Lassie Colebourn Beautifies Orinda one Utility Box at a Time

(Photo by Maggie Boscoe)
Lassie Colebourn beautified the utility box in front of the Community Center with her bright colored flowers.

    It’s remarkable what a pallet of paint colors can do in the hands of an artist. Lassie Colebourn showed this to be true when she painted the utility box in front of the Orinda Community Center.  
    Bright colored tulips and a red moth adorn one side with iris and Nandina, which she says she added because they are planted on both sides of the box. She painted a yellow and orange field of wildflowers on the other side with a wide open tulip on the top. 
    “I was happy to do this project because I like the idea of public art to beautify the city,” said Colebourn. “I also enjoyed talking with people as they walked by while I was painting.”
    Maggie Boscoe, a member of the Lamorinda Art Council and Curator of the Art Gallery at the Orinda library came up with the painted utility boxes idea.
    “I got the idea of painting the utility boxes in Orinda when I was driving through Walnut Creek and Lafayette and saw their painted boxes. So, I started the project to paint the    boxes, which belong to the City,” said Boscoe. 
    “The City required me to put some paintings on private property before I could get permission to paint boxes belonging to them. In the Theatre District, as proof of concept, there are paintings at CVS, Mash gas station and a big belly trash and recycling can by the mailbox.”
    Boscoe added, “After waiting for an agreement from the City, we started painting boxes and putting paintings on the back and side of big belly cans on the Village side. I have artists lined up to paint more utility boxes and big belly cans. I hope this project will beautify Orinda with art. I therefore call it ‘Artify Orinda.’”
    She said all paintings are original art by local artists and people can donate to the project at Those who donate $500 will have their names on a plaque attached to the art, but donations in any amount are also accepted.

Bobbie Dodson can be reached at

(Sally Hogarty, Photographer)
People walking along Orinda Way have to be aware of the "fox" who now lives on the utility box by Rite Aid thanks to artist Tim Hancock and the Artify Orinda program.

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