Fifteen Local Poets Selected for MetroLines Program

poetry imageThe work of 15 talented local poets has been selected for the 2019 MetroLines program. You have an opportunity to meet the poets and hear their winning original work at the MetroLines Poetry Reading and Reception on Tuesday, February 11. The reception will also include a reading from St. Louis Poet Laureate Jane Ellen Ibur.

The reception will be held at High Low in the Grand Center Arts District, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public.

MetroLines Poetry Bash
Tuesday, February 11  |  5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
High Low
3301 Washington Avenue
Click here to RSVP

MetroLines is an Arts Transit, Inc., public art program that showcases the work of local poets by reproducing their work on posters, and displaying them on MetroBus vehicles and MetroLink trains for up to a year.

The winning poets and the title of their works are:

  • Maria Balogh – “Farewell”
  • Julie Barnes – “El Beso”
  • Eugene Budnitsky – “Things You Can Finally Do After You Are Dead”
  • Keith Byler – “Self Talk”
  • Marie Chewe-Elliott – “Seasons”
  • Cate Curtis – “Not Stone”
  • Gail Eisenhart – “Portrait in Sepia”
  • Gemma Fish – “How the World Revolves”
  • Pamela Garvey – “Notes on Absence”
  • Riley Gibbons – “The Future”
  • Abigail Fox Green – “Love Song for Falling”
  • Andrea Jackson – “The Path”
  • John Randall – “So Much Fun”
  • Andy Smart – “Seven to Nine”
  • Paul Stroble – “Cassettes”

Funding for MetroLines is generous provided by the Missouri Arts Council and Regional Arts Commission.

Local Artists Invited to Submit Their Artwork to the 2016 MetroScapes Public Transit Art Program

Thursday | March 24, 2016

Metro Arts in Transit is now accepting entries to the 2016 MetroScapes, a public transit art program that showcases local artwork at Metro transit locations. Artists are invited to submit their original artwork for consideration, and if selected, have their work reproduced as large-scale posters that will be installed and on display at more than 200 MetroBus shelters throughout the St. Louis region.

“MetroScapes not only gives us the opportunity to share amazing and beautiful local art in communities throughout the area, but also gives our local artists exposure and the ability to share their work with a large audience,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Artwork selected for the 2016 MetroScapes program will also be reproduced as smaller, limited-edition posters available for individual sale. Each artist will receive five copies of the limited-edition poster and $1,000 for use of their original image in the MetroScapes program.

Local artists interested in entering their work can submit up to three images for consideration. The images need to be provided on a disk along with a cover letter with their contact information and an image list that includes the artist’s name, title of the work, date work was completed, the medium used and a short description of the piece. The deadline to submit artwork is Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 5 p.m. Submissions should be sent to:

Bi-State Development
ATTN: Metro Arts in Transit
211 North Broadway, Suite 700
St. Louis, MO 63102

Images selected for this year’s MetroScapes will be announced in June.

Last year, 11 local artists were selected from a group of nearly 100 submissions, and their work is currently being featured at Metro transit locations throughout the area.


Monday | March 28, 2016 | 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Public art is a growing discipline with many unexplored opportunities for artists and communities. This workshop is an introduction to the field, outlining resources, logistics, opportunities and examples of successful collaborations. We begin with a panel: David Allen, Arts in Transit; Maureen Kelly, artist; Meredith McKinley, Via Partnership; Thomas Sleet, artist; and Roseann Weiss, Regional Arts Commission (moderator). Then Celeste Vossmeyer, Thompson Coburn, and Jacob Reby, Lewis Rice, will address related legal issues.

Business Edge workshops are held in the Regional Arts Commission’s building, 6128 Delmar. Free parking behind the Pageant or in the MetroLink lot.

Tuition: $10 in advance; $15 at the door, please contact:

6128 Delmar, St. Louis, MO 63112
314/863-6930; [email protected]

Metro Dedicates Inspirational New Public Artwork at Riverview Transit Center

Friday | January 15, 2016

Artists, art advocates and transit enthusiasts joined Metro to officially welcome the “Adinkra Tower” to the Metro transit system at a special dedication ceremony January 15. Located at the Riverview Transit Center in North St. Louis, the 24-foot tall metal sculpture is the newest addition to Metro’s extensive public art portfolio.

 “We are always looking for opportunities to create infrastructure that enhances the transit experience for our riders, and compliments and beautifies the neighborhoods we serve,” said Ray Friem, Executive Director of Metro Transit. “By including artists as part of the design process, we’re able to build infrastructure that is more than just steel and concrete, but valuable assets that we all can be proud of.”

 Commissioned by Metro’s Arts in Transit program, the “Adinkra Tower” was created by St. Louis artist Thomas Sleet. Represented by the Bruno David Gallery on Washington Boulevard in midtown St. Louis, Sleet is known for combining multiple artistic techniques with commonly available materials for his sculptures, including steel, aluminum and cement.

 “When I was approached by Arts in Transit to consider a sculptural treatment for this site, I immediately started to think of ways to transmit messages through symbols,” Sleet said. “The symbols have a decorative function, but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages. It’s my hope this sculpture proves to a pillar of inspiration and aspiration for years to come.”

 The “Adinkra Tower” incorporates the visual symbols known as Adinkra that were created by the Ashanti people of Ghana in West Africa. Twenty symbols representing concise statement of principle are installed on the tower, including inspirational ideals like freedom, unity, hope, excellence, courage and wisdom.

 “Not only does the ‘Adinkra Tower’ serve to inspire a better quality of life in our community, it also serves as an inspiration for our organization,“ said John Nations, President & CEO of Bi-State Development. “It motivates us to set the bar even higher as we continue to promote the economic growth and development of the entire bi-state region for the greater good of all of its citizens.”

 The Adinkra symbols and the words they represent are water-jet cut out of 20 aluminum panels, which are installed vertically along the four columns of the tower. Each panel is painted dark gray on the outside and white on the inside, with the symbols and words visible as the negative space of each panel. At night, a floodlight illuminates the sculpture up from the ground below, highlighting each symbol as it projects through the panels to the sky above.

 “By contrasting the darkness of the panels and the inner light of the images, and the stark lines of the tower against the natural elegance of the Adinkra symbols, Thomas has created a truly powerful and dynamic sculpture,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “It really is a wonderful addition to our system, and something I know the community will take special pride in as they travel past it every day.”

 Metro Arts in Transit has a proud history of enhancing transit infrastructure, beautifying neighborhoods, and bringing art to the community through commissioned artwork and art programs. One of the nation’s earliest transit arts initiatives, Arts in Transit has sponsored hundreds of art events and programs for more than 25 years. The program is supported by the Missouri Arts Council and the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. The Riverview Transit Center is located at 8976 Riverview Drive in St. Louis.

Nine Network Features MetroScapes Artists

Tuesday | November 3, 2015

Two artists from our Metro Arts in Transit MetroScapes public art program — Angela Vories and Dave Chappell — were recently featured on Arts America, a Nine Network of Public Media show that highlights local and national artists.

Vories showcased her MetroScape artwork, which featured Rosa Parks sitting inside a bus.

“Hopefully it brings hope and yet challenges the idea that we all need to be working together and that there’s a greater cause, a greater voice,” she said during the show. (Scroll to 5:19 to see her story.)

Chappell also featured his MetroScape piece along with other artwork from his portfolio that he’s created for local organizations, such as the St. Louis Zoo. Chappell created a whimsical MetroScape of the statue of King Louis IX of France, which overlooks Art Hill in front of the St. Louis Art Museum.

“It’s good to meet all different kinds of people within the area that you’re interested in,” Chappel said during the show, “because you never know what’s going to lead to the next thing that drives you.” (Scroll to 6:16 to see his MetroScape.)

Metro Arts in Transit, in conjunction with Lamar Advertising, invited local artists to submit their artwork to MetroScapes last fall. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of artists and art professionals who selected the winning pieces based on quality of work, appropriateness for public display and image clarity, as well as content that was intriguing, thought-provoking, inspirational, entertaining and/or enduring.

Vories and Chappell were among 11 artists chosen for the inaugural MetroScapes public transit art exhibit this year. The pieces were chosen from a group of nearly 100 submissions. The posters are currently featured at more than 200 MetroBus shelters in the St. Louis region and will be on display for one year.

Metro Arts In Transit is gearing up for its second MetroScapes art exhibition and plans to kicks off the next entry period for submissions shortly. Stay tuned.

Paint a MetroBus at Arch 50 Fest This Saturday

Monday | October 19, 2015

The Gateway Arch is turning 50, and Metro Arts in Transit is inviting the public to celebrate the golden anniversary by painting two commemorative murals on a MetroBus at the Arch 50 Fest in Kiener Plaza.

From noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, children and adults will transform a 35-foot MetroBus into a rolling work of art that will travel on routes in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis over the next year. The event, which will take place at the intersection of 6th and Chestnut Streets, is free to the public.

Arch 50 Fest is sponsored by CityArchRiver Foundation and Great Rivers Greenway.

“We are so excited to have the Arts in Transit bus as part of the Arch 50 Fest experience,” said Ryan McClure, Director of Communications for CityArchRiver Foundation. “Bi-State Development has been a great partner to work with on the renovation of the Arch grounds, and we’re grateful for their support for this event.”

The murals for Saturday’s bus painting were designed by The Firecracker Press, and include bright colors and visual elements that celebrate the Gateway Arch’s history, significance and impact to the St. Louis region. The Firecracker Press is a letterpress design studio well known for its vibrant, bold and fun designs, and for combining antique printing technology with modern thinking.

“It’s a pleasure working with CityArchRiver and Great Rivers Greenway to create a bus celebrating this historic milestone,” said David Allen, Director of Arts in Transit. “We are all thrilled with the brilliant design provided by The Firecracker Press, some of the best designers in St. Louis, that will help us kick off the next 50 years of this iconic monument to America.”

Metro Arts In Transit Awarded $56,000 From Regional Arts Commission

Thursday | July 30, 2015

Metro Arts In Transit has received two Program Support grants from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) that will be used to maintain and grow multiple Metro transit public art programs.

RAC awarded Metro Arts In Transit grants in the amount of $28,000 for fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) and fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) as part of the organization’s mission to contribute to the economic growth and vitality of the region by investing in arts and cultural activities.

Metro Arts In Transit plans to use the funds to support three ongoing art programs and a future art installation at one of our MetroLink Stations. Funds from the grants will go toward:

MetroLines, our regional poetry contest that invites poets of all ages to submit up to three poems for consideration. The winning poems are displayed onboard MetroBus and MetroLink for up to one year. In addition, the 15 winning poets are invited to read their work at a public event held at the Regional Arts Commission.

Art Bus Painting events, where participants paint specially designed murals on a MetroBus and transform the bus into a rolling work of art in support of local non-profit initiatives. Artists are chosen through a competitive selection process and are paid for their design and artistic services. In recent years, we have worked with the Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Peter and Paul Society, the Girl Scouts of Western Missouri, the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Maplewood-Richmond Heights Elementary Schools, St. Louis Pride and Saint Louis Earth Day. The completed buses go into regular service for a one-year period.

MetroScapes, Metro Arts In Transit’s newest program, which turns unused advertising space at our bus shelters and MetroLink stations into public exhibits for one-of-a-kind posters. Local artists are invited to submit up to three pieces for consideration, and selected artists are compensated for their work.

Bus Painting MO Botanical Garden 092411 125In addition to these three programs, grant funding will also be used to commission an artist to design a decorative hand rail system for the Sunnen Park-Ride lot adjacent to the Sunnen MetroLink Station in Maplewood.

“The support from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis reflects the impact of the work we do and the contributions Metro transit makes to the region,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts In Transit. “Through the support of RAC and other partners, we are able to expand and share the arts with our passengers and with the communities we serve across the St. Louis region.”

The Regional Arts Commission awarded 215 grants this year totaling more than $3.48 million to support nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, like Metro Arts In Transit. Since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,700 grants totaling over $93 million to support art and cultural development in the St. Louis region.

Celebrate Green Living and Paint Eco-Murals on a MetroBus at the 2015 Green Homes Festival

Saturday | June 18, 2015

Participants of all ages are invited to help paint two specially designed eco-murals on a MetroBus at the 2015 Green Homes Festival in Faust Park. From noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, children and adults will transform a MetroBus into a rolling work of art that will travel on routes in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis over the next year. The Arts in Transit Bus painting is sponsored by the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the presenting sponsor of the festival is Ameren Missouri.

              What:         Metro Arts in Transit Bus Painting

              Where:       2015 Green Homes Festival

                                 Faust Park (in parking lot between the Butterfly House and St. Louis Carousel) 15193 Olive Boulevard, Chesterfield, MO 63017

              When:        Saturday, June 20 – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

              Cost:          Free and open to participants of all ages

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden and bring this interactive, family-friendly activity back to the Green Homes Festival yet again,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “The bus painting is a wonderful way to engage children and let them have a lot of fun, while at the same time reinforcing the important themes and messages of the festival.”

The two eco-murals were designed by local artists William Burton and Robert Ketchens, and include bright colors and visual elements that highlight energy efficiency, sustainability and the beauty of the environment. Burton and Ketchens are well known for their vibrant murals and artwork, and for their commitment to the ongoing development of Old North St. Louis where their studio, Atelier D’Artiste 14, is located.

“On behalf of Missouri Botanical Garden, we’re so pleased to have the Metro Arts in Transit Bus painting as part of the Festival again this year,” said Glenda Abney, Director of EarthWays Center for Missouri Botanical Garden. “It’s always so great to see the buses out in the community advancing the sustainable messages. We love working with Ameren MO this year as sponsor of this bus, and the two artists, William and Robert, who do amazing work. This bus will be beautiful and will showcase a great energy efficiency message – look for it in the coming weeks out on the roads!”

Jerry M. Vallely


MetroScapes Transit Art Exhibit and Reception

Friday | June 5, 2015

Join Metro Arts in Transit for the inaugural MetroScapes public transit art exhibit and reception for the artists this Friday, June 5. Visitors will enjoy light refreshments while they meet the artists and view their original artwork, which will be on display during the special event and through June 13 at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary located at 2713 Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood. The June 5 reception runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and it is free and open to the public.

MetroScapes is a Metro Arts in Transit program that showcases local art at Metro transit locations around the St. Louis region. Eleven local artists were selected from a group of nearly 100 submissions, and their pieces have been reproduced as large-scale, two-dimensional posters that are currently being featured at more than 200 MetroBus shelters in the area.

The winning artists and the title of their works are:

  • Lyndon Barrois – Wonder
  • Jane Birdsall-Lander and Sarah Lander – World Peace
  • David Chappell – Cosmic Solemnity
  • Alex Cunningham – Keepings
  • Marcis Curtis – Basil Kincaid: Artist
  • Julie Heller – Moonrise Over St. Louis
  • Alicia LaChance – Walking City
  • Megan Rieke – I hear Ya, Sisyphus. I hear Ya
  • Mark Swain – Turtle
  • Angela Vories – Wise Words – Rosa Parks

“Our MetroBus shelters are essentially hundreds of blank canvases dotting the entire metropolitan area, which makes Metro a perfect vehicle for delivering public art to the region,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “With MetroScapes, not only do we have the opportunity to support and highlight the great work of St. Louis area artists, we are also enhancing our transit infrastructure and helping beautify the communities and neighborhoods we serve.”

Metro, in conjunction with Lamar Advertising, invited bi-state artists to submit their artwork to the program last fall. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of artists and art professionals who selected the 10 winning posters based on quality of work, clarity and content that was intriguing, thought-provoking, inspirational, entertaining and/or enduring. The posters were installed at MetroBus shelters this spring and will be on display for one year.

Jerry M. Vallely


Photos by AIT Staff.