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NEWS: Transportable art project hits the streets

By Anna Killen Transit riders looking to avoid the eyes of strangers during the past week might have noticed that they have something new to fix their gaze on.
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By Anna Killen

Transit riders looking to avoid the eyes of strangers during the past week might have noticed that they have something new to fix their gaze on.

Art in Transit, a pilot project from TransLink and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, launched on Monday, turning unused ad panels into temporary art frames inside transit vehicles.

Modeled after Poetry in Transit, a fixture of regional transit since 1996, more than 700 advertising panels on the inside of buses and SkyTrain cars now display the work of 18 Emily Carr visual arts students. Thirty-one pieces of art will be displayed on routes across Metro Vancouver for the next two years.

For our students, this project provides an unprecedented opportunity for exposure and engagement, said Roxanne Toronto, communications officer at Emily Carr. Having the work displayed on transit affords the students an opportunity to have their work viewed by literally thousands of people.

This the second step in an ongoing partnership between TransLink and Emily Carr.

The groups first collaboration, 2010s Between Spaces, saw art displayed along the walls of Burrard Station. Projects like these help Emily Carr reach out to people who may avoid a traditional gallery setting, Toronto said.

Judges from both Emily Carr and TransLink chose the work based on artistic merit and whether or not the work fit the transit environment.

As part of a class project, over 50 students from all years of study submitted artwork to be considered. Each artist received $200 for their contribution. The result is a travelling show showcasing a wide range of photography, illustration, design and print work hybrid-bird line drawings, photographs of Vancouver closets and intricate industrial wastelands are a few of the highlights riders can look out for.

Were delighted to contribute space on our vehicles in a way that shows we value the time customers spend with us and helps up-and-coming young artists at the same time, said Angela Otto, TransLinks manager of enterprise marketing and one of the people who helped select the artwork.

Its one thing to create the work, said Mark Illing, who has three pieces of art in the show. Its another thing all together to have people see the work.

Transit and non-transit users can also see copies of the artwork from Mar. 7-13 on display in Emily Carrs South Building Atrium between noon and 8pm.

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