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Dedham Public Art Project looking for artists to paint utility boxes

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  March 20, 2013 01:34 PM

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It started with bunnies; now the Dedham Public Art Project is moving on to utility boxes.

Jennifer Barsamian, co-president of project parent organization Dedham Shines, received approval from selectmen last week to collaborate with the Department of Public Works and paint Dedham’s utility boxes.

Now she is looking for local artists to submit designs.

“People miss [the rabbits]; they miss turning a corner and seeing something unexpected that brings something cheerful to their day,” Barsamian told selectmen Thursday, referring to last year’s public art project.

The original project placed 15 five-foot fiberglass rabbits around town that were painted and otherwise decorated by artists, most of them local.

One utility box at the corner of East and High streets, owned by the Dedham-Westwood Water District, has already been completed by Dedham artist Marietta Apollonio. Apollonio also decorated the first rabbit for last year’s Dedham Public Art Project.

“The day Marietta spent there painting it we met so many people,” Barsamian said. “It was so much fun.”

Barsamian said she was looking at 10 locations at the following intersections: East and Rustcraft; East and Lamoine; East and Vincent; Milton and Walnut; Milton and Sawmill; Pine and Bridge; Washington and Curve; Washington and Elm; Washington and Incinerator; River and Milton.

The boxes are generally about four feet tall, three to four feet wide, and two feet deep.

Proposals are due on Monday, April 15, by 4 p.m. to Dedham Shines at PO Box 1023, Dedham, MA, 02027, or dedhamshines@gmail.com. Artists must live or work in Dedham.

The boxes will be decorated as a part of Dedham Clean Up Day on April 27. Artists will have two weeks starting on that day to complete their boxes.

Fore complete submissions guidelines, visit www.dedhamshines.org/utility-box-art-project.html.

Barsamian said she hoped the decorated utility boxes, now gray and meant to blend into the background, would evoke some kind of emotion in passers by, whether cheerful or even angry.

“Someone might not like a box and I like the idea that it could bring about any sort of reaction,” Barsamian said Thursday. “It creates conversation and community in a fun way.”

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