Pawtucket PaintBox Project!

The Valley Breeze, October 13 2015 • Ethan Shorey

PAWTUCKET – Gray electrical boxes throughout the city have been transformed into works of art.

Last fall, the Pawtucket Arts and Culture Commission reached out to artists, asking them to submit designs for electrical utility boxes located throughout Pawtucket with the goal of spreading public art in city neighborhoods.

Many artists responded and provided their vision for beautifying the colorless utility boxes. In total, 15 boxes were designated for the project and local artists were commissioned using Community Development Block Grant funds. Last week, Mayor Donald Grebien visited five of the PaintBox locations and met with the artists who painted them.

“This is a creative way that the city of Pawtucket can continue to reinforce its long-standing support of the arts while making our streets and neighborhoods a little more aesthetically appealing,” said Grebien.

The look of the PaintBoxes varied. Artist Mark Maher, whose work is located on the corner of Newport and London avenues in front of the Hasbro building, was inspired by one of Hasbro’s more famous lines of toys, Transformers. In keeping with that inspiration, he painted his work as homage to Optimus Prime, leader of the Transformers.

Other artists that made it as part of the tour included:

  • Brent Bachelder, whose work inspired by Amelia Earhart is displayed on Newport Avenue in front of Slater Park;
  • Chris Nichols, whose “Snail” piece is located on Division Street;
  • James Wyld, whose work is located on the corner of Armistice Boulevard and Newport Avenue;
  • And Paris Fisher, whose work is displayed on Tim Healey Way, high above the newly renovated Festival Pier.

“Many of these artists have some great ideas for other projects in the city and I look forward to hearing more from them as other opportunities for such projects present themselves,” said Grebien. “I also want to thank Miriam Plitt and Katherine Kazarian of the Pawtucket Arts and Culture Commission for spearheading this effort to bring public art to Pawtucket’s neighborhoods.

Original Article