Paint the City

Saratoga artists age 10 and older were invited to submit their application to turn plain utility boxes into works of art! The City received 67 stunning applications from Saratoga artists. The Public Art Committee reviewed the submissions and narrowed the choices to 3 options at each of the 5 utility box locations. 

Saratoga residents were invited to choose their favorite conceptual design at each location. Artwork that received the most votes will be presented to the City Council on March 4 for final approval. Selected artists and volunteers will be recognized by the City Council on March 18. Painting is expected to be completed by the end of April. 

2020 Utility Box Locations

There are 5 utility box locations throughout the City. 

  • Location 1:Saratoga-Sunnyvale & Sea Gull, 2 Boxes, $600 Stipend
  • Location 2: Saratoga-Sunnyvale & Cox, 1 Box, $600 Stipend
  • Location 3: Saratoga-Sunnyvale & Blauer, 2 Boxes, $600 Stipend
  • Location 4: Saratoga-Sunnyvale & Mina, 1 Box, $600 Stipend
  • Location 5: Saratoga & Dagmar, 1 Box, $600 Stipend

View a map of the utility box locations.

Artist Selection 

The Saratoga Public Art Committee will review applications that meet minimum criteria and select up to 3 designs per location. The community will then be invited to rank the designs. The highest-ranked designs will be presented to the City Council in February.

Artwork Criteria

Artwork must cover the entire box, not including handles or box identification markers. The lower right corner of the back panel will be reserved for the artist name(s). Entries must be the original design of the applicant(s) and suitable for viewing by all ages.

Artwork may not contain political statements or symbols; religious references or symbols; profane or offensive content; graffiti-like style artwork; copyrighted or trademarked material; or corporate or organizational references, branding, or symbols.

Artists must complete the painting by April.

Artist Responsibilities

Selected artists are responsible for providing all the necessary supplies and tools, including paint, brushes, topcoat, and a protective coating. 


Paint should be premium 100% acrylic latex paint with low-sheen, eggshell or satin finish is recommended. Paint should be a minimum 1.5 mil dry thickness per coat. A polyurethane topcoat (marine grade) should be applied on top of the completed artwork. The City will coordinate the cleaning and priming of the utility boxes prior to the first day of painting. Following completion of the artwork murals, the City will seal the utility boxes with a UV-protective and anti-graffiti clear-coat.

Suggested Paint Products:

  • Nova Color
  • Sherwin Williams: Accolade Exterior Acrylic Latex, Satin
  • Pratt and Lambert: Accolade Exterior Acrylic Latex, Eggshell
  • Benjamin Moore: Aura Exterior Acrylic Latex #634 Low Luster
  • Frazee #126 Mirror Glide Low Sheen Acrylic Latex
  • Kelly Moore #1245 Acry-Shield Acrylic Latex Low Sheen


Suggested Topcoat:

  • Vella 5% Fluoride Varnish

Protective Coating

Suggested Protective Coating:

  • Frog Juice Water Based: Clear urethane copolymer coating which contains absorbers and hinders amine light stabilizers for maximum UV light protection

2019 Paint the City

In 2019, 5 utility box locations in the City were painted by Saratoga artists.

Paint the City Utility Box - Saratoga-Sunnyvale & Saratoga

2018 Paint the City

In 2018, 7 utility box locations in the City were painted by Saratoga artists. 

Paint the City Utility Box - Allendale & Quito