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Mayor’s Council for the Arts spearheading “adopt a box” public art project

Posted 02/05/2020

The Huntington Mayor’s Council for the Arts is seeking businesses, property owners and individuals to “adopt a box” in an effort to bring a new artistic element to downtown Huntington.

The new public art project involves placing a vinyl wrap designed by an artist around electrical utility boxes in the downtown to bring to life an otherwise ordinary object.

One electric box, located at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 9th Street, has already been wrapped as part of a pilot project for the new public art installation. Paris Signs designed and installed the wrap on the box. Phil Nelson and Jim Weiler of Capital Venture Corp., which developed The Market, have committed to wrapping a second electrical box on 8th Street between 3rd and 4th avenues.

The Mayor’s Council for the Arts is now seeking donations for the three remaining electrical boxes in the downtown. The Huntington Art Fund has been established by the Foundation for the Tri-State Community to accept donations. The cost to wrap one electrical box, which includes payment to an artist as well as the development and installation of the vinyl wrap, is $2,500.

If there are enough donors interested in “adopting a box” for $2,500, the Mayor’s Council for the Arts will invite artists to submit designs that will be juried and then serve as a set group of designs from which donors can choose.

“Huntington has always been an arts town with wonderful assets such as the Museum of Art, the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, the Marshall Artists Series and a myriad of performing artists and literary groups,” said Margaret Mary Layne, chairwoman of the Mayor’s Council for the Arts. “In recent years, the demand for public art has grown tremendously, and the Mayor’s Council for the Arts is responding to that desire. For this particular idea, we are taking something utilitarian and transforming it into a thing of beauty.”

“Our downtown has become a vibrant scene and much of that is due to the additions to our visual landscape – the tugboat installation with the Tri-State Artisans Express; the banners designed by students at Marshall University’s Visual Arts Center and paid for by Huntington in Bloom; and the mural on the Mountain Health Arena designed by world-renowned artist Don Pendleton,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “I am excited about this particular project and the opportunity for us to engage and support visual artists. This is the very type of thing I envisioned when I formed the Council for the Arts.”

For more information about the project, contact Margaret Mary Layne, chairwoman of the Mayor’s Council for the Arts, at margaretmarylayne@gmail.com or 304-633-5990. Donations to the Huntington Art Fund of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community can be made by visiting www.tristatefoundation.org or calling the Foundation at 606-324-3888.

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