The next time you’re buzzing east down Walnut Hill, slow down and take a look as you cruise past White Rock Trail. The City of Dallas and the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District have partnered to install public art on the new traffic signal box there, and it’s a lovely upgrade from the big gray cubes we’re used to.
Traffic boxes have been decorated in other cities around Texas and across the country, including Sugarland, Texas, Clearwater, Florida, and Pierce County, Washington. This one, though, is the first in Dallas. And more are coming.
Kathy Stewart and Vicky Taylor first began soliciting concepts for the project back when they worked together at the LHPID, and they focused on nature as their theme. They latched onto an idea from White Rock Valley neighbor Scott Hadden, who suggested highlighting the peacocks who make their home at White Rock Stables near Flag Pole Hill.
Dallas artist Bill Rogers, founder of Pixelthink Creative, was selected to design the project. He told me he loved the idea of the peacock because it represents something native to the neighborhood and it gave him the opportunity to add lots of color to the corner.
“As the peacock wraps around the cabinet, it becomes more and more abstracted,” Rogers explained. “Up close, people see an abstract piece of art. Farther back, it builds into a peacock.”
The design includes a QR code linking to the PID’s website, with logos to bring attention to the PID and the City of Dallas. The next decorated box will be installed at Forest and Audelia. There, the theme will be butterflies to symbolize the rebirth and revitalization going on in that area.
“I hope everyone will like it, but you know how opinions are — everybody’s got one,” Rogers laughed. “As we adorn more cabinets in this area, the public may appreciate the fact that we’re trying to artify things that are utilitarian.”