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A closer look: City Hall utility box

Painted utility box // Artist: Elyssa Harper // Elmwood Ave. and North St.

The ongoing Community Canvases project, which turns utility boxes and other pieces of public infrastructure into artworks, has attracted traditional artists as well as members of Buffalo's active and growing street art community. This piece, featuring a ghostly image of City Hall dripping paint against a backdrop of otherworldly geometric cubes, is the work of prolific Buffalo street artist Elyssa Harper. To me, her latest piece for Community Canvases represents a certain pride in the city that most people don't associate with street artists, many of whom are wrongly dismissed as thoughtless or egocentric vandals. This piece shows an increasing awareness that the contributions of newly emerging street artists -- quite apart from the literal and illustrative murals that have been appearing in the city for decades -- can lend a welcome sense of vibrancy to a streetscape that is badly in need of it. Check out the artist's Instagram account here.

--Colin Dabkowski


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