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Staff report

A utility box near Camino Capistrano and Trader Joe’s in San Juan Capistrano has been “wrapped” with Los Rios Historic District-themed art—which The Alliance for San Juan Art (TASJA) is pleased to see.

“Art in the Public Square is beginning to be noticeable in San Juan Capistrano!” TASJA spokesperson Tina Ann said. “Utility boxes around the globe are being painted or wrapped by local artists associations. Our neighboring cities of Dana Point and San Clemente have extensive programs that have resulted in colorful and interesting artwork on many of the traffic signal and other utility boxes.”

Photo: Courtesy of The Alliance for San Juan Art

TASJA is working to bring similar programs to San Juan. The organization is a nonprofit recently formed by resident Rich Heimann, who has frequently spoken at public forums about his desire to see more public art in San Juan in the hope it could draw more visitors and revenue for the area.

Art pieces such as the decorated utility boxes can also be conversation starters and deter graffiti, Ann said. The artistic wrapping was done in early August after Heimann noticed the box and discovered it was essentially abandoned, and decorative art was made possible through a grant.

“TASJA is continuing to work with the city to wrap more utility boxes, whether they be city or privately owned, and looks forward to such approval,” Ann said.

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