Vandals target artists’ work on Berkeley utility boxes

The “Redwood” artwork by artist Ryan Kerrigan was torn off this utility box at Allston and Shattuck

Two utility boxes in downtown Berkeley, decorated by artists as part of the city’s Streets Alive initiative, were vandalized over the weekend.

One of the boxes, on Allston and Shattuck, whose artwork was unveiled a year ago this month, had two sides almost completely ripped off. The letters “FLIGO” were also inscribed at the top of the box, on the east-facing side, according to Christina Monzer, Restorations Project Associate at Streets Alive. The design, titled “Redwood,” is by artist Ryan Kerrigan who is known for his rock poster art. It is sponsored by the Earth Island Institute.

The other vandalized box was recently installed at Kittredge and Shattuck outside of Peet’s coffee shop, which sponsored the artwork. Two panels were removed from the box. The artwork, titled “Cup to Cup,” was created by Amelia McCrea, Jamine Hain, Alaytra Johnson, and Lilian Zakki Manahl of Berkeley’s YMCA-PG&E Teen Center, and unveiled on Oct. 2.

Utility boxes at Kittredge and Shattuck before the vandalism (left) and after (right)

“We’ve had a good streak with virtually no vandalism happening in recent months, and it is very unfortunate that this happened over the weekend,” Monzer said.  “We are working to get them repaired.”


Streets Alive, a collaboration between the Earth Island Institute and Berkeley’s Civic Arts Commission has so far helped to transform 17 of 60 selected boxes, which are owned either by the city or by PG&E. The project pairs patrons with artists who paint the boxes or make a design that can be transferred to large, polymer stickers and be affixed to them.

Related:
BUSD to spend Lonely Island’s $250K on theater programs [06.02.12]
City project will transform utility boxes with vibrant art [06.22.11]

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