Art on a Box Program

What is the Utility Art Box Program? 

The City of Fountain Valley is proud to host a Utility Art Box Program, “Art on a Box,” as part of a beautification project to promote local artists, local history, and create a sense of community engagement, civic pride and heritage. The program supports the creation of public art by sponsoring artists to improve the visual aesthetics and invigorate utility boxes in public right-of-way streets by turning City-owned utility cabinets into a canvas for art.

What are the goals of the program? 

  • Distinguish the City of Fountain Valley as a nice place to live, work, and play; 
  • Provide every member of the community easy visual access to a form of public art from public street access;
  • Strengthen civic pride and engagement, and historical heritage; 
  • Installation of work that will help improve quality of life;  
  • Help provide a public venue for local artists to showcase their talents and bring a sense of community and belonging by promoting community pride, civic engagement, and cultural heritage.

Who is eligible to participate and what type of artwork is requested? 

When there are utility boxes that are available for wrapping and funding becomes available, there will be a call for artists.  Eligible artists must meet each of the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the program: 

  • Artists must be 18 years of age or older.  Artists younger than 18 years of age will need a legal parent/guardian to complete all paperwork; 
  • Artists must be a resident of, or affiliated with, the City of Fountain Valley; 
  • Artists will be given priority in order of the following:
    1) Artists who live in Fountain Valley;
    2) Artists who work in Fountain Valley;
    3) Artists who support or have an affiliation with the City of Fountain Valley. 
Additionally, when placed on utility cabinets or other public property, the artwork constitutes City’s speech.  The City does not intend to create any type of forum for private speech. As the City’s speech, the artwork content: 

  • Must be “G” rated; 
  • Must depict civic pride and engagement, and historical heritage; 
  • Must be generally positive in nature or uplifting and non-offensive; 
  • May not depict any of the following content: obscene or hateful artwork; illegal activity/crime; racial, religious, or sexual harassment. 
  • May not discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, economic status, national origin, disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or age.  
  • May not promote practices that, if they took place, would violate U.S. or state law, or promote drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or adult entertainment. 
  • May not include religious references or political statements. 
  • May not endorse products or services that do not comply with the City of Fountain Valley policies or procedures, County, State, or federal regulations, ordinances, codes, or statutes. 
  • May not endorse products or services that conflict with the City of Fountain Valley or the Recreation and Community Services Department mission statements. 

How is the artwork selected? 

When making the selection for Art on a Box, City of Fountain Valley staff will use their discretion to consider:

  • Artistic excellence, innovation, and originality;
  • Relevance of artwork to the area where the utility box is located;
  • Contribution of artwork and impact to creating a sense of community and civic pride and engagement, historical heritage and cultural landscape of Fountain Valley. 
  • The aforementioned artist residency priority.
The selection process for each artist will consist of an initial review by City staff.  Artists will be notified if and when their designs are accepted. If an artist’s work is selected to be placed on a utility box, artists must sign a waiver/release of liability.  Once selected, the artist will work directly with the contracted vendor and complete the project within forty-five days.  Due to the limited number of eligible utility boxes, the application process may be closed at any time.

How long will artwork be on display? 

The City will endeavor to display the art for a minimum of two years.  The City has the discretionary authority to extend or reduce the display period on a case-by-case basis.  The City, at its discretion, may identify additional utility boxes to implement as part of the program.  

How is the program funded?


The Fountain Valley Community Foundation will serve as a funding catalyst and will work with selected artists to help find a financial sponsor for the vinyl wrapping of the artwork.  

The sponsored box will have anti-graffiti coating; however, significant damage to the box may not be repairable.  The artwork may be removed in the event of irreparable damage, which may mean the artwork is on display fewer than two years.   

What if I have a sponsor for my artwork and box wrapping? 

The cost of each box is expected to be between $800-$1,200.  The price of the box includes the printing and installation of the vinyl wrap.   Additional maintenance costs may be subject to change.   

If a sponsor is secured for the vinyl wrapping of the box, the sponsoring entity may place their logo or emblem on the artwork, with the approval of the artist.  The logo or emblem, however, may not interfere with the overall integrity or message of the artwork as approved.  The size of the logo/emblem will be limited to prevent from advertisement or commercialization of the utility box artwork, and will be subject to approval by staff upon recommendation of the Foundation.  

The logo and emblem of the sponsoring entity may also be marketed on the Foundation’s social media pages.  

All sponsored artists and artwork will work with the sponsoring entity on a case-by-case basis for appropriate recognition.   

How do I submit artwork for the program?

Artists interested in submitting their artwork for consideration may do so by completing an application online and sending an email to Jenni Worsham, with an image of the artwork.