GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – When 2022 started, Miranda Kent was looking for places to let their artistic career bloom in the Glens Falls area. On Tuesday, they were working on their third public art project in the span of just a few months – and had found exactly what they were looking for.

“When I was doing the first one, I didn’t realize how much time these things take,” said Kent, taking a break from painting in the details on large bananas, apples and other fruit on an electrical box on Exchange Street. “In the midst of teaching full-time, and being a part-time student again to get my Master’s Degree, I’ve also been painting nonstop for months.”

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A public art project underway by local artist Miranda Kent, painting an electrical box in Glens Falls, N.Y. (Photo: Jay Petrequin)

The electrical box in question is one of three set to get a makeover in the city of Glens Falls. This week, the Arts District of Glens Falls announced the locations of three electrical boxes that would get painted over by artists, as well as the names of the people doing the work. They will join seven more boxes that were painted last year.

Kent, a Glens Falls CSD teacher, was one of four artists to tackle a similar project in the village of Lake George over the summer, painting botanical life onto a traffic light switch box on Canada Street. After that finished, they took on an even bigger job, painting fence decorations for BooTown, a Halloween attraction in Fort Ann. Now, they’re painting four sides of fruit on a large electrical box between the backside of Downtown Social and the home of smoothie shop Juicin’ Jar. And they’re wearing the blueprint for the project on a shirt.

“This piece is just something random that I made a couple of months ago,” Kent said, looking down at the strawberries, pomegranate and peach adorning their shirt. “I submitted three designs, this was one of them, and this one getting chosen was actually a great thing. It being right by Juicin’ Jar, that placement is really cool.”

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Public art by Robert Harriman on an electrical box in Glens Falls, N.Y. (Photo: Jay Petrequin)

Unlike the stretch of Lake George where Kent worked over the summer, you can’t quite take a walk down the road and visit all three artists. Just out of view from the Exchange Street box, another new one is already complete at the corner of Hudson Avenue and Elm Street. In front of a Pizza Hut, overlooking a busy intersection between Glens Falls Hospital and Glen Street, a single robotic eye sees all there is to see.

Local artist Robert Harriman has worked in public artwork before, with art visible at the Glens Falls Shirt Factory. For this project, he looked at the grey box before him and saw a personality waiting to be shown.

“I wanted to bring the electrical box to life as a character that personified that very thing,” said Harriman. “Public art means a lot to me, just for the fact that so many people in the community get to enjoy it.”

For the third box, you’ll have to cross Centennial Circle and head down Warren Street, passing by an electrical box covered in hand-painted dogs that was part of the project’s first round in 2021. That journey will eventually take you to the corner of Warren Street and Oakland Avenue, whose box may not look like much as of Wednesday. But the black sides and yellow bottom are all part of the preparation process.

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An electrical box on Warren Street in Glens Falls, N.Y., which Saratoga-based artist Kacie Cotter-Sacala will soon paint as part of a city public art project. (Photo: Jay Petrequin)

The third box, located outside the former GF K9 dog trainer, is being painted by Saratoga-based Kacie Cotter-Sacala. Starting this coming weekend, she’ll be coming to the corner to cover the box in birds, like the bluejay and titmouse. At a spot skylined by the steam rising from the Finch Pruyn paper mill, she’s looking to focus on nature.

“I really just try to choose colors and content that would brighten someone’s day, and get them excited about the area,” said Cotter-Sacala, who works as an illustrator at Saratoga Publishing.

Like the others, Cotter-Sacala has worked in public art before, painting murals while attending college in Burlington, Vermont. How is an electrical box different? Mainly the surface. Metal has its own issues, but a representative from the Arts District project provided Cotter-Sacala with tips on how to work with the surface when she was getting going.

Glens Falls in October has plenty of foot traffic, but it’s not a time when great crowds are bustling through town. Even so, whether by sidewalk or by car, the people like what the artists are doing, and have let them know.

“While I was painting, I was encouraged and thanked by many people as they drove by,” Harriman recounted. “It was very inspiring, and made me happy to be able to add my touch to a town I’ve spent most of my life in.”

Glens Falls has been splashed with a lot of color this year. Besides the electrical boxes, a hand-painted Adirondack chair overlooks Centennial Circle. Glens Falls High School students painted the windows of an old building alongside Glen Street, just before the bridge over to South Glens Falls. Perhaps most prominently, two murals have been painted across full walls downtown, with a third on the way.

As Kent paints, they are well aware of the third of one of those murals peeking out at them when they look south from their electrical box. Like the city, Kent has had a big year for art. They’ve applied for every one of the Glens Falls projects, and can feel their own portfolio grow as the Arts District of Glens Falls becomes a reality.

“I’ve always wanted to get into public art, and always wanted to do something a little more permanent, that would leave my stamp on the world,” they said. “To be able to do this in the town that changed my life – everything good that’s happened to me has come from being in Glens Falls – I’m just eternally grateful to do this.”

All three artists have been given a deadline of Halloween to finish the projects.