Tapping Transit Hubs as Inspirational Art Spaces

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Heather Redfern - Also by this author

“Dreams in TRANSIT” exhibit at SEPTA's Frankford Transportation Center.
“Dreams in TRANSIT” exhibit at SEPTA's Frankford Transportation Center.
Around the world, artwork of all forms adorns transportation centers, stations and bus shelters. While many of these statues, paintings, mosaics and sculptures are permanently installed as part of a station’s architecture, transportation organizations can use their spaces for art exhibitions that not only make transit hubs more aesthetically pleasing for commuters,but also inspire budding artists.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) recently partnered with two organizations to showcase the artistic talent of youth from the Greater Philadelphia region and around the world.

Last fall, two SEPTA transportation centers and a downtown Philadelphia Regional (commuter) Rail station were transformed to art galleries, courtesy of Dream Flag Project. Children from 21 schools, including institutions in Nepal, Zambia, China, France and Mexico, participated in the “Dreams in TRANSIT” exhibit, decorating cloth Dream Flags with their poems and artwork that described their dreams. The flags are attached to lines to connect students’ hopes and dreams to one another’s. The flags, which were exhibited at SEPTA’s 69th Street and Frankford Transportation Centers (the flags at Frankford were displayed in an unused storefront) and Jefferson Station, were designed to motivate commuters and remind all students that their dreams matter.

The Dream Flag Project was established at The Agnes Irwin School, located just outside Philadelphia, in 2003. There are now 400 schools in 42 states and 25 countries participating in the program. Students in pre-K through 12th grade have made more than 100,000 Dream Flags. This was the first time an exhibit was held at transit stations.

"Dream Flags have been exhibited in Philadelphia's City Hall, Philadelphia International Airport, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and many other locations, but ‘Dreams in TRANSIT’ gets our children's dreams before the eyes of more people than ever, and that's what The Dream Flag Project is all about,” said Jeff Harlan, co-founder and director of The Dream Flag Project. “We hope that SEPTA's forward looking effort in supporting student dreams is a model for transit systems across the country and maybe around the world. Public transit it the way of the future, and we'd like to see ‘Dreams in TRANSIT’ helping us brighten and realize that future everywhere.” Transportation agencies interested in hosting a Dream Flags exhibit can contact Harlan at [email protected].

Got Strings student group performing at SEPTA's Suburban Station during the holiday season.
Got Strings student group performing at SEPTA's Suburban Station during the holiday season.
SEPTA’s support of the arts is not limited to visual displays; the authority has also opened its stations for musical performances. On a Sunday afternoon during the busy holiday season, members of INRUSH — junior high and high school student musicians — performed for afternoon crowds traveling in and out of SEPTA’s downtown Philadelphia commuter rail stations. Not only did the concerts help the authority spread holiday cheer to unsuspecting customers, the events gave the students the opportunity to show off their impressive musical abilities to large audiences.

“Like all large cities, Philadelphia is home to many talented young artists,” said SEPTA GM Joseph Casey. “We are proud to be able to open our stations and transportation centers to these creative youth and give them gallery and concert hall-like exposure for their artwork, writings and performances. This is a fun and important community service all transit agencies can provide.”


View comments or post a comment on this story. (4 Comments)

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

February 12, 2018

We consistently ask the wrong questions about transit investment

"Public transit wastes my money." This is a fairly common argument to encounter when discussing public transportation. It’s easy to say this when looking at delays, faulty service, or drab trains and buses.

January 23, 2018

How IoT Will Transform Transportation in 2018 and Beyond

The Internet of Things and evolution of smart cities means that transportation is primed to undergo some rapid and disruptive changes in the near future.

January 17, 2018

Looking Ahead: The Future of Streetcars

Over the last few months, we’ve talked about the resurgence of streetcars and explored recently completed projects across the country. So what’s next for modern streetcars? A number of expansions of existing systems are in various stages of planning and development ...

December 20, 2017

4 Tech Speed Bumps to Avoid on the Road to Connected Transportation Systems

While physical assets and roadside infrastructure are a vital part of connected transportation systems, in many cities and states, it is the underlying technology network that is most lagging.

December 12, 2017

Enhancing Bus Service With a More ‘Direct’ Way to Travel

As part of an initiative to improve bus travel for riders in Philadelphia, SEPTA and the City’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure have partnered on the Greater Philadelphia region’s first direct bus route, the “Boulevard Direct.”

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (4)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Luxury Coach & Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close