Time to Think Outside the Box

OUtside the Box Banner


In May of 2013, the City of Athens launched a community design project affectionately referred to as The Essence of Athens.  Created to accompany the City’s Comprehensive Plan approved in 2004, The Essence of Athens seeks to ensure that the built environment of our city reflects the key elements of what makes Athens, well, Athens.  For many of us, trying to define Athens is a real brain-teaser and maybe it shouldn’t really be specifically defined, but we know it when we see it!  Regardless, bringing the beauty of Athens from the inside to the outside is a perfect way for visitors and new residents to immediately know what Athens is all about.

traffic box artThis summer, the Athens Municipal Arts Commission (AMAC) launched one of the first public art projects of The Essence of Athens plan.  Athens Art Outside the Box seeks area artists to design a work of art that will cover traffic control boxes located throughout Athens.  Artists’ creations will be applied onto vinyl wraps to cover up to 10 boxes, remaining about 3-5 years depending on the condition.  Artists selected for the project will receive a $500 Honorarium for each design used in the project.

The idea was introduced in The Essence of Athens plan, and brought to AMAC by John Lefelhocz, AMAC member, local artist and owner of CyclePath Bicycle Shop. Members of AMAC believed this was a fantastic way to bring the work of our amazing artists to an otherwise ordinary location.  Perhaps you don’t really notice the traffic boxes now, but no doubt after the project is installed the boxes will become prime locations for selfies and #FoundinAthens Instagrams.

See above for some examples from other cities.  Want to enter and need more inspiration?  Click HERE to see more photos and descriptions of lots of other traffic and utility box art.  Will your artwork be appearing on an Athens traffic box?  Only if you enter…..

Deadline for entries is September 4, 2015.  For entry forms and more information, click HERE. You must be a resident of Athens County and at least 18 years of age to participate.

To learn more about the award-winning The Essence of Athens plan, click HERE.


To see The Essence of Athens plan unfold, visit Athens often!  Find out what’s happening at www.athensohio.com.  To see what we look like, check out our latest Instagram collection:  #FoundinAthens.