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Mansfield Magazine

Grand Prairie's Traffic Signal Box Public Art Project Competition Received Over 150 Entires

Nov 24, 2017 04:34PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

"Water Goddess" by Eric Lothspeich (Direct Paint)

In September 2017, over the City of Grand Prairie Public Art Program received 161 entries from 32 different Texas cities for an art competition they initiated. This program was all about Traffic Signal Boxes in the area, and artists were competing to win the chance to make them into a work of art. Winners were selected late October.

Grand Prairie Traffic Signal Box Public Art Project was not only an opportunity for artists to showcase their work on a public platform, they also each earned a commission up to $2,000, depending on whether or not they painted the box directly or wrapped it in vinyl. 

According to Tammy Chan, the city’s Public Art Coordinator, they only anticipated around 30-40 entries into the competition. However, they were opportunistic in their outreach and created a video. They took advantage of social media and posted the video, which ended up going viral, reaching over 189,000 views and more than 2,600 comments and shares.

Throughout the city of Grand Prairie, there are 20 signal boxes that were approved for this competition. There were 2 categories for the contest, “Environment in General” and “Water Conservation/Water Quality.” Artists were allowed to enter each category once, and had the opportunity to win once in both. Each category had 10 winners. 

But, who selected the winners? In fact, there was a special committee created just to pick the winning artists. The 
Traffic Signal Box Public Art Selection Committee had the difficult task of scouring through all 161 entries to pick the 10 winners of each category. This committee was comprised of both local and regional artists, as well as other people and businesses within the community that reside near the designated traffic boxes.

The process took some time. Over 1,200 images were reviewed by each committee member, including
 a total of 3,452 double sided pages. Each artist also submitted a written description of their experience as an artist.

However, after staff members tallied the committee members' scores and an accountant rounded them up, the winners were selected. 
14 proposals to paint directly on the boxes and six wraps won the competition.

According to the Grand Prairie 
press release, the list of winners include two Grand Prairie residents: Gary Kelly, an 81-year-old photographer; and Syndey F. Merlau, an 8th Grade Visual Arts student at the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy. Street artist Steve O. Cipriano, aka “Stibs,” a teacher at Dickenson Elementary in Grand Prairie, was also one of the 20 winners. 

The winners have until April 2018 to finish their piece. 

Congratulations to the winners! The full list of winners can be viewed below. 

Winners - Environment Category

Ksenia Annis, Houston
Areli Duran, Dallas
Jaime Hudson, Dallas
Stuart Hausmann, Dallas
Gary Kelly, Grand Prairie
Damaris McCalley, Arlington
Sydney Merlau, Grand Prairie
Susan Michutka, Bastrop
Pamela Summers, Fort Worth
Daniel Yanez, Dallas

Winners - Water Category

Darla Bostick, Denton
Steve O. “Stibs” Cipriano, Dallas
Brandon James Hayman, Fort Worth
Eric Lothspeich, Austin
Suzanne McNeill-Sparks, Arlington
Susan Michutka, Bastrop
James Ramirez, Fort Worth
Ryan Stalsby, Irving
Pamela Summers, Fort Worth
Daniel Yanez, Dallas

Information courtesy of the Grand Prairie Press Release

City of Grand Prairie - Municipal Government's Video that went viral

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