BART Board approves Art in Transit Program
“Where someone might see rafters, I see ladybugs. Where someone might see dividers, I see honey bears,” said the artist known as “fnnch,” who provide these mock up images.
With the goal of making our stations and riding experience more inviting, delightful, and vibrant, the Board of Directors voted to adopt an Art in Transit Program in an effort to preserve the existing collection of 50 artworks, and bring even more art to BART.
The policy calls for the creation of a 15-year systemwide arts master plan focusing on the art vision for stations and the entire BART system. A five-year work plan will help move the program forward by identifying short-term projects and fundraising goals.
The program sets the stage for additional permanent art in stations, artistic design, murals on trackways, and even temporary art with rotating displays.
“There is no better way to put the thumbprint of a community on our stations than to incorporate community artist into the process,” said Director Robert Raburn.
Several members of the public attended the board meeting and spoke about the various benefits an organized program could provide including graffiti abatement, economic revitalization, and community engagement.
Fletcher Oakes, a Richmond-based artist who uses the El Cerrito station said, “As a rider it is pleasing to look at the mosaic mural along the escalator path- it gives me a better ride. The cost return is immeasurable, what we get from art is a continuation of our culture.”
“BART is sitting on one of the greatest collections of canvases in the entire world,” said the artist known as “fnnch,” who passed around mock up images of what stations could look like. “As someone who creates street art, I see spaces a little differently than others might. Where someone might see rafters, I see ladybugs. Where someone might see dividers, I see honey bears. Concrete is canvas. And BART not only has an incredible amount of concrete, it has some that gets seen by an incredible number of people.”
The Program will be administered by an Art Program Manager who will be instrumental in ensuring BART is maximizing returns from its investment in art, and leveraging private funding. Staff will work to finalize a needs assessment to be presented to the Board before considering a funding strategy.
Director Nick Josefowitz noted, “This art policy has been a long time in the making and today is an incredibly important step to taking it forward and making it a reality. I look forward to seeing huge changes to our stations and in our trains going forward.”
More details about the program can be found at bart.gov/art