In 2013 I gave myself a photo assignment: Take 13 snapshots of 13 different subjects. Early on, someone suggested I do a series of traffic signal boxes – you know, the ones with the murals painted on them? At first I thought the idea was a little too obvious. I also thought many of the murals to be a little cliché. But soon I began to notice these things everywhere I looked. And then I felt like I couldn’t not do it.
While they may not be master works of art, these murals are definitely a unique part of our landscape. Some of them are kind of folksy; some are tongue-in-cheek; and many tell a story about the neighborhood. So, with the help of my friend Nicholas Swann , here are 13 of our favorite murals on traffic signal boxes…
Oh, and you’ll notice an extra one at the end. I’ve decided to paint one in my own neighborhood. You can tell me what you think…
Basketball Kid. West Main & Genesee St.
Frederick Douglass and his printing press. West Main at Chili Ave. and West Ave.
Praying for peace. Hudson and Clifford Ave.
Believe. North Clinton and Clifford Ave.
Puerto Rico (featuring Cocquí ). North Clinton and Upper Falls Blvd.
Teamwork. Avenue A and Saint Paul Street at School #8.
American Gothic (with pooper scooper). Hudson Ave. at Irondequoit Animal Hospital.
Unite. Mount Hope and Averill Ave.
Break Glass In Case of Zombies. Emergency zombie station at Mount Hope and Cypress St.
Cornhill Pictographs. Ford and Exchange Streets.
Young Hippie. Location unknown.
Grow Where You’re Planted. By Krysia Mnick. 2007. Location unknown. Krysia’s working on a new one now in the Park Ave neighborhood.
Now, here’s my concept for a new one near an elementary school in my own neighborhood…
If you would like to paint one of these boxes, contact Thomas Cesario in the permits department at (585) 753-7711. You’ll need to submit sketches of your concept (all sides including the top). If your concept is approved, you’ll need to pay for the “special” paint and your own supplies. I’m told this can cost as much as $300. But contact your neighborhood association first – they may be able to help out. Go create something!
About Nicholas Swann:
Tags: 13, 13 traffic signal boxes, 13x13x13, art, mural, Nicholas Swann, public art, Rochester, Rochester NY, street art, traffic signal box mural
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 1:05 am and is filed under Art + Culture, Rochester Images. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Why is the basketball kid at the Egyptian Pyramids? Seems like a hot place to play basketball