People walking, rolling, riding, and driving around town will likely have noticed the efforts of a local artist, Sarah Scoville, working to add creativity and joy throughout Bedford. Scoville is the initiative behind the Bedford Utility Box Project.
This week, Scoville was awarded a third grant from the Bedford Cultural Council to paint two additional utility boxes around town. With project approval from the Select Board in the fall, and the DPW, which Scoville describes as “great and very cooperative,” she has identified the two sites for the 2023 projects. She is moving to the next step in the process.
The Bedford Utility Box Project is issuing a Call for Artists. Individuals or groups interested in designing and painting a box can fill out an application before March 1 with images of the design proposal.
The application must be completed by an individual 18 years or older. Minors interested in participating will need to do so with an adult.
Artwork must be original and cannot contain copyrighted or trademarked images or logos or contain brand or business names.
The timeline is set for the boxes, located close to town center, to be painted this spring in the window of April to June. The artists will be responsible for cleaning, sanding, priming, and painting.
The Bedford Cultural Council grant will distribute $500 to the artists for each box when the project is complete to cover the cost of supplies and labor.
The Bedford Utility Box project first gathered town and Bedford Cultural Council support with the box painted by Scoville near the entrance to Bedford Marketplace on Great Road during the spring of 2021.
Round two of approvals and grants led to a Call for Artists last year. A jury comprised of Scoville, Bopha Malone, Marc Holland, and Sean Hagan chose designs from residents Tara O’Loughlin and Rebecca Sangliana. O’Loughlin and Sangliana painted their designs last spring at the corners of Brooksbie and Great Rd and on Middlesex Turnpike. Scoville’s project adds to the box painted in town painted by Bedford High School art teacher Sean Hagan and his students at the corner of South Rd and Railroad Ave. With the completion of this round of the effort, there will be 6 decorated boxes around the town.
Scoville says the goal of the Bedford Utility Project is “to brighten up Bedford with colorful art in unexpected places.” In addition to utility boxes, Scoville has recently been a part of several mural projects around town, including a rec department program decorating the walls of Kids Club (featured in The Bedford Citizen in August 2022). She added, “I have lots of fun painting the murals and more fun helping others find opportunities to express themselves.”
Citizens who would like to participate and add to the initiative, are invited to answer the Call for Artists by filling out the Spring 2023 application Bedford Utility Box Project Application 2023 (google.com).