Two PACE bus stops in Kane County have turned into works of art, thanks to the efforts of the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission and the talents of Geneva High School students.
As of Thanksgiving weekend, two bus shelters on the west side of Randall Road between Bricher Road and Williamsburg Avenue feature the artwork of Geneva High School students Mark Anderson and Julian Desens.
“The installed pieces look better than we imagined,” said Geneva Cultural Arts Commission Chairman Tim Vetang, who presented the plans a few months ago to the Kane County Board. “When the sun shines, they really pop. We hope everyone waiting for a bus or sitting in traffic will enjoy the art.”
Anderson’s artwork, titled “Senior Tree,” and Desens “Abstract Squares” are part of an innovative art initiative called “Gimme Shelter,” conceived by Geneva Cultural Arts Commission member Jan Schmuckal.
Under the program, art provided by GHS students is reproduced on graphic vinyl cling and installed by Image 360 of South Elgin. Each piece is approximately 7 feet by 10 feet and should last for five years without fading.
The artwork was vetted by both the high school and the Arts Commission. Permission was granted by Pace to use a portion of the back panels of the shelters, and because the shelters are in the county right of way, approval needed to be granted by the Kane County Division of Transportation. The art project received an enthusiastic response from the County Board members and staff.
Schmuckal said she hopes that over the next few years all the shelters in Geneva will get an art makeover. “The project illustrates the incredible talent and creativity that our students possess,” she said.
Louise Grissinger, an art instructor at Geneva High School, said “Gimme Shelter” already has proven to be a success in Geneva, and she invites drivers and bus riders to take a look.
“We hope these pieces of art will foster increased art awareness and ridership on the buses,” she said.
The program is paid for by fundraisers and donations to the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission. No tax money was used, Vetang said.
For those who might have noticed, the “Senior Tree” art was originally installed in St. Charles on north side of Bricher Road — and you can see that background in the photo presented in this article. The error was caught and corrected later the same day.
Vetang said he hopes that other high schools in Kane County will be inspired to start similar programs.
“Perhaps one day the entire length of Randall in Kane County will showcase art,” he said.
SOURCE: Geneva Cultural Arts Commission
About the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission
The Geneva Cultural Arts Commission, founded in 2006, is a committee of Geneva residents and business owners who seek to create diverse cultural art experiences that engage the community. Commission members love the arts, are artists or local business owners who value the arts. Annual events include the Geneva Film Festival, fine art exhibits by the Greater Geneva Art Guild, Shakespeare in the Park, the RiverPark Summer Concert Series and the Steeple Walk. The GCAC’s annual fundraising event, Eat Your Art Out!, pairs a dinner inspired by four original works of art. For more information visit the GCAC webpage or Facebook Page.