Monday, September 16th, 2013

UCI and CIA Partner on the Euclid Avenue ArtBox Project


CLEVELAND- University Circle Inc. (UCI) and the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) are excited to announce the installation of their collaborative Euclid Avenue ArtBox Project, which will turn 22 traffic control boxes on Euclid Avenue between E. 105th Street and E. 123rd Street into dynamic public art displays. The project is being implemented in coordination with the City of Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
 
UCI and CIA staff partnered in early 2012 to develop the project, beginning with a focus on the traffic control boxes due to their recurrence along Euclid Avenue in 15 highly visible locations. The boxes had become a maintenance concern for UCI ambassadors, who regularly clean graffiti off their surfaces. They had also started to show regular wear from environmental conditions, such as inclement weather and salt spray from road crews. Moreover, they represented an opportunity to enliven the streetscape with splashes of color and visual interest at regular intervals along the avenue at relatively little cost and without encroaching into public paths.
 
"Through the ArtBox collaborative, we saw simple street utilities as canvasses for art.  The collaborative between UCI and CIA offered an opportunity to showcase University Circle as an arts and cultural district and utilize the artistic talents of our students and faculty at CIA.  With this project, we are able to use basic street infrastructure to tell a story about who we are as a community and what we represent as an arts and cultural district," says Chris Ronayne, President of University Circle Inc.
 
UCI staff, along with CIA professor Larry O'Neal, who has a strong background in mixed-media, public art, and communication design, worked with Central Graphics of Cuyahoga Falls to develop the technical details of the "art wrap" concept. Each wrap is made of a durable, removable 3M adhesive film, similar to what is used on the vehicle wraps that can be seen on RTA buses.  High quality graphics can be printed directly onto the film and then wrapped in a laminate layer to seal in and protect not only the graphics, but the boxes themselves, thereby extending their life span.
 
The concept was shared with multiple CIA illustration studios, where students developed graphic themes that were considered by the project partners. A "retro art" concept was chosen and students then created scenes from Cleveland and University Circle that depicted a span of years from the 1920s to the 1960s. 15 scenes were selected for the final installation and were customized to each box location and configuration.
 
"Working on ArtBox was a rewarding, professional learning experience for our students. Assignments of this nature are part and parcel of the Cores + Connections academic vision of CIA, in which our students learn first hand how to apply their talents, communication skills, and ideas to producing meaningful products for their clients. The bonus in this case is that they are adding color and visual interest to our arts-focused neighborhood." said Grafton Nunes, President and CEO of the Cleveland Institute of Art.
 
Installation of the ArtBox Project will start to begin on Monday, September 16, 2013. For more information and updates, visit http://www.universitycircle.org/locations/the-artbox-project.
 
The ArtBox Project is part of UCI's Euclid Gateway Vision campaign, which has brought more than $7 million in public improvements to the district. Included in the campaign are a comprehensive vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding system, the redesign and reconstruction of University East Plaza at Euclid & Mayfield, and the installation of more than 30 bike racks and recycle bins along Euclid Avenue.
 
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About University Circle Inc.:
University Circle Inc. is the development, service, and advocacy organization responsible for guiding the growth of University Circle as a premier urban district and world class center of innovation in health care, education, and arts & culture. For more information, visit universitycircle.org.
 
About Cleveland Institute of Art:
The Cleveland Institute of Art is one of the nation's leading accredited independent colleges of art and design. For more than 130 years, the college has been an educational cornerstone in Cleveland, Ohio, and produces graduates competitive as studio artists, designers, photographers, contemporary craftsmen, and educators. For more information, visit cia.edu.

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