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Poetry and Paintings for Muni Buses

9:46 AM PST on January 10, 2019

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

Perhaps riding the bus isn't always fun, but it can be beautiful.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced today the five artists and five poets whose work will adorn the insides of 100 buses from January through April under this year's Muni Art Project program. "I love the idea of transforming our everyday shared spaces," said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who hosted an event this morning on the steps of City Hall, announcing the winners. "Art will brighten people's rides." Muni parked a bus in front of the event with the art displayed inside.

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An example of how the art is displayed, with poems and interpretive artwork displayed side-by-side
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The theme this year, “Connecting Our Community” is a collaboration with The Poetry Society of America who selected the five poems. Each Muni artist interpreted the poems to create accompanying visual art (the poems and artwork are displayed side-by-side on buses, as seen above).

Nick Cook, who painted the lead image, at this morning's event. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
Nick Cook, who painted the lead image, speaking at this morning's event. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
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The 2019 Muni artists are:

Nick Cook- High School Student, Marin
Arthur Koch- San Francisco
Bhavna Misra- Alameda
Crystal Vielula- San Francisco
Christine Weibel- San Francisco

The five poets and poems are:

Francisco X. Alarcon– “One Big Family”, “Una Gran Familia”
Brenda Hillman- from “Time Problem”
Jane Hirshfield- “Optimism”
Cedar Sigo- from “Our Lives”
C. Dale Young- from “The Bridge”

"It's great to have a rolling flyer for our art," said Arthur Koch, a resident of the Portola district. His art was selected for the first time this year in this four-year-old program. See him and his art in the images below.

Arthur Koch doing a television interview in front of an SFMTA "Art Bus" parked in front of the event at City Hall this morning
Koch doing a television interview in front of the SFMTA "Art Bus" that was parked in front of the event at City Hall this morning
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One of the winning paintings that will be displayed on buses, by Arthur Koch
One of the winning paintings that will be displayed in Muni buses, by Arthur Koch
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"In addition to each artist having 20 Muni buses to use as a canvas, each artist will be awarded $1,250," wrote the SFMTA in a release about the project. This year's Muni Art Project is funded by members of San Francisco Beautiful and the Union Square Business Improvement District.

People touring the arts bus in front of City Hall. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
People touring the art bus in front of City Hall. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
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If you don't want to wait for the art to show up on your bus trip, it will be on display as part of a panel discussion with the artists tonight, Jan. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium in the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.

Or check out winning art from this and past years, on SFMTA's art program page.

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