Back to Gallery Traffic Cabinets

One of many contributions Canada Youth Visions has made to the community in both public art and beautification is the traffic cabinets project in 2008, where students and teachers were involved in enhancing streetscapes throughout the city of Surrey.

The Civic Beautification Unit of the City of Surrey has initiated numerous projects to add to the quality of streets.

The city's Beautification Strategy has shown rewarding promise in creating a sense of identity and community through banner programs, street furniture, landscaping, the mitigation of unsightly property, mural production, and the introduction of new gateway signage. Since the presence of community art strongly influences the attitude and social dynamics within its area, the production process of designing, creating, and erecting works brings together artists, designers, and city councils alike. Engaging in communal participation is essential for achieving civic beautification and has involved various groups and organizations coming together to achieve great things.

To date, Sullivan Heights secondary has contributed 19 images, making up 31% of all images that are used to wrap the cabinets. Out of a total of 42 cabinets the 19 selected image wraps made up 29% of total wrapped cabinets around the city.

As a preventative deterrent to graffiti, traffic cabinets around the city are wrapped in high resolution photography. The photographic content is typically 'busy' (shots of floral arrangements, stems of grass, collection of objects within a frame, etc.) and applied with anti-graffiti sealant that deters and prevents application of graffiti. Photos were transferred onto vinyl and installed. Financially, the works are cost benefits over that of maintenance costs associated with removing graffiti to manage vandalism.

This youth initiative encourages people to create and deliver preventative graffiti. An awareness is then simultaneously developed through informing individuals that writing, etching, drawing, or symbols applied to public and private property without consent of their owner/ agent is prohibited.

Marc Pelech is the education sector partner and art teacher at Sullivan Heights Secondary. Locations that Mr. Pelech and media art students photographed covered scenes of nature, culture, and recreation in Downtown Surrey, Guildford, Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey.

The project began on the 2nd of May, 2008 and works were installed the next fall and spring.

Surrey's City Centre, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, Semiahmoo, and Cloverdale regions showcase their traffic cabinets of the following spaces:

- Holland Park

- SFU/ Central City

- Bear Creek Garden

- Surrey Lake

- Surrey Municipal Centre

- Fleetwood Farmlands

- Bear Creek Park

- Guildford Recreation Centre

- Green Timbers Urban Forest

- Fleetwood Water Way

- Cloverdale Farms

- Red Bam Antiques

Additionally, Kelly McLaughlin, another student from Sullivan Heights Secondary, has a featured work that is wrapped around a large storage shed at Holland Park, also a part of the City of Surrey's Beautification Strategy.

The City of Surrey provides more information and accepts submissions at http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/549.aspx. If selected, the piece is added to the city's traffic cabinet collection and applied.

Written by Flory Huang

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