Artists sought to decorate utility boxes in St. George to commemorate Utah’s 125 years of statehood

A buffalo head graces a utility box in St. George's Arts and Events District, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Throughout 2021, Utah is celebrating everyone and everything that helped shape the state over the past 125 years.

A utility box as a blank canvas, Arts and Events District, St. George, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

Utah is also celebrating the indigenous peoples who lived in the region for thousands of years before statehood. Selected artists throughout the region will design prints for utility boxes located throughout the Arts and Events District of downtown St. George. These prints will depict scenes from the city’s history, according to a press release issued by the city.

Those interested in creating artwork are encouraged to apply here.

“St. George has a unique story to tell in its multiple dinosaur fossil sites to the traditions of the Anasazi and Paiute peoples, and the many pioneer-era buildings, wagons and photographs,” Michelle Graves, Leisure Services deputy director of arts and events, said in the news release.

“In addition to the descendants of native people and Latter-Day Saints pioneers, St. George is home to a growing and diverse population, which includes Hispanic, Polynesian, African-American and Asian people,” Graves said. “We want the art to reflect every aspect of our history.”

Since becoming a state in 1896, Utah has evolved into a crossroads for America and has become a vital economic hub of the Rocky Mountains. This project ties together Utah’s history and the forces that shaped the landscape and vibrant culture of St. George.

The request for proposal period ends Aug. 2. More information on the proposal can be found online.

The designs will be printed professionally and installed on the utility boxes in November. Each artist will be asked to create a digital version of their piece with their own descriptions and inspirations. The work will be documented and commemorated in print and in a public celebration toward the end of this year at the St. George Art Museum.

Emily Reed, community art manager for the city of St. George, said in the release that art is not just about creating something pretty to look it.

“It can be about starting conversations and creating dialogue about our history and our future,” Reed said. “Taking something mundane like utility boxes and turning them into eye-catching art brings awareness and appreciation for various aspects of life.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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