Entertainment & Arts

Art in transit: Shepard Fairey’s #ArtsMatter piece aboard Metro buses

Shepard Fairey
Shepard Fairey’s artwork wraps around a Los Angeles bus as part of the #Artsmatter public art awareness campaign.
(L.A. Fund for Public Education)

Shepard Fairey’s new piece of art could soon be driving by you on the L.A. streets.

The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education on Tuesday unveiled its latest addition to its #ArtsMatter public art project, a bold graphic by Fairey that will be splashed across six city buses and hundreds of billboards for the next four weeks.

Titled “Create Your Future,” the piece is the third and final installment of L.A. Fund’s campaign to spread the word about the importance of creativity in education. (Barbara Kruger and John Baldessari also had their art aboard Metro buses.)

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Fairey took a unique approach to the piece. The street artist in April solicited students in L.A. for inspiration, asking participants to “tell us in your words what the world looks like when you take away the things that limit you.”

What emerged is a red, black, blue and yellow graphic with a series of symbols representing “empowerment and future possibilities through creativity,” Fairey said in a statement.

The piece is adorned with a leaf for green energy, an airplane for travel and a wordly perspective, a hand and flame for the creative spark and a diamond as a sign of financial success.

As part of the campaign, residents are asked to send Twitter and Instagram pictures of the artwork to @LAFund with the #ArtsMatter hashtag. If you miss the bus, 100 limited-edition totes are being offered for those who contribute $500 or more to the L.A. Fund.


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The philanthropic organization has pledged $750,000 to fund arts programs in LAUSD schools over the next three years.

Though Fairey isn’t an LAUSD alum and his daughters attend private school, he recently told The Times he believes in integrating arts of all kinds into L.A public schools.

“That’s very much part of my philosophy: Creativity should be democratized as much as possible,” Fairey said.


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