A girl riding her mountain bike on the Cache Valley terrain with local landmarks in the background is the artistic piece that will be seen driving around the valley this year as the winner of the Art in Transit competition to design a bus wrap.
The piece is “such a great portrayal of our community and what’s in our community with the beauty, and the mountains and nature and outdoor activities,” said Aurora Hughes Villa, endowed program director for elementary arts education.
On its eighth year adorning Cache Valley Transit District buses, the Art in Transit Program named Ridgeline High School student and aspiring graphic designer Jada Baugh as the winner of the competition.
“I was freaking out,” Baugh said. “Never would’ve thought that I would have something on a bus.”
Baugh said the inspiration for the watercolor pencils piece was her adventures riding her mountain bike on the many trails Cache Valley has to offer.
“I’m on the mountain bike team so I guess that was the one thing that I wanted to do,” Baugh said.
Villa said the excitement of the students and opportunity to promote art in the community are a couple of the reasons the program is in its eighth year.
“That eighth grader, when she came on the bus and was like, ‘That’s my artwork, Mom, there it is,’” Villa said, “I think having that recognition for the students is what motivates me and having their artwork as a piece of the community and a part of the community.”
Art in Transit also adorns the inside of CVTD buses with art from students from the valley. This year, Mount Logan Middle School students collaborated to create poetry and visual images for the inside of the buses.
MLMS sixth-grade students had Poet Laureate of Hawaii Kealoha visit and teach them about poetry. MLMS English teacher Cherie Kircalli’s sixth-grade class then expanded on their poetry lesson.
According to Kircalli, the students picked an abstract noun such as friendship, war or love and imagined the concepts as if they had human traits such as gender, age, appearance and personality.
“It gave them a different way of expressing their opinions,” Kircalli said. “It was so powerful. There were students who would hardly ever speak in class who had written things that were just insightful and creative.”
Some of the poems written by the sixth graders were then given to MLMS art teacher Jennifer Thomas and her 7th and 8th grade classes for the inspiration of art pieces.
“They had poems that inspired their artwork,” Villa said. “They created imagery with printmaking techniques.”
According to Villa, although the poems could not be printed for all the buses, every CVTD bus will have one side of the inside adorned with the 7th and 8th grade art pieces that were inspired by the 6th grade students’ poems.
“They’re just beautiful,” Villa said.