Merced looking to bring more life to downtown with utility box art

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Art can happen in surprising places.

On the side of a restaurant and soon, utility boxes.

The Merced Arts and Culture Advisory put out a call to artists to help beautify large silver and green boxes scattered throughout Downtown Merced.

"We have so many amazing, talented artists in our city and in the county," says Colton Dennis. "It's time that we start really showing them off."

Christian Aguilar is leaving his mark with a painting of his idol, Kobe Bryant.

"I know a lot of people that love him, so I'm sure that's going to get really appreciated," he said. "I want to make this place a better place, good vibes, good energy, and I'm just really excited to blast him on the utility box."

For Kobie Griggs, the project gives artists a chance to tell the unique story of Merced through their lens.

"It's not just a Central Valley town that just sits in between these two bigger cities and it's just you drive through and that's it," Griggs said. "I think it's a lot more to it."

All 15 utility boxes are expected to be completed by the end of July.

City leaders say this is a first-of-its-kind project in Merced, but won't be the last.
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