Monday, April 26, 2021
The first six boxes of the Celebrate Ontario Utility Box Art Program have been completed and are ready to inspire you as you explore the City.
Five artists were selected for their illustrations of what “Celebrate Ontario” means to them. With beautiful sunny days ahead, now is a great time to get outside and take a walk around Downtown Ontario to enjoy the new sights and reflect on the moments of joy living in Ontario has brought to you.
Here are the artists and some of the stories behind these boxes:
Lisa Cabrera‘s utility box is located near the corner of B St. and Laurel Ave. It is in the parking lot behind a popular Ontario destination — Logan’s Candies. Like the beloved candy store, this box is rich with color and invokes deep memories for the artist.
Cabrera says, “Palm trees are synonymous with the Southern California landscape, and add to the allure of the idea of the California dream. I was thinking of that when I was deciding how I would choose to depict the theme ‘Celebrate Ontario’. I decided to create day and night scenes to show the clear beauty that exists in the Inland Empire no matter what time of day it is and what I saw when my family drove through the area while I was growing up.”
A’Janie Carter‘s utility box is located next to three historic Downtown Ontario landmarks – the Jack R. Mercer Bandstand, the Granada Theater and the Temperance Fountain. Giving the corner of C St. and Euclid Ave. a bright pop of color, the box is meant to celebrate the vision of George Chaffey.
Carter says, “Ontario is the small town readying itself for big things to come. My design captures both the excitement the city holds for tomorrow, while also reminding us through these tough times that we have been standing and proclaiming our name to the world since 1881.”
Anna Marie‘s utility box is located at the beginning of the Emporia Arts District near the corner of Emporia St. and Laurel Ave. In a space which typically comes alive during the Emporia Art Walks, the street is now a place for a quiet, shaded walk as we await a time when we can gather again.
Anna Marie says, “The City of Ontario is beautiful and historically and culturally rich. As I drew my octopus, I realized that nothing is more refreshing right now than a nice surprise; a call from an old friend, a surprise gift, or a lovely unexpected compliment from a stranger…a big blue octopus which leaves you smiling to yourself as you walk away appreciating the frivolity of the moment as a peaceful momentary escape.”
Robert Jacka‘s box is located near the corner of D St. and Laurel Ave. in the parking lot behind Gloria’s Cocina Mexicana.
Jacka says, “I considered how I take pleasure in finding hidden treasures on my walks. Behind the plants, architecture and other elements…it’s about finding something out of the ordinary that makes one pause and reflect. The unexpected that can lead to a conversation and shared experience. That is what I wanted to encourage out of my utility box art design, I want folks to gather, engage and Celebrate Ontario.”
Linda Garcia-Dahle‘s box is located at the entrance of the Ontario Civic Center at the corner of Plum Ave. and B St. Incorporating elements from local fauna and historic landmarks, one could visit this gorgeous reminder of Ontario’s past before heading to the Conservation Park just seconds away.
Garcia-Dahle says, “The historic Pepper tree lined path along Euclid Avenue which is enjoyed by many urban hikers…the historically significant Frankish Fountain and the culturally important Ontario Museum of History & Art…two Anna’s hummingbirds enjoy flying over roses in the garden…local fauna in the form of a tree squirrel sitting on a tree limb superimposed in front of a grouping of olives on a branch as a nod to the Graber Olive House — all are places and things that anyone living in or visiting the City of Ontario will enjoy.”
Linda Garcia-Dahle‘s second box is located on the side of the Chaffey Community Museum of Art. At the corner of Emporia St. and Lemon Ave., it greets travelers from the nearby Metrolink station with symbols of Ontario’s past and future.
Garcia-Dhale says, “The dawn breaking over Ontario’s hills and city flower, the Charlotte Armstrong rose (developed by Dr. Walter Lammerts) as it blooms…the Chaffey Community Museum of Art…a Painted Lady butterfly…Babcock peaches (developed by George Weldon at Chaffey College) hanging lushly over a family of quail who are nestled among some prickly pear…a twilight take-off at the Ontario International Airport, where passengers from all over the world come to start or end their journeys…I wanted to capture the excitement of “Celebrate Ontario” in something as simple as a day spent enjoying some of Ontario’s charms.”
Now that you know a little more about the artists and stories, get on out there and be part of the Ontario Celebration!