Arts & Culture

Bus Shelter Is a Work of Art


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2009) – By adding a splash of color, one of Lexington’s East End bus stops has been transformed into a work of art, making public transportation a little brighter.

Artstop, a new bus shelter showcasing the work of two area artists, celebrates Lexington’s rich musical history and African-American culture on the east side of Lexington. LexTran’s second art bus shelter for the Art in Motion (AIM) project, Artstop is located at the corner of Third Street and Elm Tree Lane across from the historic landmark, the Lyric Theatre, which is scheduled for renovation in the coming year. The shelter is composed of a free-standing sculpture and five two-dimensional murals.

Part of the bus shelter was designed by a member of the faculty of the University of Kentucky Department of Art. Garry Bibbs, associate professor of art, designed and created the shelter's sculpture, "Lyrical Movement," a 12-foot steel artwork reflecting Lexington’s history and African-American culture through its use of an array of colors.

"The concept is to reflect the historical, African-American heritage in terms of music and dance," said Bibbs. "I designed a sculpture which played off those essences, rhythms and dynamics within two figures gestured in a lyrical, moving dance. The colors will enhance the movement and play off the African tradition of tribal colors and ceremonial dance."

Bibbs, who is head of UK's sculpture program, is also the artist behind other Lexington sculptures found at the Kentucky Clinic and at the South Broadway location of Clean Sweep Car Wash. In addition, he is a member of the city's Art in Public Places committee. Outside of Lexington, Bibbs has a distinguished exhibition history that includes showings presented through the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; the Ruschman Art Gallery in Indianapolis; the Hertz Gallery in Louisville; and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

Also included in the shelter design for Artstop are art murals originally created by graphic designer Joseph Tiu, of EOP Architects. The murals advertise the shelter as an outdoor gallery, and the hope is the artwork in this portion of the bus shelter will be changed out periodically.

Artstop was designed by EOP Architects, which continues to assist with the construction of the project with the help of the Lexington Art League, LexArts, the Urban League, as well as individual artists and area residents. The cost of the entire Artstop shelter will total $36,675.

Lexington’s first art bus shelter presented as part of AIM was Bottlestop, located on Versailles Road. The shelter is made completely out of Ale-8-One soda bottles and was designed by one of UK’s graduates, Aaron Scales. Scales, who earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from UK College of Design, won first place in an Art In Motion bus stop design competition held in 2007.

AIM seeks to enhance Lexington’s transit system through design and construction to make Lexington more vibrant and livable through public art, public transportation and public place.