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Columbia wraps utility boxes in art by local photographers

Columbia wraps utility boxes in art by local photographers
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 19:48:49-04

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Middle Tennessee city is adding a little art in some unexpected places. It's all part of a beautification effort that requires a little outside the box thinking.

Managing to capture the uniqueness of his city is always a goal for photographer Ross Jaynes.

"I've been taking pictures of Columbia a very long time, lived in Columbia most of my life," he said.

His work's very connected to the city. Walk in City Hall, and there's his work on the wall. Then, there's his gallery of pictures of the Columbia courthouse.

"It looks like a postcard or something out of a Norman Rockwell painting," Ross said.

Ross is up for anything to make a special place even more special.

You know those big metal utility boxes you see around your city? Well, Columbia got an idea. Make them into art.

"This is a box that holds all the electrical stuff from what I can understand," Ross laughed. "I could be completely wrong, but it's here for utility purposes. Now, we've got these wrapped downtown with some photos."

Four utility boxes near downtown Columbia are wrapped in photographs by Ross and fellow photographer Sarah B. Gilliam. The pictures show downtown Columbia, the Duck River area, a presidential seal and a field of flowers.

The work was created through a grant by the Tennessee Arts Commission with the Columbia Arts Council bringing in the work of the two photographers.

For Ross, this is just a creative idea to make a place he loves even more unique.

"They are here, and they are giant eyesores," Ross said of the unchanged utility boxes. "If we can beautify them, I'm all about it! Let's do it. Let's make our city look different than any other city in Tennessee."