City seeks design ideas from artists

The city of Ashland is seeking more design ideas from artists who would like to beautify a drab utility box at the corner of Helman and Hersey streets.

Only one design was submitted for that utility box after the city issued a call for design ideas for three utility boxes around town.

Design ideas for the box are due by July 30. Any artist in Jackson County can submit an idea, and the artist who is selected to paint the box will receive $250.

Artists who are selected to paint the three utility boxes will be notified Aug. 12. The boxes will be painted in August or September. For entry information, visit and click on "Public Art Opportunity."

Ashland-based business DreamSacks is paying the costs to have two out of the three utility boxes painted. The city of Ashland will pay for the third box using money set aside for downtown improvements.

The cost to decorate each box is $500, including the $250 payment for each box to artists.

The city's utility box beautification program got its start last summer when artists painted seven of the boxes in Ashland. That time, artists received $100 per box.

The first phase of the project was paid for through a $1,500 grant from the Jackson County Cultural Coalition and donations of paint and services from Miller Paint Co., The Party Place and Meyers Painting.

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