Beyond the Box – Utility Box Artist Application

Glendale Arts and Culture Commission

Glendale, CA


This Call For Submissions is for a Beyond The Box utility box mural event that will take place on October 18-20, 2019, with selected utility boxes located throughout the City of Glendale.

Artists may begin painting utility boxes on Friday, October 18, 2019. Painting and application of the final protective coating must be completed by Sunday, October 20, 2019. In the event of rain the dates will be rescheduled.


Application Guidelines & Deadline 


To apply, please download the Utility Box Template and complete the online application found at the bottom of this webpage by 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The online application can also be printed and returned by mail; it must be postmarked by 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Mail to:

Ivonne Martinez 
Beyond The Box Submissions 
Library, Arts & Culture Department 
222 East Harvard Street 
Glendale CA 91205 

Please be aware:

  • Submission of an application does not guarantee selection or a right to paint.
  • Once submitted, the application and any attachments become the property of the City of Glendale.
  • The City of Glendale is not responsible for:
    • Lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, damaged, or misdirected applications, videos, visual or sound files;
    • Applications, videos, visual or sound files not received for any reason; or
    • Server unavailability; or computer or other electronic malfunction. 

For more information contact Ivonne Martinez via email or phone at 818-548-2030.


Artist Stipend
The Arts and Culture Commission will fund $750.00 per utility box, inclusive of all artist’s fees, paints and materials. The Commission anticipates selecting artwork for up to 14 utility boxes. Please note that two artists will be selected to paint two boxes located next to each other. Please be prepared to submit a second, complimentary design if requested.

This project is open to all local and regional artists. The Commission encourages applications from both new and established artists. Glendale applicants may be given preference if all else is equal. Artists may apply as an individual artist or as a group. For group submissions, a signed Release of Liability and Indemnity Agreement for each participating artist must be included in addition to the application form and design template. Group submissions may be for a single utility box or multiple utility boxes. No more than three submissions per individual or group. 

Selection Process & Criteria 
Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of Arts & Culture Commissioners, community members and City of Glendale representatives. Once the artwork is selected, the committee will send a notification by email and formal letter and the artist(s) will be assigned the City utility box(es). 

Criteria used to select artists will be: 

• Evaluation of artistic excellence including quality of the art and artist originality;
• Creative and innovative concepts; and
• Appropriate regard for the nature of the space and the audience.

Selected artists will be notified one week after submission deadline.

Mural Specifications 


The Utility Box Mural Program is designed to encourage community pride and beautify neighborhoods. Murals will be installed in a public place and must be suitable for viewing by all ages. The following guidelines should be followed: 

• The artwork that is included on the application must resemble the art that will be painted on the box.
• Because the size of the box may vary slightly, be prepared to adjust your artwork to the size of the box.
• The City of Glendale, or its contractors, must have access to the components in the box at all times.
• Some boxes may have locks and control panels that will have to be remain free of any art image.
• Artists may want to block off the box to keep the public from brushing against wet paint, but care should be given to leave at least five (5) feet of the sidewalk open for pedestrians and compliance with ADA requirements.
• When washing or painting the box, it should be done in a manner that no moisture gets inside the box through any vents. There are sensitive electronic components in the box.
• The vents should not be covered so as not to restrict airflow from the cabinet. Ventilation keeps the box from overheating.
• Door hinges should be painted so as to not lock the door in place.
• The levers/handles/keyholes on the boxes should not have any coating over them.
• Artwork using a majority of dark colors cannot be considered due to the potential for overheating of the utility boxes.

Ineligible Entries 
A Proposal will be ineligible, for any one or more of the following reasons, if the mural:

• Contains:
   o A copyrighted or trademarked image or logo;
   o A brand or business name;

• Is plagiarized, stolen, or copied from another source;
• Defames or invades the rights of any person, living or dead;
• Is likely to:
   o Incite or produce an imminent lawless act;
   o Disrupt the orderly operation of the facility exhibiting the art;
• Is integral to criminal conduct or violates the law; or
• May reasonably be construed as:
   o False or fraudulent;
   o Obscene matter, as defined in California Penal Code Section 311 or any successor legislation;
   o Harmful matter for minors as defined in California Penal Code Section 313 or any successor legislation; or
   o Child pornography, as defined in 18 U.S.C. Section 2256, or California Penal Code Section 311.1(a) or 311.2(b), or any successor legislation.

Important: Artwork not adhering to these guidelines will not be considered. 

Painting & Materials 
Artists are responsible for prepping and painting the utility boxes, but the City will contract to have the boxes cleaned and one coat of metal primer applied before Friday, October 18, 2019. Several sequential steps will be needed to complete the project. Including 1. paint with acrylics, 2. finishing with anti- graffiti clear coat. Artists are responsible for cleanup of their area and safe disposal of all paint materials.

Artists may only use acrylic paint: Golden or Liquitex high viscosity paint, lightfastness 1, with low sheen, eggshell or satin finish. Artists are responsible for applying a coat on top of the mural of Liquitex Soluvar. This is not permanent varnish, but is weather and UV resistant and will enable better graffiti clean off if needed. 

Below is a comprehensive checklist of highly recommended supplies for the best painting outcome and your personal comfort. This may not be a complete list as all artists work differently: 

• Approved Utility Box Art signage to identify the artist while working
• Paint Stool or chair for comfort
• Bucket to hold water for paint brushes
• Paint brushes
• Painters tape, masking tape
• Drop cloth or plastic sheeting, newspaper for protecting surrounded area
• Biodegradable cleanser
• Rags and/or paper towels
• Shade/umbrella

Prepping Utility Box:
The boxes will be cleaned and one coat of metal primer will be applied onto the boxes before Friday, October 18, 2019. Artists will need to apply a colored base coat. 

Please be ADVISED:

  • Do not paint over/obliterate any identification numbers/codes on the box, if any. Paint around them.
  • Do not paint over keyholes or paint keyhole covers so that they cannot be opened.
  • Do not obstruct vents.
  • Do not use airbrush or spray equipment for the mural.
  • Do not paint over the electrical box on the side of the box.

Insurance & Indemnification
Selected artists are required to comply with the City’s insurance and liability requirements. Also, selected artists must sign a Release of Liability and Indemnity Agreement. 

Artists may begin painting utility boxes on Friday, October 18, 2019. Painting and application of the final protective coating must be completed by Sunday, October 20, 2019.

When the City uses the artist’s images or the artwork for promoting arts programming, the City will endeavor to identify the artist and give credit to the artist, whenever possible, but the City will not be liable to the artist for an error in or omission of the artist’s identification or the artist’s credit for the artwork. 

Repair and Removal
Artist will be contacted if graffiti is discovered to discuss options for graffiti removal. The City cannot be held responsible for damage caused by graffiti removal.

The City may remove a mural from a utility box, at any time, for any one or more of the following reasons: 

  • The City determines that the mural falls under any one or more of the reasons listed under “Ineligible Entries”;
  • The mural or any part of it:
    • Endangers public safety or poses a public safety hazard;
    • Possesses a demonstrated fault in workmanship;
    • Requires excessive or unreasonable maintenance;
    • Is damaged irreparably (including vandalism or graffiti), or to an extent that restoration is unreasonable or impractical;
  • The utility box owner requests removal; or
  • The utility box is damaged or needs maintenance, repair, modification, or replacement.


The City of Glendale Arts and Culture Commission has designed a program to support public art programs and to enhance the community and neighborhoods through the use of murals. The project, Beyond the Box, would enhance the aesthetics of the city, promote civic pride, increase pedestrian traffic and extend public art to new areas and unexpected places while creating an attractive environment and allowing art to be introduced to the public in a creative and inventive way. The program goal is to bring beauty to unexpected places such as public infrastructure and utility boxes.

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