Yelm Arts Commission to introduce art on signal light electrical box to honor centennial

Design will be located on First Street across from the old Wolf building


In honor of Yelm’s 100-year anniversary since incorporation, the City’s art commission will wrap a signal light electrical box with a historic photo.

Heidi Haslinger, Yelm Arts commissioner, discussed the project at a Yelm City Council study session on May 7, and the commission voted to make its theme for 2024 the Yelm centennial.

“One of the outcomes of this was to shift the focus to our first signal light electrical box wrap project, and it’s to be located on First Street across from the old Wolf building,” Haslinger said. “We had our city representative bring in archive historical photos, and we unanimously selected a very iconic image of the old Wolf building with what looks like a gathering of townsfolk around the mayor, who appears to be making an announcement.”

Haslinger added that with “very positive feedback” from city representatives after vetting the idea, the Yelm Arts Commission voted to have the photo rendered to improve its quality so it could be sized to fit the electric box.

The box itself is 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall and 2 feet deep, Haslinger said. The commission has been working with David Keenan of Studio 703 Wraps, in Yelm, to fit the image to the electrical box.

“As the base of the electrical signal box is roughly square and the photo is rectangular, to make it all fit the extra space became an opportunity to recognize the Yelm centennial,” Haslinger said. “With the added suggestion to use the Camas lily that currently is adorning our spring prairie meadows, the following design has become to completed proof.”

Haslinger said Keenan has already donated over $1,000 worth of his time, but he was instantly interested when he learned about the project. She described Keenan as being very passionate about the City of Yelm.

The side and rear panels will display the current city logo, created by Keenan, along with the words “Pride of the Prairie.” The project cost the arts commission $1,802.23, which was covered within the approved arts commission budget, Haslinger said.

“I have reached out to the Department of Transportation and already have project approval. We just need their project application to be signed by our city administrator, Mr. Todd Stancil,” Haslinger said. “Our focus is to get this wrap project completed this month, well ahead of Prairie Days.”

Haslinger said the wrap would take three days to make. Once it’s ready to be installed, which Mayor Joe DePinto said is coming in the near weeks, the Arts Commission will meet with Department of Transportation representatives at the location to go over “what to do” and “what not to do” with the electrical box.