Local artists transform downtown utility boxes into powerful art

ARLINGTON – Arlington’s penchant for art is viewable along many streets, trails and in public places, but two local artists have found an unusual new canvass to exhibit their creativity.

Janet Myer and Don Morley recently pulled out their palettes and brushes to paint a mural on a set of non-descript, dull gray utility boxes at Legion Park.

With the stage improvement to Legion, the nearby electrical panel stuck out like a sore thumb, said Sarah Lopez, the city’s community revitalization project manager.

“This was a perfect opportunity to use art as a way to transform an eyesore into something interesting,” Lopez said. She contacted Myer.

Myer, an Arlington Arts Council member, said when she saw the rectangular shapes on the utility box against a plain wood fence, it was obvious what she wanted to paint there.

“It just said ‘whimsical buildings at night’ to me,” Myer said.

The clever display features a tall main building with the power meter at the top redesigned as a town square clock, flanked by two additional windowed buildings, with a black cat drawn on one sill.

“Janet instantly could visualize the geometic shapes, transforming them into a tiny city,” Lopez said.

The shapes and dimensions were a challenge to work with, Myer said. As a result, “I didn’t get everything on there I wanted to, but I think this works.”

The town square clock, cafe, jail and fire hydrant were Morley’s ideas, Myer said.

You can view their work this weekend at the 10th Annual Art in Legion Park Sept. 8-9, hosted by the Arts Council.

The two-day Art and Fine Crafts Festival features original work by artists and artisans from Snohomish and surrounding counties.

The festival also boasts live music, food and free children’s art activities, as well as free parking. For details, go to http://www.arlingtonartscouncil.net.

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Sue Weiss, 60
                                Work: Retired accountant, City Council
                                Education: Associates degree in Respiratory Therapy, Certificate of Municipal Leadership through Association of Wash. Cities.
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