In Raleigh, North Carolina, it is common to see numerous city buses traveling through the area. The GoRaleigh transit system is vast, connecting downtown Raleigh to surrounding neighborhoods, hospitals, offices and shopping complexes.
In 2017 The City of Raleigh celebrated 10 years of its Art-On-The-Move competition, a partnership with GoRaleigh transit system that allows artists to design original artwork to be featured on public buses for six months. The competition calls on visual and graphic artists in Wake County, North Carolina.
All artwork submissions for Art-On-The-Move were reviewed by a panel comprised of community members and representatives from the Arts Commission and GoRaleigh. The panel of judges selects 12 competition entries to wrap around GoRaleigh buses.
DELTA multimedia designer Rich Gurnsey had his bus designs selected for the third time as part of the Art-On-The-Move contest. His artwork has been featured in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Raleigh also hosts Artsplosure, an annual weekend art festival located in downtown Raleigh dedicated to producing a quality and accessible arts festival.
During Artsplosure, Art-On-The-Move recognized the decade-long successful partnership with the GoRaleigh transit system through an interactive art show. The R-Line bus was transformed into the ART-Line. The ART-Line consisted of three Art-On-The-Move buses, each with a moving stage featuring actors, comedians, poets and musicians.
Gurnsey’s current bus design was chosen to be featured during the ART-Line event as part of the Artsplosure weekend held May 19-21.
“Appreciation of public art has been growing, and Art-On-The-Move is really important because the buses are essentially rolling murals. And, since the buses take different routes each day, they are able to reach different neighborhoods and communities,” said Gurnsey.
Gurnsey is inspired by music. During his time as a freelance artist and animator, he worked to create several music videos for local indie bands. For his bus art, he reimagines and repurposes the artwork he created for his music videos into new compositions.
“The most challenging aspect of the design process is factoring in the strict dimensions, especially the wheels. I chose to take a fun approach and embrace the odd shape in my design,” said Gurnsey.
Thinking about the impact of the buses Gurnsey explains the broader concept of the artwork on an everyday city bus.
“The buses are reaching a wide audience because they travel out to various corners of the city. Normally, you may ignore buses as they roll by, but, when there is art involved, you take notice and appreciate them.”
With three buses selected over the years, Gurnsey can’t pick a favorite. His previous buses have featured the Raleigh skyline and a rocket ship scene. His current bus is a kaleidoscopic mural of the natural beauty found in Raleigh’s greenery.
“Raleigh is a truly amazing and colorful place, and I hope these designs can brighten travelers’ days, especially on those occasions when the weather turns dark and stormy,” said Gurnsey.