Adding whimsy to utility: Twinsburg artist adds amusing touches to electric box
City program asks for artists to make the area’s electric boxes as their canvas to add color to the community
TWINSBURG – Those driving on Darrow Road near Old Mill Road last week might have noticed a man painting on an electric box located just outside the CVS.
As the day progressed, the plain utility box highlighted a quaint and colorful picture of an astronaut holding a cup of coffee while on a spacewalk.
This was a theme Jed Davis, a professional artist and Twinsburg resident, had painted before.
“There’s no deep meaning behind it,” said Davis, who works out of his home and calls his company Space Corner Art Studio. “A lot of my art, it will make me laugh or I’ll think it’s cool. One of the first paintings I did after starting professional art, just for myself, was an astronaut holding a coffee cup. I wanted to make something fun.
Davis said he wanted the design on the electric box to “make people smile and laugh. It made me laugh then and it made me laugh now.”
The art is a part of the city’s “Electric Box” Community Art Project, said Parks and Recreation Director Derek Schroeder.
“This is our ninth Electric Art piece,” Schroeder said. “Unfortunately, one box was removed during the construction of the Ethan’s Green/Route 91 roundabout. So, we are down to eight completed Electric Art pieces. I hope to have two more boxes painted this year.”
Davis said he reached out to Schroeder about a year ago, but the winter, then the pandemic, postponed his being able to add his own mark on the city. They finally were able to come up with dates about a month ago.
“Art is just always something or other I’ve done,” Davis said. “Woodworking, drawing, painting, any creation with my hands, that’s where my time goes to. It started as gifts for friends, side gigs, something I enjoyed.”
Davis said he’d been doing freelance work, but kept thinking that “some day I’ll have my own studio, some day I’ll do art” full time.
“Then one day, something clicked and I realized ‘why can’t some day be now?’” he said. So he started setting up his own studio and went from there, designing murals, shooting photos and taking commissions. He also does contract work through JCF Marketing Inc. out of Mentor, where he said most of his clients come from.
While he is the only member of his family who works as an artist professionally, there is a good deal of creativity in his family, Davis said.
“My mother does calligraphy, knits, crochets, used to paint,” Davis said. “My brother likes to draw as well, but it’s just a hobby. My daughter actually paints with me a lot. She’s only 10 but she’s really good.”
Davis said he also has an 8-year-old son.
Aspiring professional artists need persistence, Davis said.
“First and most important, persistence and have fun doing it,” he said. “You need to be creating and practicing and crafting as much as you can, because that’s the only way to be good at it. If you only paint when just have a client, you won’t be doing much of either.”
In addition, Davis said he encourages the community to support the arts and artists.
“Schools are usually asking for art class donations,” he said. “When there are shortfalls, it’s usually one of the first things cut. Even encouraging artists is appreciated.”
For details on Davis and his work, visit http://sparecornerartstudio.com/ online.
Schroeder said that artists interested in participating should email him at DSchroeder@twinsburg.oh.us,
“Any interested artist can email me samples of their work, a short bio, and a sketch of what they would like to paint,” Schroeder said. “The artist donates their time but is allowed to include their website, logo, or Facebook page on the box after they complete their piece. The city will prime the box and provide the Sherwin Williams paint used for each box, although we do have plenty of paint left over from previous paintings.”
Photos of the Electric Art pieces are posted at https://www.mytwinsburg.com/361/Community-Artwork online.
Reporter April Helms can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org