Putting Art on the Bus, and Bringing it to our Community

Check out the Visual Arts, Music, and Literature sections of the Art by Bus pages to learn more about each part of the program.  And be sure to follow our Writer by Bus on Facebook to participate in creative writing programs, collaborative writing projects, and more.

Why Art by Bus?

Public transportation is one of the few features of our region that touches every part of a community.  Buses travel through every neighborhood; get people from home, to work, to the doctor, to the grocery store; they serve every age, every race, ever income level.  A bus trip will take you through parts of your community you may have never seen before, and introduce you to people you never would have the opportunity to meet.

By putting art on the buses, we want to remind people that taking public transportation is making a choice about how you spend your time.  You can fight with traffic, or you can close your eyes and listen to music.  You can spend money on gas, or you can pay your fare and enjoy a book.  Public transportation is an opportunity to have experiences, not just an alternative way to commute.

Plus, it’s a way to bring art into all of our neighborhoods, for people who may not otherwise have a chance to experience all the culture the region has to offer.

Visual Arts

Working with the City of Roanoke’s Arts Commission, we selected four pieces from the City’s collection to reproduce on the exterior of four Valley Metro buses.  These pieces were installed on the exterior of four Valley Metro buses and will run through March and April of this year.

“A Beautiful View” by Jared Bader

Jared Bader, a freelance artist and muralist, holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and an MFA from the Memphis College of art. He has worked in conjunction with the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia and numerous community organizations, corporations and schools to create public murals throughout the city and across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Highlights include working with the entire Milton Hershey School student population to create a mural detailing the 100-year history of the school and an 85-foot conceptual mural about Abraham Lincoln for the Mural Arts Program and the Lincoln Financial Group. Bader also has created murals for private, corporate and university clients, working with such organizations as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Temple University and Franklin and Marshall College. While creating murals he also works as a freelance fine artist and graphic designer.
* The entire mural can be viewed under the Main St. bridge in the Wasena neighborhood


“A Rolling Canvas” By Nancy Stark

Roanoke artist Nancy Stark attended Lafayette College, and then the University of Virginia where she received a Master’s degree in Special Education. Fifteen years later, she launched her art career through taking workshops, traveling with fellow artists, reading lots of books and magazine articles and spending countless hours in the studio. Her artwork is included in the collection of Norfolk Southern Corporation, Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Augusta Medical Center, Carilion Clinic Hospital, CapCo Machinery,
HomeTown Bank and numerous private collections. Her work has also been included in many publications including 27 Best Watermedia Paintings of 2014, Watercolor Artist Magazine February 2015, La Passion du rail, Pratique des Arts No 114 31janvier/28mars 2014, 15 Best Watermedia Paintings of 2008, Watercolor Artist Magazine February 2009 and others. Nancy comments “Strong sunlight and cast shadows are often the inspiration for my artwork. My paintings are a response to the pattern, shape, texture and line observed in the world around me. My railroad car series consists of large scale, close up views and I leave out as much or more of the subject as I paint. The viewer is invited to enjoy the artwork and fill in the missing pieces.”


“Springwood Farm”  By Lucy Hazlegrove

Lucy Hazlegrove was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri where she was a Studio Art Major. In 1987 she came back to Roanoke. Reenrolled in Hollins’ MALS program. Graduated in 1996 she has been married to Wilbur Lee Hazlegrove for almost 65 years. They have four children. All of their children are artists.
“There are so many fine artists (writers, musicians, painters, sculptors) living in the valley. So much talent is here. It is a wonderful place to work. And to be in touch with others who share the same compulsion to “make stuff”.” said Hazlegrove.
Her paintings can be found in several Public Collections; The City of Roanoke, Hollins University, Virginia Western Community College, Longwood College, North Cross School, St John’s Episcopal Church and in Carilion’s “Healing Arts” collection.
Hazlegrove says, “And now, the thought of a painting of mine traveling Roanoke’s city streets on the side of a big City bus makes me laugh out loud with pleasure. What fun!!!”


“Market Lady” by Cheryl Foster

Multimedia artist, Cheryl Foster was born in Washington, D.C. Like a chameleon, her medium is forever changing. The only constant is her passion for her craft. She feels the “vision” dictates its medium. This Howard University graduate’s large scale projects grace the plazas, streetscapes, gateways, and private and public facilities along the east coast. She is known for designing and fabricating large scale public art using stained glass, metal, or tile. Beyond her emotion packed, mammoth installations and vibrant mosaics, Cheryl Foster is an accomplished arts educator. She serves as Senior, Master Artist in Residence for the John F. Kennedy Center’s Community Partnerships and authors, coordinates and presents Children and Family programs. From puppetry to quilling, students at all grade and skill levels are provided with exciting and often therapeutic outlets. In traditional school settings, as well as detention center environments, science, math language arts, social studies, history and character building, all are enhanced and reinforced, using art experiences. Cheryl Foster’s art residencies serve as a search engine for a fantastic voyage of self-realization and wonder for the student, teacher and artist. Three other mosaics by Foster grace the entrances to the Roanoke City Market Building.

2018 Writer by Bus – Tim Thornton

Tim Thornton’s family has lived in Southwest Virginia at least since Thomas Jefferson lived in the White House. Thornton’s first writing job was covering high school sports when he was in high school. He’s reported about many things since then, but he keeps getting drawn back to the people and the culture, the land and the water in the section of Appalachia closest to his home.

Thornton’s work has earned awards from state press associations, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Newspaper Association. He’s been honored with the Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment and the D. Lathan Mims Award for “editorial leadership and service to the community.” His reporting has been broadcast on Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia Public Radio and National Public Radio.

Thornton teaches English composition and Appalachian literature at Virginia Western Community College and spends as much of each summer as possible traveling to fiddlers’ conventions. He lives in Shawsville with his wife, their son and two large, loud dogs.

You can follow our Writer by Bus each year by visiting our Facebook page. Interact with our writer, make suggestions, offer writing prompts, see works in progress, and more.


Previous Years Chapbooks

2015: In Transit - Melanie Almeder

2016: Anywhere You're Going - Meighan L. Sharp

2017: 30 Minute Neighborhood - Sherry Dragovich

2018: Walking Man's Best Friend - Tim Thornton

Check out the Starline Performance Series all April long.

*Performance schedule subject to change


RIDE Solutions is excited to announce the 2019 Starline Trolley Performance Series. Back for the 6th straight year, with more musicians, more performances, and more opportunities to explore Roanoke transit alternatives, we welcome the return of all of last year's performers as well as a couple of special performances by artists from 5 Points Music Sanctuary!

  • Erin and Joy- Celtic, folk
    • Erin Hunter (Violin)
    • Joy Truskowski (Guitar/vocals)
  • Mojo Sauce Hornsmen- Jazz, funk
    • Justin Pinckney (Saxophone)
    • John Stump (Trumpet)
    • Ernie Freeman (Trumpet)
  • Carla & Brad - Folk/Rock/Americana
    • Carla Nelson (Guitar)
    • Brad Collier (Guitar)
  • Beren & Lúthien - Traditional Celtic
    • Julie Borden (Bodhran)
    • Josh Kinn (Bouzouki)
*Interested in participating/playing in the Starline Performance Series? Send an email info@ridesolutions.org to learn more.