Crafted Living

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Archive for the tag “utility boxes”

Photography Monday: Utility Box #10

 

Utility Box Art #10

The last utility box in the first phase of this series.  Beautifully executed and filled with images of daily life in South Pasadena.  This box depicts the busy intersection where the light rail meets cars and pedestrians.

Utility Box Art #10

This rail line was originally used for freight and Amtrak. It is close to the South Pasadena Historical Museum housed in the former Meridian Iron Works building. Close to this intersection is the weekly farmers market that is depicted in Utility Box #1.
Utility Box Art #10

Since the tracks cross the intersection at a forty-five degree angle, the crossing gates are very long and an integral part of this junction’s symphony.  Next to the museum and the tracks is a small park, where you will find many children playing and watching the trains.
Utility Box Art #10This box beautifully depicts a typical day at this train stop.  Stay tuned for the next phase of ten boxes!

*Tina

P.S. Please follow me on Instagram @crafted.living.

Utility Box Art #9

Utility Box Art #9

This utility box pays homage to South Pasadena’s designation as a Tree City USA community.  Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, the community must achieve four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.Utility Box Art #9

South Pasadena has had this designation for 17 consecutive years.
Utility Box Art #9

A few benefits of having a mature urban canopy: trees increase property values, trees reduce energy consumption, trees reduce crime, trees unite neighborhoods, trees benefit wildlife, trees reduce the effects of climate change and trees clear our air.

Utility Box Art #9

This box is one of my favorites because of the theme, use of color as well as its painterly quality.  It echoes its surroundings and the purple pops against the saturated greens of this piece.

Utility Box Art #9

I think trees bring much charm and character to the landscape.  I consider myself fortunate to have grown up and still live in this idyllic town filled with these beauties. Stay tuned for box #10!

*Tina

Utility Box Art #8

I didn’t mean to be away for so long, but I am back and want to share the last three utility boxes before moving onto sharing the second phase.

Utility Box #8

This utility box pays homage to South Pasadena being on Route 66.  South Pasadena was part of the 1926-31 and 1940-1964 alignment, which included several major city attractions including the Rialto Theatre, Gus’s Barbecue and Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain.

Utility Box #8

The panels are filled with common car culture imagery including the pin striping on the sides of the auxiliary box below.  The asphalt texture and road tread complete the theme.

Utility Box #8

The design is well executed and a fabulous depiction of an important part of South Pasadena’s history. Stay tuned for two more boxes from phase one!

*Tina

P.S. Please follow me on Instagram @crafted.living

Utility Box Art #7

Utility Box Art #7

This utility box occupies a very busy street corner in South Pasadena.  It is colorful and interesting to look at tucked under a shady mature tree.  This box has a collection of images that as a viewer, I am not sure what they represent.
Utility Box Art #7

This panel reminds me of the iconic image from the Great Escape with Steve McQueen and James Garner.  But, it is also peppered with iconic South Pasadena images of flying parrots and a baby ostrich.
Utility Box Art #7

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and maybe the artist wants us to be confused. Maybe he or she doesn’t want this artistic rendering to be obvious to the viewer.  All in all, it is fun to look at and definitely is welcome as opposed to a plain utility box.

*Tina

P.S. I am on Instagram if you want to follow my musings as I have been posting more daily life and travel photos there than here on the blog.  Follow me @crafted.living

Utility Box Art #6

Utility Box Art #6

The art on this box definitely has an anime feel to it.  Her persona changes depending on her mood as evidenced by the different hair color, skin color and outfit on each panel.

Utility Box Art #6

I love art for this reason as it is your interpretation of what you are seeing.  The artist can explain what it truly means, but ultimately it is your reaction and view of it that really matters.

Utility Box Art #6

It is a nice colorful addition to this busy street corner along one of the main drags in town.

Utility Box Art #6

Last week, an article was published in the local paper, the South Pasadena Review, that the city has approved ten more boxes to be painted.  This is fabulous news as it brings more public art for the masses to see on a daily basis.  It also sparks conversations about art and how it should be an integral part of the community.  I can’t wait to see what will be on display in the next phase, but I have four more boxes to share with you to complete this series.  Stay tuned!

*Tina

 

Utility Box Art #5

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These red-crowned parrots are native to Eastern Mexico.

This box documents our everyday life in South Pasadena with our feathered friends, the wild parrots.  The parrots have been entrenched in our city for years and they traditionally roost in Altadena, Temple City and South Pasadena.

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They commonly roost in many types of trees in our community plus hang out on the telephone wires that dot the city.

During the fall and winter months, the parrots tend to roost more than any other time of year.  They are very good at finding and exploiting food sources.  This is why they roost in one area for a short time and then move on.

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Their behavior is to roost and flock together.

Years ago, my mother had a parrot get stuck in the grill of her car while she was driving in town.  She had to call our city animal control officer to extricate the parrot.  That was one dopey parrot.

*Tina

Utility Box Art #4

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Bonsai are trees and plants grown in containers in such a way so that they look their most beautiful.

One of the simplest in design, but interesting nonetheless.  A beautiful bonsai tree placed against a repeating geometric pattern.

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Bonsai are appreciated as objects of art.

The process of raising bonsai requires controlling the kind of shape the trees take and allowing it to achieve its most beautiful, balanced form.

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A wonderful quote to accompany this artistic piece.

In essence, both of these mediums are controlled.  One is achieved naturally and the other is not, but they provide a dynamic contrast when placed against each other.

*Tina

Utility Box Art #3

Groovy!

Monochromatic madness.

This box is next to a gas station and it is a welcome sight.  It reminds of a doodle on a massive scale.

Love the mix of imagery.

Love the mix of imagery.

Upon closer inspection, you can see birds, plants and roses.  With South Pasadena being a neighbor to Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade, the roses are definitely appropriate.

Utility Box Art #3

Some of the imagery is a nod to historic home design.

Not knowing the artist’s full intention is what makes it fun to interpret from a personal perspective.  Long live art!

*Tina

Utility Box Art #2

The art on this utility box pays homage to America’s first ostrich farm.  The Cawston Ostrich Farm was started in 1886 when Edward Cawston brought ostriches to California to cash in on the popularity of ostrich feathers as fashion by cutting out the middlemen and raising his own birds.

The ostrich is part of South Pasadena's heritage.

The ostrich is part of South Pasadena’s heritage.

Most of the birds he imported from South Africa and Texas died almost immediately, but he was soon able to encourage the remaining birds to breed.  His herd would swell to one hundred at its height.  Cawston soon realized that he could charge tourists and locals for ostrich rides while hawking lucrative ostrich memorabilia from the farm’s gift shop.

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In the 1880’s, exceptional ostrich feathers could fetch as much as $5 a piece on the market.

The farm became so popular that the Pacific Electric Railway built a Red Car trolley stop nearby to accommodate the flood of visitors headed up the Arroyo Seco to see Cawston’s birds.

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Considered an ornithological curiosity, ostriches have always been fascinating to watch.

In the 1910s, the market for ostrich plumes collapsed, but tourists continued to flock to ostrich farms well into the twentieth century. Visitors rode in ostrich-drawn carriages and wagons or even, in some cases, rode the birds bareback.

*Tina

Utility Box Art #1

Enjoying the park!

Enjoying the park!

South Pasadena Arts Council spearheaded an arts program to spruce up ten drab utility boxes with colorful, unique paintings.  Public art builds a sense of community and these boxes capture the unique spirit of our city’s history and distinctive culture.

Shopping the farmers market.

Shopping the farmers market.

This box is a vibrant representation of our weekly farmers market featuring the venue, our local museum and the light rail train passing by.

Being a part of the farmers market experience.

Being a part of the farmers market experience.

This artist truly captured our farmers market and all it has to offer.  Filled with farmers selling their produce, food vendors offering delectable dinner fare and musicians serenading the shoppers, it is a unique experience unlike any in the area.

Our beloved local museum.

Our beloved local museum.

*Tina

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