If you’ve ever been at a stop in Downtown El Paso you may have caught a glimpse of some desert flowers, alligators and even some vitroleros of aguas frescas in unusual places.

They’re among the numerous themes painted on utility boxes throughout Downtown as part of the city’s Beauty and the Box program.

An initiative of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, along with the Streets and Maintenance Department, the program selected designs through an open call for artists to cover the otherwise plain metal traffic boxes with a splash of color. The boxes were wrapped in art in 2017.

The art not only adds beauty to the boxes, but also deters graffiti and vandalism that often plagues the boxes.

More than a dozen artists’ work is on display across some 30 utility boxes.

So next time you’re waiting for a green light at an intersection or the walk signal at a crosswalk Downtown, take a look around for these hidden gems.

This month’s Art Spot features just a few of these Beauty and the Box pieces.


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