Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Art reporter Diane Heilenman covered three of our bus shelter pieces in the Courier-Journal today. Read it on the website or here:

Poetry and art to steer Louisville bus shelters

By Diane Heilenman, May 12, 2009

Forget statuary of dead white men costumed in bronze.

The trend now is a guerrilla attitude toward public art, and it's playing out in Louisville bus shelters. The idea is that public art ought to be up close and personal and have a transitory rather than (yawn) almost-forever moment in the sun.

The large panels — almost posters, really — of art and poetry are replacing marketing messages about aggressive attorneys and Lasik surgery in bus shelters all across town.

The art panels promote a restful stillness amid rush hours and through long stretches of night. They are gifts from a University of Louisville program that combines art and writing.

The theme is "Shelter."

Poets have taken a diverting diversity of poetic license with the theme.

Nicole Pollitt discusses bees "clutched into an anemone of whispers" in their winter hives, and artist Sarah Hall follows flawlessly behind with a print of hives with hats of snow, marching away from a ghostly beekeeper.

Jak Cardini writes of "the strangest debris" of cities that encloses citizens sitting unaware, eating fruit in their living rooms — which artist Alexia Serpentini perfectly envisions in a bizarre collage of a young couple on a couch.

Laurie Doctor makes an "Ode to a Blue Umbrella," imagined as wings of sapphire angels, and artist Crystal Ludwick "finds" that exact umbrella left folded in a brick alley.

It is an arresting project that brings art to the people.

The poems are by students of humanities professor Annett Allen and some are by community writers. The artwork was done by students of art professor Mary Carothers.

The concept came out of Collaborative Projects, a studio art class organized by Carothers with a UofL grant for Supporting Undergraduate iNNovation (SUNN) and with the cooperation of the Transit Authority of River City.

Each poster began with the writing and each artist responded to the writing.

A map is at www.collaborativeshelter.blogspot.com, which also provides images of the bus shelters, the posters and transcripts of the poems.