Art Boxes Pop Up Around Eugene

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EUGENE, Ore. — Art is popping up around Eugene, in what some may call unusual places. It’s part of a project by the City of Eugene’s Public Art Committee, called “Art the Box.”

The new art installations are getting people talking, with bright colors appearing all around town. Several steel traffic control boxes are now works of art.

In June, the City of Eugene sent out a call to artists. Four of the artists were selected for the Art the Box project.

“I got approved for five [boxes] right around this downtown area, Willamette and Oak, and 6th to Broadway,” said Bryan Putnam, a University of Oregon Masters of Fine Art candidate. “So my art really revolves around this Northwest epic utilizing characters.”

As┬áPutnam works on busy street corners, many wonder what he’s doing. “People have been asking me if this is legal or illegal and it’s given me a chance to explain more about the project,” said Putnam.

The project is sponsored by the City of Eugene’s Public Art Committee. The goal is to create compelling two-dimensional work on 10 different traffic boxes. Each artist is assigned to an area reflecting the personality of the corner. Some of the artwork is bold, while some is more abstract.

“People have been just unbelievably positive,” said Putnam. “People have just been saying that they love it and that they are excited to see downtown brightened up like this.”

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  1. Jessica Watson, First Friday ArtWalk Coordinator says:

    The City of Eugene and Lane Arts Council present a guided tour of the new Art the Box installations during the First Friday ArtWalk on August 2, 2013. This tour, hosted by Isaac Marquez, Public Art Manager for the City of Eugene, will explore new traffic control boxes recently installed throughout downtown as a part of a public art competition. The 1.5-hour walking tour begins at 6pm at the corner of 13th and Willamette, in front of the Fire Station, and ends on 7th and Willamette, with a few stops to hop on or off the guided tour along the way. The artists, Wendy Huhn, Alexander Southworth, Bryan Putnam, and Bayne Gardner, will all be present to speak about their traffic boxes. Visit http://www.lanearts.org for more information.

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