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The City Journals

Call for art for power poles

Mar 27, 2017 11:13AM ● By Kelly Cannon

Residents can submit their ideas for art work that will cover poles on Fort Union Boulevard. (Cottonwood Heights Arts Council)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council is asking residents to submit artwork designs to cover power poles along Fort Union Boulevard. The six-feet-high pieces will be wrapped around 29 poles along the road beginning this summer.
The idea for the art power poles came when the city began its beautification project of Fort Union Boulevard.
“You can’t really make those power poles beautiful. They kind of came up with the idea and they came to the arts council and said we’d love to make these poles into something that would be beautiful when you drive up,” said Kim Pedersen, the arts council production manager. “They just turned it over to the arts council and said we think this will be very beautiful and they just kind of ran with it.”
According to Pedersen, Brian Berndt, the director of economic development, and City Manager John Park were instrumental in getting Rocky Mountain Power on board with the project.
“It wasn’t something that they were super for but they finally agreed,” Pedersen said. “It will be good and I think everyone is going to be pleased when it’s finished.”
While there will eventually be 29 poles covered in art, the plan is to complete the project in shifts of five or six at a time. The artists whose work is selected to cover the poles will paint the poles themselves. The city will then coat the artwork in a car shellac to preserve it.
“We might have to redo them in 10 years or whatever,” Pedersen said. “But we’re told if they are painted and then we seal them over with a car shellac, that will seal it and it should be good.”
Artists should submit their design ideas through a submission form found on The arts council, in conjunction with the Cottonwood Heights City Council, will then select the five or six pieces to begin the project.
“That work will go on for about three weeks from the last part of June into the first part of July,” Pedersen said. “Everything should be done and ready to go for Butlerville Days, which starts July 22.”
The arts council is looking for something that is family friendly and appropriate to be seen from the road.

“We want family-friendly images but other than that, there’s not really any other restrictions. It can be a picture or it can be more of a graphic image with shapes or colors,” Pedersen said. “It’s up to the artist and we really wanted to leave it for the artist to be creative and kind of show us what they can do and unless it’s not family-friendly and not something you’d want to see driving down the road, other than that, it’s wide open.”
All submissions must be entered by May 15. Winners will be notified by June 8. For any questions, contact Pedersen at [email protected]