Burbank Arts Utility Box Project Promotes Pops Of Color Around Town

By On November 19, 2019

The Burbank Arts Utility Box Beautification Project has recently doubled the number of colorful utility boxes throughout the City of Burbank, with the completion of Phase Three of the ongoing program which began in 2015.

Photo By Ross Benson

Fourteen artists were selected for Phase Three including Emily Feehly, Laurah Grijalva, Brent Myers, Dana Gibson, Ricardo Cerezo, Liz Richards, David Vega, Audrey Herbertson, Moniker Petroczy, Laishan Mui Ito, Jen Swain, Maorei Brotman, Katie Shipley and Paul Juno.

Herbertson, a 2016 graduate of John Burroughs High School, may be the youngest artist to participate in Phase Three of the program.

“My idea was to go back to Burbank in the 1960s – specifically the show Laugh In that was filmed in Burbank at NBC,” explained Herbertson. “I was inspired by the geometric very colorful scenery they used on the show. I also wanted to play into the idea of the Hollywood Hills at night when you can see spotlights in the distance.”

“Mostly I wanted to keep the design very simple and graphic while still being fun and colorful,” she added. “Luckily I had help from my mom, who used to be a scenic painter, in painting the box.”

Photo By Ross Benson

“We were able to get it done in about 15 hours stretched across two days. The first day we were painting there was that fire in the hills so that made it kind of tough to keep working with the heavy smoke.”

Since graduation from JBHS, Herbertson has been building her artistic portfolio, designing logos, album covers and posters for rock bands.

“I’m pretty much completely self taught when it comes to drawing and design,” she also said. “I didn’t end up going to art school or college or anything, which is totally fine! The most important thing with art is that you just keep making things and that’s definitely what I’m doing.”

“We’ve received nothing but positive feedback from the community members who have delighted in seeing the color and creativity coming into their neighborhoods and along the paths they take to work, shop and play every day to the artists who have seen their visions of the theme, ‘A World of Entertainment’ come to life on the traffic signal boxes throughout the media district,” commented Cultural Arts Commission member Suzanne Weerts.

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

“Our local businesses and community groups came together to make this project a reality along with the support from the city’s Arts in Public Places ordinance,” she also said. “The members of Burbank’s Cultural Arts Commission are excited about moving forward with Phase Four in 2020 and will announce early next year the location of those boxes and how artists can submit and sponsors can join us in making Burbank even more beautiful.”

The Burbank  Cultural Arts Commission will host a reception on Thursday, December 5, to recognize the artists and thank the program sponsors which include Burbank Fine Arts Federation, Burbank Sunrise and Noon Rotary Clubs, BurCal Properties, CineConcerts, Cusumano Real Estate, Dees Entertainment, New York Film Academy, Smoke House, The Production Truck, Warner Bros. and Warner Bros. Studio Tours.