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Art courtesy of Kristen Lopez

Bus Shelter Art Project

 

The Bus Shelter Art Project is a unique effort by the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) to spread art across the community. The innovative program gives local artists access to the most exclusive canvases in town: MCTS bus shelters!

The program originally started in 2018 as a collaboration with The Bus Art Project MKE and its founder, Libby Olbrantz. MCTS now manages the program with support of local artists.

See below for locations of the shelters and to learn more about the participating artists and their visions.

Downtown Milwaukee

'The Collide'

Artist: Tzeng Lee

Location: Water Street & Mason Street, Downtown Milwaukee

Vision: "I've always had a love for prints and patterns which inspired me to create my own. My designs are based off kaleidoscope patterns which play with repetitive symmetry. It's four different patterns which are similar in design, to play with your eyes and stimulate the mind. I'm excited to collaborate with the Bus Art Project MKE to inspire and intrigue people with my art."

The artwork at this location is sponsored by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

'28 ZIP Codes, 1 City'

Artist: Dominic Inouye / ZIP MKE

Location: Water Street & Wisconsin Avenue, Downtown Milwaukee

Vision: "ZIP MKE's mission to represent — through photographs — the faces, places, and experiences of all 28 ZIP Codes aligns nicely with Bus Art Project MKE's mission to connect the city through art. We are happy to share selections from our galleries of over 2,000 photos on this downtown bus shelter and add to the work of so many talented local artists. We hope that the shelter becomes both a reflection of the city and a mirror for each viewer."

The artwork at this location is sponsored by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

Bay View

'Girl in the Woods'

Artist: Libby van de Bunte

Location: Oklahoma Avenue & Howell Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: "I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at a pretty young age, and it's something that I always carry with me. Last year, I told myself that I was going to put myself out there more in terms of my artwork. When offered the opportunity to be part of the Bus Project, I said yes immediately. For me, it's not only a chance to push myself far out of my comfort zone, it's also a chance to contribute to a growing and diverse community of MKE artists."

'Raining on Your Parade'

Artist: Charity Ekpo

Location: Kinnickinnic Avenue & Bay Street, Milwaukee

Vision: “I wanted to participate in this project because I think it’s a great way to continue showing just how creative Milwaukee is. That we’re capable of taking something people maybe wouldn’t normally consider exciting, and turning it into something fun and visually intriguing. Art is a great way to express yourself. I hope these awesome designs will inspire others to want to channel their creative side, and make something amazing for themselves and/or others to see.”

'Through the Haze'

Artist: Kristen Lopez

Location: Oklahoma Avenue & Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: “I became a part of the Milwaukee bus project because it's a great way to connect all the neighborhoods of this city. I hope that it inspires people to take the bus to part of town they've never been before.”

Riverwest

'Cluster'

Artist: CK Ledesma

Location: North Avenue & Humboldt Boulevard, Milwaukee

Vision: “I’m thrilled to take part in the project because it intersects several interests of mine, community and art, as well as, representation through diversity. “Cluster” represents a gathering of faces with different colors, shapes, sizes and expressions; a vision of what our neighborhoods and communities can be through unity.”

'Flower Faces'

Artist: LaNia Sproles

Location: Center Street & Humboldt Boulevard, Milwaukee

Vision: "I wanted to remind people that they are worthy of happiness. That pain and vibrancy go together so that growth can follow."

'Back at the Labyrinth'

Artist: Shawn Bhatti

Location: Locust Street & Dousman Street, Milwaukee

Vision: "I've always adored musicians for being able to display raw emotion, and fine tune their craft, while telling their story. The same way that a chef will help and teach others who love food. And are able to break it down to a science for folks to enjoy. Art is all around us. And it pushes the limits everyday, to the dark corners of our minds. I'm grateful that, from a young age, I've stayed on this path... one that's lit by colors and driven by music. One that allows me to stay hungry as well as humble. Art, to me, is love. And love is life."

Walker's Point

'Big, Giant Hugs'

Artist: Matt Juzenas

Location: 1st Street & National Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: “I've made it a personal mission to put out as much love and positivity into the world as I can. As a happy-go-lucky guy who stands at six foot, eight inches tall, friends and family often call me the 'Big Friendly Giant.' Many years ago, I started signing my posts on social media with 'Big, Giant Hugs' and it took off. For this project, I wanted to create a piece that would simply make people smile when they saw it. Maybe they'll feel the warmth of a big hug from the giant heart of our city and pass along that love to someone else that day. I am beyond honored that this fun message of positivity has been chosen to be displayed in a neighborhood where I have personally experienced the love and support of our LGBTQ community. I love our city, and this is a way for me to give one of my big, giant hugs to all of Milwaukee!"

This artwork was installed on June 7, 2019 to help celebrate the start of PrideFest weekend in Milwaukee!

'Colourful Serape'

Artist: Gloria Ruiz-Santos

Location: 6th Street & National Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: “One of the main things about Mexico that I love are the colors, which is something I've always felt Milwaukee lacked. This project is a beautiful addition to add more color to the city. For my design I went for a 'serape' print to represent my proud heritage and to show some love to my fellow Mexicans in Milwaukee."


Video: Gloria Ruiz-Santos Talks About Her Artwork

Note: In September 2018, someone stole this beautiful piece of artwork from the bus shelter at 6th & National. The artwork was returned to the shelter a few weeks later, but it was badly damaged and needed to be replaced. The design was reinstalled on October 4th. Then, in May 2019, the artwork was once again torn down by a vandal.

'Dress'

Artist: Dena Nord

Location: 1st Street & Scott Street, Milwaukee

Vision: "I am so excited to be part of this project and have my work in Walker's Point. My work titled, Dress, is from my painting to music series. In the series, I would break down a song by beats per minute and translate that to a series of notes and sketches. I used the notes and stop motion photography to record the process of the painting being created. In the final piece, not only is the work inspired by the song, but it also has a video to match that shows the painting coming alive beat by beat to the music. The song Dress is by the band Sylvan Esso, who always have had a sweet spot in my heart because the band members met at the Cactus Club in Bay View, where I live. See the video at Denanord.com/videos."

Harambee

'Chaos Emerald'

Artist: Dré Black (@artbydreblack)

Location: Dr. M.L.K. Junior Drive & Clarke Street, Milwaukee 

Vision: "This piece captures the beauty and diversity that Milwaukee offers. Growing up here, I rarely saw images that represented the people and culture of my neighborhood. I want my art to make people feel welcomed and at ease. My goal is for people to see pass the negative and focus on the positive because within the chaos there is beauty."

Metcalfe Park

'Wisconsin Wildflowers'

Artist: Nellie Gehrig

Location: Fond du Lac Avenue & Center Street, Milwaukee 

Vision: "Milwaukee has access to many beautiful parks and nature and I wanted to illustrate some of the native flora of our state. I hope it acts as a reminder to stop and smell the flowers and to slow down and look a little closer. There is beauty all around us."

Midtown

'Seasons 414'

Artist: Tyler "Tystarr" Copes

Location: 27th Street & North Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: "From morning to night, buses keeps Milwaukee moving through freezing snow, sweltering heat and just good ol' sunny days. But no matter the weather, there is beauty to be appreciated. As a Brooklyn native, I was basically raised on public transportation and I loved seeing the diversity, every day, with people from all walks of life trying to get to their destinations. Milwaukee is no different. This is my love letter to the city that adopted me and to all the passengers who rely on the bus no matter the season."

Sherman Park

'Milwaukee Topo'

Artist: Larry Booth

Location: Sherman Boulevard & North Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: "When looking at a city, all that most people see are buildings and streets. But there is a hidden artistic design to a city that few people ever notice; the topographic contours of a city that have been carved into the earth's surface by the random forces of nature (water, wind and Tectonic movement).      

My bus shelter abstract, "Milwaukee Topo", draws upon the topography of Milwaukee for its inspiration. The piece is an exact topographic representation of the actual landform that lies beneath the buildings and streets of Milwaukee.  Each color represents a different elevation in height from Lake Michigan. The light blue line running through the middle of the art is the Milwaukee River. The lakefront and Veterans Park can be seen at the lower right.

My hope is to inspire people to look at the world around them in a different way; to realize there is so much more wonder to behold in the landscapes of both Nature and Humankind than first meets the eye."

'Patchwork City'

Artist: Noel Clark

Location: Sherman Boulevard & Burleigh Street, Milwaukee 

Vision: "Driving around the northwest side of Milwaukee every day during the winter months always leaves me wanting more color in the landscape. So I created a bright patchwork of blues, greens, yellows, and reds that stand out against the monochromatic Milwaukee sky. I hope it lifts the spirits of those passing by."

South Milwaukee

'Rooted in Nature'

Artist: Kasia Drake-Hames

Location: 10th Avenue & Milwaukee Avenue, South Milwaukee 

Vision: "This piece is inspired by the natural features in South Milwaukee including Grant Park, the beach and the Oak Creek. I would like people to consider our interconnectedness to nature every day. As a resident of South Milwaukee, I am deeply moved by the city's natural beauty and have enjoyed many hours exploring Grant Park with my family. I'm honored to have my design featured on our bus shelter, and I hope that it inspires others to explore the city's natural spaces.”