March 7, 2011

Vancouver’s buses get a little arty

Art in Transit panelsPhoto from The Buzzer blog

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I was excited when I noticed a dramatic, beautiful piece of art hanging over my head on the bus the other morning. It was Emily Carr University student Alison Woodward’s work (see the eighth image here), one of 31 images by 18 artists studying at the school. It’s TransLink’s new pilot initiative, which is “building on the success of the Poetry in Transit program, which seeks to bring visual art into the transit environment through on-vehicle advertising panels featuring emerging artists.” I quite enjoy the Poetry on Transit panels when I find one I like, and so far, in Art on Transit, I love what I’m seeing.

I’m all in favour of improving our experiences on transit. Certainly, panels of art offer something exciting, pleasant and thought-provoking to look at, and may start conversations among strangers. (Maybe even some sketching.) I’d like to think that these small efforts help to keep people riding transit. I also hope the exposure for the students — some of them earning their Masters at ECU — will bring some positive attention. Being the daughter of a professional artist, the sister of another, and the friend of many, I’m acutely aware of the struggles artists endure to show their work and earn a living, despite immense talent. Art along with design and architecture play an invaluable role in creating vibrant, cared-for public spaces that attract people and encourage them to linger.

You can see all the panels on display from today til March 13th in the atrium of the South Building, from noon to 8pm (my former stomping grounds!). Read the full article in The Buzzer blog, packed with pictures of the art and artists.

What are your favourites? Have you spotted any, and if so, on which route?

Thanks to Paul, who remembers Jason Vanderhill (thanks for the Buzzer link) proposing the idea at Transit Camp.

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