Episode 18: Interact Artists Critique Hiawatha Line Art

I had been telling my friend Jen, the original host of On the Bus, that I wanted to do a transit show that was a tour of Hiawatha Line art. She is the gallery director at the Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Interact is a place that offers a place for artists with disabilities to do their own work, and a gallery that specializes in art by artists with disabilities. She suggested that she could help organize a ride with some of the artists in that program.

So she pulled it all together and we met at the Warehouse District station on an April morning. Six artists from Interact were there, along with three members of the Interact staff. I had asked my friend Trevor if he could come along to shoot a second camera, and he agreed. Everybody bought tickets, and we were off.

First we rode the train down to the Bloomington Central station and I got interviews with all the artists and with Jonathon, one of the staff. Some of the people on the ride had ridden the train before. One was a regular rider. Several had not ridden it yet.

We got off at Bloomington Central and the Interact folks gave their response to the paver pattern and the trees etched in glass at the station. Then we rode to the airport station and they responded to the mosquito wings, the jet wings, and the gallery of images at the escalator. Then it was on to 38th Street stations and the upside down houses and the images in the shelter. They also listened to some of the audio recordings in the listening kiosks. Then we went up to Cedar Riverside to look at the colorful Seusian city buildings as well as the star charts in the shelter ceiling. Then to the Metrodome station to critique the arches with their tile design.

All along we got more interviews and great video of the ride. It took us some time getting on and off the trains because we were a crowd and a couple of the artists used walkers to move, and slowly at that. I think we P.O.'d a couple of the drivers, who need to just keep those trains moving.

We had a great time, and then I spend over a month just editing those four hours of video down. The show visits some of the art along the line, but also has the artists talking about their response to the line in general. They talk about issues like getting on and off transit with a walker, and how the train is so much better than the bus in that regard. They talk about using transit with a service dog, and about why art is so important.

So here it is, and I hope you like it.

For more information about Interact, visit interactcenter.com

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