Five art submissions have been selected by a jury of Orangeville’s Arts & Culture Committee to be featured on utility boxes throughout Orangeville.

The Utility Box Art Display Program recognizes local artists, celebrates the Town’s culture and history, and promotes Orangeville as an arts and culture hub for the region. The program launched in 2016 with three unique art installations in downtown Orangeville.

“The program emphasizes Orangeville’s importance as a vibrant arts and culture centre, drawing in tourists and visitors,” says Councillor Sylvia Bradley who chairs the Arts & Culture Committee. “The program beautifies our Town and promotes art and artists.”

The successful submissions for the 2018 art installations were created by:

  • Sharon Wadsworth-Smith of Mono who presented a scene of poppies
  • Samantha Walker of Shelburne who painted poppies against the sky with soldiers in the background
  • Christina Clare of Mono who painted two different scenes of children at Christmas in the Park in Kay Cee Gardens, and
  • Paul Hogeveen of Mono who presented an image of Rick Hansen during his Man in Motion tour

Their art pieces are wrapped around utility boxes in Alexandra Park, Kay Cee Gardens and on Hansen Boulevard.

Born in Regina, Sharon Wadsworth-Smith received an arts diploma as a graphic artist in Vancouver. After moving to Toronto, she worked as a graphic artist and photographer, and after moving to the Orangeville area, she developed her career as an art instructor. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Reed Cooper Bursary, permitting her to return to college at the Haliburton School of the Arts. Movement plays an important role in her work process and brings energy to her paintings. Sharon teaches from her home studio in the Hockley Valley and at other studios in the area. Her painting, entitled “Let’s Dance”, is all about poppies blowing in the breeze. Her painting is displayed on three utility boxes in Alexandra Park.

Samantha Walker, originally from Orangeville, currently explores the imperfection and impermanence of nature through acrylic on canvas. Studying at the Ontario College of Art & Design, and through the LiveARTs residency program at the Toronto Zoo, she noticed how nature persists in the city by growing and thriving in unexpected places. This fascination led her back to the rural environment and to her current occupation of horticultural technician which fuels her interest in the human impact on the natural world and which continues to inspire her artwork.

Her painting, entitled “Eleven”, depicts World War I soldiers among the silhouetted foliage of 11 blooming poppies in the foreground. Her painting is on display on two utility boxes in Alexandra Park.

Christina Clare is a visual artist who works out of her Orangeville studio. She enjoys painting the human figure in action and capturing the facial expressions and emotions of her subjects. As a teenager, she began work as a graphic designer in the print industry. She created backdrops for theatre productions, and after taking painting courses at the Art Gallery of Ontario has painted on canvas, wood panel or paper in oil, acrylic or pastel. Christina currently has a display in her Zina Street studio focusing on the “face” in a series of icons from Silent Film, Hollywood and Rock Stars, past and present.  She just completed a few commission works including Einstein, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Gord Downie, The Traveling Wilburys and many others. Samantha is set to start a series of paintings of British pop stars for a solo show at Theatre Orangeville’s “Across the Pond” production in February 2019.

Her painting, entitled “Gazing Upward”, depicts children admiring the lights during “Christmas in the Park” in Kay Cee Gardens. The painting is featured on a utility box at the John Street entrance to Kay Cee Gardens. Her second piece of art, entitled “Snow Fun”, located at the Bythia Street entrance to Kay Cee Gardens, depicts children playing in the snow and building a snowman.

A graduate of Georgian College’s graphic design program, Paul Hogeveen operates Masahiro Design – a web and print design, photography and brand identity business he started in 2001.  Area residents may know Mr. Hogeveen’s work from projects he has completed for Theatre Orangeville, the Alton Mill Centre, the County of Dufferin, the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival, and local small businesses or some international large businesses.

The artwork uses access symbols in an eye-catching graphic collage that focuses on accessibility rather than disability. The piece raises awareness of accessibility while paying tribute to Rick Hansen – a true champion of accessibility and inclusiveness. Screened into the background is Rick Hansen during his “Man in Motion” journey.  Entitled “Accessibility For All”, the piece reminds us that accessibility is a right and a responsibility that we must continue to acknowledge. The utility box art at Hansen Boulevard and Blind Line was commissioned by Access Orangeville.

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. Winning entries are selected by a jury, and successful artists receive a fee of $500 for their designs. Artist applicants must reside in Dufferin County and must be at least 18 years old. Watch for a call for artists in the spring for 2019 submissions.