Redondo Beach Utility Box Art Program Delayed by Challenges – Daily Breeze

Redondo Beach’s next 22 utility boxes that will be turned into works of art have been delayed by staff turnover and other issues, officials said recently – while saying they hope for progress in the coming months .

Redondo Beach has already embellished 11 of the city’s metal electrical containers, as part of its utility box art program, and the Public Art Commission and City Council have painted double in the past year. But the projects have faced multiple challenges, including staff turnover, said community services director Cameron Harding.

The city also eliminated the position of director of cultural arts, which created a shortage of staff dedicated to cultural arts programs, which further limited Redondo’s ability to beautify utility boxes, according to a staff report from this week’s Public Art Commission. Another issue, according to this staff report, is the cumbersome process the city attorney’s office must follow to update licensing agreements for the artwork,

The Public Art Commission will receive an update on the program, which covers boxes with vinyl wraps of original artwork, on Wednesday, January 26. The 22 boxes on sale are part of the third and fourth phases of the program.

  • Eleven utility boxes have been transformed into works of art across Redondo Beach, including this one on Torrance Boulevard and Catalina Avenue. Installation of another 22 could begin later this year. (photo by Michael Hixon)

  • Eleven utility boxes have been transformed into works of art across Redondo Beach, including this one at Pacific Coast Highway and Diamond Street. Installation of another 22 could begin later this year. (photo by Michael Hixon)

  • Eleven utility boxes have been transformed into works of art across Redondo Beach, including this one on I Avenue and Catalina Avenue. Installation of another 22 could begin later this year. (photo by Michael Hixon)

License agreements for the artwork are currently being updated for each of the 22 pieces, Harding said late last week. The city council will then have to approve these agreements.

“Hopefully we can secure the contracts for these 22 artists in the next few months,” Harding said.

Two utility boxes, meanwhile, have particular problems that the city needs to solve.

The commission approved artwork on two utility boxes at the intersection of Hawthorne and Artesia Boulevards on Jan. 27, 2021. But then, according to the staff report, the city discovered the utility boxes belonged to Caltrans.

A lengthy application process would likely have to take place to get approval for the project, so the commission could confirm its previous decision at this week’s meeting or move the artwork to another location, according to the report.

The city doesn’t have a timeline for starting the projects, Harding said.

“I would hate to set a deadline at this point, just because we’re so behind,” he said, “not only with cultural arts projects, but also with parks projects and things that happen. pass in transport.”

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

Kayleen C. Rice