SCP Arts

Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

This public art installation is a collaboration between Metro TransitSCP Arts, and the College of Arts and Sciences SOLV Initiative. All drawings by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson.  

Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

Sarah Nelson, artist, and SCP Artist-in-Residence. Photo by Metro Transit.

Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

Left to Right: Fatoumata Jaiteh, JPST student; Mike Klein, JPST professor; Sarah Nelson, SCP Artist-in-Residence; Maria Dahmus, SCP Director; Kelly Morrell, Metro Transit. Photo by Dane Pedersen.

Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

Exterior of train car, illustrated by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson. Photo by Dane Pedersen.

Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

Interior of train car, illustrated by Sarah Nelson. Photo by Maria Dahmus.

About the Installation

The Exterior:  Transit Transformations


Dr. Mike Klein's Leadership for Social Justice (JPST 365) students collaborated with SCP Partner Kelly Morrell, Commuter Programs Specialist with Metro Transit, to explore the diverse stories of transit riders - why transit was important to them.  

Students discovered that transformation was a common theme underlying transit riders' stories.  Students co-envisioned the illustration of the monarch butterfly's lifecycle with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson to express their research.  This illustration is both the cover of their book and became the exterior wrap of a Green Line light rail train car for Earth Week 2019! Special thanks to Metro Transit for funding this installation! 


About their book:  Transit Transformations presents individual stories of people connected to transit in order to narrate a larger collective  story about the role of transit in sustainable communities and social justice. Transit has been central to historical social movements, from the Underground Railroad to the Montgomery Bus Boycott to Black Lives Matter. These collected stories - all connected to transit - describe relationship and community, analyze equity and dignity, and suggest action through policy and practice. This volume represents a story of leadership for social justice and peacebuilding told through narrative constructed by students in a Justice and Peace Studies course, in collaboration with the Sustainable Communities Partnership at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota, USA), and with community partner Metro Transit.

The Interior:  Nature, Community, and Public Transportation

The interior of the light rail car is also fully illustrated by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson.  Her illustrations whimsically express the interdependent relationships between nature, sustainability, community, and public transportation.  The interior illustration is a collaboration with Metro Transit and funded by the College of Arts and Sciences SOLV Initiative.  Students in Mike Klein's Qualitative Methods: Research for Social Justice (JPST 298) also studied people's experiences riding in this fully illustrated light rail train car.


For questions about SCP Arts, please contact Dr. Maria Dahmus, Director, Sustainable Communities Partnership.


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