This is the view of one member of Endless Canvas:
Right now a proposal by a community group is going through to have art painted on all the electrical boxes in the neighborhood around the Art Murmor (Oakland’s art walk and central gallery hub.) It looks like it is happening for sure. The call for artists is expected to be out in a month.
Endless Canvas supports public art. However, my emotional response to this project was gut wrenching. It is obviously an anti-graffiti campaign to further gentrify the community. It says that graffiti artists are bad and only art sanctioned by the government can exist. In places like Rome and Jerusalem they have public billboards to wheat paste on, but in many US cities electrical boxes are our symbol for free speech. Even if the boxes are buffed, it allows a neutral space for people to express themselves without damaging store fronts and other private property. This project will not eliminate graffiti, but rather move it onto storefronts.
Giving this further thought, most of the electric boxes on that block are constantly cleaned my Koreana Plaza, Auto Businesses and Wholefoods anyway. Maybe this is a way to get artwork on these boxes to last a minute. Either way this project is going to happen. What I propose is that when the call for art comes out, as many street artists from the community as possible get involved as to minimize wackness. Street art aside, it is most important that local artists hold down there own neighborhood.