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Five local artists chosen to paint utility boxes in Santa Maria from pool of SLO and SB county-based applicants

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The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department recently held a call for artists to paint traffic signal utility boxes in and around the city, which was open to both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county residents. Applicants were encouraged to pitch artworks based on themes that tie to Santa Maria's social, cultural, and/or historical identity.

Entries were due at the end of March and seven judges, as part of the department's Public Art Committee, narrowed down the entry pool to five winners. The following local artists were chosen for their proposed designs (listed respectively): Laura Lozan for Til We All Come Home; Frank Dominguez for SM Wine Country; Alberto Miguel Vazquez for Coztic Tototl/Yellow Bird; Elesa Carlson for Our Magnificent Landscape; and Briana Zacarias for Woman in Field.

"The variety of skilled artistic designs presented the judges with a challenge to pick only five proposals to be painted on utility boxes on the north side of the city," Dennis Smitherman, recreation services manager, said in a statement.

The five artists will paint utility boxes along Donovan Road and Alvin Road in Santa Maria, and each artist will receive a stipend of $500 and up to $250 as reimbursement for material costs. Once the painted boxes are completed, photographs of the boxes will be added to the city's public art tour website (cityofsantamaria.org/art).

For more details on this public art program, reach the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department directly at (805) 925-0951, Ext. 2260. Δ

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