A) It’s hot. Midday. 104-ish. Across from Winchester Cultural Center at a bus stop. B) Traffic whooshing by, some screaming cicadas competing to be heard, the smell of dust and oil and sidewalk grunge. C) The shade of a bus-stop roof is divine; I take a seat on the painted metal bench. D) I experience art. Next to me is a pleasant 2-D woman on a poster behind a plastic cover. Next to her is a very loving giraffe leaning in. We sit there together, me, “Elaine”—the name of the painting by local artist Montana Black—and the giraffe. Traffic goes by. A man with a limp comes and reaches into the garbage can next to the bus stop and takes a soda can. The cicadas take a break. I look out of the corner of my eye at Elaine. She looks at the giraffe. The giraffe has his eyes closed, emanating love. It’s a peaceful moment. E) Here comes the bus. F) Thanks, art people.
The Bus Stops Here exhibit features four local artists selected from a county-wide competition. The pieces by Montana Black, Shan Michael Evans, Nabila Khanam and Thomas Willis will be displayed in about 100 bus shelters throughout the Valley for the next year in a project that “emphasizes the importance of transit,” according to a county press release. Each of the works also will be displayed for three months at the bus stop across the street from Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. Cool.