Several pink mailboxes with poems stenciled on them are popping-up along Downtown Palm Springs, the latest city for an anonymous street artist that has added pink in cities east to west.
About three of your typical blue USPS mailboxes are now pink along Palm Canyon Drive. The artist simply goes by “Pōət” with little information to share on social media. But what is noticeable, are the several cities that have seen the artist’s art such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Victoria’s Attic Antiques sits catty-corner to one of the pink mailboxes, the owner Victoria Routh first spotted it about a week ago.
“I never really noticed it until they painted it pink,” Routh said. “A lot of people have come into the store because they’ve noticed it, and we talk about it being an art installation… because we don’t know any better.”
The confusion over the owner of the art continues.
The United States Postal Service did not commission the art and neither did the city, yet the mailboxes sit on busy areas of Palm Springs almost hidden in plain sight.
A spokesperson with USPS, Eva Jackson said the pink mailboxes are technically vandalism, therefore, the vibrant pink will not stay for long.
“We support the local art businesses but we do ask that our mailboxes, our vehicles, and our facilities not be used as an artist canvas,” Jackson said. “The postmaster put in a work order with our maintenance department and those boxes will be removed.”
Jackson was not able to say if there will be an investigation over the pink mailboxes but warns that all mailboxes are federal property and acts of vandalism can be fined with up to $250,000 or face up to 3 years in prison for each offense.
The artist is aware of the possible legal repercussions and wishes to remain anonymous but said through the art, “I aim to bring some tasteful and vibrant street culture”. The artist shared some insight about the art’s meaning through social media.
Pōət said he/she is a “writer turned artist, but always a pōət.” The work is based on personal experiences but draws inspiration from lyrics of favorite songs.
Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley may possibly expect more art from the anonymous artist after the USPS mailboxes are long gone, the artist is a part-time local.