted one box each, and Helfand painted the other three. Whisenhunt calls her work ‘Happy Waves—Aquarium’. It depicts an aquarium with organically-shaped fish and waves. Custodio’s painting is titled ‘Time to Relax’ and depicts the skies over San Diego in various colors, from a burnt orange sunset to the azure of a summer day. Helfand turned the three boxes he worked on into a triptych of blues where strange fish and giant kelp floated in the waves.

The artists all say they had a great time doing the work and, in particular, talking to the residents who stopped by to talk to them while they painted. Since the project is ongoing, Encinitas might consider working with a flyer printing company to highlight the artists’ work. The art is supported by several grants, but mailing the flyers might bring in additional monies.