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Utility Box Public Art Project
Call to Artists

Application Deadline March 30, 2018

The City of San Ramon is pleased to invite qualified artists to participate in the City’s first Utility Box Public Art Program. The program will enable artists to create works of art that contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of the streetscape and community, foster civic pride and community identity, and bring art to unexpected places. Utility Box Art programs are popular throughout the country as a cost effective way to successfully bring public art to City Streets by using blank traffic signal control boxes as canvases to become art.

 Under the pilot project five boxes will be awarded along Crow Canyon Road. The artists will receive a total stipend of $700 to assist with the cost of materials and to compensate the artist for their time and artwork. Selected artists will receive $350 at the commencement of work. Once work is completed and approved, artists will receive the remaining $350.

 Artists are responsible for prepping, painting and sealing the boxes. The City will provide all materials for prepping and sealing the boxes including an anti-graffiti clear coat. Artists must supply their own materials for painting using a list of recommended paint types provided by the City.


  • This Call for Artists is open to all adults (age 18 +) who are able to hand paint one large Utility Box with a general size of: 5 ft (height) X 3 ft (width) X 2 ft (depth) along with one smaller box with a general size of: 5 ft (height) X 1 ft (width) X 1 ft (depth)
  • The program is open to artists who have the vision and skills required to complete the project.
  • All entries must be the original design and artwork of the applicant. Entries that use a copyrighted or trademarked image will not be accepted. Entries must not be plagiarized, stolen, or copied.
  • Artwork will be installed in a public place and must be suitable for viewing by all ages.
  • Painting must occur during an agreed upon four (4) week period. If an unforeseeable emergency or inclement weather arises, the artist may request a two (2) week extension.
  • Artists may enlist assistants. All assistants must also be over 18 years old and sign a waiver upon selection. Assistants will not be compensated by The City.
  • Artists may submit up to three (3) designs for consideration.


Artwork should enliven the area and contribute to the attractiveness of the streetscape. Due to the location of the boxes, art should be visible from the street; therefore you may choose to utilize bold colors and designs. When designing artwork, artists are encouraged to consider the context of the local area and the City as a whole.

Artwork should relate to the selected theme of the pilot program which is: Celebrating the Arts

San Ramon’s increasing diversity and growing population implies a need to continue developing a greater sense of community connectedness by showcasing different cultures to enhance cultural understanding and unity. Artists should be mindful of place and community and the people who will view the art. Artists may choose to incorporate the idea of multiculturalism and cultural diversity into their design.

Artwork cannot restrict any vents or airflow through the boxes and city maintenance crews must be able to fully access the components inside the box at all times. The use of dark colors over large areas of the box is not recommended as it can create the potential for overheating the boxes.

Artwork created under this program is considered temporary artwork and the property of The City of San Ramon. The City retains the right to remove, modify, or replace artwork at its discretion.

Artists are permitted to include their signature on Utility Box, no larger than 4 inches x 6 inches.

The artist’s name, artwork title, and photo of artwork may be featured on the City of San Ramon website and other promotional materials.

Paint for Utility Boxes must be fade resistant acrylic paint. Recommended: Liquitex Acrylic High Viscosity Paint in tubes, Nova Color Lightfastness 1 in tubes, Golden Light fastness 1 in tubes. Proper paint selection will help with the longevity of the artwork.


Staff will review applications for completeness and adherence to the guidelines. The Arts Advisory Committee will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Artist experience, excellence, innovation, composition and originality
  • Does the art meet the following goals of the project?
    • Create works of art that contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of the streetscape and community.
    • Foster civic pride and community identity by bringing art to unexpected places.
    • Represent the selected theme of “Celebrating the Arts”

Submissions and application materials will be reviewed by the Arts Advisory Committee, Architectural Review Board and City Staff after which time a recommendation will be made for artist selection to the Parks and Community Services Commission for final approval. Once designs are approved and artists are selected, contracts will be drafted and a mutually agreed upon schedule for work will be determined.


City staff will coordinate with the artist to select a mutually agreeable four-week painting period between June 4, 2018 and August 1, 2018.

*The artist may not begin work on the utility box until a liability waiver and contract are fully executed.


Applications due by: March 30, 2018 at 5:00pm

Applications and design template review: April/May 2018

Selected Artists announced: May 16, 2018

Earliest date painting may begin: June 4, 2018

Painting must be completed by: August 1, 2018.

*Dates subject to change


For questions please contact Erika Burg at or call (925) 973 – 3205


 Locations for Utility Art Boxes

Potential boxes are found along Crow Canyon Road. Artists are not permitted to select the box they wish to paint. Box assignments will be determined by City Staff.


Blank Utility Box   Blank Utility Box

Examples of control panel found on ‘back’ of boxes:

Blank Utility Box Control Panel ViewBlank Utility Box Control Panel View


Art Box Example from the City of Coeur d’AleneArtist: Kirk Troxel. Located in San Jose.

City of Coeur d’Alene                                      Artist: Kirk Troxel, located in San Jose

Download Printable Application Packet

Utility Art Box Call for Artist Application



  1. Completed coversheet. Use provided form. (application below)
  2. Artist Biography and/or resume (maximum 2 pages total)
  3. Brief artist statement about your proposed artwork and why you are interested in painting a utility box. If submitting more than one design, please make a statement about each separate proposed artwork.(enter on form below)
  4. Digital images of previously completed work samples in medium of painting. (3 samples maximum). Images of work samples may be submitted online to Google Drive or placed on a CD or flash drive.
    1. label each image as follows:LastName_FirstName-Image2, etc.
  5. Colored Design Rendering(s) on provided template (May submit up to three separate designs).  In addition to the provided template, applicant must submit 1 paper size 8.5’’ X 11’’ per each side of the box. Renderings may be submitted online to Google Drive or placed on a CD or flash drive. Hard copies of renderings may also be submitted.
    1. Media for design submittal must be drawing or painting. Digitally rendered designs will not be accepted.
    2. If submitting hard copies label each sheet on the back with side # & artist name.

APPLICATION MATERIALS DUE BY 5:00pm on MARCH 30, 2018. No late entries will be considered. Entries with missing materials will not be considered. If utilizing Google Drive please create one folder for your materials. Folder name should be your first and last name.

Mail/Drop Off: San Ramon Parks & Community Services Dept.
Attn. Erika Burg
12501 Alcosta Blvd.
San Ramon, CA 94583

Upload to our Google Drive (please place all materials in a folder with your name): Upload Materials

Application Cover Sheet

Artist Name:

Mailing Address:

Phone:   Email:

Artist Website:

Artist Statement About Proposed Work (Include for all proposed designs):

All Artists please sign & date:

I agree that: (1) my submission(s) and their contents will automatically become the property of the City of San Ramon, with no guarantee of compensation to me; (2) there is no obligation for the City of San Ramon to review the submission(s); and (3) there is no obligation to keep any submissions confidential. Further, I agree to waive my rights of attribution out in the Visual Artists Rights Act, 17 U.S.C §§106A and 113(d) ("VARA"), the California Art Preservation Act, Cal. Civil Code §§ 987 and 989 ("CAPA").

DISCLAIMER I have read the attached information and agree to the rules and regulations stated. The undersigned agrees to indemnify and hold harmless, the City of San Ramon, its City Council, Officers, Boards, Commissions, Agents, associated Foundations, and Employees for any loss or liability which results or is alleged to have resulted from my participation in this program, including any claim arising out of the applicants entry, acts, or omissions in said contest or any accident, injury or damage involved therein, including but not limited to attorney fees and court costs. I have read and fully understand these policies. I am an adult and my signature is below.

Signature:   Date:

All eligible submissions must include:

  • Application Coversheet
  • Artist biography or  Resume (max 2 pages)
  • Digital images on a CD or flash drive (3 maximum) or submitted to Google Drive of previously completed work samples in medium of painting.
  • Design Rendering on Template (1 template per design) submitted to Google Drive, on CD or flash drive, or hard copy.
  • Complete Design Renderings. One 8.5” x 11” paper per each side of main/large box submitted to Google Drive, on CD or flash drive, or hard copy.

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