In 2017, Gary public transportation riders will see bus stops transformed with murals, mosaic structures and newly branded information totem poles. The Legacy Foundation and the Gary Public Transportation Corporation (GPTC) spearheaded a project by local artists Corey Hagelberg, Jesse Johnson, Malachi Moore, Rashelle Roos, Nancy Schoon, and Desireé Simpson to create public art pieces for bus shelters along the Broadway corridor.
“I believe that there is so much talent, so many amazing stories, and such great energy that needs to be highlighted and shared,” said Nancy Schoon. Schoon was selected to design the route’s logo and information totems. She is a Gary resident and Principal/Owner of Creatives for Good.
Artwork from four of the artists was selected for display on bus shelter back panels. The artists were Hagelberg’s woodcut mural, “Trees”; Moore’s mural “Blindness to Light”; Roos’ mural, “Rhythms” and Johnson’s mural, “Gary’s Bus 22.”
Johnson is a Chicago born and raised artist who now lives and works in Gary, IN. His experience with violence in different neighborhoods of Chicago has been a big source of inspiration for his works. From a young age Jesse has been drawing, painting, doing photography and producing music. He is currently continuing his interdisciplinary practice at his studio at IUN.
His education includes a BA in Communications from Indiana University Northwest and he is currently pursuing his MA in Visual Arts in The School of Education at the same institution. Jesse has shown his work in the Annual Student Show at IUN for the past five years.
Johnson said, “By using visual elements such as the colorful forms and abstract structures I aim to make my work engaging for the viewer.”
“Seeing art’s significance in societies across the globe and the positive dimension it can add to a community, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of making that happen in Gary,” said Moore.
Desireé Simpson will create a mixed media mural and functional mosaic bench. “I plan to include fun and whimsy combining them with functionality,” said Simpson. Simpson is the founder and executive director of LiveArts Studio, a non-profit, community-based art pro- gram located in Gary.
The following Gary neighborhoods are eligible to receive art at a transit location: Downtown, Midtown (11th-25th), University Park/- IUN (35th Avenue to Ridge Road), and University Park/Morningside (45th Avenue area).
“Bus stops are a place where community gathers and they are generally found at highly trafficked and visible locations throughout a city, so we should make them visually appealing,” said Kelly Anoe, Legacy Foundation vice president.
Inspired by a 2015 Knight Cities Challenge winner from North Carolina, Legacy Foundation and the GPTC teamed up to revive the rider experience along the Broadway bus route in Gary. “The Knight Cities idea to install porch swings as a way to make waiting for the bus more interactive led us to think about creative ways to enhance the GPTC rider experience,” said Anoe.
The upgraded bus stops are part of The Livable Broadway Regional Plan (LBRP), a guiding document for enhancing economic development, land use, and livability within the Broadway corridor. Broadway rapid bus service – recently dubbed the Broadway Metro Express – is scheduled to launch in 2017 using a combination of local and federal funds. Elements (service, road work and infrastructure) are being overseen by local, regional and state agencies. Artists will receive a stipend of $1,000 for each selected design. Funding for the art design is provided by the Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund at Legacy Foundation.