Insight - Who, what, when, where, why & how?


Dublin Canvas is an inclusive public art project. To date, we have had a collection of artists from all age groups - students to retirees, from all walks of life - barristers to baristas, a mixture of nationalities and a variety of art disciplines. Graphic designers, illustrators, stencil artists, fine artists, street artists and landscape artists to name but a few. The main objective of Dublin Canvas is to ‘Colour in the County’. Artists have complete freedom on how to achieve this. Dublin Canvas is fully funded and supported by each of the four County Dublin's local authorities. The project came into being from Dublin City Council's Beta project. The aim of Beta projects is to trial new ideas, to innovate and to experiment. In 2013 Beta Projects experimented with a traffic light control box community art project. This trial was deemed successful. Leading on from this, Dublin Canvas was set up to expand on the concept, taking it further, eventually leading to a Dublin County rollout comprising of 890 unique pieces of artwork throughout County Dublin.


Dublin Canvas is an idea, a community art project intended to bring flashes of colour and creativity to everyday objects within Dublin's streetscape. Less grey, more play. This public art initiative takes previously unused public space and transforms it into canvases to help brighten up each area. Making Dublin a more beautiful place to live, work and visit.The project started in the Summer of 2015 with 15 boxes dotted along Rathmines, Camden Street, and Baggot Street. Following this initial successful trial, further locations were added across Dublin City.In 2018 South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council areas were added. By the end of Autumn 2024, there will be over 890 pieces completed - spread out across County Dublin. Completed artwork brightens up and turns these once dull, heavily tagged boxes into beautiful works of art, transforming Dublin into a walking gallery of public art.


Dublin Canvas runs throughout the Summer months and finishes by early Autumn. This years timeline is as follows:

Callout Commences - Monday 1st April 2024
Submission Deadline - Friday 3rd May 2024
Selection process - Monday 13th May - Friday 31st May 2024
Artwork Completed - Early June - Late August

Artists unavailable to paint at this time should not apply


Dublin Canvas Spring 2024 calllout for submissions for artwork for Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council and Fingal County Council.

There will be no artwork painted within South Dublin County Council in 2024. Hope to return to this area in 2025.

This Years Callout will consist of:

(note: each artist brief is almost identical - only difference is council, template, logo plus photography)

Dublin City Council - 68 boxes spread out over Dublin City Council's five main areas. The callout is now live, full details are on how to submit are contained within the artist brief.

Download: Dublin Canvas - Dublin City Council - Callout for Submissions -Summer 2024 PDF

Download: Dublin City Council - Traffic Signal Box Measurements Template - 2024 PDF

DúnLaoghaire Rathdown County Council - 22 boxes spread out over Dún
Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 6 main electoral areas. The callout is now live, full details on how to submit are contained within the artist brief. 

Download: Dublin Canvas - Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council - Callout for Submissions -Summer PDF

Download: Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council - Traffic Signal Box Measurements Template- 2024 PDF

Fingal County Council - 13 boxes spread out over Fingal County Councils 6 main electoral areas. The callout is now live, full details are on how to submit are contained within the artist brief 

Download: Dublin Canvas - Fingal County Council- Callout for Submissions - Summer 2024 PDF

Download: Dublin Canvas - Fingal County Council - Traffic Signal Box Template - 2024 PDF


Why be involved with Dublin Canvas?

Dublin is a very beautiful, however, sometimes and in certain areas the city can do with a helping hand. By participating in the project, you can transform the selected boxes into works of art, helping to brighten up the city. By their very nature the boxes are located at traffic junctions making them highly visible to pedestrians, cyclist and motorists.


Presently there is an abundance of highly creative, talented amateur and professional artists living throughout Dublin. These artists love to exhibit their work to the public. At the same time, there are large grey metal traffic light control boxes dotted right across County Dublin. They attract tagging/vandalism and generally drag the look of each area down. These boxes are always naturally located at traffic junctions making them ideal platforms to exhibit high-quality art to the public. Dublin Canvas utilises this space to showcase artwork enhancing the surrounding area. The artist's love to paint and the public generally loves the artwork. It is a win-win situation for all involved.Dublin Canvas uses traffic light control boxes for community art. These boxes are always naturally located at traffic junctions making them highly visible, perfectly located platforms to exhibit art to all pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as they wait whilst the traffic lights turn green. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones!

Who can get involved?

The project is open to anyone over the age of 18. If you can pick up a brush and paint, we want you to submit an entry. All you need to do is submit an idea and if selected be willing to give up the amount of time it will take you to paint the box.


Dublin Canvas is an inclusive public art project. The project is open to anyone over the age of 18. If you can pick up a brush and paint, we want you to submit an entry. All you need to do is submit an idea and if selected be willing to give up the amount of time it will take you to paint the box.Interestested artists and community groups should carefully read guidelines and criteria below and submit their artwork on time and in the correct format to info@dublincanvas.com

Selection Criteria and Guidelines

Participants should draw upon their own creativity but should also pay attention to the different characteristics of each area for inspiration, paying attention to the surroundings of each box when designing their artwork. As each of the areas are quite distinct it is suggested that you visit each location to draw inspiration from the immediate environment. Selected artwork imagery will still be owned by the participants.
However, you must agree to let Dublin Canvas use the artwork image in any way to promote the project and Dublin which will include use on websites, social media and all related publications. It is intended that the artwork will stay for a minimum of 1 year. However, Dublin Canvas reserves the right to remove any artwork at any time without prior notice.

Artwork will be selected based on the following criteria:

- creativity and innovation of design
- the relevance of the image to the chosen area
- ability to work within the guidelines of the project

Dublin Canvas actively encourage entrants to be as creative as possible, but designs would be ineligible if they
contain the following.

- breach of intellectual property rights (stealing someone else's idea)
- trademarks, advertisements, brand or business names, logos or copyrighted images,
- images relating to drugs or alcohol offensive or contentious
- images/artwork dominated by text, unless relevant to the design

Entrants should bear in mind the following points when conceptualizing designs.maximize the use of the 3-dimensional aspects of the boxes, a small logo, entrant’s details and box reference number will appear on the bottom of each left and right-hand side panel. This will be added on after the box is completed.
The finished artwork will be in the public domain, there is a chance that it will be vandalized. Consequently, large areas of the design should not be left open to attack. For example, large areas of blue skies on an image would give vandals the opportunity to deface the artwork.photographs of the chosen traffic signal boxes are displayed on the map.
It would be recommended that participants visit each site for inspiration and to ensure that their designs integrate with the surrounding area.only prior agreed artwork can be used on boxes prior to painting each of the allocated units will be painted white by Dublin Canvas

Submission Specifications

Participants should meet the following specifications to ensure their artwork is considered for the project. All submitted artwork should be clearly labelled. All submissions should contain contact details, a short biography (40 words or less) along with a name for your artwork and a brief description (40 words or less) of the inspiration behind your chosen design. This information will appear on the Dublin Canvas website and all social media should your design be selected. All submitted artwork must be emailed in JPEG or PDF format.You may also be called upon to repair or touch up any damaged pieces. Keep in mind that some of the available boxes are against a wall or railings. This will only allow for 3 sides to be painted

Be sure to include the following in your submission:

Contact Details
Artwork: label all artwork correctly, send Jpegs or PDF’s
Copy/paste/fill out below content:
Artwork Title:
Preferred Artwork Location/Area view locations @www.dublincanvas.com/mapArtwork
Description: (40 words or less, if possible, not essential)Biography: (40 words or less, if possible, not essential)
Contact Artist: Website – Instagram -Twitter - Facebook (if available, not essential)
Supply Materials: Dublin Canvas or own (see budget paragraph above for details)
Artists may submit multiple entries
Email completed submissions with contact details to info@dublincanvas.com


Dublin Canvas is asking for members of the public that are interested in the project to volunteer their time and talent to help brighten up the Dublin. In saying we believe it should not cost participants anything more than time. There are two options available to help cover costs. Option one is that Dublin Canvas will supply all materials (paints, brushes, PPE etc.) in a portable pack, plus a payment of €250 to cover travel expenses/food/caffeine for the day. Or option two, a payment of €300 and participants supply their own materials. For the second option, the materials used would have to be pre-approved by Dublin Canvas. This will ensure all painted boxes will remain vibrant for the duration of the project. Please indicate on submission which option you would prefer.

What are traffic light control boxes?

Traffic light control boxes are large grey metal boxes used to house the electrical components that coordinate the traffic light sequence. They are visible at most junctions throughout Dublin.


The quality is up to you. Have a look at our Instagram, Facebook and artists profile section for inspiration. There are some restrictions as outlined within artist brief but we encourage you to be as creative as possible.


The safety of participants and the public is paramount to Dublin Canvas. Full PPE (personal protection equipment) will be provided but due caution will be needed when painting each box.


Depending on the location of the unit, all artwork is planned to stay on each box for between 1-3 years. However, Dublin Canvas reserves the right to paint over any box at any time without prior notice.

What format should submissions be sent in?

Artwork should preferably be in JPEG format or PDF and emailed to info@dublincanvas.com

What will be the Selection Process?

Each box will be awarded on quality and creativity of design. The judging panel will be made up of Council representatives. All entrants will be notified either way if a submission is accepted or rejected.

Hints and tips

PPE will be provided but participants should constantly be aware of their surroundings. The selected boxes are all in high footfall areas, the public will stop and ask about the project and for directions. It's Ireland, at some stage it's probably going to rain.  Make sure to dress accordingly and that all your materials can be put away quickly in case of a sudden downpour. Obviously, the units are static, you will have to be able to move around so keep this in mind whilst designing your artwork.