A <a href=”https://www.cvtdbus.org/”>Cache Valley Transit District</a> (CVTD) paratransit bus made a stop at <a href=”https://www.ccsdut.org/SkyView”>Sky View High School</a> this morning, not to pick up passengers, but instead to recognize the two students whose artwork enshrouds the bus as a full vehicle wrap. Eliza Dayton and Rebecca White, both students at Sky View, created the design last spring as a project in their art class. The assignment was given to support the CVTD’s “Design a Transit Wrap” student art contest, a partnership between the CVTD, <a href=”http://www.ccsdut.org/”>Cache County School District</a> (CCSD) and the <a href=”http://www.brhd.org/”>Bear River Health Department</a>.
Portraying the theme of the contest, “Share the Air,” Dayton and White used vibrant color to depict hot air balloons, birds, an airplane and a young woman blowing a pinwheel.
“So we partnered up, we collaborated on everything, and then I did one side and she did one side,” said White, pointing to the wrap. “It was really fun working with Eliza. I loved it.”
Initially, Dayton didn’t expect their efforts to go much beyond the classroom, considering the assignment just another everyday task.
“It was the last project we did in our class and at first I was a little hesitant,” she said, “but it was really fun to work on it with Rebecca, and then it was cool when it got put on [the bus]. It was, like, kind of a surprise. It’s cool to see it around.”
The enthusiasm both girls share in working together emphasizes the collaborative nature of the Design a Transit Wrap contest’s “Share the Air” theme and its community-based application. Aurora Hughes Villa, CCSD’s K-12 arts coordinator, spearheaded efforts to establish the campaign as part of the <a href=”http://www.cachecountyarts.com/art-in-transit.html”>Art in Transit</a> program she developed in 2011 with the intent to display art made by children in public places and draw attention to the importance of art education. Giving students a real-life design challenge to create artwork for CVTD buses, the annual Design a Transit Wrap contest showcases the work of high school students wrapped around the exterior of the buses, with placards featuring elementary school drawings hanging inside.
“I think that’s really exciting, to give the students the opportunity to create something that doesn’t just go in a portfolio, but they actually might get the opportunity to have it on a bus and have it in a very public domain or a public space,” Villa said. “And then they get to communicate with the community in a really positive way.”
Villa appreciates the spirit of community involvement that spreading the “Share the Air” message can help students develop.
“I think right around this time is when our air quality isn’t always so good in this valley,” she said, “so this is a really good time to have the students thinking about that a little bit and educating them about how can they make a difference in their own community, not only by carpooling, but also how can they maybe think about their own gifts and strengths as far as being an artist. How can they create artwork to send that message to the community about sharing the air?”
Villa considers the partnership between the transit district, CCSD and the health department beneficial for students because it will allow their artwork to promote the “Share the Air” campaign in many places—online, on community billboards and on banners that will hang in elementary school libraries. Last summer, a CVTD bus was adorned with a floral representation of the theme, sketched and painted by Maddison Anderson, a Mountain Crest High School graduate whose Design a Transit Wrap entry during her senior year won the 2016 contest.
The submission deadline for this year’s Design a Transit Wrap student art contest will be April 10. One winner will then be chosen to have his or her art wrapped around a bus for two years, with the top 10 finalists potentially having their work displayed in other places, like the CVTD paratransit bus where Dayton and White saw their artwork featured in life-sized vinyl today.
Villa has just begun to promote the upcoming competition and will visit high schools throughout Cache Valley to encourage participation. More information is available at <a href=”http://www.cachecountyarts.com/art-in-transit”>www.cachecountyarts.com/art-in-transit</a>. Villa may be reached at (435) 752-3925 or <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>.