CONCORD, CA — Today I will share the story behind the fourth (and final) utility box painted for the Concord Art Association’s “Celebrate Concord” public art project in partnership with the city.
Karen Giorgianni and Janice Davis teamed up to design a beautiful, 360-degree panoramic view that celebrates our local flora and fauna. Their box sits at the corner of Salvio and Galindo streets, in front of Skipolini’s Pizza.
“The inspiration for my two panels comes from my love for Mt. Diablo and the surrounding watershed. I’ve lived here for over 40 years,” says Giorgianni.
She started painting about six years ago after a career of teaching young children.
“My classroom lessons about local animals and plants came into play for this project,” she explains. “I included only those flowers native to California in my design, as well as birds seen every year in and around Mt. Diablo. While our actual vista is imaginary, it features recognizable local habitats.”
Open Space beauty
Davis wanted to express the beauty of Concord’s open space on her two panels.
“I really appreciate the majestic valley oaks that spot our hills. These trees are a familiar sight for cars speeding by on the freeways and on Kirker Pass Road,” she says. “Black cows grazing, another familiar sight, are always fun to paint, along with the hikers who enjoy our many trails every day.”
The outer shell for the utility box was new, so the city set it up near the stage in Todos Santos Plaza for painting days. The artists got to experience life in the plaza as they never had before.
“It was fun to paint among the interesting locals who hang out there. I even got a free lecture on the mathematics of trees,” says Davis.
“A man comes to give free haircuts to those who need it. We watched baptism in the fountain, children at play, seniors visiting with each other and dogs being walked. We had some very interesting conversations with so many different people.”
“It was definitely an enriching experience,” Giorgianni adds.
Visit the Donate page at concordartassociation.com for a full list of sponsors who funded this year’s Utility Box Public Art Project.
Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, Concord Art Association board member and founder of MadeinConcord.com. She also consults with local artists on self-promotion and personal branding.
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