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Utility Boxes Bring Art to the Streets

Issaquah Highlands art utility boxes

If you don’t pay close attention as you drive past, you might just miss out on some unique works of art in our community. Currently, there are four city-owned utility boxes in Issaquah Highlands wrapped in artworks by professional artists and community members. The Issaquah Arts Commission routinely invites artists to submit works to consider for the city’s utility box art program.

“Based on budget and utility cabinet availability, a number of locations are selected each year, and the Arts Commission matches selected artworks to locations, primarily based on aesthetics and facilities [and] activity near location,” Amy Dukes, city arts program administrator, said.

The material used to wrap the boxes is graffiti- and weather-resistant and does not affect the utility box’s function.

Fred Lasaius

Artist Fred Lisaius

Fred Lisaius is a professional artist who lives in Bellevue and has a studio in Seattle. His piece, “High Summer,” is on the utility box located at Northeast Park Drive and 10th Avenue Northeast.

“This painting was inspired by my love of nature and gardening,” Fred said. “Some of my favorite plants in my garden are the “silver” or grey plants. There is something elegant about them and they complement the more colorful plants beautifully.”

Fred originally painted “High Summer” with acrylics before the city converted the piece into a wrap for the utility box.

“The company that did the wrap did an exceptional job of getting my art on all of the vents, corners, and difficult surfaces,” Fred said.

High Summer utility box

“High Summer,” at the intersection of Northeast Park Drive and 10th Avenue Northeast.

In addition to “High Summer,” find artworks wrapped around utility boxes at the following locations:

  • “Night Trees” by Mardie Rhodes. Installed in 2018, located at the intersection of Northeast Park Drive and 15th Avenue Northeast (See Map).
  • “Paragliders” by Stacey Boyd. Installed in 2016, located at the intersection of 9th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Discovery Drive (See Map).
  • “Grizzly” by Nivedita Saju Menon. Installed in 2019, located at the intersection of Highlands Drive Northeast and Northeast Federal Drive (See Map).

Learn more about Issaquah Highlands’ unique public art collection in Spring 2022 Connections and our new online guide.

Don’t miss the “Art in the Wild Adventure” community scavenger hunt. Participate this summer for a chance to win monthly prizes.

Vicki Grunewald is the Highlands Council media editor and a Harrison Street resident.