Maricopa is seeking local painters, graphic designers and other artists to create public-art in rather unusual locations: traffic-signal control boxes.

Through March, the city is requesting unique designs to add a splash of color and whimsy to the otherwise mundane structures near intersections. Decorating signal boxes, the bland, aluminum safety cabinets that hold traffic-control equipment, has been a trend in Arizona cities.

“Public art plays an important role in shaping the identity of community and, in some cases, even transforms it,” said Quinn Konold, communications and cultural services director for the city. “Just like the ‘M’ monument now at city limits, (art) can signal to Maricopa residents that they are home.”

The city is looking to decorate 11 signal boxes. Artists may submit no more than two design orientations. Artists will receive payment that ranges from $250 to $750 to cover installation costs and media acknowledgement.

The city’s previous public-art initiative involved its fiberglass wild horses installation. In 2020, 10 artists were selected for the first leg of the initiative.

“While we are a young city, we already know the love of the arts runs deep in Maricopa,” Konold said. “It is important as the city grows that it continue to make inroads in helping Maricopa establish its artistic identity with these types of projects.”

Artists interested in submitting their design sketches and applications have until March 31 at 5 p.m. All applicants will be notified of acceptance status by May 1.

Instructions, applications and design templates can be found on the city’s website.