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Project thinks ‘outside the box’
Public installations turn signal boxes into works of art
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“The Streets of Ours” by local artist Michael Imperiale was selected by the Clearwater Arts Alliance as one of the latest to be featured in the “Outside the Box” art project.
CLEARWATER – When it comes to the arts, one local organization is asking residents and artists to think “Outside the Box,” as it makes efforts to turn the ordinary into the beautiful.

The Clearwater Arts Alliance announced this week the newest artists to be featured in its public art installation project that transforms intersection signal boxes into works of art.

The works of Dunedin artists Michael Imperiale and Candy Schultheis have been selected as a part of the Alliance’s “Outside the Box” project that features artwork on signal boxes in the greater Clearwater area.

The project, which began almost two years ago, is a reflection of the organization’s efforts to beautify the city as well as bring recognition to local artists, said Alliance president Beth Daniels.

“Everyone on our board thought it would be a great project to undertake,” Daniels said. “In the beginning, we considered whether this project would take something drab and ugly and make it vibrant and pretty? And secondly, could it assist local artists with recognition?”

The answers to those questions, Daniels said, is yes.

The Alliance board approved funding the project about 18 months ago after months of studying how best it should be approached and by what means the art should be conveyed onto its canvas.

Ultimately, the group decided to go with a high-resolution vinyl wrap material that coats the signal box in dimensions specific to that particular box.

Daniels said this method allows the artwork to stay as close to the artist’s vision as possible and lasts six to seven years.

The city of Clearwater and the Downtown Development Board have taken notice of the project and have joined forces with the Alliance to decorate more boxes along gateway areas to the city, Daniels said.

But more community support is needed. Because there is no set cost for each box – because each box has specific dimensions – Daniels said the Alliance is now seeking business and individual sponsorships from within the community to help defray the costs.

Daniels said she hopes the city and its residents continue to see the project’s worth and reach out to support its future growth.

“When you think about it, we could easily do 50 more,” Daniels said. “Clearwater is large – there’s plenty of potential here.”

For more information about the project, visit www.w­ww.cl­earwa­terar­tsall­iance­.com.
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