SCP Arts

Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

This public art installation is a collaboration between Metro Transit; SCP Arts; Leadership for Social Justice (JPST 365); the College of Arts and Sciences SOLV Initiative; and SCP Artist-in-Residence and local, St. Paul-based artist, Sarah Nelson.  All illustrations are by 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


Illustrations co-envisioned by Mike Klein's Leadership for Social Justice students and illustrated by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson through a collaborative Metro Transit / SCP Arts project will be installed on the exterior of a light rail train during Earth Week 2019!  Special thanks to Metro Transit for funding this installation! 

Students collaborated with Kelly Morrell, Commuter Programs Specialist with Metro Transit, to explore the diverse stories of transit riders. Students discovered that transformation was a common theme underlying transit riders' stories.  Students co-envisioned this illustration with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson to express their research.  They also co-authored a book about their project, entitled Transit Transformations.

 About the 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 will also be fully illustrated by artist 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) will also study people's experiences riding in this fully illustrated light rail train car as part of the SOLV Initiative research.  Learn more about SCP Arts collaboration with the CAS SOLV Initiative here.

Learn more about this collaborative project in Metro Transit's Rider's Almanac.