It’s time to paint boxes

Painted up: One of the Chorus boxes painted this year, on the corner of Lowe St and Orchard Rd, by artist Melysa Tapiata.

It is time for Hastings’ artists to get their thinking caps on again.

Another five utility boxes are about to become canvases for local artists, taking the number across the district to 35.

Hastings District Council has an agreement with Chorus, the telecommunications company that owns many of the utility boxes around the district’s streets. That sees council and Chorus staff choose the final artworks from artists’ submissions. The works have to be relevant to the area in which they are sited, and reflect culture, landscape, history or people.

In past rounds the focus has been on urban Hastings boxes however this time around the reach has gone wider with boxes chosen in Bridge Pa and Omahu.

The five boxes about to be beautified are:

Near the intersection of State Highway 50 and Taihape Road, Omahu (Box code FME/M)

Near the intersection of Napier Road and Lawn Road, Havelock North (HBN/DX)

Near the intersection of Maraekakaho Road and Raukawa Road, Bridge Pa (FME/AF)

Near 135 Maraekakaho Road, Hastings (HBN/AE)

Near 301 Omahu Road, Frimley (HBN/BF)

As well as making Hastings’ streets more vibrant and celebrating the work of our artists, the art deterred vandalism, said council’s environment enhancement officer Wendy Beeke.

“It’s about have a sense of pride and ownership; people are proud of our artists and their work and they tend to leave it alone.”

Acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst is encouraging artists to put their ideas forward. “We have some magnificent artists in our community as we can see from the work already up around our community.

“Art in our public spaces achieves a number of aims: adding vibrancy to our environment, encouraging pride in our district, and celebrating the skills that our artists have.”

Artists wanting more information or wishing to have their work considered should email their questions and/or concept drawings to wendymb@hdc.govt.nz. Art submissions close on November 1, with final selections made December 1 and successful artists advised by December 10.