“Our Streets Eugene” installs in public
Eugene’s Streets just became a lot more colorful and nostalgic thanks to a series of bubblegum-pink-painted traffic boxes. The newly adorned boxes downtown are part of a public art installation by Nina Coloso and Julian Watts, two recent UO graduates.
“Our Streets Eugene” is a three-part project involving a magazine, the painted traffic boxes and a blog. The artists began collecting stories from Eugeneans months ago, creating the magazine from site-specific stories. The painted traffic boxes are an extension of those stories showcasing a quote from each featured story.
“It’s a way for us to get in touch with the community and to encourage community members to start interacting and having a dialogue,” Coloso says. “People come up and talk to us as we are painting. They get really excited.”
Watts says that the color pink was chosen to decorate the intersections because “it’s a playful and explosive contrast to the grey and green of the city, but it’s also an intimate color.”
Though the flashy color scheme accomplishes the artists’ goal of garnering attention, “Our Streets Eugene” is also intended to make the people of Eugene reflect. “We tried to pick quotes that were powerful and poetic,” Watts says.
The quotes such as “to be in charge of our own fates,” and “this spot will change your life,” should have Eugenies scouring the web and learning the stories behind these words.
“We want people to appreciate the power of storytelling as well as the urban landscape of Eugene,” Watts says.
This guerrilla project may remind you of how charming and eccentric our city is, even on a cloudy day. Visit ourstreetseugene.com for more information.