Clark County program turns utility boxes into public art

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Local artists are taking their creativity out of their studios and galleries and into the streets. More than a dozen are scattered across the northwest Las Vegas valley painting murals on utility boxes. 

It's all part of Clark County's Zap! Program, and it's an effort to help beautify the Vegas valley through art.  

The program started back in 2005 in the Winchester neighborhood, but has grown to reach several neighborhoods throughout the valley. The county spends more than $8 million every year to clean up graffiti and remove trash.

This latest phase is in the Lone Mountain region, and 15 local artists are now busy painting about 45 utility boxes. 

The artists say the response has been overwhelmingly positive, but they still want to be respectful of the area. 

One artist just finished a 90 foot mural in downtown, and she tells 13 Action News she felt like that painting could be bright and funky, since she was in a busy downtown area in the middle of the arts district.  However, with this phase of the Zap! Program so close to Red Rock, she didn't want her painting to feel intrusive to the neighborhood, and almost wanted her painting to blend into the surroundings. 

"I realize that I'm creating something not in an empty gallery space," says Holly Vaughn. "I'm creating something that already has a set environment." 

Artists will finish up their utility boxes throughout the month of May, and the county will hold an open house in June.  

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