Bye-bye Boring Utility Boxes Part 2: It Happened in Studio City

by Jeannette Hartman

Welcome to the second part of our story on painted utility boxes in Sherman Oaks and Studio City. This one focuses on the program in the Studio City Business Improvement District (SCBID).

studio city ventura blvd utility boxes painted
Artist Steve Farrow designed this utility box at 12215 Ventura Blvd. in honor of the Laurel Canyon music scene of the late 1960s which included rock and folk musicians like Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, the Mamas and the Papas, the Doors and the Monkees.

The SCBID launched its utility box painting program in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian’s office last summer. More than 36 submissions were received to paint the area’s 11 LADOT utility boxes.

Ten utility boxes have been given make-overs using the theme of “It Happened in Studio City.” According to Vicki Nussbaum, executive director of the SCBID, the 11th and final box will be done this spring.

The selected designs focus on Studio City’s contributions to the culture of Los Angeles, California and the country at large. This includes TV production, filmmaking, commercials, game shows, studio lots, the Laurel Canyon music scene and industry trades such as costume design, sound crews and cameras.

Artist Laishan Ito’s design at Ventura Boulevard and Carpenter Avenue features a camera, lights and a director’s chair. Artist Laura Gonzalez painted a sound man holding a mic above the sidewalk on Ventura at Laurel Grove.

“Live. Eat. Create. Repeat,” proclaims artist Shlome Hyum at Whisett and Ventura. Artist Steve Farrow designed a vintage movie theater and candy girl across the street from BookStar, which once was an iconic movie theater. He did a second design that pays homage to the Laurel Canyon music scene with a long-haired folk singer and musical instruments.

Each artist whose design is accepted receives a $450 grant to paint a utility box. Once the painting is completed, the SCBID covers the box with an anti-graffiti paint.

A gallery of all the designs with their locations and artists can be seen here.

Read the first part of our two-part series dealt with painted utility boxes in Sherman Oaks. More than 90 LADOT utility boxes have been paint through that program sponsored by the Sherman Oaks Chamber Foundation in partnership with the Los Angeles City Council District 4.

Read Part 1 of this series…

Bye-bye Boring Utility Boxes Part 2: It Happened in Studio City

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