Bus shelters receive a splash of color

Lauren Statton - UVU Review
Lauren Statton – UVU Review

Commuters on busy streets in Pleasant Grove and American Fork may have recently noticed some art in a normally bland place: bus shelters. Not only is this art new, but it is done by artists with close ties to the cities that house the shelters.

Tammy Rodeback is an art student at UVU mostly known for her artistic work with pottery, but in May one of her paintings became a work seen by thousands of commuters each day in Utah County.

Rodeback’s painting of a cabin in a grove of cottonwood trees, representing the history of Pleasant Grove, was selected by Utah Transit Authority to become a mural in a bus shelter near 800 W. and State Road.

“I enjoy painting,” said Tammy, whose name is spelled “Tami” in more artistic situations. “I enjoy it as much as pottery.”
Rodeback is an up-and-coming artist in Utah County who recently discovered a talent for painting. She thought the mural would be a great way to spread the word about her artistic works. She also was aware of the impact that these types of projects have for the artists and the communities they involve.

“Bus stops are pretty plain, and it adds an ambience and just makes it nicer,” she said of the projects. “It’s a really good experience. It’ll be up there until it falls apart or they change it. It’ll be a long time.”

The Bus Shelter Mural program has involved many facets of the community, and it’s not just people in the artistic profession that have been involved so far. The Utah county UTA representative of the Mural Program, Stacey Adamson, said that this would be based around the larger community as a whole, which includes scout, church and school groups through their work with arts councils within the cities.

“They [the artists] don’t have to be professional by any means,” Adamson said. “They just have to like art.”

So far there are two bus shelter murals in Utah County; the other mural is on U.S. 89 and 848 W. in American Fork. There are nine in total Between Ogden and Pleasant Grove. UTA also plans on adding about eight shelters with murals each year, said Tina Bartholomew, the project’s general director. This means that UTA is willing to look at proposals for next year.

“The idea is to get submissions from the local communities,” said Adamson.

These new bus murals may not only cause a more pleasant riding or waiting experience for UTA riders. They may just inspire the next mural commuters will stand next to.

Artists and groups can get involved or find out more information about the Utah County bus shelter murals by emailing Tina Bartholomew at tbartholomew@rideuta.com or calling Stacey Adamson at 801-227-8958.

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