The March 8 letter concerning the Orange County Transit District's upcoming program to place artwork on the sides of several buses contends that it is inappropriate, even disrespectful to display art on the side of a bus.
Why not? It would be a sad day in our society when everything must become so segmented, so orderly, so targeted, that we come to the point of only allowing art in museums.
Getting art to the public remains one of our most difficult tasks. Helping people to experience beauty and emotion through art is not easy when only a small percentage of the public frequents museums. Great art has long been displayed outdoors at public buildings, parks, and the like--the concept is not new.
In this instance, new art will be created expressly for the buses--the art and context will match. And, at the same time, as the vehicles move throughout Orange County, the context will change in each new surrounding--perhaps the ultimate in performance artwork.
In the final accounting, does art ask any more of us than to look, to feel, to decide, and to learn more of ourselves, our society, and our world? Displaying art on buses is a different idea, but who ever said that the hustle of traffic with art racing by couldn't be spiritually uplifting experience?
LaGreen is the past president of Orange County Visual Artists, which is assisting the OCTD in the bus project, and serves as a juror to select the artists who will be preparing artwork to be placed on five OCTD buses.