Calling all Portland-area artists who want their art to travel across the far-reaches of the metro region: TriMet needs you! The public transit agency is seeking artists to create bus wrap murals that will grace the sides of their buses in honor of Black History and Woman’s History months. The bus wrap project, which TriMet has titled “Love Moves Us,” is meant to celebrate the agency’s overall public art program that’s been running for 25 years across the metro area.
The most recent bus wrap in TriMet’s roster is a gorgeous, colorful design created by artist Molly Mendoza (who also illustrated this year’s Pedalpalooza poster) to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. You can see a gallery of other recent murals that have been featured on TriMet’s buses here. The murals displayed on the buses are also featured in permanent locations around the city.
These bus wraps are an eye-catching way to bring attention to TriMet buses and encourage people to get on board. The agency has struggled to regain ridership after the pandemic, and a driver shortage hasn’t helped agency morale. But hopefully these traveling art galleries will attract new riders.
One of the most well-known pieces of public art commissioned by TriMet is the mural at the Hollywood Transit Center created as a memorial to the victims of the 2017 MAX stabbings. But TriMet has commissioned public art all across its network, and not just colorful murals. From patterns etched into bus shelters to sculptures along MAX lines that reflect all the destinations light rail can take you, TriMet has curated a public art gallery across the region.
Waiting at a bus or MAX stop in the rain is made just a little better when you have some cool art to look at. Check out TriMet’s new public art database to get a glimpse of all the creativity they’ve sponsored over the last 25 years.
In their latest call-for-artists, TriMet says they want to “expand the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the region” and are particularly encouraging artists who identify as part of a historically marginalized culture to apply. Applicants must live in the Portland region and should have a portfolio of work to demonstrate their skills.
Applications for Black History Month designs are due November 16 and Women’s History Month proposals are due November 21. If you’re selected, you’ll need to be able to complete the project no later than the beginning of January. TriMet will pay selected artists a $4,000 design fee upon completion. Here’s the link to more information.
Hope to see your art on the bus next year!