The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is proud to partner with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority to unveil the sixth art bus in conjunction with the opening of the 2017 Des Moines Arts Festival. The Public Art Foundation commissioned Des Moines artist Jordan Weber to create a design to wrap the sixth art bus. The project is part of the Public Art Foundation’s Project Spaces initiative, which places compelling, temporary works of art in highly accessible and visible public spaces. The bus will remain on display on Locust Street through the remainder of the Arts Festival.
“Our public art partnership with DART and its expansive vision of a livable and sustainable region for Greater Des Moines riders and general public is exciting!” said M. Jessica Rowe, director of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation. “We are delighted to commission work by artists like Jordan Weber for DART buses — our aim is to enrich lives in our community by advancing the best of public art. Contrasting our urban and natural environments, Weber has created a bold, new design to cover a transit bus in DART’s fleet.”
Jordan J. Weber is an artist and activist from Des Moines. His mixed work explores the issues of consumer culture as they relate to the identities of young African American men. Often constructed from repurposed materials, Weber’s work challenges the notion of materialism as a remedy for poverty and despair.
In talking about his design for the art bus, Weber said, “Plant and tree species from colonies have gone extinct by means of environmental degradation, colonization & inter-tribal conflicts over the course of human existence. I want the bus wrap to be a reminder of how we must unify as a human species to survive in an ecosystem that we have depleted continually, even though we all rely heavily on the same resources despite our perceived differences.”
Weber was recently the recipient of an Artist’s Fellowship from the Iowa Arts Council and a grant from the African American Leadership Forum. Weber has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Rome, Tokyo, and Torino and in major cities throughout the United States including Chicago, Minneapolis, Brooklyn and Omaha.
"We are proud to continue our partnership by bringing the sixth public art bus onto the streets of our communities," said Christine Hensley, Des Moines City Council Member, DART Commissioner and Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation board member. "These buses bring art out in areas of our region where you would least expect it.”
The bus wrap project began with an open call, which generated a response from 45 artists across 21 states. A team of art professionals reviewed more than 325 images and finalists were commissioned to create concept proposals. This is the sixth art bus in a series of DART buses that have been wrapped with unique and colorful compositions. The first design by artist Alex Brown was unveiled in November 2014. Since then, a design by Jay Vigon was unveiled in June 2015. The third design by Susan Chrysler White was unveiled in March 2016. A fourth design by Larassa Kabel was unveiled in June 2016. The fifth art bus design by artist Brent Holland was unveiled in October 2016.
PUBLIC ART BUS TOURS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017
Residents, visitors, and Arts Festival attendees are invited to ride along for a free tour of public art in downtown Des Moines on Saturday, June 24. Tours start at 1 and 3 p.m. and take approx. 50 minutes. Newly added to this year’s tour is the American Enterprise Art Park. Individuals interested in joining the art tours should meet at 12th and High Street, just north of the Festival, 5-10 minutes before the tour starts.
ABOUT THE GREATER DES MOINES PUBLIC ART FOUNDATION
The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, established in 2004, recognizes that art belongs not just in galleries and museums, but also in streetscapes, parks, buildings and infrastructures of a thriving community. Dedicated to envisioning, developing, advancing and promoting public art projects, the Public Art Foundation collaborates with local entities and artists to engage, inspire and enrich the lives of residents and visitors to the community. The goal is to increase awareness of our community as a world-class destination for public art. For more information about the Public Art Foundation, visit www.dsmpublicartfoundation.org.