The Cultural Arts Commission welcomed artists, sponsors, elected officials, and community members to the Burbank Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Phase 6 of the Electrical Box Beautification Program on April 22. A partnership between the Commission, Burbank Parks & Recreation, Burbank Public Works and the Art in Public Places Committee, the program has been adding color and creativity across Burbank since it began in 2015.
“I am continually impressed with the work of the commission in both supporting the arts and innovative ideas for beautifying our community,” Burbank City Councilwoman Tamala Takahashi said in a statement. “The utility box project is an excellent example of that.”
Takahashi shared that, at a recent City Council meeting, “Cultural Arts” was added to the city’s tourism plan. She also expressed her hope that Burbank will one day be known as “Mural City USA” and said that she counts the 60 utility boxes across the city as part of those murals.
Mayor Konstantine Anthony presented certificates of appreciation to the sponsors including Jay Geisenheimer, Logix, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the Zoraster family in honor of Ginny Zoraster, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, former Cultural Arts Commissioner Barbara Beckley and Eula Warren, The Animation Guild, the Burbank Art Association, Warner Bros. Discovery, the Fine Arts Federation and Susan Aprahamian in honor of Burbank Firefighter Art Popkin.
“Burbank has a long history of supporting arts and culture in the community,” said Arts Commissioner Suzanne Weerts, who also chairs the beautification committee. “This makes art accessible to everyone across our community while encouraging and inspiring artists to get their work out into the world for all to see.”
The artists in Phase 6 include first-time box painters, a recent John Burroughs graduate, as well as several artists who have painted several boxes or murals across the city. The 2022 box artists are Diane Smyres, Marina Rehrmann, Sarah Stone, Taleen Janian, Rix Cerezo, Riley Dismore, Cosette Grider, Laurah Grijalva, Jennifer Swain, Sydney Mills, Faye Thomas and Sophia Jaramillo.
The event concluded with the Call for Artists for Phase 7 which will bring nine more beautiful boxes along Hollywood Way under the apropos theme for a street leading to the Hollywood Burbank Airport, “Soaring.” Submissions are due in June with painting slated to commence in September. Thanks to the support of the Art in Public Places Committee, selected artists will be granted $1,250 for their work.
The boxes in Phase 7 are also available for sponsorship. For just $500, local businesses and organizations can sponsor a box. The program also welcomes individuals or families to sponsor in honor of or in the memory of someone special.
For more information on past phases of the Beautification Program or on becoming an artist or sponsor for Phase 7, got to: burbankarts.com/projects/.
First published in the April 29 print issue of the Burbank Leader.