Mandan Seeking Visual Art by Sept. 16 for Utility Box Wraps

The City of Mandan and Community Beautification Committee in partnership with AARP of North Dakota, will soon incorporate local art into the public realm by wrapping utility boxes along Main Street through the Art on a Box program.

The call for artists, approved at the Aug. 16 City Commission meeting, is open to professional and novice artists of all ages. The theme for the program is “Life West of the Missouri” with sub-categories related to the people, history, landscape and culture of Mandan and Morton County.

Art must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. A selection committee made up of community members will choose 10 designs and three alternate pieces. A City Commissioner and the City Planner will serve as liaisons for the selection committee. The selection committee will consider if submissions involve a broad range of people/communities; value art and the artistic process; and adaptable to a range of box sizes and shapes.

The partnership will secure rights to art and contract with a local sign company to install visual art on 10 utility boxes in downtown along Main Street with an emphasis between Collins Ave and Fourth Ave NW.

The goal of the program is to promote civic pride, highlight the community’s diversity and promote a sense of belonging through public art.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to help bring a program like this to Mandan,” says City Planner Andrew Stromme, “Launching a program like this has been a priority of the Community Beautification Committee and City staff for many years now.”

Other cities with utility box art programs include Bismarck, Fargo, Willison, Minot, and Grand Forks.

The call for artists, with submission requirements and utility box dimensions is available at cityofmandan.com/artonabox. Please contact City Planner Andrew Stromme with questions at 701-667-3225.