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Project to allow students to spruce up CABS buses

Courtesy of Benjamin Kent

Many students rarely get to see the artwork done by their peers unless they are in class together or go to a gallery. This summer, instead of having to go out and seek these pieces, Benjamin Kent is taking them from the galleries to the streets.

Kent, a second-year graduate student in city and regional planning at Ohio State, has created the “Oh Art Community Project,” a project that seeks to create the first moving art gallery in Columbus by showcasing student art on the Campus Area Bus Service transit system.

OSU students can submit their original artwork for the chance to have it be displayed in the windows of a CABS bus and at bus stops. OSU Urban Arts Space, a partner of the project, will also collect and display the work for people to purchase.

Kent said he started to create the project as a class assignment last fall in a graduate course called “Cities of the World: International Planning Innovations.”

“I quickly realized this year that in order to find success with the program, it needed student support. It needed a team effort to make it live,” he said.

Students may submit digitized art, poetry or prose to be considered. The project is open to all students on campus.

All submissions are due by May 18 and all selected art will be featured on June 6.

Dylan Dunphy, a third-year in art, submitted a pre-historic deep-sea creature to be considered for the project.

“It’s a good way to build a resume,” Dunphy said. “Plus it would be cool to see my own artwork displayed on the bus since I ride it almost everyday.”

Brian Ashworth, a third-year graduate student in landscape architecture, submitted two pieces, one of which is a license plate map of the United States.

“I purchased a license plate from every state, cut them to look like the state of the shape and put them all together,” he said.

The project, which Kent hopes will be held again in the fall, would then rotate art in and out of the campus bus and bus stop. All together about 21 student pieces would be selected and put up for about six months at a time.

Kent said that as “Oh Art” grows and develops, the project might open up to all of central Ohio.

Kaycee Moore, a third-year in art, heard about the program while working at the OSU Urban Arts space. She submitted six paintings which focus on nature.

“I thought it sounded like a really cool project,” Moore said. “There is so much space on the sides of buses and using it to give young artists the chance to gain exposure seems like a much more worthwhile pursuit than covering the buses in advertisements.”

To learn more about the “Oh Art Community” project or submit work, visit their website at http://ohartcommunity.wordpress.com.

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