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Photos: Local Artists Brighten Up Traffic Signal Boxes With Original Paintings

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Local artists have transformed drab traffic signal boxes around South Pasadena into colorful works of art.

Rather than settle for the typical dreary grey or green found on most signal boxes, the non-profit South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC)—which supports local artists and cultural events—invited artists from around Los Angeles to paint boxes around South Pasadena with their own original designs.

With approval and funding awarded by the city—and from some businesses and individuals—to support the creation of the first ten boxes of the "Box Art Project," SPARC set about inviting artists to submit proposals for the public art project. They received over 65 proposals from 42 artists around L.A. Then, a selected panel of artists, business owners and local residents reviewed the submissions and whittled them down to 10 winners. As it turned out, seven of them happened to also live in South Pasadena. The chosen artists include Timothy Smith, Laurie Hendricks, Don Bloom, Kelly Conte, Val Trimarchi, Suzann Berti, Mike Saijo, Tatiana Viquez, Lekit Im and Yuki Toy.

Beginning in November, the artists set to work painting the boxes. The designs range from bright, psychedelic characters to more realistic portraits of local icons, including the wild parrots in the area, the Metro Gold Line, and even ostriches, which may be a nod to America's first ostrich farm that opened in South Pasadena over 100 years ago.

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Artist Val Trimarchi painting her box (via Facebook)
"The Box Art Project, developed this year and supported by funds from the City Council and several individuals and businesses, is the first public art project created by SPARC in South Pasadena," Howard Spector, Director of SPARC, tells LAist. "SPARC is committed to a long-term program of enhancing the community environment through the inclusion of art in public places. The Art Boxes have elicited a very positive response by residents, the business community and visitors alike. People are excited to see them in the city"

To see all of the Box Art Project Designs, you can visit SPARC online, or better yet, find them in person using this map.