MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - With the 200th birthday of both the city of Montgomery and the state of Alabama nearing, a group of residents recently shared ideas with the Public Arts Commission on how to mark the bicentennial.
Kalonji Gilchrist shared his idea for creating artistic bus wraps to mark the historic occasions, and the art commission got to work putting everything in place to make it happen.
Two Montgomery artists, Bill Ford and Chris Hardy, were chosen to design their work on the city’s bus fleet.
Ford, who worked for decades as the art director at WSFA 12 News, designed “A River Runs to It,” which draws on the entire history of Montgomery.
It depicts people, places and events that impacted the nation and includes Andrew Dexter’s merger of New Philadelphia and Gen. John Scott’s Alabama Town. Others include names like the Wright Brothers, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, Dr. Percy Julian, Gov. George C. Wallace, Rev. Martin Luther King, Winton “Red” Blount and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.
Hardy, an advertising design instructor at Lanier High School, came up with the “All Together Now!” theme which uses the expressive nature of graffiti to show the vibrant future of the city and state.
The layered textures are said to mimic the walls of subway trains in cities like New York, hoping viewers feel its energy, the same that reverberates throughout Montgomery.
Quotes are also included from those like George Bernard Shaw, Eleanor Roosevelt and Alabama native Jesse Owens.
Montgomery was founded Dec. 3, 1819, while Alabama’s statehood was granted a little over a week later on Dec. 14, 1819.
The buses are already in service and can be seen around the city.