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DailyTidings.com
  • Ashland beautification project comes to fruition

    Local artists paint seven utility boxes in the city
  • Seven drab green utility boxes around Ashland have been transformed into pieces of art.
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    • Painted utility box locations
      1. In front of U.S. Bank near intersection of E. Main and Second streets
      2. In front of Trinity Episcopal Church near intersection of Lithia Way and Second Street
      3. Near intersection of Li...
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      Painted utility box locations
      1. In front of U.S. Bank near intersection of E. Main and Second streets

      2. In front of Trinity Episcopal Church near intersection of Lithia Way and Second Street

      3. Near intersection of Lithia Way and C Street

      4. In front of Ashland Sanitary & Recycling on Oak Street

      5. Near Historic Ashland Armory on Oak Street

      6. By parking lot near Oregon Stage Works on A Street

      7. Near Ashland Yoga Center near intersection of A and Fourth streets
  • Seven drab green utility boxes around Ashland have been transformed into pieces of art.
    Artists braved 100-degree temperatures over this past weekend to paint the boxes for the city of Ashland's Utility Box Beautification Project.
    Artists were asked to submit designs for the project's theme of "Reflections of Ashland."
    "It said that the designs should reflect the culture of Ashland," said artist Zelpha Hutton. "I thought, 'What is the culture of Ashland?'"
    A visit to Blue Heron Gallery & Gifts downtown provided her with an idea when she noticed several dogs tied up at the nearby Agave restaurant while their owners dined. A bicycle was also outside.
    The scene — often repeated at cafés all around town — inspired Hutton to create a playful design featuring dogs tied to a table with a bowl of water and a bicycle nearby. The utility box she painted is in front of U.S. Bank on Second Street.
    Artist Ann DiSalvo painted swans on a utility box near the Ashland Yoga Center at the corner of A and Fourth streets as her way of bringing the majestic but troublesome birds back to Ashland.
    The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department used to have a pair of swans in Lithia Park's lower duck pond.
    They had to have their wings clipped so they wouldn't fly away. The swans sometimes horrified residents and tourists visiting the pond by attacking and killing ducklings.
    When one swan died, city officials decided to relocate the remaining swan to a pond out of town rather than try to find a new mate to keep the tradition of swans in Ashland alive.
    DiSalvo said she misses the swans. But she also used to have peacocks that attacked other animals, so she knows that large birds can be difficult as well as beautiful.
    The box she painted depicts adult swans as well as goslings, a turtle and water lilies.
    DiSalvo said she's glad the city of Ashland helped provide the opportunity for artists to paint utility boxes.
    "It's something I wish I could have done a long time ago. They look like canvases waiting to be painted on," she said.
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