Hyattsville’s Unexpected New Public Art

Hyattsville’s latest piece of public art is in an unexpected spot: Traffic signal boxes.

Using grants from Prince George’s County, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation has commissioned colorful art to be wrapped around 11 traffic signal boxes from Adelphi Road to Hillcrest Heights.

For now, only two of the traffic signal boxes are in Hyattsville, but another 22 in the city were identified for future art.

The designs were chosen by a jury of local artists and an online poll. The artists include  Harper Carter Matsuyama of Hyattsville and and Joel Traylor of Mount Rainier.

Traffic signal boxes are one of those pieces of urban infrastructure that you tend to pass by without thinking—dull gray metal boxes that can be targets for vandalism and graffiti. (In one case, a Hyattsville traffic signal box was adorned with hipster wheatpaste art.)

The new public art initiative is a smart way to fight that problem while adding to the great public art in the Route 1 corridor.

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