- Associated Press - Monday, December 14, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Plans call for wrapping more traffic signal boxes in downtown Ann Arbor with vinyl art prints designed by local artists and selected by a public vote.

The Downtown Development Authority, Public Art Commission and the Arts Alliance are teaming up for the next phases of the “PowerArt!” project, The Ann Arbor News reported (https://bit.ly/1Z7tI3I ). DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay said there’s a commitment to supporting local artists.

“We all agreed early on that it was important. If we’re supporting arts in our community, you’ve got to support the artists,” Pollay said. “Our artists are trying to make a living, and to keep a community of artists in our community, we’ve got to find a way to compensate them for their art, their talent.”

The first phase was rolled out last spring, with eight traffic signal boxes covered with colorful and whimsical art prints such as the “Selfie Monster” by artist David Zinn, “Traffic Light” by Thomas Rosenbaum and “Enchanted Forest” by Laila Kujala.

The Downtown Development Authority has agreed to contribute $50,000 for the next phases, which are scheduled for 2016. Plans call for decorating another 34 city-owned traffic signal boxes and possibly a handful of others not owned by the city.

Those involved in the project say it makes downtown more memorable and attractive and helps dissuade graffiti and handbills on traffic signal boxes.

The budget for the next 34 boxes is $111,750, with more than $49,000 of that going to the artists at a rate of $1,450 per design. The project also is backed by a $22,500 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as private and public sources.


Information from: The Ann Arbor News, https://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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