Box! Box!

A Public Art Project for Muncie’s Traffic Control Boxes

Across the United States, communities are painting traffic signal control boxes to develop attractive, vibrant places that reflect the culture of the area and engage the community with the public environment. Muncie Arts & Culture Council brings this exciting and popular movement to our fair city with Box! Box!, a project to encourage bold designs and promote engagement and interaction between local artists and the wider community. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, 18 traffic signal control boxes throughout the city were festooned with original works of art!

Meet the artists who painted your favorite Box! Box! and learn more about the inspiration and talent behind each design!

Photos by Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press

Artist: Lexi Musselman

Project Title: don’t worry, no hurry

Location: Corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Highland Ave in McCulloch Park

Project Statement: don’t worry, no hurry was designed as an experiment to see how my paintings, and in particular, the textures and color I’m drawn to, influence an area. Most of my paintings are seen indoors, and this is a good opportunity to see how the public reacts to and involves itself with my art outside. I’ve chosen a location close to a park and green space because I’m hoping to contrast the space while reflecting activity that would take place in that area, both human and natural such as plants and wildlife. I’m hoping more public art will provide a welcoming and attractive feel to Muncie, especially in our outdoor space that we share with others to connect and relax. Most of my artwork is autobiographical, and I am interested in how making something for a space and other people influences my choices, and I’m interested in the interactions I might have with others during the process.

Artist Bio: Lexi Musselman is an artist and artist advocate. She received her BFA in painting from Ball State University in Spring of 2017. While her primary practice takes the shape of large scale painting, she also works across the fields of video, installation, and performance. Her work deals with personal history, relationships, trauma, and perceptions of personality and across Indiana and Ohio, and has recently returned to Muncie, IN after working at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Practice Arts from the University of Indianapolis.

Artist: Alison Beam-Hindman

Project Title: Grissom Memorial Elementary School

Location: Grissom Elementary at Macedonia crosswalk

Project Statement: I would like the children in my neighborhood to know for whom Grissom Memorial Elementary School was named. I was young when NASA was created, and I saw the early space program grow into a marvel. I watched the Mercury astronauts train and the Apollo astronauts go to the moon. I grieved when three astronauts were killed training for Apollo 1. One of those brave astronauts was Purdue graduate, Lt. Col. Virgil “Gus” Grissom. There are many schools named in his memory, especially in Indiana, but only one in Muncie. In reading their web site, I saw one reference to Grissom and that was on the outside wall. Many children hit the big button on the traffic box to cross 26th street, but do they even know about the hero whose name the school bears? I’d like to “teach” them by rendering a likeness of the astronaut in his space suit plus the Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle that propelled him into becoming the second American in space.

Artist Bio: Alison Beam-Hindman has been a member of the Muncie Artists Guild since 2015. Originally from Northwest Indiana, Beam-Hindman took two advertising art courses as electives at Purdue University North Central in 1977 but didn’t start painting seriously until retirement from Ivy Tech Community College East Central in 2008. Her lifelong interest in space science inspires much of her work, and she has been influenced by space artists such as Chesley Bonestell and Alan Bean. Beam-Hindman, who strives to be an Astro-artist, has been a member of the Muncie Astronomy Club since 2000 and is active in the Club’s community outreach on science education. Regarding her work, she says, “I Paint the Stars.” 

Artist: Mary Arnett-Delaney

Project Title: REST – RUST – DUST

Location: Downtown at Mulberry & Adams

Project Statement: As an artist that works a full-time job, I am in a continuous struggle of feeling as though I am not working enough on my art practices and feeling as though I am not relaxing during my free time. Much of the time it is the former, but not doing anything to change that habit. The phrase I have written for this Box! Box! project (“too much REST turns to RUST then to DUST”) is a memento mori phrase of sorts that is mostly directed towards myself, but hopefully it reminds other people of the pitfalls of too much rest. I hope that the public display of this phrase will be an interruption of the daily lives of the people of Muncie. My hope is that it will serve as a reminder for people to do what they are passionate about rather than rest, rust, and turn to dust.

Artist Bio: As an artist I am inspired by poetry and the visual impact of words. I write phrases that stand alone, but express a much larger idea. I do this by thinking about a big idea and boiling it down to key words. I think, write, and rewrite the key words to create a “turn of phrase.” I try to make the phrases impactful, memorable, or even humorous. I start a thinking process with the viewer as they think about the larger idea of the phrase, even if just for a moment. This moment of thought creates a pocket of time in which poetry and thoughtfulness have Interrupted the viewer’s daily flow. My hope is that this interruption combined with a striking visual representation of the phrases makes them worth remembering.
Mary Annett-Delaney lives and works in Muncie, IN.

Artist: Sarah Shaffer

Project Title: To Bloom and Fly

Location: Riverside & Tillotson

Project Statement: I am passionate about community engagement through the arts. As an art instructor and a local artist I have seen art touch lives while working with people of all ages. Art creates conversation, promotes new ideas, and serves to better our community. I have seen the power of art as a therapy and hope that my own work provokes thought and feeling to those who view it. This design is an expressive, eye-catching painting to engage community conversations and beautify Muncie. It features a field of peony flowers with a cardinal flying through the air. Beyond being beautiful, the peony is Indiana’s state flower. While creating a public art piece for Muncie, it is important to include notes of Indiana. The cardinal represents both Indiana and Ball State, visually alluding to the new slogan, “We Fly”. The subjects are expressively painted in bright, vibrant colors.

Artist Bio: Sarah Shaffer is currently the Education and Marketing Coordinator at Cornerstone Center for the Arts. She is also owns Sarah Shaffer Designs. She earned her BFA in Metalsmithing from Ball State University in 2007. I have experience creating public art in a large scale. At the age of 16, I began participating in the Main Street Chalk Walk in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During this public art event, artists from all over Indiana created chalk art in 8 ft by 8 ft squares on Main Street. The Chalk Walk began my love of creating art in public spaces. This love of large scale public art has persisted nearly two decades. This past January, I participated in the Canvas Project at the Muncie Mall.

Artist: Cheryl M. LeBlanc

Project Title: Celebrate Nature!

Location: University + Tillotson

Project Statement: Stop and smell the flowers. Nature surrounds us and when we allow ourselves to pause, we can enjoy and appreciate the little things, both big and small. These little creatures symbolize peace and harmony in the natural world of Indiana. May it be so. As a resident in the Kenmore Neighborhood, I enjoy and encourage nature in my gardens. This brings joy to many as they stroll, run or drive by. With this project, I seek to enhance the circle of joy and celebrate the natural world within our community.

Artist Bio: I am a biological illustrator, nature advocate, and educator. Nature’s complex beauty continues to amaze and inspire me. I strive to convey an awareness and knowledge about science and nature through art. I hope to encourage others to appreciate, protect and cherish nature’s beauty, large and small.

Artists: Nancy Swickard, Jan McCune, Karen Hayden , Jean McCauley

Project Title: We Fly, Altogether!

Location: Northwest corner of Riverside & New York (at First Presbyterian Church)

Project Statement: The four sides of this box-mural depict the interplay between Ball State and the community of. Muncie. Because it is. also on the property of the First Presbyterian Church, it also introduces the symbolism of the Spirit. The story of all four panels together is intended to show that we are all working together to brighten our community.
– The first large section contains the dove of peace descending with an. olive branch, with a watchful eye of Love looking over and giving direction.
– The smaller second panel contains the cardinal of BSU carrying a. book of knowledge for all to see. The background of these two sections suggest an ongoing flow of timelessness.
– The third panel shows the traditional symbol of BSU, a dancing Beneficence, overjoyed at what BSY has become. It is fitting that she is depicted as an angel with a double entendre meaning of spiritual involvement.
– The last panel is a representation of the buildings of BSU, depicted also with First Pres. among them as a symbol of the commitment we. share to making our village grande and productive.

Artists Bios:
Nancy Swickard – Currently an art teacher at West View Elementary in MCS, 24 years. MS degree in painting, BSU. Completed many murals/displays annually for West View. Completed various commissioned projects, Ball Corp. and First Pres. 3 times Teacher of the Year, West View. Numerous Grants awarded for special projects.
Jan McCune – Retired art teacher, Marion High School, 12 years. MS Painting, BSU. Metalsmith with own business, Sun Valley Studio, for 11 years. Represented by Gordy’s in Muncie, the Paradigm gallery in Ft. Wayne, and Indiana Artisan in French Lick and Carmel, IN.
Karen Hayden – Retired art teacher, New Castle, CSC, 39 years. BS, Visual Arts & MA, Secondary Ed, BSU. Instructed advanced ‘Challenge’ students, many Student Awards, grants for special projects, including 2 large ceramic tile murals installed at Bundy Auditorium, New Castle High/Middle School.
Jean McCauley – Two community murals – city of Muncie & BSU for 100th Anniversary Celebration. Emens Auditorium 50th Anniversary Violin painting. Gallery Shows throughout Central Indiana with awards. Part President of the Muncie Art Students’ League, & longtime member of the Muncie Artists Guild Board of Directors.

Artist: James Kerestes

Project Title: Flourish

Location: Nichols & White River Blvd

Project Statement: Flourish is a collection of work aimed at exploring the concept of complexity in geometry. Working within a digital environment, each piece is created by repeatedly subdividing and extruding a single primitive shape. Over time, complex geometric patterns and compositions are generated and refined. The project aims to illustrate the range of complexity that can be produced through the creation process.

Artist Bio: James F. Kerestes is an architect and designer presently based out of Muncie, Indiana. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Ball State University and the founder of blok +WERK studio, an interdisciplinary research lab in the field of architecture, design and fabrication. Originally from New Jersey, James pursued academic degrees in architecture and design from Syracuse University and Pratt Institute. He has lectured and exhibited his work throughout the United States since 2006.

Artist: Erica Markley

Project Title: Form and Function

Location: Heekin Park at Hackley + Memorial

Project Statement: Adding richness to a community by turning everyday, industrial items into something beautiful.

Artist Bio: Through her work on a small homestead, Erica Markley has developed a style of painting that is best described as delicate and familiar. Painting scenes that are derived from her mental and physical residence, her visions of a distant landscape are inspired from memory and longing. Adduced from her own thoughts, the color she puts to canvas as “landscapes coming from a familiar and detached place.” While she has been using acrylic and oil to define her art since 2015, her work has branched into multiple area of uniqueness including animal husbandry and agriculture. Now, she experiments with miniature paintings and the creation of artisan goat’s milks soap. Erica’s mantra is that through art, one is set free to see the world as they wish.

Artist: Bob Hartley

Project Title: Discover Your Downtown Cultural Zone

Location: Downtown at High & Charles

Project Statement: It is my intent to encourage the observer to take a closer look at the Downtown Cultural Zone. Architecture of the buildings comprise the background for the “search” to find out what lies within the boundaries of this district. The arts are alive and varied within this area. Featured on the sides of the traffic signal boxes are some of what awaits the viewer as they explore the walkways, storefronts, restaurants, musical venues, galleries, specialty shops, and studios. Several magnifying glasses allow closer looks at a few of the gems. It is my hope that my Box! Box! will be a reminder and invitation to exploring our Downtown Cultural Zone and will open your eyes, minds, and hearts to what your hometown has to offer.

Artist Bio: Bob Hartley is a lifelong resident of Muncie, Indiana. He received both a BS in Art Education and an MA in Art from Ball State University. He taught at Southside High School for 34 years before retiring and opening the Artist Within with his wife Vicki in Muncie’s downtown. He has served on the Board of Directors for Muncie Arts and Culture Council. His impact on Muncie’s arts community was recognized in 2015 when he was awarded a Mayor’s Arts Award for Art Educator.

Artist: Suzanne Clem

Project Title: Corn on the Corner

Location: Madison & Kirby

Project Statement: My design revolves around corn and a love for country drives during late summer. Like many in the city limits, I live in a spot where I can’t see the nearby cornfields or the beautiful Indiana sunsets over them. I’ve covered the traffic box in multiple scenes of a cornfield to bring the countryside into the city–giving our city-goers a painted peek at the sunset over a cornfield at a time where they may be days, weeks, or months away from experiencing the sights, smells, and sounds of our adjacent rural areas.

Artist Bio: As an on-the-side artist, I’ve enjoyed celebrating our Muncie and Hoosier community for the last 3 years with hand-pulled block prints under the “107block” name. A regular vendor at YART and the Bridge Dinners, I’ve been exciting to see residents latch on to items that not only add color and flare to their spaces, but that celebrate the places we call home. I’m interested in Box! Box! for the same reason–weaving art into our community brings local pride and improves quality of place.
My experience includes 13 years of marketing and design work in multiple Ball State
University departments. Since spring 2018, I have been a part of the Open Door Health Services team as Director of Community Awareness. Additional projects include freelance and volunteer graphic design work for various community organizations in Northeast and East Central Indiana.

Artist: Tiffany Ellis

Project Title: Outline of City Life

Location: Wheeling & Centennial

Project Statement: Art infuses life into community. Inspiration. Provocation. Ugly, beautiful. It moves us. Traveling around Seattle, Toronto, Thessaloníki, Budapest, Chongqing: art captivates me – not just the institutional, well-mannered statues of remembrance, nor famous, historic landscapes and portraits, but the street-level, impromptu messages scrawled on city walls -some beautiful, others unsightly, but all signs of a living, breathing community of people – composite parts of an interconnected whole. That’s why I want to be a part of this project. To contribute my voice in helping our community find our collective voice. I love the steady hum of small city life: riding the Mitts to work, walking the White River Greenway. An outlined perspective. A permanent memento for others to enjoy. A gesture of gratitude.

Artist Bio: Art is my passion. It’s my first love. In high school, I took every class related to art available to me. Pottery, Painting, Drawing, Introduction to Computers, Graphic Design. I loved it all. I started learning how to use design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, in 2004.
When a new program for Teaching English as a Second language was created my sophomore year of college, I put all of my energy towards pursuing first my bachelors and then my masters in TESOL and Linguistics. I’m immensely grateful for the opportunities and experiences I’ve had in this career path. I’ve taught English on a Fulbright scholarship in the Republic of Macedonia and, for the past three years, I have traveled to China regularly for Ball State University as part of my job responsibilities as a university ESL instructor. Although art has taken a backseat as I’ve pursued my career in TESOL, I have found room to squeeze it into pretty much everything I do. As an educator, I consider myself a designer of learning experiences.
I’ve been teaching English to international students at Ball State for five years; and in light of this milestone, I’ve done a great deal of reflection. In the next five years, I want art to play a bigger part in my life. I’ve joined a creative team at my church and plan to continue in a faculty learning community focused on the relationship between art and critical thinking.

Artist: Megan Chalfant

Project Title: Tribute to St. Mary’s

Location: Jackson & Celia

Project Statement: For some time in elementary school, I attended St. Mary’s as a student. There is a beautiful piece of artwork in the church which, at seven years old, impressed on me a sense of the amazing beauty and mystery of art and its ability to express the depths of human experience. Looking back, I can see this was a formative momwent in my pth as an artist. My design is a tribute to the beautiful piece that inspried me, drawing from some of the inspiration I found there. It was and experience of being changed by art, and I believe in the transformative nature of the Box! Box! project. Art brings joy, encouragement, and a breath of fresh air, and I love that Muncie wants to bring this to every street corner!

Artist Bio: My hope and vision as an artist and creative is to use my. skills to transform and encourage the world around me. Beauty is such a healing and life-giving treasure, and art brings beauty. Since graduating from BSU with a degree in Drawing and French, I have been seeking out ways to cultivate creative atmospheres that nourish the human person. I spent a year in Juneau, Alaska to dive into the local arts scene there. I saw first-hand how much local artists can build up the beauty in their community. I hope to bring all I learned from my time making and showing art there to my life in Muncie!

Artist: Erin Williams

Project Title: River Encounters (Goose! Goose!) 

Location: White River Blvd & High Street

Project Statement: This project focuses on the natural encounters a citizen of Muncie may experience along the White River. More specifically, through 4 hand-drawn vignettes, it examines the natural relationship among invasive and “nuisance” species who congregate along the river banks and undergrowth. Branta canadensis, or the Canada Goose, has become a source of frequent frustration among Muncie locals who complain that the geese, and the subsequent goose poop, have created an uninviting environment along the white river pathway (Muncie looks to get rid of hundreds of bothersome geese, Herald Bulletin, 5/21/15). Similarly, other nuisance species in the Muncie area include Eastern Pokeweed, Poison Ivy, and Honeysuckle, all of which will appear in the vignettes that will wrap the signal box. These vigorous members of the Muncie community deserve recognition as parts of the complex White River ecosystem. The project will also include depictions of some man made nuisances, such as trash and refuse, which are often found along the riverbanks. The vignettes will be a reminder of the beauty of the river environment and the intricate role that humans play in that ecosystem. Neither positive nor negative in connotation, the vignettes will represent life along the White River as it exists today.

Artist Bio: Erin Colleen Williams received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Material Studies, focusing in metalsmithing and sculpture, and her BFA from Syracuse University in Metalsmithing. Using interdisciplinary media and methods, her work examines the relationship between the conscious self and hypothetical past, present, and future. Drawing from scientific principles, contemporary culture, folklore, interspecies communication, and material intelligence, Williams creates alternate realities and narratives using physical objects, drawings, photography, and printmaking practices. Her work examines western museological and archaeological practices, illustration, and documentation in order to perpetuate instances of awe and wonder in the physical world. 
Williams is currently the program coordinator for PlySpace, an artist residency located in Muncie, Indiana. She has worked as a senior lecturer in Metalsmithing / Jewelry at the University of the Arts and Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA; and as an Adjunct Professor in Jewelry / Metalsmithing at VCU. Previously, she was the Graduate Coordinator of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, and coordinated the Graduate Programs of Museum Studies, Fine Art and Book Arts / Printmaking at the University of the Arts. Additionally, she works as an artist in Indiana and has had solo exhibitions at the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, VA, and the Arlington Art Center, in Arlington VA, among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Alliance; the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE; Art Space, Raleigh, NC; Travers Gallery, Seattle, WA; among others. 

Artist: Claire George

Project Title: Growth

Location: Southeast corner of Walnut St. & McCullough Blvd.

Project Statement: The inspiration behind my design is the idea of growth within the city, hence the title of the project. I want to show a history of the arts and also key aspects that make Muncie what it is. These are things that as a young person who has lived in Muncie all of her life, has seen and grown up appreciating. They have shaped who I am and have provided amazing memories from my childhood. I want to be able to highlight these great things and give them some recognition. I believe that my work will beautify the surrounding area and attract attention from people of all ages. It is simple, yet upon inspection draws more details. I want passersby to see and understand it, but if they stop to pick up on more history from within it. The front will feature a Ball Jar sitting in the sunlight, but its shadow is Beneficence. This is to symbolize how the Ball family is a prominent part of Muncie and because of them we are blessed with Ball State University. The two sides of the box will feature the same design of a simplified version of the “Catalyst” sculpture in front of Minnetrista. I chose this because of the impact Minnetrista has on the city, from the cultural center, orchard, and farmers market. You cannot live in Muncie or visit it without seeing Minnetrista. The back of my control box is the most complex of all. It will be an impressionist painting of an orchard based off the stylings of J. Ottis Adams. Adams was an artist and painter who moved to Muncie in 1876 and opened an art school. While the school only remained open for a couple years, it spun off several art groups and associations within the city. If someone were to walk by the box they would see a painting of the orchard and think of Minnetrista, but if you knew the history then you could recognize the tribute to Adams. The top of my box will be simple, featuring a nighttime sky dazzled with stars and fireflies. One of the great things about Indiana is the bright stars in the nighttime sky. As a kid I always loved catching fireflies during summer evenings and I feel that almost everybody can relate to that.

Artist Bio: I have been a lover of art since I was a little kid. I attended summer art camps at Ball State all throughout my elementary years. I have been taking art classes at my school every year for seven years. Those classes include painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and jewelry. In 2017, I won honorable mention at the Primetrust art show, and in 2018, I won 3rd place overall in my age group at the same show. Currently, I am in my freshman year of college.

Artist: Lucas Tetrault

Project Title: Must Love Dogs 

Location: Minnetrista entrance at Wheeling Ave & Neely Ave

Project Statement: More often than not, I find that people love their dogs. My wife and I lost our beloved Doberman over 4 years ago to bone cancer – she was only 7 – and I guess this is my way of saying goodbye to her and paying tribute to the love we had for our first “baby”. It seems like everyone gets attached to their first pet – and it seems like that bond that is created, especially with a dog is a very strong one. I didn’t want to alienate the cat people out there – or any other proud pet owners, but I thought that by showing a variety of dogs would really be appealing to the eye of anyone passing by and would be something that everyone might enjoy. 

Artist Bio: An artist at heart, I grew up always drawing and painting. After high school, I went to Purdue University and learned how to apply those skills towards computer graphics and design. Upon earning my degree, I’ve since been employed at a few agencies as a Flash Developer/Graphic Designer, Assistant Art Director, and Art Director. I am now the Creative Director for Whitinger Strategic Services. I am also a paid writer for the websites and More often than I probably realize, I get asked, “Lucas you handsome devil, what is it that you do on a day-to-day basis…?” Well, I’d say that I am involved in creatively strategizing, designing, and maintaining a company’s brand. This might include such things as websites, brochures, direct mailing pieces, ui/ux mock-ups, app design, logos, posters, photo manipulation and digital/traditional illustration work. 

Artist: Charles Freeman

Project Title: The Beauty of Birds

Location: Minnetrista entrance at Wheeling Ave & Neely Ave

Project Statement: Birds are one of nature’s most magnificent creatures. Their colorful feathers and distinctive sounds are capable of producing in humans a myriad of emotions. Birds play an important role in nature as well in that they are instrumental in the fertilization of the earth’s greenery. I find much inspiration in birds and believe others do, too. I enjoy watching them from my window. I find them to be a symbol of freedom and care-free living. To paint a traffic box with images of these creatures in flight and nesting will bring a colorful lightness to the busy intersection of Liberty Street at Memorial Drive between the Muncie Public Library Maring-Hunt Branch and the Muncie Mission Complex. The intersection lacks color and I want to change that by transforming the existing traffic box from its drab gray color to a delightful scene of nesting Cardinals and a blue bird in flight. It is sure to capture the attention of motorists and pedestrians who pass through the area to get to school, to work, the post office or to the Maring Hunt Library. 

Artist Bio: I am a self-taught artist with 45 years of public art experience. My specialty is mural painting and I have contributed many to the landscapes of Los Angeles, California and Carlsbad, New Mexico. In Carlsbad, New Mexico my first commission was to create a mural for the Eddy County DWI program. The mural was completed in 2010 followed by the Carlsbad Caverns Commemorative stamp mural, the La Tenda Supermarket caverns mural, and the Trinity Hotel and Restaurant vineyard mural to mention a few. Between 2010 and 2016 I painted approximately 12 murals for the city of Carlsbad, local businesses, national park service and private residences. As a co-founder of the Carlsbad Mural Project I was instrumental in site identification and mentoring young artists in the art of mural painting. One of last public art project was to paint desert scenes on the traffic box outside the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. 
In August 2015, I restored one of my best known murals “Return to the Light.” Originally executed in 1994, the mural looms above the Pasadena Freeway and is seen daily by thousands of commuters. Return to the Light is a 20 foot mural painted on the exterior wall of a senior residential complex at Carlota Boulevard and Avenue 41 in Highland Park. Other LA murals are located on exterior walls of local schools and cultural centers in South Central Los Angeles. I am recipient of several awards from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2011, I was commissioned to create a mural commemorating the 40-year legacy of Sheenway School and Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California. I created the original Sheenway mural in the 1970s and served as an art instructor. 
I enjoy portrait painting. Over the years I have produced oil paintings of family, friends and luminaries, such as Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These works were presented to the individuals. In the case of the Dr. King portrait, it was commissioned by an Asian restaurateur in South Central for the dining room. The portrait was admired by his customers so much so that the painting came up missing within a few weeks. I produced prints of the Malcom X portrait, the original is owned by a close friend. In 2006, I was commissioned to paint portraits of historical African American leaders Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass by the Wilder Preparatory Academy of Inglewood California. From 2005 to 2009 I lived in Atlanta, Georgia and was commissioned to paint a series of paintings illustrating pre-colonial Africa culture. These paintings are a permanent collection at the Omenala Afrocentric Cultural Center and Museum. 
Shortly After restoring a mural in Los Angeles I suffered a stroke that has let me paralyzed on my right side. It was my dominate side; however, I have learned to write and paint with my left hand. I have produced artwork with my left hand and look forward to participating and sharing my artwork through the traffic box public art competition.

Artist: Laurie Lunsford

Project Title: Dance!

Location: Westside Park at Tillotson & White River Blvd

Project Statement: Music and movement are a beautiful form of creativity. Moving to music projects joy. Last year, I was at a concert at Canan Commons and was feeling the joy as I watched children flowing to the front stage to move to the music. I very quickly drew the forms as they moved in and out and around one another. My purpose for this project is to bring a smile to anyone who sees it. I also believe that children represent hope and that they can be recognized for what they bring to our community.

Artist Bio: Art has been an integral part of my life since the time I painted the kitchen appliances with watercolor as a three-year-old. I am an elementary school art teacher and fin that children have creative ideas that are fresh and alive. I am now teaching art at St. Lawrence School. I write and illustrate children’s picture books. My fourth book, “Enough is Enough” has recently been launched. For ten years, I was an interactive Arts Specialist with Alzheimer’s patients and started programs in three different nursing homes in Muncie. I also painted several murals in nursing homes. Art has been an agent of healing for me over the years and has also been healing for those with whom I interact in the arts. Plein air painting is my favorite thing to do. You will find me with my sketch books on the greenway, the Redtail land preserves painting nature. I find people to draw at outdoor concerts, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and parks, wherever people gather. I love painting portraits. I am part of a group of plein air artists who gather to paint together every Wednesday. We are working together on a book that will represent all the Redtail properties through our art. I work in watercolor, pastels, and acrylics, and I am in love with color. I am a long-time Muncie resident. I love Muncie. I also love the arts that I am seeing around every corner.

Artist: JoAnna Darda

Project Title: Sky, Stream

Location: High Street & Wysor at the south end of High Street Bridge

Project Statement: When drawing inspiration for this project, my mind immediately turned to the White River. This river and its surrounding trails quite literally connect the community to the beauty of our city, by providing a path through parks, cultural institutions, and natural landmarks. “Sky, Stream” is an abstract, vibrant painting that gently draws reference to Muncie’s natural beauty. The deep, watery layers of brush work and color speak to the depth and movement of the river. The rolling, flowing composition and deep, lush color palette nod to the curves of the river, the colors of the sky fading to night. While the overall composition of this work is dynamically simple, a sense of dimension and depth will be created by strategically layering multiple washes of color and expressive brush strokes. This rolling composition of bold, rich color can be enjoyed at a glance, but the subtle complexities in color and texture invite the viewer to take a longer, closer look. I hope that this work imparts the viewer with the same sense of quiet, meditative joy that comes from a long walk alone in the sunshine.

Artist Bio: I am an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Muncie, Indiana. I work across a variety of media, but all of my work draws on my passion of textiles. Even when I’m not knitting, weaving, sewing, or designing patterns, my work relies on the same vocabulary of textures and mark making. By layering colors, textures, and tiny, complex marks to construct larger compositions in my drawings and paintings, I reference the flowing, minute stitches that make up a piece of knitting, or the intricate threads and weave structures that create a length of fabric. My drawings and paintings are intended to evoke the same sense of meditative, quiet warmth that I feel gain from slowly, stitch by stitch, creating cloth that will eventually keep me warm in the winter. 

As a founding member of We’re Trying Collective, I am in awe of impact that our downtown mural, On the Mark, For the City has had in the past year since its creation. Public art is a conversation starter, a backdrop to wedding photos, senior photos, something to make you smile on your commute to work. It is a tangible expression of beauty and investment in the community. It provides meaningful exposure to and enjoyment of art to populations who may not typically occupy art spaces. Like a handmade quilt or a well worn shirt, public art becomes embedded in the fabric of daily life, in the landscape, and that is a true honor for an artist.

Call for 2020 Box! Box! Artists & Design Proposals will be announced in spring.

View the 2019 Box! Box! Call for Participation

View the 2019 Box! Box! Application Form

View the 2019 Box! Box! Small Design Template

View the 2019 Box! Box! Large Design Template

Identify box locations that qualify for this program using the Box! Box! Interactive Map


    • Participation is open to all artists residing in Delaware County, Indiana that are at least 18 years of age. Student groups may apply with a sponsor that meets the age requirement of eligibility.
    • All entries must be the original design and artwork of the entrant and must be suitable for viewing by all ages. Artists will be required to certify that all work submitted is original and developed by the submitting artist.
    • The scope of this project is limited to two-dimensional works and NO three-dimensional concepts will be considered.
    • Entries must not defame or invade the rights of any person, living or deceased.
    • Entries must be appropriate for all ages.
    • Offensive and/or commercial advertisements are strictly prohibited.

Application Requirements

Submission must contain:

    • Signed and completed application form. Application Form PFD
    • Design template with a rendering of the proposal.
    • A Project Statement (500 words maximum) that describes why the artist is interested in painting a traffic signal controller box and how the artist believes the art will beautify the surrounding area.
    • An Artist Statement or biography with previous experience.
    • Three examples of previous, related work.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Application materials will not be returned.  

Artist Selection Process

Box! Box! applications for Summer 2019 will be accepted on a rolling basis Friday, July 26th at 4:00 PM. The selection committee includes MACC board members and neighborhood representatives when appropriate. Applications will be evaluated on the following selection criteria:

    • Originality
    • Composition
    • Artistic Merit
    • Artist’s Experience
    • Artwork that attracts attention from a distance


Traffic boxes in up to twelve locations will be painted during the 2019 season of Box! Box! Applicants are encouraged to consider locations relevant to them – near where they live, where they work, or where they play!

The Delaware County Office of Geographic Information created the Box! Box! Interactive Map to assist applicants with locating traffic control boxes that qualify for the program. City-owned boxes are the only eligible boxes for this program – they are coded in orange. Avoid falling in love with any of the red INDOT locations – those are not qualifying locations. The interactive map will help you determine whether a box near you is available!

Site Specifications

A design template sample for each type of control box is provided to assist in the visualization of the proposal. A design template must be submitted as part of the full application.

We encourage artists to visit their desired locations to assess the spatial and environmental needs specific to each individual traffic box. Take note of parking, distance to restroom facilities, and any environmental conditions like sun/shade that might present a challenge.  

Project Timeline

    • Artist notifications will be sent via email within two weeks of the application submission.
    • A contract will be required for all selected projects.
    • Artists painting small boxes will receive $175 stipend for participation. Artists painting large boxes will receive a $250 stipend for participation. Stipends are paid upon completion of the selected proposal.
    • Artists will also receive a supply stipend of $100 for large boxes and $75 for small boxes via a gift certificate for paint and other necessary supplies available at Art Mart. This stipend can only be used for the approved materials. Any surplus of the stipend will go back into the project.
    • Locations must be ready for final anti-graffiti top-coat within one month following approval of application. The Summer 2019 season deadline for completion of all projects is October 30th.

Worksite Specifications and Safety Procedures

Each artist will be given instructions to maximize safety for themselves and the general public while painting on-site. It is the responsibility of the artist that they comply with recommended safety protocols.

Health and Safety Requirements

MACC will provide:

    • Pedestrian signs
    • Safety vests (must be worn at all times when on-site) 
    • Safety cones 

Safety while on-site:

    • The artist is NOT, under any circumstances, allowed to stand in the gutter or roadway while engaged in this project.
    • Do not block sidewalks, crosswalks or traffic lanes while painting your signal box.
    • Use traffic cones and/or caution tape to block off your working area.

On-site requirements:

    • Cover the space surrounding your work area with a drop cloth.
    • Use a protective face mask to screen out fumes and consider using eye protection as well.
    • Use low-tack masking tape to mask off areas that must remain unpainted.
    • Do not block or cover vents, keyholes, or light sensors. These are necessary to make the signal control box work as intended.
    • If using aerosol techniques, do not direct paint upward around the vent area. Avoid paint entering the box and damaging the sensitive electronics used to control the traffic signals.
    • Allow paint to dry thoroughly between coats or layers unless you are blending wet-on-wet as an effect.
    • Clean up spills while paint is still wet and easy to remove. This will save power-washing of spilled paint after it has dried. Artists are liable for any citations from the City.
    • Do not dump excess paint, paint residue or paint-water into the city sewer system or into the grass or soil around the box. Remove your paint waste and dispose of properly. For more information, visit or contact East Central Recycling by phone at 765-282-1900
    • We encourage participants to donate any left-over paint and supplies back to MACC to help reduce costs for the next group of participants.