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This art is moving

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Hamilton, Ohio – The Butler County Regional Transportation Authority and Street Spark joined forces last year to create mural designs for a trio of buses.

Those designs – now digitally printed and vinyl-wrapped onto the vehicles - hit the streets this week following a design-reveal and dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts (101 S. Monument Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio 45011).

Luxurious Wraps (6749 Gilmore Road, Suite E, Hamilton, Ohio 45011) did the custom work to transfer the designs from two-dimensional drawings to three-dimensional, life-sized finished products.

“Jay Hammond at Luxurious Wraps did an excellent job wrapping the buses,” said Shawn Cowan, BCRTA Communications and Outreach Manager. “It’s great to have a local company do the work that will showcase this artwork all around the region.”

All three buses and the three artists who created the designs will be on hand for the dedication, as well as BCRTA officials, Street Spark Program Manager Jennifer Acus-Smith and other local dignitaries.

“We are so excited to finally put these buses on the road and share these designs with the community,” said Shawn Cowan, BCRTA Communications and Outreach Manager. “The accessibility of this kind of art to everyone in the community is amazing.

“We’re proud our buses will be a canvas for high-quality art. We are also proud our buses deliver that art all over Butler County and make it available to huge numbers of people. We’re not just transporting people, we’re moving them, too.”

That was the goal for artists Brent Billingsley, Amy Deal and Evan Verrilli, according to Acus-Smith. She said celebrating their moving work – selected in September by a committee who scored their designs highest among dozens of submissions that came in from an open call top artists – will be a pleasure.

“We had some difficult decisions to make, but in the end, their designs stood out,” she said. “We are grateful to have such a good working relationship with the city and county and region. We are lucky to have so many talented, passionate artists who elevate both the quality and the quantity of public art this community enjoys.”

That was part of what enticed Deal to submit a design in the first place.

“I found the commitment to public art in the area … to be above and beyond most cities in the United States,” she said. “The sculptures stood out to me and are extremely recognizable. I explored all of the sculptures throughout Hamilton and pulled out pieces that I found to be exciting (to create my designs).

“My designs are usually colorful and minimalistic, which fit well for a moving ‘billboard.’ I wanted the design to be recognized from a distance with the ability for the viewer to see enough before the bus moves down the road.”

“(Art) empowers a community,” Billingsley said. “When they see something beautiful, I believe that it provokes them to possibly want to create something or do something beautiful. I feel as if Hamilton is a force rising concerning the art community; I want to make a major contribution to this movement.”

The current forecast Friday calls for cloudy skies and a 40-percent chance of precipitation with 10 a.m. temperatures in the low- to mid-40-degree range. The dedication event takes place rain or shine. Buses will be in the Fitton Center parking lot. Pending weather, interviews may move inside.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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