Uplifting Communities Through Utility Box Art

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight: Uplifting Communities Through Utility Box Art

Partnership with Asian Business Association on Box Creations: A Utility Box Beautification Project

Last year, in recognition of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Business Association San Diego, Convoy District, SDG&E, and Cox launched a program to support public arts and enhance the community through infrastructure beautification. The project, Box Creations, aimed to enhance the aesthetics of the Convoy District in Kearny Mesa, proclaimed in 2020 the Convoy Pan Asian Cultural and Business Innovation District.

The Box Creations Program sought out artists, particularly those identifying as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) to paint the utility boxes with images and words that enhance the aesthetics of the Convoy Pan Asian Cultural and Business Innovation District. Uplifting BIPOC voices in the community through artist interpretation on SDG&E and Cox utility boxes helped to spread messages of hope and unity during a time in which violence against the AAPI community is at an all-time high. Over a series of months, more than twenty utility boxes in the Convoy District were transformed into works of art.

You can experience the artistry of this project through a self guided walking tour created by Convoy District. Just download the map and bring your smartphone along to hear video messages from artists explaining the inspiration behind each utility box mural.

Utility Box Art Across our Region

SDG&E’s infrastructure beautification programs leverage substations and utility boxes as blank canvases for public art in diverse and underserved communities. Recent collaborations include the Let’s Live, Let’s Love partnership with Southeast Art Team in Southeast San Diego, a partnership with Imperial Beach Arts Bureau and the Young Art: Outside the Frame effort with San Diego Museum of Art in East Village. All of these artistic collaborations are meant to promote unity, cultural diversity and community heritage, while enhancing the quality of life throughout the region. Utility box beautification projects are approved on a case-by-case basis and must be done in partnership with a reputable community-based organization, such as a business improvement district, Town Council, or other official body.