Back in August, Central Transit made some changes to help the public transit service’s ability to get city travelers to and fro. Now the city is going to make that wait a little more aesthetically appealing, featuring the artwork of 10 local artists on the local bus shelters around town.

The Ellensburg City Council agreed Monday night to approve spending plans for the Arts Commission, which includes funding for 10 artist stipends, and printing of five bus shelters.

In 2016, Council designated 10 percent of construction sales tax revenue to community art, with an annual floor of $25,000 and ceiling of $50,000. The funding is for the creation of public art such as the bus shelters. The council approved funding for five pieces in 2019 ($12,500) and five move in 2020 ($12,500). All bus shelters panels will be installed in the spring 2020.

“This exciting in that we had 62 pieces of artwork submitted from local artists. It was very apparent that each artist was very engaged and serious about their contribution. Every single piece that was submitted was considered,” said Carolyn Honeycutt with the Arts Commission. “(The selection committee) did a process of elimination and then came up with the selections we presented to the council tonight.”

Artists were allowed to let their creative juices flow with the idea that only one work per artist would be allowed and that all artists live in Kittitas County and/or were graduates of Central Washington University. Each received $500 for their efforts.

“The dimensions (like a wide screen TV format to fit in the bus shelter) really weren’t a priority,” Honeycutt explained. “Renee Adams’ piece was shaped more rectangle. We loved it and thought it was beautiful.”

The artwork is to be printed onto glass panels through an inkjet printer using ceramic ink. The glass is then tempered. With that, the city of Ellensburg supported its local art community and the artists themselves have a new canvas in which to express themselves.

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