Monday, July 18, 2011
Mariana Garibay is one of the artists chosen to design a utility box for the 60 boxes project.
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Garibay has lived in the Bay Area for the past 12 years, creating art in her community. For the past six years, she has been an Artist-in-Residency at the Kala Institute of Art in Berkeley. Before that, she worked at the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, developing her printmaking skills.
For the 60 boxes project, Garibay worked with Mayor Tom Bates, who sponsored her box, to create a sustainable-themed design. Her artwork will cover a utility box on the corner of Center Street and Shattuck Ave in the heart of Downtown Berkeley.
“As an avid walker and public transit enthusiast (I have walked over 7,000 miles in the last three years since selling my car), I wanted to highlight Berkeley’s strength as a walkable and livable city,” said Mayor Bates, explaining his idea for the box.
So Garibay decided upon a map-like design that would accurately show walkways and bike paths in Downtown Berkeley, but also would symbolically represent the city as a bustling network radiating positive energy.
Since Garibay knew her design would be placed on top of a utility box, she was inspired to make the lines on the map into green wires. She also drew vibrant flowers on the map in the places where Berkeley has parks. Garibay manipulated her hand-drawn images using a computer program to create the final design.
Garibay became interested in the 60 boxes project because of her passion for public art and her concern for living sustainably.
“I think art should be everywhere, not just in museums,” Garibay said, “It enhances our everyday experience.”
Garibay also said she cares about sustainability, because she think everyone should be aware of the impact they have upon the planet. She hopes her artwork on the utility box will influence people to use more sustainable forms of transportation, such as walking or riding a bike.
Garibay is currently completing a BFA in painting at the California College of the Arts.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
follow this link for directions on the two exciting calls for artists for the 60 Boxes Project: one for youth (18 and under) and one for the general public (all ages can apply)
we hope to hear from you soon!
Friday, July 1, 2011
by Veronica Chew
A collaboration between the Earth Island Institute's Streets Alive! program and City of Berkeley's Civic Arts Commission for public art in downtown Berkeley has resulted in the "60 Boxes Project" - a promoter of color, imagination and art. The project targets 60 utility boxes scattered throughout the city, all currently painted grey and owned either by the city or by PG&E. Sponsors choose local artists, who then create designs based on the theme "Sustainability" - including but not limited to ecological, social, cultural, and financial conceptions. These designs will either be painted directly onto the boxes or transferred on them via large, printed polymer stickers.
Beyond city aesthetics, the 60 Boxes Project hopes to achieve additional goals. Artists of all ages, individual, businesses and organizations work together to foster a sense of community and contribute to a positive community-supported program. The project empowers artists to engage in opportunities for public art and achieve success through public recognition and appreciation, and through private sponsorship. Patrons invest in a part of their city and have the opportunity to sponsor local art. Most importantly, this project condones the usage of art as a medium for a message - in this case, "Sustainability," not only complements the ideals and public experience of city revitalization, but also raises awareness and action in the entire community about the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle.
With the transformation of the bleak, utilitarian boxes into cornerstones of vibrancy and significance, the 60 Boxes Project will help bring to light the diverse community and interests that compose the city of Berkeley.