Madison Utility Box Art Program

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 11:30am

Call for Entries

The City of Madison announces a Call for Entries for Madison’s 2017 Utility Box Art Program. 

In 2016, the City of Madison’s Art Commission and Downtown Coordinating Committee authorized a pilot test to wrap four City owned utility boxes with artwork. The four boxes gauged the effectiveness of the material and public response to the project. After a year of four-season exposure in a heavy pedestrian environment, the pilot project was considered effective at transforming ordinary objects of urban infrastructure into something fun, and unique while minimizing tagging and other vandalism of the utility boxes. 

The Madison Arts Commission intends this program to highlight, encourage and promote local artists by giving them exposure in the public realm. Artists are invited to submit images of their artwork for consideration. Artists will be compensated up to $400 for a license of each image used in the program. Full guidelines are posted on the City website, but here are a few restrictions for artists to consider:

• The images submitted have the ability to be enlarged to over 4’x6’ in size.
• There are no legible logos, words, letters or numbers that could constitute a sign in the right-of-way.
• The design submitted does not promote or advertise for a particular community group, organization, or business.
• Artists must be over 18 years of age and consider themselves to be professional artists.
• Artists must reside in the City of Madison.
• Art submitted for consideration should be able to translate well to a utility box wrap, such that parts of the image may be repeated, doubled, flipped, or even removed to accommodate openings, keyholes, protrusions and other general design constraints that come with wrapping a utilitarian traffic utility box that is a working part of the City’s Infrastructure.

In addition, City staff believes there is a desire by the community to include a Community Art Box component for box locations near libraries, or other community centers that could allow for non-professional artists, students, or other community groups to submit original designs that would not have to compete with fine artists during the selection process. City Staff envision this to be a small component of the overall program, and limited to 4 boxes with diverse geographical locations. Through a collaboration with the MPL Bubbler,  artwork will be created and selected for those boxes. Participating groups and students will not receive direct monetary compensation for their designs.

Deadline for proposals: August 31, 2017



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