“Turning Manhole Covers into Art” by Barbara Sieminski for TheMunicipal.com., highlights Bobbi Mastrangelo’s Manhole Art

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Barbara Sieminski, author of “Turning Manhole Covers into Art” discovered Bobbi Mastrangelo’s manhole art on the web while researching foundries and manhole covers.  This abridged Blog version, includes Bobbi’s Manhole Art.

Some cities hold occasional “Art in the Street” competitions during long summer days, where boulevards are closed off and chalk artists of all ages come out to play. Functional and longer-lasting heavy metal art doesn’t usually share the same space in the streets, unless at some time a street department employee felt strongly about the benefits of creatively designed manhole covers.

Surprised? More and more municipalities are choosing to beautify their streets by using decorative manhole covers, grates and rings to draw attention to their infrastructure and highlight local artists’ designs.  According to Adam San Solo, PE, director of sales at US Foundry in Medley, Fla., often wastewater, stormwater, utility, meter covers, etc., will have different designs, all within the same city.

This manhole cover was produced for the city of Miami, Fla. (Photo provided by US Foundry)

This manhole cover was produced for the city of Miami, Fla. (Photo % US Foundry)

“The City Beautiful” is the first manhole cover relief done in color by artist Bobbi Mastrangelo. It is a detail from her 47" x 32" relief which was exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art's 1st Thursday: Oct.2014.

“The City Beautiful” is the first manhole cover relief done in color by artist Bobbi Mastrangelo. It is a detail from her 47″ x 32″x 3″  relief which was exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursday in Oct. 2014: “What’s Urban Art?”

Engineers are not the only ones interested in manhole covers. Bobbi Mastrangelo of Poinciana, Fla., is a retired schoolteacher who has gained international recognition for unusual art projects. She has exhibited  in  prestigious art shows and museums globally and is listed in “Who’s Who in American Art.” One of her mixed media specialties is decorative manhole and water covers in urban settings. “It is  a way of appreciating the technology and maintenance of our public utilities and roads. This art helps to promote conservation and protection of our environment,” Mastrangelo said.

Artist Bobbi Mastrangelo holds one of her decorative manhole covers titled “Freedom Grate.” (Photo provided by Mastrangelo, from her Grate American Art portfolio)

Artist Bobbi Mastrangelo holds one of her decorative manhole covers titled “Freedom Grate.” (Photo % Mastrangelo, from her Grate American Art portfolio)

Metropolises  considering having their own attractive grates may wish to encourage local artists to compete with unique cover art. There could even be citywide contests for elementary and high school students to have their art displayed on the lids. The field is wide open for designs of local landscapes, abstracts, legends, the seasons or municipal symbols. On the production end, runs as small as 20 pieces are possible and prototypes can be provided.

Cities considering updating their plain manhole covers to spiffier ones might keep in mind a fun bonus: Maybe these new pieces of heavy metal art will even show up in the local chamber of commerce’s tourism guides as part of its sightseeing attractions.

To read the complete article click this link: http://www.themunicipal.com/2015/01/turning-manhole-covers-into-art/

National Post Card Week 2014 “Florida Storm Sewer”

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

“FLORIDA STORM SEWER” (detail)

Florida Storm Sewer is the second of my Florida Trio Post Cards for NPCW. This art is cropped from the original art to fit the post card dimensions. View the whole Florida Storm sewer relief and story: http://bobbimastrangelo.com/MyNews/?p=4040  

National Post Card Week is celebrated annually during the first full week of May.  Since 1991, I have been a participant, sending out a post card usually based on one of my manhole cover  relief works. See my collection:  Bobbi Mastrangelo- Postcards -”The Grate Works” -transforms manhole covers, sewers and grates into artistic streetscapes.

I exchange post cards with over 130 post card pen pals and save their creations in binder notebooks. Demaris Swint has posted the 2014 NPCW cards: http://www.nationalpostcardweek.com/2014.php

Your comments and questions about National Post Card Week are very welcome. 

 


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