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Art courtesy of Kristen Lopez

Bus Shelter Art Project

 

The Bus Shelter Art Project is a collaboration between the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and The Bus Art Project MKE to spread art across the community.

The innovative program gives local artists access to the most exclusive canvases in town: MCTS bus shelters!

The Bus Art Project MKE, founded by Libby Olbrantz, works with the artists and raises money to pay for the production and installation of the art, then MCTS provides the space.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced during the unveiling of the first shelter in June 2018 that he made a personal donation of $5,000 to the fundraising effort and he encouraged others to donate to the effort if they can.

See below for locations of the art shelters and to learn more about the 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."

Walker's Point

'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.

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.”

News Coverage

Get Involved

  • If you are interested in submitting your art for potential display or if you would like to sponsor an art shelter in your community, please send a message to thebusartprojectmke@gmail.com.
  • To donate to the effort, click here.

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