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 70 qualified applications. The Saratoga Library & Community Engagement Commission and the Saratoga Public Art Committee carefully reviewed submissions and narrowed choices to 3 options for each of the locations.  

Artwork that receives the most votes will be presented to the City Council on April 7, 2021 for final approval. The Paint the City selected artists and volunteers will be recognized by the City Council on April 21, 2021.

Utility Box Locations

There are 3 utility box locations throughout the City. 

  • Location 1:Saratoga & Cox, 2 Boxes, $600 Stipend
  • Location 2: Saratoga & Scotland, 1 Box, $600 Stipend
  • Location 3: Quito & Pollard, 2 Boxes, $600 Stipend

Artist Selection 

The Library and Community Engagement Commission will recommend up to 3 designs per utility box location to the Public Art Committee to consider. The Saratoga Public Art Committee will review applications that meet minimum criteria and finalize the 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 May.

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 June.

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:

  • Sherwin Williams

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

2020 Paint the City

In 2020, 5 utility box locations in the City were painted by Saratoga artists.

2020 Location 1

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