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Shelton installs four new power box art covers

A city beautification project that began before the pandemic is picking up its pace this year as several local artists and art groups contribute submissions and finances to the cause.

The City of Shelton began decorating power boxes in town in 2019 with artwork chosen by the Shelton Arts Commission, out of a selection of submissions solicited from Mason County artists.

Jordanne Krumpols, Parks and Recreation supervisor for Shelton, reported that six power boxes have been adorned, while another four have recently been selected and are due to be applied by the end of this year.

"We should be able to get those done within the next week or two, weather permitting," said Krumpols, who said the city has worked with Shelton-based Black Star printers to transform its selected artists' two-dimensional submissions into durable vinyl covers that can be wrapped around all three dimensions of the power boxes in town. "They're designed to be durable enough to last multiple years, out in the elements."

The most recent batch of submissions is funded by the Shelton-based Peninsula Arts Association, the Rotary Club of Shelton and the Martha Reed Foundation of Mason County, with Averie Homan submitting "My Washington," Cindy Rivard submitting "High Steel Bridge," Lori Heinzen submitting "The Whistle Goes Silent" and Peninsula Arts Association President Pat Denney submitting "Washington Rhodies."

Each of those groups contributed more than $800 apiece toward the conversion of those artists' submissions into coverings for the city's power boxes. Krumpols emphasized that any Mason County artist is eligible to submit pieces, which will then be judged by the Shelton Arts Commission and approved by the Shelton City Council.

Because this batch of four power boxes is owned by the state, rather than the city, they required state approval as well.

Denney said she was delighted to be part of the process and looks forward to seeing the power box artwork included in a walking art directory of Shelton, along with its statues and murals.

"It sometimes surprises even me how much art you can enjoy, out and about in this town, without even having to go indoors," said Denney, who chose Washington's state flower as the subject for her power box art piece, because she believed it diversified the municipal color palette of Shelton.

Since the first art coverings were installed in the city, Krumpols has noticed a decline in graffiti, which she touted as validating the primary goal of this project.

"We wanted to beautify the city by preempting vandalism," Krumpols said. "When there are these blank public spaces, they can attract tags. By filling them in with works of art, people become less inclined to deface them."

Once the city has covered all of the power boxes in town with art pieces, the plan is to loop back and replace the earliest installations with freshly solicited submissions to trade out the vinyl coverings most likely to have weathered wear and tear by that point.

Author Bio

Kirk Boxleitner, Reporter

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Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
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