Burbank Arts Beautification Program Issues Call For Artists, Sponsors

Artist Audrey Herbertson with the painted utility box located at Riverside and Avon. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission seeks artists and sponsors for the fifth phase of the ongoing Burbank Arts Beautification Program. Aptly titled “Memorable Moments,” the fifth phase aims to brighten up 10 electrical/utility boxes located along Glenoaks Boulevard.

Since 2015, the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission has partnered with the Parks and Recreation Department and Burbank Water and Power to have 37 utility boxes throughout the City painted by local artists.

Themes for the previous four phases were “Just Imagine,” “A World of Possibilities,” “A World of Entertainment” and “Celebrate Community.” Neighborhoods from Magnolia Park to Riverside and the Rancho to the Media District have been brightened with colorful public art.

The Burbank Arts Beautification Program provides a stipend to selected artists to produce the painted utility boxes. A detailed application form is available on the Cultural Arts Commission website and the deadline for artist submissions is Thursday, June 3.

Community members, businesses and organizations are invited to sponsor a box for $500 and join previous box sponsors in support of the program which include: Warner Bros., The Walt Disney Company, Burbank Fine Arts Federation, Brad Korb Real Estate Group, myburbank.com, Blast From the Past, IMX Auto Group, Cartoon Network, Woodbury University, Burbank Water and Power, Keller Williams Realty, DIY Homw Center, The Zoraster Family, Cusumano Real Estate Group, Bur-Cal Management Group, CineConcerts, The Production Truck, Sunrise and Noon Rotary Clubs, Rick Dees Entertainment, New York Film Academy and The Smoke House.

“Each sponsor will receive a plaque on box commemorating their participation in this community-wide beautification program, and will be invited to a reception celebrating the completion of Phases Four and Five later this fall when an in-person reception is deemed safe,” commented Burbank Cultural Arts Commissioner Suzanne Weerts.

“Inspired by the adoption of a Phase Four box by friends of Barbara Beckley, a long time Cultural Arts Commissioner and Artistic Director of The Colony Theatre, the Commission has deemed Glenoaks Boulevard a ‘Road of Recognition’ and is inviting community members to sponsor a box in honor of someone important to them or in memory of a friend or family member no longer with us,” Weerts explained.

“I have loved serving on the Cultural Arts Commission,” said Beckley, who will step down when her term ends in July after more than a decade of service, ” My heart sings when I drive around town and see all the wonderful art on the signal boxes and I’m especially touched – and honored – when I pass my box on Magnolia.”

Beckley’s box,”All Of Us Together,” is located at the corner of Mariposa Street and Magnolia Boulevard and was painted by local artist William Saenz.

Electrical Box located at Hollywood Way and Magnolia being painted by Burbank resident and Artist Meleny Pichardo. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)

Cultural Arts Commission Vice Chair Eric Conner has already signed up to memorialize his mother with one of the boxes on the “Road of Recognition.”

“Watching the proliferation of utility box artwork has been one of the highlights of my time on BCAC,” says Conner, “This June is the one-year anniversary of my Mom’s passing, and I wanted to do something to honor her memory. Though she was born in Brooklyn (and didn’t even like the Dodgers when they played there) and lived in Delaware, I immediately thought of her when the opportunity arose to sponsor a utility box.”

“My Mom helped ignite my lifelong passion for the arts, taking me to see plays and musicals when I was just a little kid.  She might have preferred I stayed on the East Coast, but it was her encouragement that gave me the courage to come out here for USC’s Grad Film Program,” he added. “So a piece of art – and a practical one at that – feels like a great way to commemorate such a wonderful woman.”

Another sponsored box for the Burbank Arts Beautification Program’s “Road of Recognition” has also been claimed. Cultural Arts Commissioner Cindy Pease and her husband Tom are sponsoring a box to honor the memory of Tom’s father Orville Pease, who worked for the Public Service Department of the City of Burbank for more than 30 years and retired as Chief Electrical Engineer in the 1980s.

“He loved his job and took pride in both Burbank and all those who worked for it,” said Tom Pease, ” It was his generation who, after WWII, helped to lay the foundation for the Burbank we know today, so our box will be dedicated to him and to all the hard working city employees, past and present, who have given their time, energy, and love to our city.”

Seven boxes remain available for sponsors and the deadline for sponsorship applications is Friday, June 25.

According to Weerts, “The community will begin seeing boxes painted along Glenoaks Boulevard in late August or September.”

More information and applications can be found on the Burbank Arts Beautification Program’s webpage.

Artist David Vega works on the utility box at Olive and Riverside Drive (Photo by Ross A Benson)