Artists working to beautify utility and 5G boxes across Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ever since 5G boxes showed up in Houston, they have been blasted by homeowners who say the boxes are an eyesore. The boxes are probably here to stay, so why not make them more appealing?

Cell phone companies call them "ground furniture," and the boxes are used to make internet and cell phone data run faster.

Elia Quiles with Up Art Studio has plenty of experience turning ugly utility boxes into something communities can be proud of.

Quiles and the City of Houston have partnered to turn hundreds of plain control boxes into public works of art.

When new, privately owned 5G boxes started popping up all over town, Quiles started getting phone calls.

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"We had a lot of people contact us, 'They are really ugly', and 'We didn't know they were going to be there, and they just popped up out of nowhere and now my beautiful landscaping doesn't look beautiful anymore,'" said Quiles.

ABC13 contacted Verizon about their 5G boxes and the company said it had been in talks with the city to allow visual improvements to the boxes, but ultimately things fell through.

You can find many ideas on how to make utility boxes less of an eyesore online, from planting shrubs near the boxes to putting up lattice around them.

But Quiles says whatever you dream up, be sure to contact the company that owns the boxes first, because the boxes are powered by electricity and you don't want to get hurt or damage the gear.

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"They really don't want anybody touching their equipment because we, as a general citizen, do not necessarily know what is in those," said Quiles.

The Up Art Studio says they have been in touch with AT&T and the company is looking into the idea.

Artists who are currently painting boxes are insured and use special material to make sure they do not damage the boxes.

So before you get any ideas, call the company. If it is a city-owned box, call the city.

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