CHARLOTTE – Sonia Zhu’s artwork will be part of a unique traveling exhibit with the potential to circulate throughout the city several times a day for a year.
As one of two winners of the Charlotte Area Transit System’s Art-on-the-Roll competition, Sonia’s artwork has been placed on a CATS bus. The 17-year-old Ardrey Kell High School student also won a $1,000 scholarship.
Sonia received a giant check and got to see the unveiling of her artwork on July 2.
“These moving murals highlight the creative and artistic minds of our local youth and show how integrated transit is in our daily lives,” CATS CEO John Lewis said. “That creativity is now on display throughout the Charlotte region and will hopefully inspire other youth and art students.”
Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt helped announced the winners, which included UNC Charlotte student Kylie Chan.
“The students were told to come up with an interpretation for transit of movement,” Eiselt said. “Not just in the literal sense but also how it conveys that emotion that is experienced through art. I think movement is a very good theme for our times.”
CATS has incorporated art to more than 20 capital projects since 2002, including bus stops, park and rides, transit facilities and light rail, according to Chris Lange, administrator for the Art-in-Transit program.
Examples of these projects include the painted corrugated wood by Asheville artist George Handy at the South Park Community Transit Center and the public art peppered at each stop along the LYNX Blue Line.
“It is well documented that the integration of art in transit facilities has a positive impact not only on ridership but also the communities adjacent to our facilities,” Lewis said. “This is also why CATS reserves a portion of all construction costs of projects for the integration of art into major capital infrastructure investment.
“But it shouldn’t just take a large capital project to provide art and culture to our community.”
The Art-on-the-Roll program is the latest example of that.
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