ArtBox Project San Jose!

If you ever find yourself traveling down Curtner Avenue in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, CA, be sure to look North as you cross Booksin Ave and you will see my lastest public artwork. I am one of over 30 artists (so far) who are painting the city’s electrical utility boxes as part of the ArtBox Project SJ. It is reported that the project began when local Metro News columnist Gary Singh pondered whether San Jose could ever back a project like this. He commented to his friend, “idealist” Tina Morrill, “This could never happen in San Jose.” She responded with, “Wanna bet?” and there you have it! They are partnering with neighborhood associations, businesses and business districts and even individual sponsors, as well as local art-entrpreneur Cherri Lakey of Anno Domini, Kaleid Gallery and Phantom Galleries to coordinate local artists with box locations. Here are a few shots of my new ArtBox. I also want to send my appreciation to all the friendly Willow Glen residents who shouted encouragement and thanks to me as I painted out in the traffic for three days, as well as local realtor Holly Barr who added me to the Willow Glen Charm Facebook page! You guys are the best!

Part 1: Sketch and underpainting…

Jen sketching the box design

 And a few shots of the finished work:

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, street side

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, north side

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, south and sidewalk side

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10 Responses to ArtBox Project San Jose!

  1. Wendy Sullivan - a.k.a. Wind Gypsy September 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    AWESOME! Every city needs to do this. I love your whimsy. So sweet.

  2. Susan M. Walls September 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    That is fabulous! LOVE, love it! I wish something like that could be done here in our town. Great job!

  3. diane September 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    these are absolutely delightful! well done!

  4. Elizabeth September 28, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    This is so cool! It will make a lot of people smile! Great Job!!

  5. Connie Rawlins September 28, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I love, love, love it. What a wonderful idea, and I love the whimsy of you art.

  6. Marilyn September 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I love this! Absolutely beautiful. Makes me smile and want to visit your neighborhood. Well done, you!

  7. Jolene Anderson September 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    LOVE IT… I want to do an Art Box!!!

  8. Jen September 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks everyone! And Jolene…you should do a box! For anyone interested in painting a box in San Jose, CA, contact info[at] PhantomGalleries[dot]com for submission info. If you don’t live in San Jose, see if you can convince your city to paint electrical boxes. The world cannot have too much art… it is a sign of our humanity.

  9. Leah Jay April 13, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Jen, I love your ArtBox! I got assigned one, too – it’s on the corner of Pearl and Kozera in San Jose, right in front of Erickson school. I haven’t started it yet but the design is in the works, and coincidentally is very much like yours! (Happy, colorful, park-like, rolling hills, kids, etc. – they asked for this type of thing) I heard that what you do is go to a paint store and ask for a quart each of Black, White, Red, Yellow, and Blue – and then get mixing 😀 Any tips, or technical things you ran across that worked/didn’t work?

    Congrats again. When mine’s done we should tour both and then go have a celebratory coffee 😀


  1. Painted Art Box in San Jose - September 29, 2013

    […] year I was privileged to paint one my city’s electrical boxes as part of the Art Box Project San Jose. Recently, I was contacted to paint a second box to reflect […]