Northampton Arts Council seeks submissions for public art

  • The Northampton Arts Council is seeking artists to paint utility boxes in town. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NORTHAMPTON ARTS COUNCIL

  • Artist Peter Zierlein paints a utility box in downtown Northampton in 2015. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/27/2021 3:00:14 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The city’s Arts Council is seeking submissions for a new public arts project: painting murals on utility boxes in places around town.

The deadline for submitting a design for what’s called the Traffic Light Utility Box Mural Program is Monday, May 3; the utility boxes themselves are scheduled to be painted between May 13-16.

Seven boxes are slated to be painted, and each artist will receive a $350 stipend for the work.

This project is open to all artists, and the Arts Council is accepting applications from new and established artists alike. Artists may apply as an individual or as part of a group, and group submissions may be for a single utility box.

Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee from the Arts Council, and selected artists will be notified by email by May 8.

Among the requirements for the project: The artwork included on the application must resemble the art that will be painted on the utility box, and it must be suitable for viewing by all ages.

The Arts Council will contract to have all utility boxes cleaned and one coat of metal primer applied before May 13, 2021. Artists are responsible for their own materials and for painting the utility boxes.

Artists can apply to be part of the program and find out more about the requirements and guidelines by visiting, clicking on the link for “events,” and scrolling down.

The Arts Council first selected artists to paint some downtown utility boxes in 2017, inspired by Valley artist Peter Zierlein, who had previously painted two utility boxes in Northampton as part of a separate arrangement he made with city officials.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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