When the Brisbane City Council learned that traffic sign boxes were the most graffitied council asset, they decided to turn a negative into a positive.
Bridging the gap between street art and graffiti is Artforce, an Urban Smart Projects initiative that gives street artists a legal public canvas for their work. Painted traffic sign boxes (TSB) have become something of a Brisbane icon (even the Victorians are getting in on the action) so if you're a dab hand with a paintbrush, why not put your mark on Brisbane?
Anyone can paint a Brisbane City Council traffic box. Simply visit the Urban Smart Projects website and choose a TSB, or contact them by calling 1300 872 022. There are more than 200 to choose from, located all across the city.
You can start working on your design once a TSB has been allocated to you. There are some guidelines for submissions – designs must be colourful, original and cannot contain any trademarks (such as logos or cartoon characters). They cannot be too dark (as dark colours can cause the boxes to overheat) or have too many blank spaces (to reduce the likelihood of graffiti tagging.) Your design should reflect the history or character of Brisbane or your chosen suburb. Apart from that, the only limit is your imagination.
Once your design has been approved by Urban Smart Projects, you can get started. Artists will be supplied with paint, safety vests, witches hats, painting rags and drop sheets, but must supply their own brushes. Your finished project will be entered into the Artforce Awards, which awards cash prizes to the most outstanding designs each year.
This initiative is open to all ages. Artists must be Brisbane residents.