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Boston wards off graffiti with street art program

October 15, 2009

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BOSTON—The Boston Arts Commission has hired local artists to paint designs on electrical boxes as a way to showcase their talents and ward off graffiti.

Karin Goodfellow, the commission's staff director, says the paintings deter graffiti because they don't leave the boxes as a "blank canvas."

But she also tells The Boston Globe that she wants the roughly two dozen local artists hired to leave a positive mark on the streets where they live.

The program is modeled after similar programs in other cities, such as Somerville. It started with 13 boxes but has expanded to 40.

Artists apply with a design. If it's selected, they get $300 for the work. That barely covers materials, but artists say they're doing the work is a gift, and also for publicity.