Beautify Winchester! Utility Box Program Open for Submissions

Submitted by Council Chair on

Artists are invited to submit proposed designs for decorations of designated utility boxes in Winchester. If approved, they will be able to create their design and receive a stipend of $350.

To apply, use the online form. Deadline for submission is the end of the day on June 3, 2023. Following that deadline, the proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee for artistic quality, suitability for the location, and durability/sustainability. The art should enliven the area, beautify the street and reflect the neighborhood or area where box is located. Decisions are announced within two weeks of the submission deadline. Artists will then have two months to realize their design, with extensions of the completion date available on request.

Post-deadline applications may be accepted at the discretion of the WCC. Projects not completed within the designated time may be considered for assignment to other artists.

Basic Rules

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Proposals may be submitted by individuals or by groups of artists. A group may include individuals under 18 years of age, but at least one member of the group must be 18 or older.
  • Applicants need not be residents of Winchester, but Winchester residents will be given a higher priority in the selection process.
  • Artists may submit up to 3 designs for a given box
  • Artists may apply for up to two boxes in any application cycle.
  • Artists agree that their work can be painted over at any time by the Town of Winchester.
  • Stipend is $350, including materials, paid upon documented completion of work.
  • For payment, artists will be required to submit a W-9 form. Stipends may be considered taxable income.
  • Prior to starting work, artists must sign the Winchester Artist Release and Indemnity Agreement.

Design Restrictions and Requirements

  • Utility boxes can be painted or wrapped. Designs should cover one entire utility box.
  • The artwork will be a long-term installation and will become the property of the Town of Winchester. Quality and durability will be among the criteria for approval. Paint used should be high quality, lightfast exterior acrylics finished with an isolation coat of clear acrylic gloss medium and anti-graffiti varnish.
  • The design should be an original work of art, and should not incorporate advertisements or logos, or include promotional material of any kind.
  • The design should be suitable for viewing by all ages.
  • The design should not in any way impair the accessibility of function of the box.
  • The design should not include any markings that could be confused for directional signage and that would cause any kind of safety hazard.
  • Artwork may include artist signature(s) if discreetly incorporated into the art.

Designs incorporating the Winchester Cultural District's 2023 theme of "water" are encouraged, but any beautiful design is welcome.

List of participating utility boxes

The Cultural Council has identified the following utility boxes which are eligible to be decorated. The boxes listed here can be found (by number) on a Google map; click on the "[picture]" link below to see a photograph of the box. Other boxes may be requested but will need to be approved by the town (DPW and WCC) before being eligible.

  1. On the Common, Laraway Road at Waterfield Road [picture]
  2. On the Common, Laraway Road at Church Street [picture]
  3. Main Street Rotary, under the railway overpass (3223) (if construction activity permits) [picture]
  4. Lake Street at Main Street [picture]
  5. Skillings Field, on Skillings Road [picture]
  6. Winchester High School parking lot (near the tracks), two large boxes
  7. Skillings Road at Washington Street, across from the Jenks parking lot [picture]
  8. Behind Town Hall (at the parking lot) [picture]
  9. At the McCall Middle School skateboard park (Mystic Valley Parkway) [picture]
  10. On Church Street near 90 Fletcher Street [picture]
  11. Washington Street at Forest Street [picture]
  12. Washington Street at Cross Street [picture]
  13. Washington Street at Swanton Street [picture]
  14. Water Street at Main Street [picture]

Box eligibility criteria: Eligible utility boxes must be located on Town property. The boxes must be accessible and suitable for painting or other decoration without impairment of functionality. The participating boxes listed have been reviewed and approved by the Winchester Department of Public Works. Additional boxes may be added if they meet these criteria.

Effective date