The city of Stavanger, Norway has commissioned eight street artists to paint custom designs on their fleet of public buses, creating what they believe to be the largest official art-bus commission in the world. Curated by the Nuart Festival, which brings muralists from all over the world to the 180,000-person municipality each year, the first four artists include Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic (previously), Add Fuel from Portugal, Norwegian artist Martin Whatson, and Hama Woods, who is referred to as Norway’s leading female street artist.
Anyone who's been to Burning Man has been seeing art buses for years, often more outrageously modified than the ones in Stavanger. The Norwegian boom-bust oil town, in the process of rebranding itself as an "Art City," isn't the first to commission an artist to paint a bus, either. There are examples in El Paso, Vancouver, and Ontario, and Spanish artist Okuda recently painted an entire train in Kiev, to name a few. But these appear to be one-offs, while Stavanger's Kolombus bus company has agreed a three-year plan to commission a larger fleet of art buses. “It's different, and as far as I know, it's not been done before," says Whatson. "Stavanger is Norway's street art capital, so it fits perfectly into the city.”
The first of the buses, Add Fuel’s Rosemaling, is already rolling through Stavanger's streets, while the other seven will be introduced in the coming weeks.
The Nuart Festival 2017 will take place from August 31–September 2. Learn more here.