It’s traffic-box painting season in town, and Wellesley resident Clara Eikeboom is adding her artistic talents to the two signal boxes outside the Wellesley Police station on Washington St. After submitting an application and preliminary designs in March to the Wellesley Public Art Committee, the Winsor School student got word that her plans were perfectly lawful. By early May she’d set up a shade shelter and started sketching her designs onto the metal surfaces.
“I got the idea because I really enjoy the electrical boxes all around the Wellesley, and I dreamed of doing one myself.”
Eikeboom also dreamed of a spring spent outdoors, beyond the four walls of a classroom. Thus, her perfect senior project was born. “I’m so glad I can do this and I don’t have to be in school,” she acknowledged.
One of the two boxes she’s painting is themed “Police Cars During the Ages.” One side portrays a Model T; another side a Crown Victoria, and another, a modern-day electrical model. For that last one, Eikeboom pointed to WPD’s fully electric 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E parked nearby. “I had a model for my drawing right here.”
For her second box, Eikeboom painted a Sherlock Holmes silhouette as a nod to the famous British fictitious case solver; and a large fingerprint, to symbolize the scientific side of criminal investigations.
For his part, Wellesley PD chief Jack Pilecki was glad to have the chance to see the boxes outside the station livened up. He and Eikenboom together came up with the themes for the boxes. “I am extremely happy with how they are turning out. Clara has been amazing. I hope everyone who sees them likes them also,” Pilecki said.
Eikenboom expects to finish up the project within a couple of weeks. After that she’ll travel to Minnesota to work in a kitchen at a German language summer camp. “This will be my third summer working in the kitchen,” she said. Fluent in the language, She welcomes the opportunity to communicate with other German-speakers from all over the country and abroad. Next fall, it’s off to Bucknell University.
The Traffic Box Art Program is a collaboration between the Wellesley Public Arts Committee and the Wellesley Police Department. Since 2020 local artists have painted about a dozen signal boxes at high-visibility intersections to enhance the visual experience in Wellesley.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wellesley Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, and a grant from the Community Fund for Wellesley’s Al Robinson Fund for the Arts.