Several Whatcom Transit Authority (WTA) buses in our community are currently adorned with artwork by students at our middle and high schools. Gretchen Leggitt, art teacher at Kulshan Middle School, spearheaded the effort.
“I reached out to the WTA to explore different opportunities to get our student artwork outside of the classroom walls,” Leggitt said.
She worked closely with WTA’s manager of community relations and marketing, Maureen McCarthy, on the project. Student art was first shared via the trashcan project (be re-directed to read more here). Leggitt said her ultimate goal was to get her students’ artwork mobile on the WTA buses.
“It is a means for us to exhibit student work to a vast range of communities, enabling us to display and celebrate the outstanding scope of artwork that is being created in the public school system,” Leggitt said. “We have a very rich art program that we are extremely proud of, and we are ecstatic to share that with our communities.”
When Leggitt approached the other middle and high school art teachers about the bus art project, she said they were excited to participate. Together, the cohort came up with the “Art Is” theme as a means to communicate the dynamic facets of what visual art can be.
“Art is culture, art is communication, art is expression, art is global,” Leggitt said. “Each of us chose a theme and collected a body of student artwork that we felt reflected each topic. When selecting the images for each of our panels, we not only wanted to show finished products, but we also wanted to choose images that reflected the process and joys that are associated with producing artwork.”
It took almost two years to collect images, collaborate to design the panels on Photoshop and work with the WTA to get these advertisement panels donated and finalized.