Once shiny silver utility boxes are now colorful works of art.
The city of Tyler turned 10 utility boxes, which house the electrical components for traffic lights, into an attraction to the downtown area trough an inaugural art contest.
The "Beauty in a Box" project challenged local artists to create or photograph original pieces that could be printed and wrapped around utility boxes.
The project was a joint venture between Keep Tyler Beautiful, Tyler Solid Waste and the Main Street Department. Winning artists received $250 in addition to having their art publically displayed.
"Ideally, it will create some buzz, and people will come downtown to take some pictures," said Stephanie Rollings, managing director of culture, recreation and visitor facilities. "Maybe they haven't been downtown in a while and want to come see them."
All entries were printed out and displayed in the Tyler Rose Garden. City employees and board members of Keep Tyler Beautiful voted on their favorites. The top 10 vote-getters won.
Tyler Wrap Company spent Thursday and Friday installing nine of the art pieces. The final one will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at the intersection of Broadway Ave. and Erwin Street in downtown Tyler.
Artists whose work was selected for the project will be honored and officially announced at the unveiling event, according to the city.
"I think they add an interest to the landscape and add an art element where you thought it wasn't possible in a stainless steel traffic box that sits on the corner," Ms. Rollings said.
Beauty in a Box is a pilot program. If it's well received, the city will consider adding more, but sponsorships will be needed.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Beauty in a Box unveiling Ceremony
WHERE: The intersection of Broadway Avenue and Erwin Street in Downtown Tyler
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Thursday