Artwork added to buses in Sheboygan

It started with a drive through Sheboygan
Posted at 7:20 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 21:00:27-04
It started with a drive through Sheboygan. Artist Libby Olbrantz was driving behind a City bus, but instead of seeing public transportation, she saw a blank canvas.
"I'm thinking there needs to be art on the back of this bus," said Olbrantz, who is a member of Sheboygan Visual Artists, who is funding the project.
For her, it's an expression of the soul.
"It can change the mood of an entire atmosphere, the entire space changes."
Now, she's rallied SVA and Shoreline Metro to bring that power to city buses.
"It's kind of like a gallery on wheels," she said.
It's outside the ordinary.
"Traditionally, public transportation and buses don't always fit into the artistic world," said Derek Muench, the Director of Transit and Parking in Sheboygan.
But, Muench felt this project would help fulfill what he considers a part of Sheboygan's identity.
"We're really centric on art. We're really trying to bring out artwork and feature art in our community," Muench said.
He agreed to put up art inside the bus, as long as Sheboygan Visual Artists could cover the cost to print the art, which ultimately cost $40.
"We have a great opportunity to expose a whole new demographic and get them interested and excited about the art," Muench said.
With nine bus routes and 21 buses, the vehicles have become vehicles for spreading creativity. It's an opportunity Olbrantz knows many people need.
"I grew up in the inner city of Milwaukee and I wasn't exposed to a lot of art," she said.
She still remembers a childhood field trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
"We had to apply in order to go because they didn't have the funds for every student in our grade to go. And I thought that was sad, that there's enough money out there to take everyone to see art. So I thought you know what, I'm just going to bring art to them then," she said.
So the art gallery on wheels is available to the public for the price of a bus ticket. Olbrantz is working with SVA and Shoreline Metro to plan art for bus stops. They also hope to grow the project in the future, potentially wrapping buses in art on the outside.