UT, KAT Help Knox Students Focus on Environment With Art Contest

Murals by Bailey Lawlor, from top, Taylor Jenkins and Hannah Allen will be shown on or inside KAT buses and trolleys as part of an art contest celebrating the environmental impact of public transportation. Lawlor and Allen attend Powell High School, while Jenkins is a Bearden High School student.

Murals by Bailey Lawlor, from top, Taylor Jenkins and Hannah Allen will be shown on or inside KAT buses and trolleys as part of an art contest celebrating the environmental impact of public transportation. Lawlor and Allen attend Powell High School, while Jenkins is a Bearden High School student.

You might notice a colorful change to Knoxville Area Transit buses thanks to some artistic Knox County high-schoolers and UT’s Center for Transportation Research.

The center and KAT recently held a contest for students to enter their best drawings and designs for potential use on buses and trolleys throughout town.

“We wanted to create art in some highly visible ways that helped promote public transit and the environmental benefit that increased ridership brings,” said DeAnna Flinchum, a research director with the center.

Sponsored in part by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the winners were Bailey Lawlor, of Powell High School; Taylor Jenkins, of Bearden High School; and Hannah Allen, also of Powell.

As first-place winner, Lawlor’s art will be displayed on the sides of forty buses and trolleys, while art from Jenkins and Allen, who finished second and third, respectively, will be shown inside eighty vehicles.

“This is part of an overall grant program to encourage young people to be aware of and consider careers in transit, part of which is to start educating students on the benefits of transit to a city and to an individual,” said KAT Director of Communications and Service Development Belinda Woodiel-Brill.

“I really have to give UT the credit, as it was their proposal that made this happen.”

Woodiel-Brill explained the art contest was intended to take their slogan—”Ride for Change”—and have students think about the benefits of public transportation and translate them into art.

She said that change could come in many forms, from monetary costs of taking transit versus owning a vehicle to the environmental impacts involved.

In addition to having the winners’ works of art displayed, students also received gift cards for their efforts.

CONTACT:

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)