Photo by May Shi @mmayshi
Hands holding chopsticks amoung metal cranes and abstract building lines.
Artist(s): Sylvia Arthur & Claire Coutts


Completed: 2016

In preparation for this project Sylvia Arthur walked the avenues where the utility boxes are located. She has always been awe stuck by the crisscrossing cranes that are constantly building the towers of Calgary. They were the inspiration for the utility box on 6 Ave. and 6 St and were created by a collage of screenprinted crane elements. The screenprinting was done with technical assistance of fellow mentee Graeme Dearden.

The concept for Claire Coutts’ portion of the utility box project was in collaboration with Sylvia Arthur. While researching, discussing with people in the area and loitering by our location, Sylvia and Claire noticed similar things. The area has a lot of pedestrian foot traffic, but few people who aren’t in transit to somewhere else. Claire began to think about the contrast of public and private for residents in a downtown setting. She created these linocuts of hands involved in domestic activity in contrast to Sylvia Arthurs imagery of industrial cranes skyline buildings, bridging the gap between the visible and invisible in an urban setting.

For this Public Art project from the City of Calgary, lead-artist and printmaker Eveline Kolijn collaborated with Alberta Printmakers and mentored 12 print-artists during the summer of 2016 to create hand-printed, fine art screen and relief prints, which were hand pasted with an innovative method on 12 traffic control utility boxes along 5 and 6 Avenue SW in downtown Calgary.

The Utility Box Program started in 2010 as a pilot project initiated by The City of Calgary Roads. Initially conceived as a highly successful graffiti abatement measure, widespread popularity enabled the program to grow and become permanent in 2011. The City is now expanding the opportunity to include community partners and engage more artists and citizens. Since 2010, over 100 utility box public artworks have been created by local artists throughout Calgary. In 2015 the program took a corridor approach to create a stronger presence in the communities.

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Where to Find This Mural

Location: 5th Avenue Southwest & 6th Avenue Southwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Get Directions