September 21, 2015

Dear Division 16,

I’ve been captivated by the images in a new book called “Soviet Bus Stops”.  The Vancouver photographer who compiled this book has spent years cycling, driving and busing through Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The nation formerly known as the Soviet Union has become the countries we know today as Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia and 10 others.

For today’s assignment, I’d like you to read these articles about the book and finally to look at the images on the author / photographer’s website.  Here are the articles:

and the artist’s website (if you scroll down to the bottom you can see a larger gallery of photos from the book):

Once you have had a chance to look at the images and read the two articles, please think about and answer at least TWO of the following questions:

  1. What purpose do you think bus stops like this serve? Would bus stops like these in your community make waiting for the bus feel differently?
  2. Do you think public art is important?  Why or why not?
  3. Name at least one other public structure or space that you think could be improved if it were built by artists.

I look forward to your responses.  Enjoy the pictures!



  1. Amythest

    2. I think that public art is important because it welcomes new people and it just makes the area brighter. Also the artist can be proud of what they have done to make the area nicer.

  2. PG Dinosaur

    Public art is fun, it’s always awesome to wander around and find interesting things. This is something that I love about Europe. It is important because it makes people want to see things like bus stops, and it could encourage them to save energy by taking the bus. It gives a sense of community, an expression of the people who are there. Playgrounds could be improved artists by being more colorful and energetic, and besides being fun to play on, they could look cool too. Public art might make people more likely to go out in public and stay healthy.

    • dickensdiv16

      Great response, PG Dinosaur. You’re right, there are other countries where public art has more of a presence. It’s a great idea to combine important messages about energy saving and exercise with public art.

  3. Rouge

    #1 First of all I think that those bus stops in the Soviet Union were beautiful. I think that if we had that kind of public art in our community it would make waiting for a bus really interesting and inspiring to new art. I think that those bus stops serve a purpose and their purpose is to make people look around and to acknowledge art in new ways and to notice art all around you in your everyday life.
    #2 I think that public art is very important because it makes areas nicer and brighter but it also gives a message about pollution, education or change. Kind of like our wall projects. Public art also joins communities, friends, and families together because it creates a safe and friendly environment where people can meet up and spend time together.

    • dickensdiv16

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, Rouge. I agree that art has the potential to make huge change in the way that people think about the world around them. I love that you made the connection to our wall projects! I guess they are semi-permanent public art too. Nice. This is a thoughtful and energetic response, Rouge. Thank you for considering so many aspects in your post.


    #1 I think that they serve a very important purpose by making waiting for the bus more enjoyable for the people waiting. Because in the video they said that bus was one of the main ways of travel there.
    #2 I think that public art is very important for everybody. So they can see and feel the emotion that the artist has put into the art.

  5. dancing porcupine

    1. I don`t think that these are as practical as bus stops here but they are definitely nicer to look at. I think that these would make waiting for the bus feel differently because I would have something to do instead of just standing because I would be looking at the bus stop.
    2. I think that public art is important because it makes the city more colourful and it is inspiring to other artists.

    • dickensdiv16

      dancing porcupine, did you also enjoy the part of the article where the artist said “it’s not my problem. I’m an artist. I just need to make things beautiful.”? I actually laughed out loud. I love that! It’s funny how when we put together art and something functional, it has to satisfy the criteria for both things.

  6. Crazychicken lover

    I think that public art is important because it shows people that we are not
    a heartless country. Like in the former soviet union countries, they had some pretty bad times yet these beautiful arts give them hope that they can persevere through things. I give lots of credit to those amazing architects. In general, i think public structures are ok as long as they are appropiete. Public art is important because in a small judged country like kazakstan, its really important. It gives them hope through hard times.

    • dickensdiv16

      Crazychicken lover, your response is very cool. You’re right, there were some very hard times in the former Soviet Union, and yet, there was still a vibrant and creative community of artists and a real commitment to public art. I wonder who should decide about what is appropriate for a country or community?

  7. den10@sea43

    #2 I think that it is important because not every one is a famous artist so there work won’t be in the museum so this is just another way to show your creativity.
    #3 I think maybe trees could be one because we live of of them so this would be a way to respect them also I think that they are beautiful flora. also you could do that in a place with lots of trees like here it would be a way to attract tourists. and also because it is a creative activity

  8. vid30 g@m3r

    2. I think that public art is important in the world because in some places like in alleys it is really dark and what some people do is that they paint a mural and that really gives people something to look at and admire instead of a blank wall.

    3. I think that places like a soccer field would be better because if you are watching the game and you were waiting I would add maybe a painting on the background of the field so people can look at that as well as the game.

  9. xaxo6 04

    I think that public art is important because it is something people can look at and enjoy. It can also be very important because it’s a way people can enjoy other people’s individuality and express there thoughts about it. #2. I think bike-racks could be improved by artists. I’m just going to say something about these bus stops : they are absolutely fantastic and I would love to wait for the bus at one of these stops!

  10. Crazymemeslol123

    #1 I think it serves a good reason because most people that like art think it’s a good thing because when they are waiting for the bus they can check out the bus stop and take pictures so they can post it on Facebook or something like that. #2 I think having public art in Vancouver is great because people can use their inner artistic self and say everything they like about this wonderful bus stop.

  11. the DUDE

    Public art is very important because it has a big impact on the community. Like that huge statue of all the metal pixelated guys near Science World – something like that brings more creativity to the city. Each work of art inspires another work of art. The whole point of having art is to inspire other people, so it is good to have tons of art.

  12. Ginger

    I think that public art is very important because it means that artists get to go into the community and make statements about what they think is important. Sometimes public art can be a little over the top and unreasonable (like the giant poodle on Main St.), but most of the time it is enjoyable and fun to be around. I think that if artists were to build the garage/sheds in community gardens it would make it feel even more like a community because each one would be different and unique. It would also make it more fun to work and garden if there were even more colours and shapes than the plants and flowers

  13. Sr.Fruitcake

    #2 I think that Public Art is important. I think that we can learn from its design and I also feel that it makes the whole mood of the structure more happy. I think that artists should try to make the structure as fun as possible.
    #3 I think we could design playgrounds with artists. I think that it could make for a very interesting structure kids could find just as or more fun than the average playground that inhabits most of our parks. I do wonder if the artists on the playgrounds would do the same sort of thing as the artists who worked on the bus stops. The time has changed a lot and I wonder if that would throw the style of the art

  14. The Bean

    #1 Bus stops in Vancouver are all really the same and in my eyes and that’s pretty dull. These stops all around eastern EurAsia are each unique and beautiful. I think that really helps people appreciate their communities more and makes an otherwise boring commute far more interesting.
    #2 I’ve always found public art to be very important for many of the same reasons we talked about today, like belonging and pride. People will be proud of something enjoyable in there community so if you give them art it will not only make them happy but their community. Public art is also far more accessible than other forms of art and is there for everyone to see. Not everybody is able to pay money to go and see paintings by a famous artist or an expensive play. But anyone can enjoy public art when an where they want.
    #3 Firstly I might be slightly concerned if a building were built completely by artists because they might not have all the structural details in mind. But if I were to pick I think that a lot of streets in downtown Vancouver could use help from some art. Most of them are pretty drab and art on some of those empty building walls could really help the mood. There is a lot of them but I also think our bus stops and other public transit could use some art and it would definitely make our city a happier place.

  15. super cheese cake

    #2 I think that the public art is very important because some impressive art can let people feel happy when they’re upset.
    #3 I think countryside would be nice because countryside are more lonesome so they really need some art to cheer them up.

  16. baconguy

    #1.I think that the bus stops in the Soviet Union make a boring small structure into an amazing piece of art. It also makes the community look better and feel more welcoming. Generally, the bus stops improve the community. The bus stops would change waiting for the bus because instead of just waiting, people can look at the art and be interested in the amazing structure.
    #2.Public art is important because if there weren’t any, cities would be a lot more boring and bland. Public art is also important because without it some places would really be missing something.

  17. Arctic owl

    1 I think public art is important .because if we did not have public art the city would be not very colour full and art gives you a happy felling . I think one place that could be improved by artists is the roads i have always wanted the roads to have lots of colour .

  18. THEMANGO404

    #1 I think that it is great that there are bus stops like this because the artists get to express what they feel like for example: if an artist if feeling like something in the world is interesting them they can express their opinion of it, meanwhile they are creating something beautiful for public to see without paying money.
    #2 I think pubic art is important because it can do 1, 2, or all of these things #1 have something beautiful for people to look at. #2 have something in public that inspires people to do good things. #3 it makes it so that the artist doesn’t have to pay money to put their art in museum exhibition.
    #3 To start off I instantly think of Portland, Oregon, USA because I find that Portland is a really dull city because it its most flashy color is light brown so the artist that designed and made the bus stops could make the city of Portland far more interesting for the 700,000 people that live there.

  19. smeagaleater10

    #2) I think that public art is important because it makes newcomers feel welcome and residents see their communities as more joyful. I also think public art is important because it makes people that have been living in a place for a while feel that they have something special in their community. When there is new public art added to a location, it makes the residents feel intrigued.
    #3) Hospitals are public structures that could be improved by the help of artists. Hospitals should be efficient and beautiful at the same time and make the people visiting there feel not itimidated or scared. The patients in a hospital should be able to look at something interesting in their rooms or hallways.

    • The Bean

      smeageleater, I agree. hospitals are normally really dark and intimidating and artists would hopefully give patients and doctors a more positive mindset.

  20. The Baconator

    I think that it is important to have art because it can mark spot and if you are looking for directions someone can tell you where it is just by telling you to look for art. It also makes it feel brighter and happier.

  21. The Baconator

    I think that one of the things that can be improved is bike racks. If you walked up to a normal bike rack and actually thought about all of the ways you could change it you would realize that there are a lot. You could twist it, colour it, change the size I could go on and on and on.

  22. iron lanturn

    1 These bus stops serve like any other bus stop
    but they look different.having bus stops like these would
    be much different. Waiting for the bus would be more entertaining
    because your looking at the art but also then people will
    get detracted and will miss their bus.
    2 I think public art is
    important because people get to get to express themselves.
    by panting on something so people will enjoy it.

  23. Joaquin

    I think the bus stops photographed served the purpose of being accessible art; if you love art but you can’t afford to go to a gallery, you can enjoy public art at the bus stops. I think that the bus stops add color and uniqueness to where they are located, some are very unique in their structure and even though they don’t have a lot of color they stand out and make you wonder “Why was it made like that” and “What is the purpose of it”. When I thought about this question I didn’t really understand it, so I searched “the effects of public art” and found some articles about it. After reading the article “Why Public Art Is Important” @ I realized that public art is important because it can make you proud of your neighborhood, you don’t have to pay to see it and you don’t have to get dresses up to go to a public art space. Bus stops like this would be cool in our communities but I don’t know how long they would last before someone vandalizes them, because some people like doing stuff like that in public spaces.

    I think that if artists were involved in designing and creating schools it would make them look more unique and they could reflect their neighborhoods. Parks could be really cool if they were designed by artists because they could make one of a kind structures to play on and art structures all over the park.

  24. TechNerd

    #1 I feel that bus stops like these are cool and they really are beautiful and artistic. A lot of people use the bus everyday but I do not think waiting for the bus underneath these would really be that different, Some people may be really be amused but some people just stand underneath it for shelter and don’t pay close attention. Public art is not important or Bad, Public art is a Choice that a Community might want to have in their Community. Bus stops like these should be rare so it would be cool but at the same time they shouldn’t be placed all over the city because that would mean spending lot of Money and I am not sure Tax payers will be so happy about spending their Money on that.

  25. Soccerboy123ABC

    1# i think it makes everything so much more welcoming and cheerful it would be really cool to visit the bus stops . i think that they symbolize something but i am not sure what they symbolize.2# i think that another public structure that could be improved if it were built by an artist is walk in clinics because if you felt really bad the beautiful art might help you cheer up and feel a little bit better . also fountains and parks because it might make a lot more people go outside.

  26. Purple Pickle

    #1 I think these bus stops serve the purpose of people looking at them and say wow I wonder who designed that? and also to keep different people from getting bored while waiting for the bus, if these bus stops were in mr community it would make waiting for the bus feel different because i would be admiring the artwork instead of playing chopsticks with my friends. #2 I think public art is important because it’s inspiring other people to make other art and inspiring people to write books and also you can look at the art and wonder why they made it and what their motives were and as I said at the beginning so people don’t get bored while waiting for the bus.

  27. PandaTush

    1. If all bus stops were like that, I’m sure that it would make waiting for the bus a lot more fun and it lets your mind think about something when you wait, like: I wonder what inspired this artist? Or maybe why did this person want to make a bus stop more creative, it’s just a bus stop. I think that the artist made this bus stop, not for the credit, but to give to the people. That person was inspired, and maybe the person wanted to inspire others to. The purpose to me, was to let your imaganation take over, and to think of all the possibilitys that you could do.
    2. Public art is super important. It lets a person say what they need to say, in the form of art. They do it in public, because they want others to see what they think. It lets a person imagine and to exceed over expectations. It tells you something about that person.

  28. Shadow145

    2. I think that public art is important because it makes people feel more welcome to places that they have never been to 3. I think that the Sky train station should be more improved because it looks very old and not very colorful I think they should add some art there.

  29. Koshka2

    # I think that public art is very important because it is something that will bring color life to this world, color is something that is important in everyone life. If there was no color in this world people would hate it! Because color brings people together!!!!
    2# There is a thing called “Marloin” I think that what is’s called anyway, is it half loin and half mermaid. If it is was built by a artist I think that they would be built by someone who has talent of color and, a nice talent of a great  structure. :3

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