Young Art Outside the Frame Brightens Area Infrastructure

Young Art Outside the Frame Brightens Area Infrastructure

Over the past few weeks, you may have caught sight of several artists creating vibrant works of art on our utility boxes. This project, titled Young Art Outside the Frame, brings student art from The San Diego Museum of Art Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet exhibition into San Diego communities. 

Born from a partnership between The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA), Mindful Murals and our company, the utility box art project seeks to revitalize public spaces and transform sometimes unsightly infrastructure into a canvas for public art. 

“SDG&E is a longtime supporter of The San Diego Museum of Art's Young Art program, a biennial exhibition of juried student works of art,” shared Sarah Grossman, Associate Director, Special Events & Corporate Relations at The San Diego Museum of Art. “This year we wanted to do something extra special together to reach further into the community sharing the wonderful art created by local students as part of Young Art.”

Young Art Outside the Frame brings art into the community and provides a family-friendly and safe outdoor activity, while simultaneously beautifying the city.

“With the coordination help of local muralist group Mindful Murals, we hired a diverse group of local artists from all over San Diego and assigned them each a piece of student work from the Young Art exhibition to interpret onto an assigned SDG&E utility box,” continues Grossman. “We invite members of the community to download the free map of Young Art Outside the Frame works of art for an easy and fun biking or driving tour of this outdoor exhibition.”

Project Background

SDMA and Mindful Murals organized a diverse team of local artists to cover 25 of our utility boxes with interpretations of select works of art by students featured in the exhibition. 

The theme for this year’s Young Art exhibition is “The Environment and Sustainability.” Students were encouraged to express innovation and creativity through artwork that conveys a message relating to environmental sustainability or using recycled materials to create original works or recreate masterworks from the Museum’s Collection.

While similar projects have been taken up in other San Diego communities, this partnership is the first of its kind in the Balboa Park/East Village area.

Celebrating Diversity, Creating Beauty

This initiative further provides an opportunity to reflect San Diego’s cultural diversity through its youth’s extraordinary, creative expressions while also beautifying San Diego communities. 

Additionally, the Young Art Outside the Frame driving/biking tour encourages people to visit the utility box art installations, spurring foot traffic in local neighborhoods, fostering art appreciation, and bringing support to local businesses. 

Young Art has the extraordinary distinction of being the longest-running program in the history of the Museum and this year is the 46th celebration for 90 years. Through its unique theme selection and accompanying program each exhibition year, Young Art provides participating students and educators the opportunity to explore their creativity.

The Exhibition

You can experience the Young Art 2021 exhibition in-person at SDMA from now until May 9. The exhibit is free and open to the public, although COVID-19 regulations will be observed. The Young Art 2021 online exhibition includes featured works of student art, links to related activities, and will soon share behind-the-scenes video and a 360-degree scan of the exhibition to allow visitors near and far to see and zoom in on the more than 100 works of student art from anywhere.

In addition to featuring photo images of these painted utility boxes in this article and on SDMA’s website, SDMA has created a driving/biking tour to encourage people to get out and experience this community artwork.

We want to thank Mindful Murals and SDMA and the communities we serve to help this unique project become a reality.