New 2021 Designs COMING SOON!

We are currently in the process of installing 30 new designs. Keep a look out for new art in your neighborhood. 

About the Project 

The Thornton Arts, Sciences & Humanities Council (TASHCO) commissions artists to aesthetically transform traffic utility boxes from functional infrastructure into colorful, dynamic works of art. Designs are printed on high-quality vinyl wraps and professionally installed at various locations throughout Thornton. This project showcases the work of talented artists by creating a drive-by, publicly-accessible year-round art exhibit in Thornton.

Why Wrap Utility Boxes?

The Outside the Box Project was initiated in 2016 as a way to combat graffiti in Thornton. At the time, traffic boxes made up approximately 70 percent of graffiti incidents. This public art project helps build a sense of community ownership and pride while also mitigating graffiti and vandalism costs for the city. Each vinyl wrap is printed with an anti-graffiti coating and lasts up to five years. Please read our write-up in The Denver Post to learn more about this project.    

Who Funded This Project?

Fifty percent of Outside the Box is funded by a Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) grant. The remaining balance is paid for by TASHCO funds provided by the city of Thornton. The 2021 budget covers artist commission fees plus fabrication and installation costs for 30 new designs.


Annual project support by SCFD and TASHCO has helped beautify Thornton and empower artists - a majority of whom are city residents - to share their talents with the community.

Who Selects the Designs?

Review panels, consisting of Thornton residents, artists and other project stakeholders, donate their time to collaborate with the TASHCO Public Art Subcommittee and vote on their favorite designs. All design submissions are reviewed and selected by the subcommittee and panel members to ensure public art is unique to Thornton and informed by the community.

Designs are selected based on their artistic merit, creativity and overall visual impact. A final recommendation report is presented to the TASHCO Board and Thornton City Council for final approval.  

Outside the Box is another way TASHCO supports and advocates for the arts and humanities in Thornton.  You can view this and other public art projects by clicking here to see our online art collection.

2021 Artists

This year we received 290 submissions from local and national artists! Thirty percent of designs were submitted by young artists, ages 8 to 17. 40 percent of designs were from Thornton residents. Follow ArtsThornton on Facebook and Instagram to find out which designs were selected this year.