Since 2010, Boise City and Capital City Development Corporation have provided funding to commission Idaho artists to design vinyl wraps to be incorporated onto the Ada County Highway District traffic control boxes in Boise. Currently, 192 boxes are wrapped across the city. These boxes feature a broad array of styles and artistic mediums. When choosing the locations of these wraps, priority is given to high visibility intersections, proximity with schools, libraries, and other public facilities. Approximately 27 boxes have been identified within the downtown area and outlying neighborhoods for 2019.
196 Artists (or artist teams) applied, 31 of which were chosen. I was lucky enough to be one of them.
The selection panel consisted of members who served to represent the Arts & History Commission, Arts & History Advisory Team, Capitol City Development Corporation, and the local arts community. The members convened to review each application and make recommendations on which artists to select for the 2019 commission.
Thank You to the City of Boise, Arts & History Dept. I am both honored and thrilled to be a part of the city’s collection of Artist Traffic Boxes. Also, a big Thank You to friends and family for encouraging me along the way.
Location: Garden & Main, SE Corner
MAIN STREET + N GARDEN STREET (SE CORNER)
Already on the moon from the news of the opportunity to create one of Boise’s Traffic Boxes, I came back down to the earth when I was given the coordinates of where my art would come to live. An interesting location, where Main Street ends and Garden City begins, and only footsteps away from the Boise River. I knew immediately that I wanted to reference the river, but I didn’t want to neglect the other surrounding elements.
With a little more research, thought, and some math (not my best skill); I found out that the approximate volume of the box is 300 fluid gallons. This also just happens to be the approximate amount of water the average American family uses on a daily basis.
The 300 gallon approximation only refers to household consumption, as in washing dishes/laundry, taking baths/showers, flushing toilets, etc.
300 gallons, 1 box… In my work, I’ve introduced this series of paintings of various buckets, pop art in style. A suggestion from the panel was to continue this in this project. Water, fish, crabs, boats, Ding! 1 box equals 1 bucket. This was my opportunity to create a larger than life bucket! Huge!
Everyday Boise is growing bigger and brighter, our city is becoming quite the metropolis. With growth and expansion there is always a need to consider the future effects of our decisions today. We can’t let Boise get lost in the shuffle of progress. With these concerns on my mind, I try to take personal inventory and consider how much I consume and, in turn, waste. It shocks me a times. I know I need to be more mindful and try to leave a softer footprint.
As I envision this Traffic Box, a large bucket sitting river adjacent, watching the traffic on Main Street, I see a physical representation of what I ordinarily take for granted. I take pause and begin to appreciate these resources. When a passerby decides to take a moment and ponder the scale of how much water we use, I hope it may spark that recognition in them.
Our responsibility with our water and maintaining it’s quality is essential to our thriving in the future. I hope to inspire people to adopt more mindful habits when it comes to our relationship with water.