Local High School Artists Wanted for Utility Box Art Program

Do you know a local high schooler with an artistic side? The City of Federal Way wants them to leave their mark on part of the city for generations to come.

Since 2014, the Federal Way Arts Commission’s “Traffic Graffic” program has given residents a chance to express their artistic skills by decorating otherwise mundane items of city property, like electrical boxes.

The city has already beautified more than 35 of these boxes at city intersections and is now looking for students or teachers from Decatur and Todd Beamer High Schools to design vinyl wraps for the boxes near their campuses.

The program is open to anyone with a family, bold and bright idea for a design. The winners, selected by the Arts Commission, will receive an $800 stipend for their efforts. The program is aimed at students, but the commission is open to submissions from teachers and other professors, said Arts Commission Vice President Karen Brugato.

In 2019, Samantha Mendoza-Rojas, then a student at Decatur High School, designed the “Starry Night” packaging on the utility box at the corner of 320th Street and 11th Place South.

“It’s really rewarding for students to go back and see their work displayed,” Brugato said. “Every time the (de Mendoza-Rojas) family passes by, they know it was designed by their daughter.”

The theme this time around is spirit – as students continue to return to classrooms after the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission is looking for submissions that show what artists think of their high school or teams schoolwork, or who simply show a “welcome back” attitude.

The program will begin with Decatur and Todd Beamer. Students and staff have until January 5 next year to apply and can find more information at www.cityofferalway.com/content/Arts-Commission. The commission will evaluate the submissions and contact top artists to guide them through the next steps to get their art on the boxes.

Final artwork will be rendered as digital images and printed as vinyl wraps on the utility boxes. The Arts Commission plans to move to the city’s other high schools next year, Brugato said.

How to register

Submit up to three concept renders, such as a sketch or illustration, to [email protected] (.png, .jpg and .pdf formats preferred.) Also include a completed application, available on the Arts Commission website under the heading “Special Decatur and Todd Beamer Traffic Graffic Art Contest”.

Kayleen C. Rice