Phillip Ray Orabuena is shown working on a utility box located at Fourth Street in Hollister. The San Benito County Arts Council is searching for artists to install a mural on one of five utility boxes along Highway 25. Photo courtesy of San Benito County Arts Council.
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The San Benito County Arts Council is seeking local artists or artist teams to submit their qualifications to create and install a mural on one of five utility boxes along Highway 25 in Hollister. 

This project is part of a State Highway Beautification Project, sponsored by the California Department of Transportation and the Clean California Program.

Launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom as part of the California Comeback Plan, Clean California is investing $1.1 billion for state and local governments to clean up trash and debris statewide, beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets and roads, and to provide jobs to thousands of Californians.

This Clean California Beautification Project is located along Highway 25 near the east entrance to Pinnacles National Park. This bypass route serves as the “main street” through multiple residential neighborhoods, and retail and industrial developments. This project is an opportunity to soften the stark appearance of the many sound walls along this corridor by adding landscaping to increase shade and reduce urban heat island effects, to suppress weeds and discourage graffiti, and to add seasonal color, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing, vibrant and comfortable pedestrian and bicycling environment, the Arts Council stated in a press release.

The San Benito County Arts Council and Caltrans have commissioned artist James Peterson of Art Contraptions to create and install a site-specific outdoor sculpture at the corner of Meridian Street and Highway 25. The sculptural piece will be installed in Spring 2023 and will include aesthetic elements that reflect community identity, as well as integrate with the overall goal of this Caltrans project to beautify the route and encourage pedestrian and bicycle usage for local residents and visitors.  

As part of this beautification project, the project team is currently seeking local artists/artist teams to create and install five utility box murals along this stretch of highway between Santa Ana and Sunnyslope roads.

The budget for this project is $1,500 per utility box and is funded through Clean California

Interested artist applicants are encouraged to attend a virtual workshop on Jan. 5 at 5pm hosted by the Arts Council to review the submission process and help artists prepare a successful application. Attendees may register for the free online event at bit.ly/3vcMzly.

All applications to the RFQ must be submitted online via the San Benito County Arts Council’s website at sanbenitoarts.org/call-for-artists-utility-box-mural-project. The deadline is 11:59pm on Jan. 15 and final selected artists will be notified by Jan. 20.

For information, contact Executive Director Jennifer Laine at 831.636.2787 or [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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