Richardson accepting submissions for traffic signal box art contest

Traffic signal boxes with and without artwork.
Richardson and the local Kiwanis Club is sponsoring a contest to add artwork to five traffic signal boxes throughout the city. (Screenshot courtesy city of Richardson)

Richardson and the local Kiwanis Club is sponsoring a contest to add artwork to five traffic signal boxes throughout the city. (Screenshot courtesy city of Richardson)

Richardson staff detailed a plan to add artwork to traffic signal boxes throughout the city during City Council’s Jan. 10 work session. The pilot program is designed to raise civic pride through a unifying theme, make public spaces more interesting and support artists in the community, according to the presentation.

“This is an exciting initiative,” Assistant City Manager Shanna Sims-Bradish said. “It’s in partnership with our Richardson Kiwanis Club. This is just one way that we can provide opportunities for our community to engage in different ways. The gray boxes are throughout our community and control your traffic signals. Other communities have seen that as an opportunity and have created artwork on those.”

Staff showed examples of similar programs in Flower Mound, Grand Prairie and Sugar Land.

“The natural theme that came to us [for the artwork] was wildflowers,” Sims-Bradish said. “It’s synonymous with our community. We [are] looking at a spring 2022 installation. That’s when you’ll see wildflowers in full beauty.”

The city and the local Kiwanis Club announced an art contest to select five original, wildflower-themed designs for the traffic signal boxes on Jan. 11. The contest is open to individual artists residing in the city or students attending a school located within Richardson, according to a city news release.

Entries will be accepted until Feb. 28. A small selection committee consisting of representatives from the cultural arts committee, Richardson Kiwanis Club and a local educational institution will then evaluate the submissions on theme, creativity and artistic merit, according to staff's presentation. The winning artist will receive a $100 stipend and will be recognized at a future council meeting and awarded a plaque.

The five signal boxes selected for the project are either close to wildflower plantings in traffic medians or in areas with high pedestrian and bike activity. Designs chosen for the traffic signal boxes will be displayed at Renner Road and Routh Creek Parkway at the Spring Creek Nature Area; Yale Road and Apollo Road at Duck Creek Trail; Belt Line Road and Mimosa Drive at Richardson High School; Waterview Drive and Franklyn Jennifer Drive on the University of Texas at Dallas campus; and at Renner Road and Telecom Parkway, according to the city release.

The artwork will be installed on the signal boxes using vinyl wraps, which are durable, decrease the likelihood of graffiti and have a five-year lifespan, according to the presentation to council. Installation of these wraps on the five signal boxes throughout the city will be done with a member of the city’s transportation department present to ensure they are properly installed in a way that does not hinder necessary maintenance.

The cost for the project is $6,500, with funding coming from the city’s hotel-motel tax fund.

Additional information about the contest is available on the city website.