DART Bus Temporary Art

photo credit: Des Moines Arts Festival

photo credit: Des Moines Arts Festival

The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation partners with the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority (DART) to bring temporary art to the city streets. Two artists are commissioned per year to design full wraps for the city buses, and I was thrilled to have a chance to have my ridiculous dogs staring at people in traffic. “Where’s the Ball?” featured drawings of the-best-dog-ever Beans (pictured on the back of the bus) and his equally engaging companion Inu bug-eyed from playing fetch. The front of the bus sported Inu’s whacky teeth where the bike rack goes, and red tennis balls printed with the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation were given away to passengers.

The bus was unveiled near my downtown studio during a particularly hot June afternoon. It was too hot for Beans who had been experiencing heart trouble, but Inu came along and cooled off in the fountain for the ceremony. He was (and is) fairly unimpressed with his fame. Sadly, Beans died within two weeks of the bus going into circulation. It seemed like a dick move on the Universe’s part to have these huge images of him suddenly sprung on me when I was out driving or walking. I cried a lot on the road that summer, but I heard that the art was a fun surprise from a lot of people which was what I was hoping for. We can all use a good laugh in traffic.