Being Art

The headline stuns.

How did I not know about an art feast gracing a baker’s dozen intersections across my town?

My ego burns.

Isn’t a 26‐year, artsy resident — one who’s also an avowed news junkie — supposed to know all about the who and what of Art where she lives?

I share my discovery with fellow RoadBroad Ellen, who mentions that similar traffic‐signal art boxes stand across Houston. My mind wonders — is there anything Sugar Land has that the bigger, bossier sister city, 22 miles northeast, doesn’t?

My ego sizzles anew. Town pride smokes in the same skillet.

A Google search confirms Houston and Sugar Land are among hundreds across America that have repurposed ugly metal boxes into talking points for travelers stuck in traffic. The effort began at least 15 years ago in Connecticutt. Leave it to the Yankees to be so clever. And yet…

What a delightful way to turn unsightly man‐made mechanics into eye treasures for the stuck, the delayed, the bored! 

Ignorance morphs into curiousity which yields opportunity.

A day later, it’s time for an Art Box Scavenger Hunt.

First find is Judy Hope’s Tweet, Tweet, Sweet. Her melange of birds, hiding under this overpass, speaks to me. Freedom. Happiness. Peace. And color!

I dub the next stop “Blue Belle.” Not for that Brenham confection up the road.

Vivienne Dang’s Lady in Blue looks outward, dreamily, yearning of a bright future.

Her face rests directly atop the traffic box door. I wonder is that how she opens up — only at eye level? 

The sea of blue in which the entire image sits mirrors the background sky. Are we all sitting in a similar sea of blue?

The bees arrive down the road.

I offer thanks these insects are not this large in real life.

Why does this box scare me even as it lures me closer?

Mike Doan calls his creation Bizzy Beeze, praising the vital role played by honey bees in the farms that circle the Sugar Land community.

I realize an odd truth. The Bees have this blog post. Hmm…

Next comes Blossoms. That’s my title Artist Nataliya Scheib titled her creation, Butterfly Garden. 

I see only flowers. Zoom in and you’ll find butterflies by the dozen, darting to and fro among the color‐filled panorama of flowers.

This is the only traffic box I touch. Can you guess why?  

The final box I visit yields a single Butterfly.

Joy Chandler’s creation of Sweet Transformation highlights the plight of the endangered Monarch Butterfly, supposedly native to Sugar Land.

This lone image echoes Freedom. Joy. And the approaching Spring. The background of pastel circles add a sweet, supportive pallet.

I smile, standing here at the last traffic‐box art installation.

Birds. Blue Belle. Bees. Blossoms. Butterfly.

Don’t forget Boxes. As in Traffic‐Box Art.

The theme emerges: B Art. And now you ‘get’ the title of this blog post.

But what it all means? Alfie, do you know?

Me? I have no clue. But I will drive back down Highway 90A before long.

Eight traffic boxes await review.

2 Replies to “Being Art”

  1. Sugar Land abounds with art. Thanks for sharing these wonders. My niece is depicted with other teens in a bronze sculpture in the square. And then there is that amazing science museum where Kirsten got married.

    1. Congrats, Kay, to your niece as a sculpture model (is that what it’s called?!?) Gives new meaning to that piece for me.

      You are the exactly correct on the wealth of Sugar Land’s Public Art. There’s 17 different sculptures, arrangements, mobiles, etc. throughout the city. My surprise with the Traffic Box Art is that it’s 13 unique pieces aligned in a nearly straight row along a single roadway. That’s a unique commitment to Public Art, one that reinforces the strength of the entire project. Other cities probably do it the same way but this RoadBroad had never encountered a display like this before. Perhaps I lead a sheltered life :)!!!

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