ECA News Briefs

CASA & HCDC Select Clara Cornelius to Create Designs for Traffic Box Art in Langley Park, Maryland

CASA and the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (HCDC), announce that Prince George’s County designer, Clara Cornelius, of Studio Cornelius, has been selected to create the design basis for traffic box art wraps to transform select traffic signal and utility cabinets in Langley Park into vibrant public artworks.

This project is part of a series of environmental enhancements CASA has developed to beautify Langley Park and reduce crime in various high crime hot spots. The strategy is based on the concepts of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED, which utilizes elements of the built environment to deter crime and reinforce positive behaviors.

As a key component of this strategy, CASA has engaged with the HCDC to implement a public art program to mitigate the effects of graffiti by installing vandalism-resistant vinyl art wraps on traffic signal and utility boxes, which are frequent targets for placarding, graffiti, and vandalism. Since 2016, HCDC has set a precedent in Maryland through the use of these small scale murals to beautify over 30 traffic signal and utility cabinets across Prince George’s County.

Image courtesy HCDC.

Ms. Cornelius was selected as the project artist by a jury comprised of local artists, community stakeholders, and Langley Park community leaders. Prospective artists were asked to respond to a Request for Qualifications that sought design concepts to develop the theme of “Nuestro Langley Park, Nuestro Futuro” (“Our Langley Park, Our Future”) and juxtapose it with a reflective insight which captures the essence of “Nuestro Langley Park, Nuestra Historia” (“Our Langley Park, Our History”).

“The envisioned art wrap designs will aesthetically examine and capture the history and culture of Langley Park and boldly reflect upon the changing nature of the community,” says Gustavo Torres, Executive Director at CASA. “This project is an important step in realizing invaluable benefits beautification and creative place-making will have in uniting the different immigrant communities in Langley Park.”

Stuart Eisenberg, HCDC Executive Director, adds, “Enlivening visually unappealing infrastructure with eye-catching art will build pride in the Langley Park community. Displaying the commonalities of the community will help connect both residents and those passing through the region.”

Ms. Cornelius, the project artist, says “I am so honored to be a part of this project. It has been a true delight to research and draw inspiration from the many countries represented by Langley Park residents. The design system I have created and proposed celebrates Langley Park’s vibrant, eclectic cultural heritage and is a tribute to its future.”

HCDC, CASA, and Ms. Cornelius are now seeking input and feedback from the Langley Park community on the final art wrap designs. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, residents are encouraged to provide their comments virtually by completing a bilingual online survey. Ms. Cornelius will use the results of the survey to ensure the voice of the community is counted as she develops the final wraps designs.