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WSWCA Working with UArts to Create Art in Unexpected Places

posted May 7, 2015, 1:02 PM by Wash West   [ updated May 21, 2015, 8:51 AM ]

NEW! An Article from WHYY & Newsworks: 

  • Utility boxes

Center City's unsightly utility boxes are getting dressed up with public art....read more here


UARTS STUDENTS TRANSFORM DRAB STREET CORNER 

UTILITY BOXES INTO WORKS OF ART

 Fine Arts Students Demonstrate the Utility of Art for City’s Street Corners

PHILADELPHIA (May 4, 2015) – Four fine arts students at the University of the Arts are bringing a new vision of public art to the sidewalks of Center City’s Washington Square West neighborhood.  As part of an independent design project, they have created original works of art that transform the area’s drab brown utility boxes. The students, all seniors in UArts’ Interdisciplinary Fine Art program with a sculpture emphasis, have created designs printed on vinyl coverings fitted to the boxes found on many street corners.  The project, in coordination with the Washington Square West Civic Association, was installed on Friday, May 8.


“With UArts located in the heart of a vibrant metropolitan city, our students have the unique opportunity to develop their craft in real world situations in a city with a rich artistic heritage,” said Mark Campbell, dean of the UArts College of Art, Media and Design. “At UArts we focus on training citizen artists, and this project is a great example of how art can appear anywhere for the benefit of many, and outside traditional exhibition venues.”

The seniors – Monica Morris, Lee Reed, Corinne Sandkuhler and Stephanie Wademan – developed their designs based on the environmental surrounding of each box, including architecture, commercial signage, tree and plant life, surface patterns, light and shadow. 


“Seeing that brick and rectilinear patterns are so repetitive along South Street, one of my design motifs attempts to exaggerate these patterns that form a general backdrop, but may escape notice due to recurrent use,” says Morris about her own design concept. “I‘ve incorporated colors from the locations – bright and bold – to contrast the often-faded red coloring of the surrounding brick walls. My intention here is to incorporate the alternating brick pattern and proportions, but exaggerate scale and color in a playful and humorous way.”

Approval for the installation comes from the City of Philadelphia Department of Streets and the Philadelphia Art Commission.  The project is funded by University of the Arts and the Washington Square West Civic Association.

People visiting the Washington Square West neighborhood will be able to easily view the students’ work at the following intersections:

·       8th Street and Spruce Street

·       12th Street and Spruce Street

·       13th Street and Spruce Street

·       10th Street and Locust Street

·       13th Street and Locust Street

·       10th Street and South Street

·       8th Street and Pine Street

·       9th Street and Pine Street