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City of Bellevue Seeking Artists for Utility Box Wraps Program

November 13, 2021 - by Sandy Vo

City of Bellevue Seeking Artists for Utility Box Wraps Program

The City of Bellevue is looking for Eastside artists to design artwork for utility and signal boxes around the city. The success of the program in BelRed Arts District gave insights to how powerful art can be and the positive effects it has on the community. Manette Stamm, arts program analyst for the City of Bellevue, said once the wraps were installed, they immediately started receiving positive feedback from businesses, residents, council and city staff.

“The program seeks to stimulate the use of our street corridors, not only as transportation infrastructure but as vibrant community spaces,” Stamm said. “The innovative project enhances the overall experience of outdoor spaces and greatly improved the otherwise banal utility boxes.”

According to Stamm, the program is more than creating art, it's giving local artists a voice in the Downtown area. The City is providing an opportunity for these artists to bring character, intrigue and beauty to the public realm. This program will wrap up to 13 utility boxes located in Downtown Bellevue and artists will receive a stipend ranging from $800 to $1,100. Artists must be a resident of East King County and be registered on the City of Bellevue's Eastside Artists Roster. Typical for all public art projects, applications will be reviewed by a panel comprised of Arts Commissioners, community members and arts professionals. The deadline to apply is Dec. 8 at midnight. Application can be found here.

“The ultimate goal for covering these boxes is to bring easily accessible public artworks to the city’s right-of-way and to support local artists,” Stamm said. “Implementing a wrap program like this that is nimble, not too time-consuming and that doesn’t require any new construction helps support artists now and bring joy in a time where we most need it.”

Artwork courtesy of Juliana Kang Robinson & Larine Chung

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.