This is our old blog. Our new blog can be found @ Visit us there!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sponsorship Facts

by Elyce Klein

Your financial support goes to the Earth Island Institute (EII) and is fully tax deductible. Additionally, you can team up with another like-minded business, organization or individual to sponsor a box!

This map shows the locations of utility boxes throughout the city. Several of them have already been sponsored, but some have not. By sponsoring a box, you will be able to select the artist you wish to work with - either from a roster given to you by EII or with an artist of your choosing. All artists and designs must be approved by the City of Berkley's Civic Arts Commission, but EII ensures an easy and streamlined process for everyone involved.

"Sustainability" is the overarching theme of the project, but as a platinum level sponsor, the specifics are your choice. Potential designs include encapsulating healthy lifestyles, buying local, transportation, renewable energy, fostering community, music education, and more!

All designs will be printed onto polymer stickers and affixed to the boxes for three years.

Around Berkeley

At left is a map showing the locations of utility boxes throughout the city, planned for design.
(Click image to enlarge.)

One Artist's Design

This is an article from our upcoming newsletter. We hope you enjoy it!

One Artist's Design

by Molly Montgomery

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 13, 2011

60 Boxes Project Receives $20,000 Grant

UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund bestowed a $20,000 grant to the 60 boxes project this month.

The fund supports community projects that encourage involvement between the university and the surrounding community and enhance quality of life in Berkeley. This year, it received 70 proposals for funding. Of those 70, only 15 projects were selected to receive grants. Earth Island Institute’s 60 boxes project was one of them.

The grant funding will move the project closer to its goal of covering 60 utility boxes in Downtown Berkeley with sustainable-themed artwork. The majority of the $20,000 grant will go towards the sponsorship of seven utility boxes. The grant also provides funds for a paid student intern from UC Berkeley, who can help implement the project while gaining valuable experience working on a community project. The remaining money will fund administrative and operational costs.

"We are honored and excited to have been selected for this opportunity. We know it is a very competitive cycle and there is an abundance of great community projects in Berkeley. We are really looking forward to working with our partners at UC Berkeley's Facilities Services and the Office of Sustainability and making this opportunity open to the entire Cal Community." said Ariana Katovich, Director of the 60 Boxes Project at the Earth Island Institute.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Good news! We are extending the call for artists until July 22nd! That's right!


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

About the Project

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.