August 4, 2022

Beautifying Our Community

Benton PUD Partners with Port of Kennewick to install public art at Columbia Gardens.

Port of Kennewick recently transformed three Benton PUD transformer boxes and eight utility boxes at Columbia Gardens Wine & Artisan Village into public art. This pilot project was a collaboration between the Port of Kennewick and Benton PUD. 

One transformer is adjacent to Gordon Estate Winery at 313 E. Columbia Gardens Way and the others are near Bartholomew Winery at 425 E. Columbia Drive, Kennewick.

These are the first Benton PUD utility boxes wrapped with artist imagery in the Tri-Cities and feature photographs of vineyards, grapes and natural grasses by Kim Fetrow Photography. Benton PUD plans to offer this as an option for other commercial customers in the future.

“Our investment in public art is about creating a sense of place and a desirable location for business expansion,” said Tim Arntzen, Port of Kennewick CEO. “The utility boxes were a perfect canvas within the wine and artisan village.”

The port has identified public art as an essential element of economic development. The new utility box art joins the Mid-Columbia Latino Heritage Mural, Aspirations sculpture and Rolling Mass bus shelter public art installations at Columbia Gardens.