Utility Boxes Program

  • Brattle and Hemlock Streets. Artist: Jill Strait
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 an artist, please tune in to Arts Arlington early springtime, where we promote a Call For Artists with a brand new theme!


Adam Adkison

“I work from life as much as possible, the ability to incorporate the energy of my surroundings into art I find energizing.  Working from life gives energy and immediacy to art. The sun moving across the sky, the smell of autumn leaves, running water, dogs and kids playing, all these elements add to the work. When looking at my work it’s my hope that these traces of life shine through the paint.”
“I’ve been incredibly influenced by the art, music, and writing of others. It’s my hope that my work is inspiring and helps others carry this excitement into creative projects of their own, into their own life. To be part of this flow of creativity is one of the most humbling experiences of my life and I am ever grateful.”

Melissa Chaney

Melissa Chaney is an artist and educator who has been teaching art for over twenty years. She started her career here in Arlington at a therapeutic school for adolescent girls and now works for Cambridge. She holds a Master’s Degree from Lesley University in Creative Arts in Learning and a BFA from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She has also taught as adjunct faculty at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Melissa is a cross-disciplinary artist who uses painting, sculpture, illustration, and multi-media collage to explore ideas about the healing potential of art and nature. Her work in sculptural painting and illustration has been exhibited at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown. When not teaching, she enjoys spending time in her garden experimenting with colors, shapes and textures in the natural landscape. She lives in Arlington with her partner and their Alaskan Malamute. Website: www.melissa-c-chaney.com

Zeinab Chaichi

Zeinab Chaichi is an Iranian/American artist holding MFA degree from University of Missouri(2014), as well as MA in illustration from University of Art, Tehran(2006). In summer 2022 She moved from Missouri/Kansas to Bedford Massachusetts along with her husband and two little sons. Since then, she has been working in the area as an artist and collaborating with educational institutions as a teacher, illustrator, and educational designer.
She uses traditional and digital illustration, painting, paper making and collage for her art making process. In her many art shows internationally and in the USA she has explored various concepts such as Women’s rights, nature, as well as architectural and abstract elements and more. Please check samples of her works on her Instagram

Jeff, Maya, Raul & Paloma Disko

The Disko family is made up of Jeff, Maya, Raul and Paloma. Jeff originally hails from western Wyoming where he grew up drawing and carving what he saw in the Wind River Mountains. Maya is from Houston Texas and loves art of all forms. Paloma and Raul draw and paint any chance they get and were instrumental in painting our box this year.
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to paint a box in our community and look forward to enjoying it and others for years to come.”

Kaitlin Longmire

Kaitlin Longmire received her undergraduate degree in painting and her master’s degree in arts administration. She grew up in Arlington and, upon returning to start a family, was thrilled to see public art projects and arts programming flourishing in town. As an artist, she painted haiku on local businesses, helped wheat-paste a mural on the Fox Library, and created paper sculpture for the Storefront Window Project. As an Arts Administrator, Kaitlin has held positions at the state level with the Mass Cultural Council and on the local level, as the Arlington Public Art Youth Banner Coordinator.
Her children’s creativity and excitement for building has rekindled her love for Lego and three-dimensional building. Kaitlin and her son built a large kinetic sculpture that was selected to race in the juried People’s Sculpture Race as part of the Cambridge River Festival.

Renee Majkut

Renee Majkut is a freelance artist living in Arlington. She works in illustration, abstract painting, collage and stop motion animation and she loves to explore new mediums to express her art.  You can find her artwork on Instagram @reneemaycut11  and her comic book work at Comicazi’s Bad Kids Press

Sonya Quinlan-Khan

Sonya Quinlan-Khan is a self-taught Arlington-based artist, specializing in watercolors and acrylics.  Art is a newfound passion for her, developing her interest and skill during the initial months of COVID lock-down.  While it wasn’t something she’d always done, painting quickly became an important outlet for her.  She began by creating art for friends and family and is so proud to now have had the opportunity to create art for her local community.

Jill Strait

Jill Strait is an artist and long-time children’s art educator currently residing in Leominster, Massachusetts. Her artwork is inspired by her love of folk art and Traditional Country, Bluegrass & Old-Time music.
She paints acoustic instruments with a patchwork variety of vintage fabric patterns and symbols. Jill is passionate about community art and adding joy and color to unexpected public spaces. When she isn’t painting, she is playing banjo.

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