The sensitive use of art and design in transit systems has long been recognized as a tool that gives vibrancy to public spaces and presents images of the local culture and architectural heritage. Transit systems throughout the world illustrate the contribution of public art and its role in establishing relationships with the community. The Federal Transit Administration, through a policy statement, has noted that “the visual quality of the nation’s mass transit systems has a profound impact on transit patrons and the community at large. Good design and art can improve the appearance and safety of a facility, give vibrancy to its public spaces, and make patrons feel welcome.”
In an effort to augment transit capital projects, rehabilitation projects, or local shelter enhancements, the VIA Art in Transit (AIT) Program advances the role of VIA in its quest for design excellence throughout the VIA service area, and links agency-wide transit facilities and amenities through public art and placemaking opportunities.
A collaborative approach to public art results in better integration of the artistic influence on materials selection, spatial considerations, and overall design approach to a transit facility.
CURRENT ART IN TRANSIT NEWS
VIA Announces Winners for Art in Transit Contest
VIA Metropolitan Transit announces the selection of entries for its first Art in Transit Program. Artists from throughout Texas and the United States created site-specific art pieces to be installed at new Prímo bus shelters along Zarzamora Street and Military Drive. The 46 winning entries will be fabricated into laser-cut metal windscreen panels as components of the Prímo shelters to promote local culture and influence transit use. Art in Transit initiatives enhance VIA facilities and the local community.
The contest attracted 157 total entries from artists of all ages. The submitted graphics addressed various topics, including water, botanicals, family, childhood games, animals, military, Hispanic heritage, and life in San Antonio and the region. Artists for the selected entries received a cash prize, and the top five winners (listed below) earned special recognition, with additional prizes.
First Prize: Tracie Fleming, Houston – “Churches in Lace” Second Prize: Maria I. Rodriguez, San Antonio – “Agua es Vida: Water is Sacred” Third Prize: Beatrice Lebreton, New York City – “Let’s Play/Vamos a Jugar” Honorable Mentions:
Luis Valderas, San Antonio – “Almost Home”
Peter Bernick-Albritton, Houston – “Dotted Landscape”
A selection committee scored the winning designs based on quality/originality, impact on transit customers and community, metal cutting feasibility, and design intent. Three instructional workshops were held to assist the community in understanding the concepts of translating graphics to a laser-cut method.
ART CONTEST WINNERS – ZARZAMORA/MILITARY CORRIDORS