If a person planned it properly, she could loop through Auburn and catch a glimpse of all the beautifully decorated utility boxes adorning the town. Artists from Auburn and the surrounding area went through a selection process to be chosen to paint these metallic canvases. Each artist sent examples of previous work as well as ideas for the boxes they'd be assigned. Each box represents some aspect of Auburn's rich history, culture or heritage.
Consider beginning your tour with "The Flicker Bird: Guardian of Cultural Traditions and Identity" located at Auburn Folsom and Indian Hill Roads.
The Flicker was painted by Stan Padilla and students from the United Auburn Indian Community.
As you meander toward Auburn, you'll pass a few other utility boxes, including:
Noel Sandino's, "All Jazzed up"
Katie Gaven's, "Wild Waters"
Gia McNutt's, "Fairground Fun"
Anthony Maki Gill's, "Omnes Collecta: Collect it All"
Nancy Hakala's, "The Chinese in Auburn" and Alyssa Troia's, "Dragon Medicine"
Diane Clark's, "An Arts Journey with 'Art Mannequin"
A stroll through Downtown Auburn will take you past several more stunning pieces of art, including:
Katy Fries', "There Is Much Love Here for You" (in honor of veterans)
Frank Ordaz's, "The Empire Strikes Gold" (appropriately located across the street from the State Theater)
Patty Pieropan Dong's "Pedal/Paddle"
Traci Owens's, "Waiting for Wings"
Paula Amerine's, "Thank a Farmer"
Elora Milby's "Clowns on Lincoln Way"
A bit farther afield, at the corner of Elm Avenue and Auburn Ravine Road, is a single deer. This is one half of Sandy Lindblad's "Animals of Auburn." The accompanying cat, dog and horse -- we've been told -- are visiting the Gold Country Fairgrounds.
Finally, at the train station on Nevada Street, you'll find, "Historical Railroad of Auburn," by Connie Rodriguez, and a few blocks north at Mount Vernon Road -- gateway to the wine country -- you'll see Candi Martin Baker's, "Wine Trail Views of Placer County."
If you're looking for an adventure, you might pick up a copy of the utility box art brochure at the Placer County Visitor's Bureau, 1103 High Street in Auburn. Make a treasure hunt of finding each box. It's kind of like Pokemon Go for grown-ups -- although, kids might enjoy it, too.
Call 530-887-2111 for more information about the visitor's bureau or check out the Visit Auburn Facebook page to read the artists' statements.