Help us Turn a MetroBus Into a Masterpiece

MetroBus Painting

Well-known artwork that’s currently featured in the Saint Louis Art Museum’s galleries will come alive — only this time on a 35-foot MetroBus.

All ages are invited to add their creativity and artistic talent to the Metro transit fleet this Sunday, August 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park. You’ll be able to transform a MetroBus into a masterpiece on wheels by painting several famous and renowned works of art (which are currently on display at the Museum) onto the bus.

When completed, the painted bus will go into regular service and travel along a variety of MetroBus routes in St. Louis City and St. Louis County for one year.

This Arts in Transit Bus Painting is sponsored by the Saint Louis Art Museum and is part of their Family Sunday: Art on the Go program.

“When it comes to promoting creativity and appreciation and love of art, you cannot find a better partner than the Saint Louis Art Museum,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “The bus painting is a fun and memorable way to engage children and adults, and show off some of the amazing work the Museum has to offer.”

The design for the Art Bus was created by local artists William Burton and Robert Ketchens. Burton and Ketchens are well known for their vibrant murals and artwork, and for their commitment to developing and promoting a thriving St Louis art scene.

“This is a great activity for the kids who visit the Museum,” said Sherri Williams, Associate Educator for Youth and Family Learning. “They have the opportunity to meet the artists, foster their creativity, and then see the results of their work as the bus travels around the region.”

Ferguson Artist Showcases Work at North County Transit Center


Laura Saunders Kaiser is a mother of three who also happens to be quite the talented fiber artist.

Those two roles — mother and artist — go hand in hand when it comes to churning out new creations.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from my children and watching them create something,” she said. “They are creating something out of pure joy. There’s no judgment. It’s playful.”

This carefree approach has given her the freedom to experiment and explore new techniques and unconventional materials.

Kaiser employs a variety of surface design techniques and often dyes or paints her own fabric. She uses fibers such as organza and treated and printed Pellon Lutradur (a cross between fabric and paper). All of these make the perfect mediums for sewing, three-dimensional wall art and quilting.

“Laura’s quilts are charming, whimsical, colorful and fun,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “We really appreciate her sharing her craft with us.”

A sampling of her work is now on display inside the North County Transit Center in Ferguson. The art pieces, a total of eight that vary in size and content, will be on display at the transit center until the end of September.

Kaiser said it is a huge honor to have her work displayed at the North County Transit Center. To her, art has the power to move beyond walls.

“I love being able to bring a little bit of happiness where it is unexpected,” she said.

Metro Dedicates Mural at Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station

Artists, art enthusiasts and transit riders joined Metro to officially welcome a new public art project,  “Vehicle. Destination. Imagination.”, to the Metro transit system at a special dedication ceremony on June 28. Located at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, the 36-foot long and 12-foot high mural is the newest addition to Metro Arts in Transit’s public art portfolio.

“Sometimes public art is added to existing infrastructure, like we’ve done here with this wonderful new mural, and at other times it’s incorporated as part of the overall design of the transit system,” said David Dietzel, Chairman of the Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners. “The common thread through all of these examples is that art always plays an important role. And it always should.”

IMG_6088Commissioned by Metro’s Arts in Transit program, the “Vehicle. Destination. Imagination.” mural was created by local St. Louis artists Catharine Magel and Con Christeson. Magel is best known for her mosaic sculptures and large-scale murals, including her ceramic mural on the flood wall along the Mississippi River trail. Christeson has collaborated on several projects for Metro Arts in Transit, creating artwork for the North Broadway and Gravois-Hampton Transit Centers.

“The design of the mural points to a story, a story about the history of the community, and a community’s past, present and future,” Magel said. “The story isn’t my story. It really belongs to everyone.”

Inside Look: Learn about how community input helped shape the final mural design.

Vehicle. Destination. Imagination.” combines three-dimensional elements with vibrant colors to celebrate the spirit of the St. Louis region. Magel and Christeson engaged with several community groups to develop the imagery and design for the mural, including residents of the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood, the community collabARTive of Peter and Paul Community Services, and Angela Hunter Knight and the art students from Crossroads College Preparatory School.

IMG_6085“We engaged the community to help shape the design, and we did it in many different ways,” Christeson said. “It made our final product that much more interesting, and I think everyone will be able to see the influence of that engagement in the mural.”

“At Metro, we are always looking for ways to enhance our infrastructure, to give our passengers a better experience, and to give the neighborhoods we serve a more beautiful and welcoming transit system,” said Ray Friem, Executive Director of Metro Transit. “With the creativity and hard work of our artists and Metro Arts in Transit, we continue to enhance a $2 billion network of transit infrastructure our region has invested in, and ensure it continues to be an invaluable and inviting asset for years to come.”

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 thirty years. The program is supported by the Missouri Arts Council and the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.

Metro Unveils Art Series at North County Transit Center


Some women will tell you their purses are the most important and most expressive fashion accessories they have. So, it’s no surprise that purses and handbags make the perfect canvas to showcase creativity and flair.

Metro Arts In Transit has debuted a quarterly art series at the North County Transit Center featuring the work of local North St. Louis County artists. The first collection on display was created by Pat Rooks, a self-taught artist and owner of Primary Colors.

A North St. Louis County native, Rooks started drawing at a young age as a way to express herself creatively.

“Art has always been a comfort for me,” she said. “A lot of my inspiration comes from animals, and I like to draw and create things that are in harmony with the thoughts I have about animals and their connections to people.”

Rooks showcases her skill of pencil, pastels, acrylics, pen and ink in a series of painted bags. The bags feature designs using acrylic paint, and she embellishes them with rhinestones, feathers and a variety of trims and handles.

“Pat Rooks creates in the best spirit of folk art,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit. “Her wonderful handbags are whimsical and fun, and watch out — when she catches on she won’t be able to make them fast enough.”

Visit the North County Transit Center at 3140 Pershall Road for an up close look. Her work will be featured inside the transit center until June 30.

Arts In Transit Mural Goes Up at Forest Park Station


If you catch MetroLink at the Forest-Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, you may have noticed something colorful going up on the eastbound wall across from the platform — a new Metro Arts In Transit piece.

The new mural by artists Con Christeson and Catharine Magel is about 36 feet in length and 12 feet in height, and features a colorful backdrop with several three-dimensional components. The artists asked for feedback from residents of the neighborhoods near the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and worked with students from Crossroads College Preparatory School to gather insights and incorporated all of the input they received into the design process.

“This mural by Con Christeson and Catharine Magel is truly a reflection of the Forest Park community and showcases the dynamic and powerful movement public transportation has in this neighborhood and throughout the St. Louis region,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit.

Installation of the mural is expected to be completed by the end of the month. The art piece will be officially dedicated sometime in May.

Magel and Christeson both live in St. Louis and have studios in St. Louis. Magel is best known for her work with large-scale murals and mosaic sculptures, including the tree sculpture at the UMSL-South MetroLink Station. Christeson has collaborated on several projects for Metro Arts in Transit, creating artworks for the agency’s North Broadway and Gravois-Hampton Transit Centers.

Video: Christeson and Magel explain how community input helped shape the final mural design.