2020 Art by Bus Application Period Now Open!

The City of Roanoke Arts Commission, Ride Solutions and the Greater Roanoke Transit Authority are partnering to once again to present a unique literary opportunity in summer 2020. Application packets will be accepted until 5 PM on Wednesday March 18.

A writer (or writers) will be provided a bus pass and paid an honorarium of $1,000 to create a unique work of literature while riding different bus routes. The work may be in any genre including short stories, poetry, essays, plays, etc. and may also include art, music or photography. The work will be published in the form of a chapbook as well as on the participating organizations’ websites and other venues as available.

Get more information in the 2020 project description.
Download the 2020 application.

Putting Art on the Bus, and Bringing it to our Community

Check out the Visual Arts, Music, and Literature sections of the Art by Bus pages to learn more about each part of the program.  And be sure to follow our Writer by Bus on Facebook to participate in creative writing programs, collaborative writing projects, and more.

Why Art by Bus?

Public transportation is one of the few features of our region that touches every part of a community.  Buses travel through every neighborhood; get people from home, to work, to the doctor, to the grocery store; they serve every age, every race, ever income level.  A bus trip will take you through parts of your community you may have never seen before, and introduce you to people you never would have the opportunity to meet.

By putting art on the buses, we want to remind people that taking public transportation is making a choice about how you spend your time.  You can fight with traffic, or you can close your eyes and listen to music.  You can spend money on gas, or you can pay your fare and enjoy a book.  Public transportation is an opportunity to have experiences, not just an alternative way to commute.

Plus, it’s a way to bring art into all of our neighborhoods, for people who may not otherwise have a chance to experience all the culture the region has to offer.

Visual Arts

Working with the City of Roanoke’s Arts Commission, we selected four pieces from the City’s collection to reproduce on the exterior of four Valley Metro buses.  These pieces were installed on the exterior of four Valley Metro buses and will run through March and April of this year.


“Wishes” by JM Lamb

JM Lamb was born and raised in Mississippi but her mother was from New York City, so her sister and her grew up “vacationing” in the Bronx in the 1980’s and 90’s. She moved back to the area in 2014, having completed nearly a decade of working as a field camp carpenter for the U.S. Antarctic Program. She spent the majority of the past two decades working as a construction carpenter and painter and when she returned to VA she wanted to change her career path. A friend told her about the Horizon Program at Hollins. Mandy believes that Hollins is the greatest thing she ever did for herself because of the amazing people that make up the Hollins community and the superhuman-women who are the Horizon Program. She is really grateful for my Hollins experience and the relationships formed with my professors and fellow students alike.

JM Lamb’s intention with this project was to create an image that invokes memories and feelings that instill joy, transcending age, race and cultural differences, as well as socio-economic class in-equalities. In short, something for everyone. Initially when most of us think of dandelion seed “puffs,” we can mentally scroll back to childhood and the hours spent stalking the yard for an intact “puff” to blow into the wind. So simple and satisfying was this playful task, the thought of it produces a smile on most of our faces.


“Lipes” By Ann Glover

Ann Glover, a Roanoke native, has made monumental sculpture for the Port of San Diego, “Urban Trees,” the City of Roanoke “Trojan Dog,” and the Taubman Museum atrium “Myth.” Her paintings have been in exhibitions throughout the US., including UCLA, The Taubman Museum and the Pauley Center of the Virginia Museum, where she received a Professional Fellowship in painting. She served as an adjunct professor of art at Hollins University for ten years.


“Path Through The Dunes”  By Peyton Kline

Peyton Klein began her study of art in the 50’s under the tutelage of Jim Yeatts. She became a prolific painter and began teaching herself. She served as the art critic for the Roanoke Times for many years, taught at Virginia Western Community College and the Roanoke Fine Arts Center. Peyton was one of the co-founders of the Studio School and co-founder of Salem’s Art in the Alley. She passed on in May of 2005.

2019 Writer by Bus – Lucy E. Marcus


Lucy E. Marcus is an MFA candidate, Teaching Fellow, and Graduate Assistant at Hollins University. In 2018, she received the Melanie Hook Rice Award in the Novel and the Andrew James Purdy Prize for Short Fiction. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Kestrel, Scribes Valley Publishing Anthology, and 805 Lit + Art. Originally from New York City, she currently lives in an old mill in Fincastle.



NOW AVAILABLE: 2019 Writer by Bus Chapbook - Dandelion Wishes - Lucy Marcus

Previous Years Chapbooks

2015: In Transit - Melanie Almeder

2016: Anywhere You're Going - Meighan L. Sharp

2017: 30 Minute Neighborhood - Sherry Dragovich

2018: Walking Man's Best Friend - Tim Thornton

Check out the Starline Performance Series all April long.

*Performance schedule subject to change


RIDE Solutions is excited to announce the 2019 Starline Trolley Performance Series. Back for the 6th straight year, with more musicians, more performances, and more opportunities to explore Roanoke transit alternatives, we welcome the return of all of last year's performers as well as a couple of special performances by artists from 5 Points Music Sanctuary!

  • Erin and Joy- Celtic, folk
    • Erin Hunter (Violin)
    • Joy Truskowski (Guitar/vocals)
  • Mojo Sauce Hornsmen- Jazz, funk
    • Justin Pinckney (Saxophone)
    • John Stump (Trumpet)
    • Ernie Freeman (Trumpet)
  • Carla & Brad - Folk/Rock/Americana
    • Carla Nelson (Guitar)
    • Brad Collier (Guitar)
  • Beren & Lúthien - Traditional Celtic
    • Julie Borden (Bodhran)
    • Josh Kinn (Bouzouki)
*Interested in participating/playing in the Starline Performance Series? Send an email info@ridesolutions.org to learn more.