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Posted on: April 29, 2021

Thinking “Outside the Box” to Spread Public Art

Outside the Box - Railyard

Edmond Electric and the Edmond Visual Arts Commission are proud to debut a new public art program called “Outside the Box”. The Outside the Box program is offered to qualifying Edmond Electric customers to help beautify their communities by enhancing the aesthetic of their environment while also preventing graffiti on transformer boxes.

Transformer boxes are the green utility boxes that can be found along sidewalks, in courtyards, and on business properties. They house high-voltage equipment for underground electrical service, taking the higher voltage from Edmond Electric’s distribution system and transforming it to lower voltages appropriate for residential and commercial use.

Outside the Box has two options for eligible applicants. Applicants can choose from over 60 pre-approved designs or submit a custom design for consideration. Pre-approved designs include landscapes, local scenery, unique perspectives, textures and patterns, and more. Edmond Electric will work with each local agency to determine if the requested art is appropriate for the requested location.

“This program is an exciting opportunity for citizens to partner with Edmond Electric to enhance and beautify our City in unique public locations,” said Edmond Visual Arts Commission Chairperson Louise Cleary Cannon. “The images taken from museum public domain collections can educate the public about great art pieces, while the images created locally serve to celebrate the vibrancy of the community.”

Vinyl wraps are used for the program because they follow utility industry best practices. Vinyl has a life expectancy of five or more years and comes with a paint-repelling laminate to further reduce the effects of any graffiti.

In 2020, four traffic signal boxes were wrapped in Downtown Edmond as part of a pilot for this program. “The overwhelmingly positive response of these first four box wraps has given staff hope that Outside the Box will gain traction and continue to beautify not only the downtown area, but areas all over our community,” said Jessica Lyle, Edmond Electric Community Program Manager. 

Each wrapped box includes a label with the name of the art piece and the sponsor. A QR code on the label directs viewers to a webpage with more information. Because these boxes house electrical equipment, all safety warning stickers and identifying markings remain visible in their designated locations.

Outside the Box is open to business associations, individual businesses, commercial property owners and managers, homeowners’ associations (for transformer boxes in common areas only), public agencies and community arts councils and commissions.

For more information on Outside the Box, please visit www.edmondok.com/outsidethebox

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