Campus Beautification - Utility Art Project

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Utility Art Project

Cal Poly is spearheading an effort to beautify the campus through the painting of utility infrastructure such as utility boxes and similar infrastructure into canvases for works of public art in order to enhance the vibrancy of campus, showcase local talent, and deter graffiti. The Utility Art Project will provide an opportunity to introduce themes to campus, create a sense of place and identity, and inspire thought and conversation. It will also be a chance to showcase the University’s artistic talent and encourage the Cal Poly community to engage with their surroundings. The Utility Art Project is a fun and unique opportunity for Cal Poly students and faculty to add their creative touches to the campus landscape.

Sizes will vary depending on the selected feature. Generally, large utility boxes are [5’5” H X 2’ 0” W x 2’ D], and small utility boxes are [3’H X 2’2” W x 1’6” D]. Art should cover all exposed sides including the top. Selected artists must be willing to adjust designs to the utility assigned.

Utility boxes will be cleaned and primed prior to the first day of painting. Painting is scheduled to occur Winter Quarter 2022. All selected artists must be available to paint during this time. Upon completion, each box will be sealed with a UV anti-graffiti clear coat sealant

Utility Art Box Potential Installation Sites and Photos

Utility Art Program


The competition shall be open to individual students, faculty and staff, or “teams” of students or faculty with a designated lead artist who have the skills and artistic vision required to complete the project to the highest degree of creative display and artistic expertise. Qualifying applicants must be currently enrolled or actively employed by Cal Poly at the time of application. Applicants should carefully review this RFQ to determine if they have the necessary skills, experience, and creative vision to complete the project.


Artwork must be original and may not contain advertising, religious art, sexual, violent, or related content, negative imagery, drug use, culturally offensive imagery, political partisanship or any prohibited CSU activities (see for details).

Artists must use the following materials for the Utility Art Paint Project: FMD will provide two gallons of white base paint and a $250 Amazon Gift Card. All other materials to be provided by the artist.


Applications submitted in response to this Call-for-Artists will be reviewed by the Facilities Planning and Capital Projects

Department (FPCP) and a selection committee (Art Jury) consisting of campus stakeholders including, but not limited to; faculty and students. The Art Jury will review all complete, eligible applications received by the deadline. If the number of qualifying applications does not meet the number needed; FPCP may decide to reopen the selection process.

Criteria used to select artists will be:

The University reserves the right to refuse all entries. Selected artwork must meet the California Polytechnic Design Guidelines and receive final approval by the Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance.


October – November 2021 Call-for-Artists Release/ Advertise Public Art Projects

November 29 Application Deadline

November 30 Dec 10 - Art Jury Review & Selection

Dec 13 Artist Selection Announce



California Polytechnic State University encourages the use of tree-free products; therefore, submissions must be submitted electronically in the following way;

Please do not provide any materials not specifically requested (I.e. photographs, DVD/video, articles). If sent, they will not be reviewed by the selection panel.

Calpoly Art Box Application


Artists must submit the following materials in order to be considered for review: