Moving Art with Muni

SFMTA announces this year's Muni Art Program winners

Art work by Vanessa Fajardo. One of several works that will be rolling around San Francisco in 2020.
Art work by Vanessa Fajardo. One of several works that will be rolling around San Francisco in 2020.

Transit riders in San Francisco who love art can take the bus to a bunch of wonderful museums. Or they can just take the bus and the art will come to them.

Muni announced the five poet and five painter winners of this year’s Muni Art program this morning during an event at City Hall. Copies of the winning artwork will be festooned to the insides of buses, so riders “leave the bus feeling a little more connected to the city,” said Jocelyn Li Langrand, a picture book illustrator and author whose art, seen below, was one of the winners:

Jocelyn Li Langrand's art work is one of five that will adorn 100 Muni buses
Jocelyn Li Langrand is one of five winners whose artwork will adorn 100 Muni buses

From the SFMTA:

The five winning artists will have their newly created work presented along with five poems selected by the Poetry Society of America, all by local poets, displayed on 100 Muni buses that will be transformed into rolling art galleries beginning in January 2019.

IMG_20200109_104923
Poem “Baker Beach” and the accompanying artwork on display in a bus across the street from the event

Every year there’s a different theme for this five-year-old program. This time it’s “Hidden Gems of San Francisco.” First, poems, selected in conjunction with the the Poetry Society of America, one of the collaborators on the project, were chosen. Then, graphic artists were given the opportunity to interpret them. The poems and interpretive artwork are displayed side-by-side, as seen in the above photo, explained the organizers of the contest.

Each selected artist and poet gets a stipend, said Darcy Brown, Executive Director of San Francisco Beautiful, another collaborator on the project and the organization that, among other things, helped save San Francisco’s cable cars back in 1947.

Melissa Stein read her poem at the event
Tess Taylor read her poem, “Train Through Colma,” at the event

Matt Brogan, executive director of the New York-based Poetry Society, told Streetsblog they participate on similar collaborations with the transit agencies in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and Providence.

Supervisor Sandra
Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer admiring the displays

“Art connects people. Transit connects people,” said SFMTA Director Jeff Tumlin. “This is a perfect combination.”

The five 2020 Muni poets and poems are:

Iris Jamahl Dunkle “Listening to the Caryatids on the Palace of Fine Arts”
Randall Mann “The Long View”
Melissa Stein “Baker Beach”
Tess Taylor “Train Through Colma”
Mathew Zapruder “The Antidote to Fascism is Poetry”

The artists are:

Wendy Ackrell
Shannon Bodrogi
Vanessa Fajardo
Skooter Fein
Jocelyn Li Langrand

A couple more examples of the artwork below or check out the Muni Art 2020 web site.

Jocelyn Li Langrand's artwork
More of Jocelyn Li Langrand’s artwork
Vanessa Fajardo's artwork
More of Vanessa Fajardo’s artwork

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Photo: SFMTA

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