Keep your eyes peeled for new Outside the Box traffic boxes! Thirty new designs are coming to Thornton in 2020 and 2021. 


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. 

The Outside the Box project showcases the work of talented artists by creating a drive-by art exhibit in Thornton.


Why Paint 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 while also mitigating graffiti and vandalism costs for the city. Each vinyl wrap is printed with an anti-graffiti coating and lasts 5 years.   

Please read our write-up in The Denver Post to learn more about this project.    

Who Funded This Project?

Outside the Box is funded by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) grant and the TASHCO funds balance. This year’s budget of $44,042.34 covers artist commission fees, fabrication and installation for 30 new designs.


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

Who Selects the Designs?

Review panels, consisting of Thornton residents, artists and project stakeholders donate their time to collaborate with the TASHCO Public Art Subcommittee. All designs submissions are reviewed and selected by 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.

2020 Artists

This year we received a record number of 390 submissions from local and international artists! 29 percent of designs were submitted by young artists, ages 8 to 17. 

Follow ArtsThornton on Facebook and Instagram to find out which designs were selected this year!