Applicants Sought For Salisbury Public Art Project

SALISBURY – The next round in a public art project is underway in downtown Salisbury.

Officials with the Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District are calling on artists to submit design proposals by mid-April for an ongoing project that transforms electric utility boxes in the downtown area into works of art.

In 2014, Delmarva Veteran Builders brought the concept to the Salisbury Arts District and helped work with representatives from Delmarva Power to gain permission to paint the boxes.

So far, seven of the 20 identified electric utility boxes in the Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District’s boundaries have been completed – four along Camden Street, one on East Market Street, one on West Market Street and another on Church Street – by artists Doug Draper, Jr., Michel Demanche, Helene English, Ashley Brown, Roni Jones, Clark Derbes and Dana Simpson.

Jamie Heater, executive director of the Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District, said the goal is to complete at least four more utility boxes ahead of the National Folk Festival, which will take place in downtown Salisbury Sept. 7-9.

“People think these boxes are easy to complete, but they are not,” she said. “You have to sand, prime, paint and clear coat it. It takes a while to complete one of these projects.”

Heater said applicants will be tasked with selecting one of the available electric utility boxes and submitting a design that compliments where the box is located.

“We want them to submit a specific design for a specific box,” she said, adding that she expects some electric utility boxes, like the one near Brew River, to garner a lot of interest.

Heater said the goal is to complete all 20 electric utility boxes in the future.

“Eventually we hope to get all of them done,” she said.

While the organization’s primary role is to promote events in the downtown area, Heater said the Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District has a subcommittee that focuses on public arts projects. In addition to the electric utility boxes, the group’s projects include the Huron Mural on the Route 50 side of the City Center Building and the metalwork sculptures located downtown.

“It brings character and life back to public places,” she said. “We view public art projects and events as being an economic development driver. We do it because we want to see the area come back to life.”

Interested artists must submit an application, an artist statement, examples of other work and a design proposal no later than April 15. Winning proposals will be selected by a panel of qualified professionals and announced no later than April 30. The selected artists will be compensated $1,000 to complete their design.

Funding for the project is provided by the Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District in partnership with the City of Salisbury, and private contributions.

Interested artists should contact Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District. For more information visit

“Some of these boxes are in various states of disrepair – not only do we want to compensate these artists for their time and creativity – but we also want the public to know that amount of work it takes to complete these boxes is no easy feat,” Heater said in a statement. “We really appreciate the time and skill that these artists put in. It really is a labor of love”.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.