free speechAs we mentioned before, last weekend, we ventured off into Southern California to escape the pressures of midterms and looming, sugary protests. It just so happens that Berkeley, while physically 400 miles away, remained with us in spirit and … utility boxes.

While heading to Old Town Pasadena for an evening of unspeakable debauchery, we just so happened to observe a bright blue box with a large photo of something that looked oddly familiar. Forgetting that this wasn’t Berkeley and we can’t do whatever the hell we want, we made a highly illegal U-turn and pulled up in front of the box. Lo and behold, Sather Gate stood right before our eyes.

The iconic photo of Mario Savio, leading a large group of protesters during the 1960’s Free Speech Movement (shit, these days, we can’t get that many protesters out for free sweets, much less for free speech), was plastered read more »

boxDowntown Berkeley has 60 utility boxes, with none of them a color other than gray. If the gloom offends your sunny outlook on life, then don’t worry, you can complain without actually having to do anything about it.

A new civic art project will convert these drab, monochromatic boxes into inspired pieces of art. The “60 Boxes Project,” clearly named in a spurt of pure creativity, matches sponsors with artists in order to decorate these boxes.

Artists must submit samples from their portfolios and, as too many of life’s activities seem to require, fill out a form. Patrons will then be able to choose which artist they would like to design their box. Artists will make either a large polymer sticker or will paint the box directly.

Mayor Bates and his wife, State Senator Loni Hancock, have already picked Mariana Garibay to design their box. The artwork will be a variation on the typical map, something which, according to Garibay, “describes Berkeley as a network of walkways, bikeways and parks.”

So don’t worry, these offensive gray eyesores will probably be covered with all sorts of wonderfully bright colors and elaborate patterns.

Image Source: oskay under Creative Commons
City project will transform utility boxes with vibrant art [Berkeleyside]