“Every Child Can Create”

Campbell Elementery’s Kevin Abeyta

Capital Metro is working with Creative Action and Austin ISD to invite students to create designs to decorate the new electric buses that are coming in January.

Kevin Abeyta is the art specialist at Campbell Elementary, where he works to inspire students to express themselves through creative arts. Selected artwork from students in Mr. Abeyta’s classes will be applied as full-bus wraps on the first two electric buses in CapMetro’s fleet.

We asked Mr. Abeyta about the contest and how he teaches his art classes.

What do you do at Campbell Elementary?

The short answer is I encourage each student who walks into the art studio to express themselves in a healthy, positive way through art.

What do you aim to achieve for your students?

​My goal is to foster a safe, accepting and welcoming environment that allows each and every student who crosses the door into the art studio the freedom to express who they are no matter the skill level. Process over product. Every child can create art if they are given the encouragement and freedom to do so.

For this project, Mr. Abeyta is teaching students about various artists’ techniques as inspiration for the electric bus artwork contest. We asked him to tell us why their stories and work are important for students to know.

Can you tell us about some of the artists you’re teaching them about and why you chose them?

​My goal is to honor the culture of children who come into the art studio. We’re learning about artists of color and differing genders. Two in particular we’re focusing on are Romare Bearden and Kehinde Wiley.

Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden’s work dealt with both the urban and rural viewpoints of African Americans. His style is a perfect fit for a project highlighting these aspects of Austin.

We are using Romare’s collage technique to create various scenes and places around Austin. Each student’s personal vision of how they view places around the city can be showcased, and this technique provides a more hands-on style and unified approach to the final artwork.

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley is a contemporary artist who creates vibrant, striking portraits of people of color. He is well known for painting the presidential portrait of Barack Obama. His powerful style and depiction of subjects is the focus for our fifth graders, who are creating their own portraits.

My hope is that in seeing these artists and their work, students will be inspired to go forward and explore art and the world around them on their own. The more artists of color are celebrated and taught, the more children of color can see the beauty and power that they possess inside them.

The new Capital Metro bus fleet launches in January. It will be backed up by 100%-Texas wind power, courtesy of Austin Energy.

The future belongs to our children, and we are super excited to see what they come up with to help us celebrate.


Make Green Art

At Capital Metro, sometimes going green every mile, every day, takes a little creativity.

Take Nailah I. Akinyémi-Sankofa, artist and Executive Director of RunWay Underground, who turns our system maps into gift bags for attendees of RWU’s International African Fashion Week in Austin (pictured above), or Chandra Kring Villanueva who transformed used passes with origami at our Millionth Rider event at Crestview Station (below).

What creative ways can you give some of our old print materials a second life?

Schools, arts organizations, and artists are all encouraged to contact us  for a list of current print materials that are available for creative use. Examples of items that are often available are outdated system maps, service change brochures, and foam core signs.

For more information, please contact metroart@capmetro.org or call Simone Monique Barnes 512-609-1555.

Facebook Contest: Two Austin Film Fest Badges up for Grabs

You may have heard about our MetroRapid groundbreaking yesterday…maybe you’ve also been one of the early birds to watch our new YouTube video…below:

But, do you know that Capital Metro has two Austin Film Festival badges to give away? It’s true! How can you snag one? Click here Our contest is ongoing until Sept. 30!

We want to see your transit-inspired artwork. It doesn’t have to be fancy or require an extreme amount of work. Think about what transit means to you…Where do you ride to? How many places have you been to on the bus? Where are you looking forward to riding MetroRail? Take a picture, Instagram it, draw something, sketch, doodle, crayon, stamp, collage, etc. Anyway you want.

Once you have your idea and have a creation, take a picture of it and upload to our Facebook contest page. Take this for example:

Here’s an example I of a picture I took on 9/11 of a bus, then added filters. Preface: I have no artistic talent to claim!

It’s that simple. Capture a transit moment and submit it. After we have some entries on our Facebook page, others will be able to vote on each photo. The earlier you submit, the more time you have to wrangle-in those votes!
Start now!

We’ll award the top two entries. Each of our winners gets one Austin Film Fest badge! Each badge is worth over $100 bucks.

Now, go onto our Facebook page and look for the green tab at the top and enter your art baby.

31K Portraits of Peace/Retratos por la Paz

Portrait by Diego Huerta for 31K Portraits for Peace exhibition.

Something special is coming to Austin beginning next Friday: 31K retratos por la paz/portraits for peace, a powerful exhibit featuring the photography of Diego Huerta that opens Jan. 27 at the Mexic-Arte Museum.

The 31K project chronicles the hope for peace that still remains in Mexico despite the ongoing drug wars that have killed 31,000 people. From the Mexic-Arte website:

Diego Huerta and project partner Daniela Gutiérrez have travelled throughout Mexico and arrived at cities like Guadalajara, Campeche, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Ciudad de México, Mazatlan, and Baja California.

For over 180 days Diego and Daniela have cataloged their project on both their website and Facebook pages providing followers with current photos and video diary excerpts from their national journeys throughout Mexico. 31K’s large-scale vivid photographs portray the breadth of lives lost and the hope for peace that still remains in Mexico. With each 31K photograph Diego presents the panoply of Mexican life. Each colorful image captures a vignette of the Mexican people from students, families, street performers, artisans, businessmen, and priests.

A visit to 31kproject.com is a chills-inducing experience, with poignant video diaries and photos from each day of Diego’s and Daniela’s travels. While you’re out and about around town or onboard the bus, you might see the exhibit preview on both the outside and inside of some of our buses. Capital Metro is a supporter of this fantastic exhibit.

Here are the details of the opening reception:

January 27
6 -7 p.m. Members Reception
7 -9 p.m. Members and General Public Reception
Admission: Free for Mexic-Arte Museum Members/$10 for non-members
Getting to the museum: Mexic-Arte Museum is on the corner of 5th and Congress. Ride 1L/1M, 5, 7, 10, 20, 30 and 101

Follow Diego and Daniela’s 31K Project on their official website and on their facebook page.

Mister Cartoon Masterpiece to be Installed along the Red Line today

If you ride MetroRail into downtown, or you poke around in central east Austin on occasion, you’ll be seeing a brand new mural that’s been taking shape this week and will be completely installed today. From the view onboard the train, you’ll see the action going up on the backside of the LIVESTRONG Foundation headquarters building, near the Robert T. Martinez, Jr. crossing.

Mister Cartoon working on the LiveStrong mural, on Oct. 12. Photo credit: Mister Cartoon.

What a coup! The artist is Mister Cartoon of LA fame, who has been hanging out in the neighborhood and beginning the installation.  And what a great idea, too. The idea behind the mural, according to LIVESTRONG, is “to create a mural that captures the LIVESTRONG spirit and serves as a tribute to people affected by cancer around the world and a work of art for the entire East Austin community to enjoy.”

Capital Metro has supported the development and installation of the mural, which is located along the Red Line tracks at Robert Martinez, Jr., east of the Plaza Saltillo Station. Rail safety outreach coordinator (and our public art liaison) Alissa Schram has incorporated a rail safety education element into the proceedings today. Art students from Eastside High will help the artist do the final installation later today, and all will be briefed on the in’s and out’s of being safe around railroad tracks.

If you’re riding MetroRail today, put your book down between MLK and Plaza Saltillo stations, and check out the awesome mural going in!

Get Art, Give Hope (and get in free with your Capital Metro pass)

GAGH_Lock-upThe 17th annual ART FROM THE STREETS show and sale is this coming weekend, November 14 and 15, at the ARCH, 7th and Neches. The show is open from noon to 5 p.m. both days.

This is your chance to peruse 2,000+ gallery-worthy original works of art made by our community’s homeless. With prices starting at just $35, even I can afford an original artwork. The best part of this special event each year is that the artists keep all the profits from the sale of their work.

Ride Capital Metro to the event this weekend and get in free! Show your valid Capital Metro pass (day pass, stored value card, 7-day pass, 31-day pass, MetroAccess ticket book or monthly pass) at the door, and the event organizers will waive the suggested $3 admission donation.

Routes 4 and 100 will get you closest to the ARCH. Plan your trip right now with our online trip planner.

Have fun!