Artwork selected for Williston Beautification Project

Leadership Williston Program to bring Public Artwork to Community

Williston ND - By early July, you may notice something unusual about certain intersections as they will be getting a whole lot prettier. In fact, traffic signal control boxes from 1st St W down to 18th St W will transform from plain silver into works of art.

The beautification project is the brain child of Caitlin Pallai, Executive Assistant to the VP for Academic Affairs at Williston State College. Pallai organized the effort while participating in the Williston Chamber’s 2017-18 Leadership Williston program. Inspiration for the project came while on a trip to her native Sequim, WA where the city decorated utility boxes for a local centennial celebration.

“It seemed to be a very creative and practical way of transforming the everyday, and often unnoticed, into something beautiful,” explained Pallai. “It also introduces more public art in a way that does not require new infrastructure.”

Pallai has been working closely with the City of Williston, Clean Slate Group (a Bozeman, MT company that specializes in wrapping cabinets of all shapes and sizes), and an art-selection committee. The committee recently narrowed down over 100 submissions from its April “Visions of the Region” call to artists. Pallai presented the top 14 pieces to city leaders.

“I presented our committee-selected artwork to the Mayor and other city officials on June 4. They enjoyed all of the artwork so my committee and I walked around town on June 7 and matched available artwork to cabinets,” said Pallai.

Artists range in age from 16 to 71 and their submissions include photography, paintings, drawings, and mixed media. The winning artists are Lino Azevedo, Daphne Clark, Tycee Evans, Lily Grondahl, Phillip Hale, Olivia Hamrick, Diana Jaszczak, Garrett Johnsrud, Onesti Krieger, Danae Muscha, Kaitlyn Rehak, and Phyllis Sederquest.

This project is supported by the City of Williston STAR fund as well as a grant from the Williston CVB. Clean Slate Group will turn the winning art pieces into graffiti-resistant vinyl wraps. Pallai is coordinating installation dates with Clean Slate Group who will send a team to install the wraps. It takes 2-4 hours to wrap each cabinet.

Pallai hopes the public artwork will help improve some of the negative perceptions of Williston.

“I’ve heard people say Williston is a dirty place that lacks an arts scene. While I cannot control the amount of dust in town, I can take steps to counter the belief that Williston is not, or cannot be, a town that supports the arts,” said Pallai.

For more information contact Caitlin Pallai at caitlin.pallai@willistonstate.edu

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