2023 Utility Box Artists

The artwork of Adaleyd DeLeon and Kristen Kong were approved on July 24, 2023 as the finalists of 2023 Utility Box Public Art Program.

Adaleyd DeLeon

"A Light Shining Home" located at Elm St./Key Blvd./Hill St.

A Light Shining Home with artistArtist Description of Artwork: the design shows the beauty of many plants native to the El Cerrito Area, as well as the very distinct skyline El Cerrito possesses. The hill, where El Cerrito gets its name, is shown in the background as well as our lovely view of the bay. The plants shown in this piece are the common, pallid, and Contra Costa manzanitas, yarrow (an important plant in Native Ohlone medicinal practices), Narrow-Leaf Milkweed, as well as blue wild rye in the foreground. A hand paints a star above the city, showing that El Cerrito is a beacon for many of us who call this city home, and further tying in the “Arts of El Cerrito” theme. The colors used are bright, but not garish, and aim to give the viewer a peaceful feeling.

Adaleyd DeLeon is a visual artist based in El Cerrito. They attended Oakland School for the Arts through middle and high school and are currently attending San Francisco State University while pursuing their BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Adaleyd works in many mediums, including but not limited to painting, sculpture and digital art. They work as a freelance artist and in the past have partnered with companies like Beez Human co. as a graphic designer. Their artistic portfolio can be found on Instagram @newt.kazoot and https://adaleyddeleon.wixsite.com/my-site-1.

Kristen Kong

"The Musical Culture of El Cerrito" located at Liberty St./Fairmount Ave.

Kristen Kong Music Utility BoxArtist Description of Artwork: the design highlights the musical culture that is fostered in El Cerrito. There are subtle nods to people who grew their love of music here such as John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater revival, Filipina jazz singer Joyo Velarde, and future musicians that are just starting out, such as the nationally recognized ECHS jazz band. They have all contributed to the tight knit communal environment that El Cerrito is known for.

As a muralist, Kristen Kong strives to transform spaces into vibrant, captivating works of art that inspire and connect with viewers on an intuitive level. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, Kristen brings larger-than-life murals to the public to celebrate and and inspire social change through visual narratives.

Drawing inspiration from the beauty of nature, diverse cultures, and the human experience, Kristen's artistic vision is driven by a desire to create visually arresting pieces that evoke emotions and provoke meaningful conversations. Her artwork is a celebration of the rich tapestry of life, weaving together bright colors, knowledge and sometimes humor to create immersive environments that transport viewers to new realms of creativity and contemplation.

2022 Utility Box Art Finalist Kristen KongThrough her work, Kristen aims to foster a sense of unity, empowering BIPOC communities to come together and engage with art in a way that transcends language and cultural barriers. She believes that public art has a responsibility to strive for inclusion and diversity and ignite change not with bombast and protestations (though there is nothing wrong with that) but simply by making sure that everyone is equitably represented in the community. Kristen is dedicated to using her craft as a means to inspire positive transformation through representation.

Her art reminds us of our shared experiences and the boundless potential for growth and connection. Through her artistry, Kristen strives to leave viewers with a lasting impact, not just murals, with feelings of inspiration and empowerment Visit kristenkong.com and Instagram @kristen_kong_illustration to see her work.