YSUscape’s downtown utility boxes project honors city’s history

YSUscape president Daniel Bancroft says the student organization got the idea from other cities

Thanks to a grant from the Raymond John Wean Foundation, YSUscape was able to take six of the typical, gray utility boxes and place some art on them.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Take a walk through downtown Youngstown and you may just see a pop of color.

Last month, WYTV showed you art on utility boxes throughout downtown and on Youngstown State’s campus.

Thanks to a grant from the Raymond John Wean Foundation, YSUscape was able to take six of the typical, gray utility boxes and place some art on them.

“They’re interesting to look at,” said Lucas Darling, YSUscape’s secretary. “Instead of people just being focused on getting from point A to point B, it kind of adds something to the experience of walking down Wick Ave.”

Darling and YSUscape president Daniel Bancroft got the idea from other cities.

“Ohio University in Athens — I’ve seen them there,” Bancroft said. “And then around Cleveland. So basically when we go visit other cities, we kind of look for ideas.”

YSUscape worked with the artists to create the designs.

Some have geometric patterns, like the one across the street from Silver’s Vogue Shop. Other’s have iconic buildings in the city and messages.

The utility box across the street from Jones Hall depicts one the school’s oldest buildings, plus the message lets knowledge serve the city.

“You can see integrating some Youngstown-themed pieces,” Bancroft said.

A piece by Arielle Pilolli featuring steel beams and the Youngstown skyline is one of nine additional vinyl stickers to be placed on utility boxes.

Bancroft says YSUscape is also working on murals for spots downtown.