Public Art

Art-On-The-Move Bus #1

ART-ON-THE-MOVE: a public art project sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission in partnership with Capital Area Transit (CAT).

One day I saw a call for artists asking for designs for a city bus. I immediately had an image in mind, a fox I had created in pastels that had climbed out on a limb to catch a bigfoot. I would leave the bigfoot out of my first design but it still didn't seem right. For my next attempt I used a watercolor painting of a musk turtle. It looked pretty cool but just didn't have the "look" I was seeking.

About to give up, I rummaged through a stack of illustrations I had created to test out a loose, scribble style I was working on. I came across a drawing of a giraffe ducking out of the way of a streetlight. Just for the fun out it, I scanned the giraffe and streetlight into the bus template. It worked. It won!

For almost three months after it was completed I hadn't seen "my bus". I would get emails and people telling me, "I saw your bus today!" I finally got to see it up close and personal when I was invited down to the bus yard for a photo shoot.

Art-On-The-Move Bus #2

I had an opportunity to create artwork for a second bus. This time I wanted to incorporate ideas from other people. I asked my students at Apex High School to create the background.

I gave them a map of Raleigh and asked then to find a street and write a sentence that incorporates the name of the street.

Some examples of their sentences include:

I want world Peace Street.
When I get nervous I Pace Street.
Baby you can drive my Carr Street.

The Billboard Project

Late last Summer while driving to the beach I started noticing the billboards on the side of i-40. I said to myself, "Self, wouldn't it be cool to paint one of those billboards."

Just for fun, I called a billboard company and asked, "How much?"

$1,400.00 ... For only 1 month... OK, so there went that idea.

Then, last autumn, a grant offer from United Artists came in the mail. I left it on my desk at work. I probably would have thrown it out but Ms. Koefler said, "You could use that for your billboard."

So I applied and you know how much they gave me? Guess... ;)

So all excited like, I contacted the billboard company. But you know what? They weren't too responsive. I received a few emails back telling me how I could run a stinky little poster over on Capitol Blvd. They said they would send me a contract but they never even asked for my address. I guess I was too small a fish.

So I did what everyone should do.. I took another trip to the beach. This time I paid attention to the billboard company names... One stood out above all the others...

Admiral Outdoor Advertising!!!

I contacted Regina Simpson, at Admiral Outdoor Advertising, the best billboard company ever. She quoted me the same price as the stinky, never to be named company.. Only Regina Simpson, at Admiral Outdoor Advertising, the best billboard company ever, said she would run my billboard for... A year!

So if you are driving down i-40 to the beach this summer and you are going through Duplin County, near mile marker 373 ....


What would you do with 190 art One Students and 1,840 balloons? Make a giant mosaic of the Mona Lisa... silly.

An excerpt from Craig Roland's blog: THE ART TEACHER'S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET

The day began very early on a Friday morning with students arriving individually or in small groups to Ian’s classroom, one of a half dozen or so trailers (referred to as “portables” in Florida) that are lined up behind the school building. While I had some inkling prior to my visit that something “special” was going to happen that day I was not expecting to see the massive project that slowly took shape during the day.
Imagine, if you will, 190 high art students creating a giant mosaic of the Mona Lisa in a school parking lot using over 1,800 balloons and a lot of their own air.
While the use of balloons to create a giant portrait may seem unconventional at first when you hear Ian describe the history and intent of the project in the video below, using balloons in this manner sounds . . . well, pretty traditional. That was one of my big takeaways from the day.

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