Burbank Cultural Arts Presents “Virtually Burbanksy: The Art Of The Box” Online

Image Courtesy Burbank Cultural Arts Commission

The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission presents Virtually Burbanksy: The Art of the Box in an online forum for members of the Burbank community on Wednesday evening, April 20.

As part of Burbank’s Art, Culture and Creativity month of April, as proclaimed by the Burbank City Council and Mayor Jess Talamantes, Virtually Burbanksy: The Art of the Box will feature a panel discussion by several artists who have participated in the City’s Utility Box Beautification Program over the years.

“If you’ve ever wondered about the inspiration behind the art or the process of taking an idea and turning it into a piece of public art on a ‘metal canvas’, this is your chance to learn about how it is done,” commented Weerts.

“Anyone who has ever considered submitting a design for the the box beautification program will get a good idea of how it is done,” she added. “Collectively the five artists participating in our Virtually Burbanksy discussion have painted 11 of the 48 boxes that currently add color and creativity to our city.”

Ricardo Cerezo, Pauline Hacopian, Paul Juno, Laishan Mui Ito and Jen Swain are slated to discuss their experiences, with Weerts moderating.

Burbank Chamber

“I don’t have many opportunities to talk about my art, the process of my art, and the projects that I have done, and I am happy to express how I arrive with my ideas and my art process for these box art projects,” commented Swain, who has participated in the first three phases of the program.

The electrical box located at Hollywood Way and Magnolia Boulevard was painted by Burbank resident and artist Meleny Pichardo. (Photo by Ross A Benson.)

Artists selected for the City’s Utility Box Beautification Program receive a $1000 stipend to paint the boxes.

Since the program began in 2015, 32 artists have been selected to paint electrical boxes throughout Burbank, through five phases of the program. Half of those artists are Burbank residents, according to Weerts.

The Utility Box Beautification Program is supported by the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission and the City’s Art In Public Places committee.

“It has been fun for our commissioners to visit the artists as they work in the community,” said Weerts. “We love learning about their backgrounds and about what inspires them creatively and it is always a great experience to watch artists interact with passers by, especially the children who may never have met a working artist before.”

“I’m extremely grateful and excited to discuss my process and other works I’ve done in Burbank because I know it’s going to inspire and help others who are interested in taking part in these art projects to navigate their own art journey,” said Hacopian, who participated in Phase Five of the program.

“I was one of those artists interested in painting a mural or a utility box but had no idea how to get started,” she also said.” So I hope I can inspire other artists to put their artwork out in the world.”

Computer science engineer Ricardo Ceredo painted boxes for Phases Three and Four of the Burbank Utility Box Beautification Program as well as the memorial box that honors the lives of Cerain Baker, Jaiden Johnson and Natalee Moghaddan on Glenoaks Boulevard, pictured here. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“Every box mural leads me to an active adventure,” commented Cerezo, a computer science engineer who painted boxes for Phases Three and Four as well as the memorial box that honors the lives of Cerain Baker, Jaiden Johnson and Natalee Moghaddan on Glenoaks Boulevard.

“I love that painting for projects like this is an outdoor activity that allows me to disconnect from the digital world and get real, he added.

The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission will issue a Call for Artists for Phase Six of the Utility Box Beautification Program before the end of April. Phase Six will focus on painting electrical boxes along Buena Vista Street and the theme of “New Art On The Box.”

For more information about the Utility Box Beautification Program, visit https://burbankarts.com/projects/. Phase Six will fund 12 additional boxes along Buena Vista Street, bringing the total of electrical boxes painted throughout Burbank to 60, by the completion of the sixth phase.

Virtually Burbanksy: The Art of the Box runs online via Facebook and Instagram Live from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20. For more information and to join the online forum, visit https://www.facebook.com/BurbankArts/ or https://www.instagram.com/burbankarts/.

The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission began offering online panels during the summer of 2020. Since that time, Burbank Arts has held more than a dozen Virtually Burbank events to help keep the Burbank community “informed, entertained and connected with the artists doing amazing work in our town.” To view past events, visit https://burbankarts.com/virtually-burbank-events/.