Winning artists to paint downtown utility boxes

The Concord Art Association, in collaboration with the city of Concord, selected 11 local artists to paint or vinyl wrap utility boxes around Todos Santos Plaza.

Chris Ball, Janet Brown, Pat Calabro, Melissa Claros, Carissa Fei, Jennifer Granat, Denise Hillman, Renaye Johnson, Thea Jue, Samineh Perryman and Sharon Petersen will participate in this exciting public art project that celebrates Concord’s popular Music & Market series.


Winning artists to paint downtown utility boxes
Jennifer Granat and Melissa Claros offered this preliminary sketch of an animal jazz musician for their utility box art.

Granat and Claros will team up to work on a whimsical design for the trio of utility boxes near the clock tower. A resident of Concord for the last 8 years, Granat met Claros shortly after moving here from San Francisco.

“When I saw the call for artists, I immediately thought of working with Melissa because she likes to draw fun characters with bright colors and bold outlines,” Granat recalls. “I thought her anime-inspired style would fit with the concept I envisioned of animals playing jazz instruments, which would appeal to both parents and children.”

Claros started drawing comics with her friends in high school. “When Jennifer described her idea of painting a ‘jazz trio’ on these three boxes, I could really see the potential,” she says. “I sketched out some different animals who were actually inspired by my friends and family. One is even an homage to my middle school mascot.”

Granat has been painting since childhood. After several years of successful art gallery exhibits and private commissions, she now considers herself to be a working artist.

“I’m extremely honored and delighted to be a part of this first-time project. Painting in public will be a wonderful, new opportunity for both Melissa and I to share our respective talents with Concord’s residents and visitors,” she says. “My husband and I have fallen in love with Concord, especially all the open spaces where we can picnic, walk the dog and enjoy nature. Todos Santos Plaza is wonderful with its farmers markets, restaurants and concerts.”

“Being able to paint something in a place where I’ve always spent time is crazy exciting,” Claros says with enthusiasm. “I’ve lived in Concord more than 20 years, and Todos Santos Plaza has always been a huge part of my everyday life. It’s great to give back to my community for giving me such amazing memories. I hope people will smile, feel happy and think of wonderful music when they pass by our utility boxes.”

Visit to read more about this project and all of the participating artists.

You can learn more at ­ Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, small business marketing consultant and community arts advocate.