The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) and the Arts Commission have partnered with representatives of Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and the University of Toledo (UT) to provide the opportunity for local artists to encourage the community's exposure to and appreciation for the arts through the artistic enhancement of buses, bus shelters and stops throughout TARTA's service area.
TARTA sponsors wraps for a selection of their buses that incorporate poetry written by Young Artists at Work (YAAW) apprentices and designs created by BGSU graphic design students.
A theme is selected and expounded upon each year. Past themes included a bridge theme, in recognition of the Maumee River Crossing Project, a jazz theme, in honor of Toledo-born jazz great Art Tatum, a glass theme, in celebration of the Toledo Museum of Art’s new Glass Pavilion, and a Restore Planet Earth theme, intended to raise awareness for maintaining a healthy planet. Variations on the Earth theme have spoken recently to the potential future of mass transit.
Of the theme, and its relation to the program, TARTA’s Jason Binder says, "The environmental theme has a lasting impression on all of us and it is an important theme to incorporate through arts. With the new testing of biodiesel in our transit buses, city and county-owned vehicles, the building of new ethanol plants and the new gas turbine on the county convention center, ‘green’ buildings for the new downtown arena, carpooling, riding transit, riding bikes, etc it is time to think about the environment and how we are doing our part as a region to restore planet earth. We hope to educate and entertain the general public of its importance."
Each year, a committee of area writers and representatives from TARTA and the universities juries the poetry. The selected poems are then sent to the Graphic Design Department at BGSU, where students interpret the poems into designs. A separate committee juries those designs, and the winning works are selected as bus wraps. The winners are announced, the newly beautified busses unveiled, and all submitted designs and many poems are featured at the Parkwood Gallery throughout December, celebrated with a public reception and awards ceremony.
For more information on the program, visit www.artintarta.org.
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