public art

Art the Box project brings some much needed color to Augusta

After covering the arts in Charlotte for so long, I knew one of the first things I'd need to do when I moved back to Augusta was find the cool, artsy people in my hometown. Before I left in 2006, my life was packed with school, work, a boyfriend or two, internships, clubbing and church activities. (Ironic? No way.) Now that I've met and been inspired by so many creative movers and shakers in North Carolina, I'm determined to find like-minded folks here. Part of it is that I want to hear their stories, but let's be real: I'm new/old in town and need friends who will drink wine with me during the week.

Fortunately, the universe was at work long before I decided to come back. The Greater Augusta Arts Council partnered with the City of Augusta and the Downtown Development Authority to bring a public art project called Art the Box. Twenty artists were tasked with brightening up traffic signal cabinets throughout the city.

From the Council's website:  

Brenda Durant, Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council said, “it is the Arts Council’s mission to enrich the quality of life by advancing the arts. And what better way to enhance lives is there than art? We hope these pieces will inspire conversation and a sense of pride in this place we call home.”

Peep the picture below. I spotted this work of art, titled "Positive/Negative Reversal #33," at the corner of Barton Chapel and Milledgeville roads, courtesy of one Wesley Stewart. I love the crashing bold colors and hypnotizing pattern. The art box has a lot of good energy.

In this location, this colorful abstract work is completely out of place -- that's why it's so cool. Across the street is an abandoned building. The land the traffic box sits on is for sale. The traffic signal at this four-way used to be a blinking red light up until only a few years ago -- that tells you how desolate the area feels.

Years ago behind that abandoned building used to be another structure. My memory isn't always trustworthy, but in my mind's eye I see a creaky old house turned office building. I went there a couple of times with my mom when I was a kid; she owned and operated her retail shop at the time, and her accountant worked out of that space. 

That old house turned office building's long gone, and so is my mom's business. But I'm back, just in time to see the finished works of the Art the Box project. 

See the other colorful creations using the hashtag #arttheboxAUG on social media.