The people of Austin are fascinating. Their stories and how they get where they’re going, connects them. Capital Metro, Austin’s transit agency, has teamed up with some of the city’s most talented photographers and filmmakers to bring the stories and transit experiences of some of its riders to life.One common barrier to taking transit here in Central Texas is the misconception that ‘people like me don’t ride.’ The Austin Collective shows that all kinds of people take transit, and for a variety of reasons.
Over the past year, 15 artists interviewed and captured on film riders on board buses and trains, and at stops and stations. Some of the artists were driven by the distinctive characters they encountered, others by conversations that led to compelling stories.
Out of the work produced and the stories collected, Capital Metro developed The Austin Collective social media project to illustrate the diversity of its riders. The stories are a peek into the intimate, daily lives of Austinites — shop owners, baristas, entrepreneurs, cooks, students, construction workers, farmers, musicians and mothers. And while it is a direct, authentic reflection of our riders, it’s also a reflection of our diverse, unique and vibrant city.
If you think this project sounds or looks familiar, it may be because you’re thinking of The Humans of New York or even the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) and Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographers — but with a local transit focus.
The Austin Collective Exhibition | Saturdays and Sundays, November 12-13 & 19-20, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Calles Building, 507 Calles St. | Free admission
We are fortunate to live and work in Austin, a city filled with talented performers and artists. The artists who worked with us on this project were selected because of their impressive portfolios covering a myriad of styles including portrait, fashion, journalistic and artistic photography and film. More than 50 photographs and short films created for The Austin Collective will be featured in an exhibition opening this weekend as a part of the East Austin Studio Tours. Two Try Transit Adventures highlighting The Austin Collective exhibition are scheduled the first weekend, as well as an Artist Talk on November 12. We invite the public to come out to see this great body of work, learn more about the people in our city and show their support of transit.
Artists included in the exhibit: