All are invited to join the Kent Arts Commission – along with Mayor Dana Ralph – to dedicate and celebrate the Artwork on traffic signal controller boxes on Wednesday, May 30 at Noon.

What began a year ago as a partnership between several City departments to deter graffiti and beautify unsightly boxes that control traffic signals has become part of Kent’s Public Art Program and has resulted in five artworks at different locations:

  • Jean Bradbury’s floating creatures and flowers appear at 240th and 104th.
  • The graphic dahlia flowers that adorn the box across from Kent-Meridian High School on 256th and 101st were originally a wood mosaic by artist Naoko Morisawa.
  • Jill Erickson’s “Backyard Blueberry” greets travelers with watercolor foliage on Willis Street at the northbound SR 167 on-ramp.
  • On James Street at the Interurban Trail, Vikram Madan’s “Bumble Bee Brigade” carries elf-like riders across a bubble-gum pink sky.
  • Also on James Street, across from the ShoWare Center, Fin’es Scott’s curious cartoon creatures peer at drivers and pedestrians.

Here’s some of the artwork:

Naoko Morisawa (101st and 256th)
Jean Bradbury (240th and 104th)
Vikram Maden (James St. near Showare)
Jill Erickson (Willis St. and 167 North)
Fin’es Scott (James St. and Interurban)

The Arts Commission extended the opportunity to design a box to professional and emerging artists residing in Washington State. Artists could work in any medium, as long as the final artwork could be translated and digitally reproduced on a two-dimensional vinyl wrap. Nearly 50 applications were received.

The project is a partnership between the Kent Arts Commission; Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services; Kent Police Department; Public Works Department; and office of Economic and Community Development.

“This is a great example where our city departments identified a problem and worked together to find a solution that benefits the community,” said Mayor Ralph. “My family and I have enjoyed seeing the artwork as we drive through the community.”

The ceremony will take place on W. James Street, west of 4th Ave N., near the north side of Kent Commons (525 4th Ave N.) parking lot (basically the southwest corner of W. James & 4th Ave N.):

Rear more about Art on Kent signal boxes here.

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...