What is the Art Box Project?

a good noteTraffic control utility boxes become art objects

Five of Cranberry’s traffic control cabinets – the stainless-steel boxes next to traffic light poles at most signalized intersections – will soon become works of art.

A joint project by the Township and the Cranberry Artists Network identified a handful of utility boxes at high-traffic intersections to become canvases for original artwork.

Although utility box artwork is new to Western Pennsylvania, art projects involving traffic cabinets have been tried successfully in California, Washington state, and Wisconsin where they are sometimes used to offset graffiti problems, although that form of vandalism has not been an issue in Cranberry.

In January, Cranberry Township, together with the Artists Network, began soliciting ideas from artists for images which could be turned into vinyl sheets and then wrapped around utility boxes.  Altogether, 91 entries were received.  A committee was formed to screen the applicants’ ideas.  Last month, five of the artists’ works were selected.  The names of the artists as well as titles of their work will appear on the boxes. Please find attached photographs of the winning pieces. 

KEYTEX Energy – a Greensburg-based consulting firm that specializes in energy management for commercial and industrial end use electricity customers across the country – is a sponsor of the box art program.  Additional sponsors will be added to the project with its expected growth. 

The winning artists and the titles of their works are:

  • Monica Hietsch – Dogs, Dogs, Dogs 
  • Karen Lovette – The Incline  
  • Tom Panei – On a Good Note 
  • Debra Tobin – Sunset on the Farm 
  • Samantha Podnar – Sunset in Suburbia

Karen Lovette, The Incline

pittsburgh incline

Samantha Podnar, Sunset in Suburbia

Sunset at the farm

Monica Hietsch, Dogs, Dogs, Dogs


Debra Tobin, Sunset on the Farm

sunset at the farm

Tom Panel, On a Good Note

a good note