Cincinnati Metro

Cincinnati Artist Transforms Metro Bus Shelter

Jan Brown Checco, studio artist and arts administrator in Clifton, a neighborhood in the north central part of Cincinnati, decided the Metro bus shelter in front of entrance to Burnet Woods needed to be beautified – and she was just the person to do it.

Brown Checco met with Metro in June to share her idea and sketches and together they began an art initiative to improve the shelter. Metro repaired and painted the shelter and replaced the glass panels. Brown Checco created the design work, purchased materials for painting the glass panels, and created the informational panels. Metro printed and installed the panels while Brown Checco used a special technique to paint on the glass panels by hand. The shelter was completed on Oct. 9.

“This shelter is now a unique, beautiful work of art,” said Metro CEO Terry Garcia Crews. “We are delighted that Jan volunteered her talent and materials for this project. This partnership shows that we can work with the community to create amazing results.”

The themes for the painted panels include fossils from the Cincinnatian Period, native plants of the Ohio River Valley, and symbolic imagery of the Adena and Hopewell Peoples. Some of the designs were also part of a copper panel art project attached to a Friendship Bridge in the Cincinnati Liuzhou Friendship Garden in LongTan Park, Liuzhou, China. It was designed by a Cincinnati Parks citizens task force that Brown Checco was part of in 2007.

“While living in Europe, I loved using public transportation,” said Brown Checco. “The bus shelters in our Clifton neighborhood can be quite welcoming with just new paint and an illustrated panel that shares some interesting story about the place. Since I have my own art studio, I can propose projects like this with ease, and Metro was interested in partnering with me. I hope this is just the first of several rehabs to the shelters that people use every day when waiting for the bus to arrive.”

The Clifton shelter follows Metro’s recent 24-shelter project with ArtWorks, a Cincinnati non-profit that employs and trains local youth and talent to create art and community impact. Those shelters, which feature 24 different pieces of art based on famous books, are located in downtown Cincinnati.