Call to artists to design and paint utility boxes in Magnolia Park

The Friends of Magnolia Park and Gardens is seeking an artist to paint two utility structures on “Apple Hill” near the Thorndike Street entrance of Magnolia Park in East Arlington, MA. Magnolia Park has recently undergone extensive renovation, which has created renewed enthusiasm for the park within the neighborhood. The transformation of the utility boxes into public pieces of artwork would help to welcome visitors to step into a world of joy and imagination as they enter Magnolia Park.

During the renovation, the community informally designated below Apple Hill as the “natural” area of the park. It includes a pollinator field planted by Girl Scouts and bird houses built by community members. Painting the utility boxes will provide another opportunity to spark creativity in our community while helping maintain the whimsical nature of the surrounding area. The completed art installation will encourage creative play on Apple Hill, enhancing a space that is popular with the children for its inviting shade and interesting topography.


Deadline for submissions: April 31

Design selection and approval: May 2018

Painting: May through August of 2018



Open to all local and regional practicing artists and we encourage applications from both new and established artists. All entries must be original designs and suitable for viewing by all ages. Artists must also demonstrate their ability to hand paint their designs through the images submitted to this call.


  • 5 to 8 jpegs of past work (files not to exceed 2K) labeled “Lastname_firstname_title”,
  • image list with medium, dimensions and year corresponding to each image
  • letter of interest
  • website or online art presence (if you have one)
  • CV or paragraph describing your qualifications
  • digital copy of proposed designs for the two utility structures using the template included at the bottom of this document.
  • Send all of the above to

 Artist’s Stipend

The selected artist will be paid $1,000 to design and paint the two utility structures located on “Apple Hill” at the entrance to Magnolia Park. Up to $250 will also be available to cover materials including brushes, tape, tarps, and paints.

Artist’s Responsibility

The surfaces will be prepared (scraped, sanded and primed) by Friends of Magnolia Park prior to commencement of the work. Artist is responsible for good adhesion of acrylic paint. All sides including top of the boxes must be painted. Surfaces must be painted with high quality lightfast acrylic paints, and finished with an isolation coat of acrylic gloss medium and anti-graffiti varnish.

Selection Process

A jury consisting of one member of the Parks Commission, one member of the Friends of Magnolia Park, and one member of the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture will choose the selected artist. Criteria used to select artists will be:

• Artistic merit and creativity

• Demonstrated ability to hand paint the designs

• Appropriate regard for the nature of the space and the audience.


The artist will work closely with the Friends of Magnolia Park and the Town of Arlington to follow the public art guidelines set out by Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture. We highly suggest that you visit Magnolia Park in order to fully understand the scope of the project and note the unique characteristics of each utility structure as well as the nature of Magnolia Park.

The art should enliven the area, transform the street and reflect the neighborhood or area where the utility box is located. Due to the location of the boxes, the art should be visible from a distance; therefore you may choose to utilize bold colors and designs.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.