Once again, Downtown Roanoke is hosting the Marginal Arts Festival, the weekend-long festival that features the best of alternative arts.
One artist participating in the festival this year is using public transit as a means of art interpretation.
Patrick Greene is a Florida-based artist, whose ties to Roanoke bring him to this year’s Marginal Arts Festival.
His project is called TrIP, or Transit Interpretation Project, in which he asks riders, whether they are artists or not, to capture their experiences with local transit. He’s hoping that this unique approach will help bring people together.
"I really think one thing to help the community is kind of getting people talking to each other, another thing is I see people arguing about transit, and I realized most of us don't even ride it. We're talking about it, but we don't really know, so I thought if we just get on the bus and see what it's really about. I also think it's a great way to tell a story about a city because it is a lesser known story. You kind of start seeing a story differently."
Greene originally launched this same project in Orlando, where he currently lives, and was surprised at the results. Both artists and non-artists participated, one fashion designer even held a fashion show on a bus as a way to express her creative side.
Bottom line, ANYONE can participate.
"If you're a writer, a visual artist, guerilla gardener or a tailor tinker, whatever you want to do. If you do crochet on a bus, whatever is your expression, do it. I mean, if you just like to tell stories, you can do that. Record it."
"I want the 80-year-old woman who rides the bus to tell us her story. I kind of feel that it's another way for people who feel left out of the picture and maybe sort of feel anonymous, this is a way for people to say" this is what's going on' ".
For the Roanoke version of this project, Greene is hoping the final works will be displayed in a physical location somewhere Downtown, and is still working to make that happen. But in the meantime, he will post all submission on his web site for the world to see.
He already has the support and approval of one local transit company, Ride Solutions… and he’s hoping to expand his project to include local rail and bicycle transit riders.