New public art project makes ‘the boring into the beautiful’

An artist’s vision can sometimes turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Or according to the Columbia Arts Council, which recently partnered with two local photographers — Ross Jaynes and Sarah B. Gilliam — on a new public art project, the process can transform something “from boring to beautiful.”

The new project, which was funded by an Arts Build Communities grant awarded by the Tennessee Arts Commission, has allowed the artists to transform several of the city’s highly-visible utility boxes using vinyl wraps.

A photo of The Duck River by Ross Jaynes adorns one of several utility boxes as part of a new public art project spearheaded by The Columbia Arts Council.

“I am so happy with this latest example of the arts-friendly city Columbia has become,” Mayor Chaz Molder said in a press release. “As a city, we must continue to do everything we can to promote and advance arts in our community , and this is another step in the right direction.”

The utility boxes include one electrical box on North Garden Street near the intersection of West 7th Street and three signalization boxes located at the intersections of West 7th and North Garden Street, 7th and High Street, and 7th and School Street.

Art by Sarah.  B. Gilliam adorns a utility box as part of a new public art project by the Columbia Arts Council.

Jaynes, founder of Jaynes Media and Maury County Now, is recognized as a successful and award-winning multimedia producer specializing in marketing, cinematography, videography, photography, graphic design and other visual media.

“This is a really cool project, and I am extremely honored that [Tourism and Marketing Director Kellye Murphy] reached out to have my work featured,” Jaynes, who formerly served on the arts council, said. “I am blown away that something I made is going to be seen in a public place, something people can get a selfie or take photos of . That, to me, is incredible.”

Gilliam is a professional photographer and native of Columbia.

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