Utility Boxes Program

The Town of Arlington continues its years’ long effort to transform some of the utility boxes that sit on our street corners and sidewalks into unique works of art. These boxes keep our town ticking, holding traffic light controls, cable connections, electric transformers, and more. The Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture invites artists to submit original designs on a theme. The selected artists take it from there, making their vision come to life and transforming the dull metal boxes into inspiring pieces of art. The coordination, logistics, and promotion are all handled by Laurie Bogdan, an Arlington artist who has led this effort since 2021.
This project began in 2014, when Arlington Public Art, began commissioning local artists to design and paint some of the many utility boxes on our streets. When ACAC was formed, the commissioners adopted Public Art’s mission and found that this project was a relatively inexpensive and temporary way to improve the streetscape while engaging community members to appreciate the simplicity of accessible public art. All past artists have reported that they enjoyed the experience of painting in public and talking to passersby as they worked. ACAC endeavors to create art for utility boxes each Spring. If you are a company interested in sponsoring a utility box, please contact ACAC here! And if you are an artist, please tune in to Arts Arlington early springtime, where we promote a Call For Artists with a brand new theme!



Makerjake, a pseudonym for artist and educator Jake Ginga, is well known in Massachusetts for his unique approach to portraiture and the seamless integration of indigenous iconography and contemporary design elements. Don Wilkinson wrote, “All are bold influences that shouldn’t work with the original source material. But it does. There’s a saying: Go bold or go home. Makerjake does both.”
Jake is an only child, and his mother is the youngest in a large indigenous family. Jake had art all around him growing up; his mother is a painter, and his uncles are all woodworkers, silversmiths, bead workers, and experts of various indigenous crafts. While he didn’t get into art until later in high school, he chose to pursue it in college, earning a BFA in Art Education from The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Masters in Education from Northeastern University.
Jake’s website , Jake on Instagram

Artist: Jake Ginga (makerjake) * Location: Massachusetts Avenue & Teel Street

Tonya Grifkin is an accomplished artist whose art can be found across the world. She has created various projects over the years from large-scale murals, custom dragon drawings, and hand-built ceramic sculpture. She also adores illustrating children’s books! Tonya currently teaches art at a private school in Cambridge, MA and resides in Arlington with her loving husband, her two children, and an extremely fluffy cat.
Tonya’s website, Tonya on Instagram

Artist: Tonya Grifkin * Location: Mystic Street & Chestnut Street

Meagan O’Brien is a designer and illustrator who has worked in the Greater Boston area for over a decade. From 2017 she worked at Arlington Community Media (ACMi) on the local television’s design and animation. She most recently painted large-scale murals near Assembly Row in Somerville and was just commissioned to paint the Condon Shell in Medford, MA. She loves tacos, dancing to live music, and bright colors.
Meagan’s website

Artist: Meagan O’Brien * Location: Pleasant Street & Irving Street


The Scouts of Troop 66265 (Lexington, MA) have a deep interest in public art. In 2020-2021 they proposed and created the LexSeeHer visibility banners that were displayed in downtown Lexington for three months. Their next project was to develop and propose designs for the Arlington Arts utility box project and painted the box at the corner of Mass Ave and Bates Road in Arlington. The girls enjoyed learning about the civic process of engaging with town leaders and requesting space for their proposed artwork, as well as the opportunity to design, create, and execute something meaningful for the town.
In addition to that project, five girls from the troop are part of the Ubuntu Crew at Diamond Middle School and have been learning about public street art. They are currently planning a mural for the library at the school. Troop 66265 is led by Sra Cuthbertson, an education specialist and Lauren Kennedy, a graphic artist with a BFA in graphic design, and Masters in both Museum Studies and City Planning.

Artists: Girl Scout Troop 66265 * Location: Bates Street & Massachusetts Avenue

Elena Sidorova is a Graphic Designer and Artist based in Lexington. She received a degree at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and has been creating visual content for more than 15 years. She started her career composing book covers and accompanying materials for a publishing company and later moved into freelance design, helping businesses create cohesive branding experiences by inventing a unified visual language.
Elena is a regular contributor to local art projects and initiatives, working with local art organizations and participating in exhibitions. Her artworks are created in a variety of mediums such as ink, watercolor, gouache, and acrylic. Elena draws inspiration from nature and implements graphic elements from various styles and cultures with an aim to evoke positive vibes.
Elena on Instagram,  Email Elana here

Artist: Elena Sidorova * Location: Mill Street & Summer Street

Funded in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the Grants Committee of the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture.