Coronavirus information
For the latest updates, please visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
Coronavirus updates
Back to top
Last updated:


Local artists can paint a City of Boston-owned utility box with their original designs.

The goal of our program is to recognize and celebrate local artists. Utility boxes are professionally painted with local artists' original designs. Located in neighborhood business districts, these painted boxes contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of the urban streetscape. Our program is a great opportunity for artists looking to enter Boston's public art community.

We're receiving many questions from artists seeking guidance on the ways coronavirus (COVID-19) might impact programs such as this one. While protocols and guidelines are changing quickly, we continue to offer as much support and up-to-date information as possible. We encourage you to monitor this page, where we are regularly posting new information. Rapidly changing timelines may impact key program dates, and the implementation of the program could be delayed.

Apply for the PaintBox Program

Have questions? Contact:
Application deadline

The PaintBox application closes on April 30, 2020.

Paintbox Template

Utility box painted by Elliot Portman

How PaintBox works

Eligibility and selection process
  • Applicants must be artists of at least 18 years of age.
  • Artists are responsible for implementing and documenting the project.
  • Artists can only receive one PaintBox stipend per year.
  • Artists must agree that the Paintbox can be painted over at any time by the City of Boston.
  • Artists may submit up to three designs for one utility box.
  • We may not approved PaintBox projects for historic districts.
Design Restrictions and Requirements
  • Designs should cover the entire utility box and avoid large monochrome areas.
  • The City will not approve any design that includes logos or advertisements of any kind.
  • The City will not approve any imagery that may be confused for directional signage.
  • Please discreetly incorporate your signature and the text "City of Boston" into your design.
  • Except for the artist's signature, website, and City of Boston, designs may not incorporate text.

Artists will receive $200 after approval to cover the cost of supplies and $300 upon completion. To receive the final payment, artists must submit the following:

  • A photo of the electric utility meter number (if visible)
  • Photos of the completed PaintBox

Artists will be required to submit a W-2 form and a City of Boston vendor ID form after receiving their notification letter in order for any payment to process.

PaintBox by Mattaya Fitts
Utility box painted by Mattaya Fitts.