By Dianne Sundstrom
Thanks to a talented young artist, 15-year-old Wilson High School sophomore Annalise Mirsec, another utility box has been reimagined with a stunning, colorful design.
The project came about as part of a 3rd District beautification effort for the triangle at Appian Way and Nieto. At the time, Annalise was an 8th grader at Rogers Middle School whose interest in art started as a young child. She submitted her design, and a team of volunteer judges, including Councilwoman Price and Ms. Brady, a middle school art teacher, chose Annalise’s design. This was her first public art project, taking a little more than a year to complete.
The Colorado Lagoon served as inspiration for Annalise’s design. She incorporated trees, flowers, fish, water, and jellies to embody local natural features. A central focus was to blend and balance the land and water elements seamlessly across all four panels. She wanted a design that would appeal to both young and adult viewers. Reactions – from those walking by and cheering her on to those driving by and giving a “thumbs up” or honking and waving - indicate she accomplished her goal! Annalise said her favorite comment, and one she will never forget, came from a young boy that stopped by and with great enthusiasm said, “WOW, I LOVE IT!”
Annalise wants to thank her mom, Miranda, and her team for their unwavering support. As the youngest artist in Long Beach awarded such a project, the learning curve was steep with challenges along the way. But the experience has given her strength and discipline that will carry her forward as a person and an artist.
Editor’s note: Thank you to Doug Walker, our utility box resident artist, for providing some support to Annalise.