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Boise transforms traffic boxes with new public art

For more than a decade, Boise has commissioned artists to transform gray traffic boxes into vibrant public art. Now, six new designs will be added to the city's collection.

Boise City Department of Arts and History will add the new designs this fall from local artists. Four new art panels will also be displayed at the Linen District fence, part of the annual Traffic Box Art and Linen District Fence programs.

"It gives us an opportunity to support their experience into the public art realm, and it offers an opportunity to beautify a space with new art," said the program manager of Boise's Public Art Program, Stephanie Johnson.

From vibrant paintings of birds to abstract city and nature scenes, the Traffic Box Art program features vinyl-wrapped designs on Ada County Highway District traffic control boxes.

Johnson says wrapping the traffic control boxes helps control slag tagging with stickers and graffiti. The wraps last around five to ten years, then they are rewrapped.

88 artists applied this year for the program, but only six were chosen. There are currently 227 wrapped boxes scattered around the city.

This year, artist Rachael Mayer was chosen to create four panels for the Linen District fence. Her art features fabrics with geometric designs that she hopes evoke feelings of comfort and home.

"It feels great to know that the city values their local artists and that they'll continue to provide opportunities for us to meet and grow with others enough to showcase our work," said Mayer.

Those panels will be displayed west of the Linen Building, on Grove Streetbetween 14th and 15th this September.

The fence rotates art pieces on a yearly basis. The current artwork on the Linen Fence is by mural artist Miguel Almeida.

"It's really cool to see the different types of work that can be displayed on a two-by-four-foot wooden panel," said Johnson.

For further information on where to find the locations of the traffic boxes please visit Boise's Art and History's website.

I'm Richard and I'm a summer newsroom intern. Currently, I am doing stories on a variety of subjects to get a better understanding of different beats. However, I would love to cover stories about diverse issues.