Client: San Diego Afro American Art Museum
Location: San Diego, CA, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $20,000
The story of the Civil Rights movement is a prominent part of American history. The peaceful protest by Freedom riders against the scourge of segregation was the focus of the “The buses are coming” exhibition. Many may have heard of the Freedom Riders. Still, they may not know that they were 300+ men and women, black and white ranging in age from 18 to 61, sitting side by side in a simple affirmation of shared humanity. The current climate of racial understanding makes “The Buses are coming” exhibition a timely framework for personal and public reflection. The planned outreach education program will engage people and conversation with honouring and understanding the Freedom rider’s personal stance against injustice 60 years ago.
In response to the experience of the Afro American Art museum being closed during the Covid pandemic, The Buses are coming exhibition focused on reaching new audiences beyond its visitor base. As a free exhibit in the heart of San Diego downtown, the exhibition aimed at connecting with people who do not usually visit museums.
The exhibit focused on an outreach educational program supported by QR codes to allow the viewer to engage directly with the extensive video and photographic content.
Metropolitan Transit Service promoted the exhibition on buses.
The project was sucesfully integrated with a downtown entertainment dance and restaurant lot thus attracting considerable new audience without effecting the commercial operation of this extensive venue. in fact the venue facilities allowed an extensive outreach art and education programme with for example the Youth Theatre of Harlem and other performance groups.
The design of the installation was a collaboration led by Studio Fink involving Diem Jones and Ben Marshall and a client input from the San Diego Afro American Art Museum
The opening of the installation was attended by the surviving Buses are comming riders and launched by the Secretary of the State of California Shirley N. Weber