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.