NEW BRITAIN - Five new traffic-signal control boxes in the city will be transformed into works of art.
The paintings are part of Mayor Erin Stewart’s High Voltage Art Program - a collaboration with the New Britain Commission on the Arts. The project aims to transform 41 city-owned control boxes into works of art.
So far 14 boxes have been used to as canvases to express creativity. This is the third round, focused on boxes in or around downtown. Last year, boxes in the central business district and Little Poland were painted.
Elizabeth Ann McNally is one of the local artists who painted a box at the intersection of West Main and Lincoln streets. Her painting features an orange cat, modeled after her own, proudly showing off its capture of two fish.
“I love animals. … I think people can relate to animals easily,” she said.
McNally, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and works fulltime as an artist, submitted her design proposal after seeing the decorated boxes begin to pop up around the city last year.
“It’s really cool; it’s like putting your art up on a refrigerator as a kid,” said McNally. “It’s going to be seen by everyone who drives by.”
She said she’s grateful to the city for selecting her artwork, and thinks it’s a great idea to help artists like her to get their name out.
Other artists and their box locations include Emily Bronson, who will paint an abstract piece at the corner of Stanley and Chestnut streets; Nesh Rowe, who will depict women at work at Black Rock Avenue, Hartford Square and Warren Street; Lara Del Piano, who will paint el spirita de la colmena (the spirit of the beehive) at West Main, Vine and Curtis streets, and Joshua Vidot, who will paint another beehive theme at West Main Street, Park Place and Russell Street.
Artists must be residents of Connecticut and special consideration is given to those in New Britain. They are required to submit up to three design proposals and encouraged to have those designs incorporate the historical, cultural and geographic importance of the control box’s location.
Artists are given a stipend of up to $300 from funds raised through donations from the community.
Selections were made by the New Britain Commission on the Arts in consultation with the mayor’s office.
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.