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By Mike Hazlip–
In recent months, nearly two dozen green utility boxes in a heavily trafficked commercial district in Citrus Heights have been transformed to display works of art.
Kathilynn Carpenter, executive director of SunriseMarketPlace, saidherbusiness improvement district has been working with SMUD on the “Masterpieces in the MarketPlace” project that features local artists, as well as famous iconic works.
The newly completed utility boxes can be seen throughout the Sunrise MarketPlace, a district made up of more than 400 businesses in the commercial corridor near Sunrise Mall.
“The project transforms functional, practical utility boxes into works of art and converts parking lots into free, public art galleries,” said Carpenter, noting that Citrus Heights is the first area to have a large number of boxes decorated with a consistent theme.
As of April, a total of 21 utility box wraps have been completed as part of the first phase of the project.Goalsof the project include improving the aesthetic environment, increasing access to famous artwork, and providing opportunities for local artists.
Among the iconic worksis Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” at Birdcage and Renoir’s “Chrysanthemums” at Citrus Town Center.Sunrise Mall features “SummerNights” by local artist Nicole Alvarez, and “A Tribe Called Fleye” by Aik Brown, another local artist.
Public meeting minutes from the MarketPlace board of directorslist an original plan to announce the project this spring through a mixerwith the Crocker Art Museum. Carpenter said the Marketplace is now working to create a virtual tour online because of current COVID-19 restrictions.She hopes the project will help art educationand serve as a way for teachers to utilize the tour and website “as a tool to teach kids about art in a fun way.”
The initiative is part of aSMUD project rolling out across Sacramento. Carpenter said SMUD approached the MarketPlace to participate in the program, butthe Marketplace paid all costs associated with the program and worked with SMUD to select the artwork.
Carpenter said the total cost to date is $45,000, which includes finding and paying for the art work, preparing it for printing, and installation. According to SMUD, the community-ownedutility does not profit from the fees, which are between the wrap vendor and the applicant.
Plans for phase two are now underway and Carpenter said local artists looking to be featured are encouraged to submit their work by email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at www. sunrisemarketplace.com/masterpieces.
Editor’s Note: This story was written by Mike Hazlip, who has joined the Citrus Heights Sentinel as a general assignment news reporter.
Mike is a CSU Sacramento graduate, where he worked on the staff of The Hornet newspaper and received bachelor’s degrees in both photography and graphics design. He and his family are proud to be residents of Citrus Heights.
We welcome Mike to the staff of the Citrus Heights Sentinel and sincerely thank our subscribers for making this possible.
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