Orangeville artists transform utility boxes into dazzling art displays

October 19, 2023   ·   1 Comments

Four new colourful art pieces have transformed functional utility boxes into works of art as part of the Town of Orangeville’s Utility Box Art Display Program. The program, which launched in 2016, recognizes local artists, celebrates the Town’s culture and history, and promotes Orangeville as an arts and culture hub for the region.

“Public art enhances our community by creating a vibrant, inclusive, and interesting urban environment that celebrates local artists,” said Councillor Joe Andrews, Vice-Chair of the Town’s Economic Development and Culture Committee. “I’m excited for these fabulous additions to the Utility Box Art Display Program which now includes 34 pieces of original works of art displayed throughout Orangeville.”

The four pieces selected for the new locations were submitted in a Call for Artists announced by the Town in early 2023. Over 70 submissions were received this year, each one created by Dufferin County artists and then reviewed by the Town’s Economic Development and Culture Committee.

Two of the installations – “Dahlias” and “The Magic of Trees” – were sponsored by Orangeville Hydro and installed on transformers. This partnership supports the continued growth of the Utility Box Art Display Program while recognizing that public art can beautify even the most functional elements of our community.

“Dahlias” by Candice Tatem of Mono captures the bright and colourful blooms of dahlias in early autumn. With its bold colour and distinct shapes, the piece represents the anticipation and then joy when cultivating a garden full of blooms. The artist used the impasto style of painting to create this piece, starting with layered acrylics and finishing with knife painting and thick paint. The installation can be found at 326 Broadway. A visual artist and art instructor, Candice paints daily to create joy and share that joy with others. Find more of her work at

“The Magic of Trees” by Michele Johnston of Melancthon captures the magic of the forest. An acrylic painting on canvas, it was created using mostly her fingers and hands to create a greater sense of movement. The piece illustrates how a forest is more than ‘still and green,’ but is actually teeming with life and movement. The artwork is displayed at 44 Broadway. Michelle is mostly self-taught and works primarily with acrylics. She is trained in the field of Expressive Arts Therapy and is the founder of Monarch Mentoring Academy – Creative School of Transformation. She uses a variety of arts-based activities to help people with self-discovery, self-expression, and self-empowerment. More details can be found at

“On Frozen Pond” by Judi Island of Orangeville depicts a popular past time while combining themes of nature, local landscape, history, and sport. The piece was created with acrylic paint and features three boys playing hockey on a frozen pond; a scene which is both timeless and typical on the ponds during winter months in Orangeville. The artwork is displayed at the intersection of Centennial Road and Dawson Road. Judi is a contemporary impressionist painter who is a descendant of the Island family, early settlers to the area in the 1800s. Through the artwork, she hopes to pay homage to her homeland and invoke a feeling of pride in our national sport. See more of Judi’s work at

“GlassHive” by Beckie Morris of Orangeville is a digital drawing that was originally intended for a stained-glass project. Inspired by the wildflowers that flourish in its location at Dragonfly Park, the artist utilized a honeycomb pattern to represent the local bee population. Each hexagonal cell includes a collection of colours, patterns, and lines that can be enjoyed passively from a distance as a geometric piece or up close with its glasslike layers. Beckie is an established scenic artist and designer throughout southern Ontario and beyond, who is well known locally for her work with Theatre Orangeville. More about her work can be found at

An online listing of all public art pieces including these new installations can be found at A free mobile app called Driftscape can also be used to learn more about each location in a more interactive way. Residents and visitors are invited to explore the tree sculptures, murals and monuments that contribute to Orangeville’s public art collection.

The Utility Box Art Display Program provides local artists with the opportunity to submit unique artwork for installation on selected Town utility boxes using a custom vinyl wrap process. Successful artists receive a fee of $750 for their designs. Artists residing in Dufferin County are invited to apply. Watch for a call for artists in spring 2024

Readers Comments (1)

  1. Paul says:

    So how does a resident get an ugly transformer box painted? I have one on my property.


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