Artists who contributed to Metro Transit's Metroscapes project are being featured in a gallery show at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary in Maplewood. The project began when Director David Allen and the rest of the Arts in Transit crew realized they had an abundance of advertising poster space left free this year.
“We thought that one way we could improve the experience for our riders at Metro is to put something beautiful in there,” said Allen.
The show brings together 10 artists who have displayed work in more than 100 bus shelters since the year began. Over a hundred artists competed to have their work grace the advertising spaces. Each image was licensed by Arts in Transit for $500 for one year, with funding from Regional Arts Commission grants. RAC has previously held exhibitions of Arts in Transit works.
Arts in Transit began in 1986, yet this is the first year Allen and his team have done this kind of outreach. This batch of artists inaugurates the Metroscapes project, which Allen hopes to continue each year into the future.
“These are 10 artists among literally hundreds of good artists in this town and that’s why I’m hoping that in future years other artists will be able to be exposed in the same way,” said Allen. “I just think all around it’s a win-win.”
According to Allen, the work was selected by himself and two other members of his team based on quality, appropriateness for public setting, and ability to provoke questions.
Alicia LaChance, who was one of the artists selected for the project, runs her gallery with artist Michael Hoffman. He says they were interested in hosting the show because of its balance among multiple groups.
“We’re supporting the Metro, Metro’s supporting us, they’re supporting the artists,” said Hoffman. “It’s all interconnected and bringing people together.”
Hoffman says that although the work is curated by Metro. it still falls within the goals of the gallery.
“Honesty’s a big part of it, and passion,” he said.