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Utility Box

In 2012, I was commissioned by the City of Tempe to paint a design for a library card, which would be inspiration for a utility box on the corner of Sixth and Mill Avenue in Tempe. The City had chosen six artists in all—each of us with a different aesthetic to bring to the project. We each had a utility box and were asked to submit our ideas for the committee to approve.

I chose a paraphrase of a quote by Gandhi: “Be the good you wish to see in the world.” I chose it and a bright palette because I wanted to inspire and send a positive message.

Once we painted a canvas for the library card and made mock-ups for the utility boxes, we had a couple of months to finish the boxes. I spent about five days painting my utility box. I would spend about five to six hours a day, setting up at about 9:30 each morning.

With the advent of the new library cards, each artist's canvas was displayed in the library for a couple of months. New library patrons can choose between our six cards.