Downtown utility boxes becoming works of art

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The downtown Sioux Falls arts scene continues to expand in places you might not expect.

The Sioux Falls Arts Council is in the process of wrapping 26 downtown utility boxes in artwork created by local artists.

“These traffic signal control boxes are just these kind of urban artifacts that we overlook every day and now we can use them as a canvas for art,” Downtown Sioux Falls President Joe Batcheller said.

The project is funded through a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York. The arts council received 176 submissions, with 46 artists from all walks of life represented on the final pieces.

“There’s people that sell art for a living, there’s people that can’t make a living that provided artwork that is just absolutely amazing,” Batcheller said.

“It’s really great because it gives access to people that didn’t have access before to this type of artwork as well as a voice to people that aren’t necessarily sculptures to get their artwork on the streets so more people can see it,” Sioux Falls Arts Council Executive Director Kellen Boice said.

The boxes will eventually include a QR code providing a detailed description of the artwork and a statement from the artist.

“You’ll be able to learn as much or as little as you want to about it. You can appreciate it for what it is or you can do a little more of a dive down and find out about who the artist is and about their process,” Boice said.

This process starts by downloading the DTSF Digital Passport.

“When they download that they’ll be able to hear a few words about the art, the artist, a little bit of storytelling behind it and that’s what you get when you go to a museum a lot of times. They have self-guided tours, that’s what we’re doing downtown, we’re treating this as a gallery,” Batcheller said.

Click HERE if you’d like to download the DTSF Digital Passport.

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