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September 28, 2012

Painting a MetroBus is One of Many Great Events for Children and Families at Green Homes and Great Health Festival

Patti Beck
External Communications Manager

St. Louis, MO- Green living and enjoying healthy lifestyles are the theme of the Green Homes and Great Health Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden this Saturday. As part of the annual event, children and adults are invited to help paint eco-murals on a MetroBus—turning it into a big, rolling piece of art.

What: Green Homes and Great Health Festival

Where: Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

When: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MetroBus Painting Activity is from noon until 2 p.m. on the East
parking lot, North end

Cost: Garden admission is $8. St. Louis City and County residents get in free before noon and $4 thereafter. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under and for Garden members.

“We are happy to partner for a fifth year on a MetroBus painting event with the Missouri Botanical Garden,” said David Allen, Director of the Metro Arts in Transit Program. “Children love to paint, especially when it is on a giant metal canvas. They are so excited when they are handed a paintbrush and a cup of paint. Painting a MetroBus lets them to have fun creating art without getting into trouble for painting on surfaces they are not normally allowed to paint on!”

“The bus painting is always a highlight of the Green Homes and Great Health Festival,” said Hope Gribble, bus painting liaison for the EarthWays Center and U.S. Green Building Council–Missouri Gateway Chapter. “It’s a fun and unique way to engage attendees that day and to heighten community awareness of public transportation. All ages join together, with paintbrushes in hand and smiles on their faces, to collectively create a piece of public art that is both visually stunning and educational.”

The painting of the eco-murals on the MetroBus will take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. All ages are invited to help turn the MetroBus into a traveling work of art. In about two weeks, this vehicle will join the Art Bus Fleet which is part of Metro’s Arts in Transit Program. The mural will stay on the MetroBus for one year and will travel various MetroBus routes throughout St. Louis City and St. Louis

County. The Art Bus Fleet Program partners Metro with non-profit organizations in the community like the Missouri Botanical Garden to raise awareness for their organizations.

St. Louis artist and farmer Eric Stevens created the bus mural designs. “I like to advocate green building and sustainable design whenever possible both in visual art expression and everyday living,” Stevens said. “I hope that taking part in this hands-on process of painting the message of sustainable living will inspire, or at least suggest ideas, to others to be greener in their own lives.”

“We are particularly excited to be working with artist Eric Stevens this year. A skilled woodcut printmaker, Stevens meticulously hand carved the design into a block of wood before printing and then transferred the image onto the bus side walls for the public to paint. The design explores sustainability from both a residential and commercial perspective,” Gribble said.

Stevens’ mural design is actually two art pieces—one for each side of the MetroBus. One side depicts green living in a residential setting and the other side depicts green living at a commercial scale. “The residential side is comprised of my own vision of the potential for sustainability in a neighborhood. I chose to include community gardens, fruit trees, solar and wind energy, and alternate forms of transportation. I also added small suggestions of green living such as clothes lines and backyard chickens,” said Stevens. “The commercial side of the bus was inspired by one of the sponsors this year, the Sheet Metals Workers’ Local 36. Their new building displays many green features and is pursing LEED certification at the Platinum level. The commercial side highlights key elements of their green building.”

The festival will also feature local foods, live music, solar car races, solar S’mores, puppet shows, and other activities for children, free health screenings, green living resources, products made by area crafters, and produce grown by local farmers. The event is presented by the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden and Ameren Missouri. The bus painting activity is sponsored by Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 36 and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association.

For more information on the Green Homes and Great Health Festival, visit www.greenhomesSTL.org. For general Missouri Botanical Garden information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577-5100.

David Allen, Hope Gribble, and Eric Stevens are available for interviews from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday at the MetroBus painting. Members of the media can reach Patti Beck from Metro Transit at 314-486-9091.

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