July 5, 2018: The Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce announces that it has selected artists and submitted designs to wrap seven utility boxes in Hibbing's downtown area. The project was launched earlier this year after the Chamber recieved a grant from the MN Dept. of Iron Range Resources and the Blandin Leadership Program. Selected artists will recieve a $500 stipend for their design or photograph. Nick Signs will be creating and applying the wrap to the selected utility boxes. The total project cost will be $27,000.
The designs were selected by six volunteers from the downtown business and arts community. Seven artist's designs were selected and four alternates.
Lory Fedo, President of the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce stated, "Because we have never done this before, we are not quite sure how each piece of art will translate onto the utility box. We asked to the selection committee to also select alternate designs in case the designs are not a good match or an artist needs to drop out. Artists will need to work with us and Nick Signs to help make the design match the wrap and utility box size. There also is a possiblity of adding an additional box to this project."
The artists whose designs were selected are: Brekke Hudelson, Dennis Menter, JoAnne Wirkkula, Kathleen Fredeen, Lori Harter, Melissa Corradi, and Terry and Brian Maceij. The alternates are: Judith Johnson, Mark Marolt, Maggie Furlong and Stell Schweiberger.
Fedo said, "We wanted to encourage and support public art in Hibbing's downtown. This would enhance the downtown experience and also give local artists an opportunity to participate in public art. We had 44 local artists submit 76 pieces of art or photography for this project."