NEWS

Commission aims to enrich ‘Cranston Experience’ through art

By EMMA BARTLETT
Posted 4/5/22

Roadside utility boxes are not the most attractive objects, but the Cranston Arts Commission plans to change that. The organization's new Bright Box Project is calling artists to submit their mural …

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NEWS

Commission aims to enrich ‘Cranston Experience’ through art

Posted

Roadside utility boxes are not the most attractive objects, but the Cranston Arts Commission plans to change that. The organization's new Bright Box Project is calling artists to submit their mural design ideas for a chance to be selected to paint one of six electrical boxes throughout the city. Applications opened March 21 and will close April 24.

“We really want to extend our reach to the community and make fine art and public art accessible to members of the community,” said Danielle Izzi, chair of the Cranston Arts Commission.

Izzi joined the commission in 2019 and works as an event manager for Brown University. The Cranston Arts Commission is a group of artistically-driven Cranston and Rhode Island residents that is appointed by the mayor or city council. The commission’s focuses on community engagement, education through the arts and promoting artistic achievement in Cranston neighborhoods.

Izzi said the organization looked at Providence’s murals and art installations and wanted to see something similar in Cranston. One of their past public art pieces includes a mural on the side of CrossTown Press Printing on Park Avenue which came to completion in 2019.

Izzi presented the Bright Box Project to the City Council several months ago and said council members expressed strong interest and encouraged the idea. She said the Cranston Arts Commission received the full support from the Department of Public Works.

“There are a ton of boxes throughout the city that are eligible and could use some love,” Izzi said.

According to the organization’s RFP, the project’s goal is to “unify the city by exploring its artistic community, elevating the visibility of those talented folks and enriching the ‘Cranston Experience’ of all of those who live and pass through this great city.”

Cranston Arts Commission selected utility boxes that were in highly visible locations. They are  located in the following areas: Ward 1 (intersection of Board/Warwick/Norwood); Ward 2 (intersection of Pontiac and Garden City Dr.); Ward 3 (corner of Cranston St. and Carolina); Ward 4 (intersection of Phenix and Natick); Ward 5 (Itri Square, at intersection of Park/Cranston); Ward 6 (Sockanosset Cross Road at entrance to Garden City).

The target age range for this project is 18 plus; Izzi did note that the organization will have student-centered art projects coming up soon.

One requirement is that the mural should have some relevance to the area. Additionally, the commission is looking at the feasibility of project completion and making sure there is no profanity or content that may be deemed inappropriate, politically divisive or in poor taste; each mural must include the artist’s name as well as the Cranston Arts Commission’s website.

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