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2024 Decorative Treatment for Traffic Signal Cabinets Initiative

The overall theme for the Town of Amherst Arts & Culture in Public Places (ACPP) Board arts initiatives is: Beautiful Amherst

Traffic Box Theme: Amherst is Arts & Culture

Approval of Color Design Specifics:

Approval of the design is required by the Town of Amherst Arts & Culture in Public Places (ACPP) Board. This is to ensure compliance with New York State requirements for permitting as well as that our community’s values are being upheld. Since receiving the permit is subject to approval of the artist’s preliminary drawing, the deadline for submitting a drawing in color or black and white with a description of the colors to be employed to the board for approval is Sunday, April 7

Artist Application

Final Selection of the Artists:

Artists must be at least 18 years old. All submissions received will be reviewed, and finalists will be selected by the ACPP Board. Painting the signal cabinet must be completed by September 15, 2024.

Do's and Don'ts and Regulations:

Below is a summary of the Do’s and Don’ts as well as the NYS Department of Transportation TSMI 16-04 regulations. Please make sure to read these regulations. All artwork and subsequent painting of the boxes must be in compliance with these regulations. Review of these requirements will be discussed in an informational meeting which will be held in May. Participation in this meeting is required of all selected artists.

  • Park private vehicle away from intersection.
  • Prepare and prime the cabinet in a quality manner for long term paint adherence. Supplies will be provided to the Artist.
  • Use caution and think safety first. Avoid standing or sitting along curb line.
  • Apply paint in a quality manner and clean up accidental spills, drips, and messy edges.
  • Use drop cloths and masking when needed.
  • Clean up and dispose of paint in an appropriate manner.
  • Remove all materials and equipment from site after installation is complete.
  • Post a WET PAINT sign with flagging* when leaving the site after painting.
  • Share purpose and passion with residents and children who inquire.
  • If residents have questions, they may be referred to Chris at the Engineering Department at 631-7154.

* Stakes and flagging may be provided upon request

  • Do not block intersection sight lines with supplies, tents, and umbrellas among others.
  • Do not block pedestrian access routes (sidewalks).
  • Do not install private signage for promotional purposes.
  • Do not paint any part of the pole. Paint on the cabinet box only.
  • Artwork cannot interfere with function of cabinet. Paint cannot be applied where it would interfere with:
    • Ventilation / Air vents
    • Locks, Hinges, Labels
    • Keyhole and keyhole covers
    • Photo-control windows.
    • Do not interfere with stenciled identification numbers and warning labels.
  • Do not use spray paint, airbrushes, or other spraying methods.
  • Do not use retro-reflective paint.
  • Do not add any 3D art or other additions to the cabinet that will protrude from existing equipment.
  • Do not store supplies and equipment on location when you are off-site.

Paint and Brushes:

Each artist will receive Rustoleum brand,oil-based enamel paint (primary colors, black, and white), liquid sandpaper for signal box preparation, paint thinner for clean-up, as well as mixing cups. Additionally, only the rustoleum brand oil paint is to be used on the traffic cabinet. Once the traffic box is completed, the artist should return the left-over paint and paint thinner for usage by another artist.

"Wet paint" signs and yellow caution tape with stakes will be provided for you to use while you are working on painting your traffic box.

Artists must supply their own brushes.

Drop Cloths, Blue Tape and Rags:

These items will be supplied. Please return any items that can be reused.

Preparation of the Boxes:

Each artist must prepare the cabinet by using liquid sandpaper to strip the boxes then prime them, making them ready to paint. These supplies will be provided to you. Also, the artist should perform any cleaning/washing of the box prior to painting. Preparing the boxes is important to ensure the paint will not peel and adheres to the box for years to come.

Timing of Actual Painting:

The temperature must be above 50 degrees F and humidity below 85%. Therefore June, July and August are prime painting months. Once painting of the box is begun, it is expected the artist will complete painting of the box within a reasonable time period, as weather permits. The box will not be left incomplete for lengthy periods unless there is inclement weather.

Clean up:

Artists are responsible for the daily clean-up of the site as well as at the completion of the project.

Marketing and Publicity:

We have created a website for this initiative. We like to provide a photo gallery of the process, from start to finish. Therefore, we request artists take photos of the painting process (or at the beginning of each painting day) and provide these photos to the ACPP Board ( so that we can upload them to the website for public viewing. Along with the photo gallery of the painting process, the artists are to provide a short biography as well as any commentary concerning the creation process or the inspiration for your art design. Viewing of past artist’s submissions are on the ACPP web link.


$200 for prepping, priming, and painting the assigned Traffic Box as outlined in this form, regardless of the number of artists participating in painting of the assigned box.

If you are chosen to paint one of the 2024 Traffic Boxes, to receive payment of the honorarium, the following must have been received and approved by a representative of the Board:

  • Sign this form confirming your understanding and agreement of participating and abiding with the project requirements outlined in this form and the NYS Dept of Transportation TSMI 16-04 regulations (attached).
  • Provide the project timeline photos, bio, and Artist’s commentary write-up.
  • From the ACPP Board, receive satisfactory completion notification of this project.
  • Complete the W9 and Vendor information form (will be provided later).
  • Provide an invoice, which must be approved by the designated ACPP Board Member.
  • Additional note: the artists selected must understand that the cabinets can be replaced at any time should there be a failure or maintenance issue of the traffic signal. The Town is not responsible for the art to remain for any duration.
  • The Town of Amherst’s Arts and Culture in Public Places Board has nonexclusive rights of the artwork on the finished traffic cabinets and can be used for marketing and fundraising purposes.

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2018. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000.

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