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

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/

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

  1. Lisa Henry Says:

    Thank you for introducing us to your work! It is really awesome!!
    I just received the copy of “The Municipal” that you sent me. Thank you so much! This is issue is perfect for my colleagues and myself.

    As I said before, your work is amazing! Truly inspirational.

    Lisa Henry
    Streets and Stormwater Division Manager
    City of Orlando
    Public Works Dept.
    Streets and Stormwater Division
    1010 Woods Avenue
    Orlando FL 32805

  2. Cecilia Pena Says:

    I love the article. I was wondering with whom do I speak to about submitting a design of my own for a manhole here in Florida. Especially Miami Beach. Thank you in advance.
    Cecilia Pena

  3. Susan Raff of A Novel Group Book Club Says:

    Hey Novel Group Book Club Members-

    Check out our STAR: Bobbi Mastrangelo on page 40 of Reflections…about “Turning Manhole Covers into Art.”

    WTG Bobbi..you look grate in a hard hat!!!!

    “The Grate Works Apprentice”
    Susan Raff

  4. Sheila Anderson Says:

    It’s so nice a “Novel Group” can boast of our very own celebrity…you look “smashing” Bobbi!
    God bless!
    Sheila
    Your Novel Group Book Buddy

  5. Bobbi Mastrangelo regarding the initial request to do this article Says:

    My name is Barb Sieminski and I live in Fort Wayne, IN. I’m a freelancer for THE MUNICIPAL Magazine, a regional publication and Florida is in our region.

    I was impressed by your manhole covers as I am doing a big story for the January 2015 issue of MUNI. Is the “Reuse” item pictured on your Sculpture Relief (Small Works) a manhole cover, by any chance?

    My story is due tomorrow so if you get this before noon tomorrow (Wed), I would like to ask you a couple questions and use one of your photos in the magazine. I’ve already been in touch with 2 US foundries and would like to include you if you get this in time.
    Dec. 2, 2014

  6. Barbara Sieminski Says:

    Oh, what fun to be a pen pal again! And wow – I’m honored to be a part of your creative blog, Bobbi! That was a nice email from Cecilia Pena, too. Looks like your trend of manhole art is catching on!
    This is so exciting! Keep up the good work.
    Barbara Sieminski
    Author of:
    “Turning Manhole Covers into Art”

  7. Ange Mastrangelo Says:

    Hi Bobbi,
    I just finished reading the article on manhole covers. Congratulations on being the “world’s expert on manhole covers and leading artist”. It’s great that you are receiving the recognition you deserve. As they say good things happen to those who wait and I would add have talent.

    Your Brother-in-law Ange
    Author of “Entrepreneurial Leadership”

  8. Marvin Mastrangelo Says:

    Thanks for sending the January 2015 issue of The Municipal magazine.

    The article about turning manhole covers into art was interesting. It is a real honor to be highlighted in this article.

    Congratulations,
    Marvin
    Your Brother-in-law

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