Beautifying San Marcos one traffic box at a time

traffic box art traffic control prawn post road uhland road salamander

A prawn and a salamander adorn the box at the corner of Post Road and Uhland Road. DAILY RECORD PHOTOS BY DENISE CATHEY.

Traffic Box Art

In efforts to add color and vibrance to the city streetscape, four traffic control boxes owned and maintained by the city were given a makeover as a project by the San Marcos Arts Commission. 

The city owns and manages a total of five traffic control boxes. The remaining boxes in the city are owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and managed by the department as well as by the city.

The arts commission held a call for artists last June to submit creations for “mini murals” on traffic control boxes throughout the city. The works of local artists Zac Witte, Stevie Black, Adriana Gigi Mederos and Carina Boston Pinales were chosen to be the first to be installed. Each of the chosen artists were given a $150 honorarium for their pieces.

The Mini Murals Traffic Box program, like the city’s Mural Arts program, is funded through the hotel occupancy tax.

Lisa Morris, recreation programs manager, said, “the program was created to enhance the city by adding works of art to the streetscape on surfaces that are often targeted by graffiti vandals.”

“Mini murals” have changed the look of traffic control boxes across the city.

The newly decorated traffic boxes were finalized last week and are located at the intersections of Uhland Road and Post Road, Aquarena Springs Drive and Thorpe Lane, Sessom Drive and Peques Street and Sessom Drive and North LBJ Drive.

Morris said that the the program decided to go with the vinyl wrap method instead of painting directly on the traffic boxes because it’s easier to maintain or replace once the pieces begin to deteriorate from weather and natural wear.

Pinales grew up in San Marcos and is honored to be a part of the local arts community and have her work on the traffic box at the intersection of Sessom and North LBJ Drive. 

“I hope that the murals encourage the town to look at the city as a canvas,” she said. Pinales said that it was great to express painting and drawing, two forms of two-dimensional artwork and applying it to a three- dimensional surface.

Morris said that the program will be seeking permission from TxDOT to add additional murals on their boxes in the future. “I’m hoping that they are receptive to it and look forward to working with local TxDOT representatives to show the benefits and ensure that there aren’t any negatives to adding the murals. It could really add a nice splash of color and a little bit of art in every neighborhood.”

Mederos titled her mural at the intersection of Sessom and Peques “Acho-Kaneku,” meaning painted or colorful cloth in Yoruba. Mederos described the mural as a “piece of celebration” and said she wanted to pay homage to the cultural diversity of her country. Yoruba is a language brought from West Africa to Venezuela, where Mederos is originally from.

“I was able to have a lot of fun playing with textures and come to terms with colors I’ve never used before,” Mederos said. 

“San Marcos has a great vibe. It’s very accepting of all sorts of different viewpoints and expressions of art. I think that the mural arts project, the mini mural project and the addition of public art sculptures will continue to bring us to the next level as a community that people aspire to live, work and play in,” Morris said.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666