Art on a Bus!?

The Idea

Our town hosts an annual Art Walk the first weekend in May.  A group of teachers along with the support of the community came up with the idea of an art bus for this event because we wanted the art walk to include something unique – something that had never been done before!

The Art Bus is a vehicle (literally!) to display students’ artwork from elementary to high school!  People board the bus at the front and then walk through the gallery of artwork and exit towards the rear.  As people walk through the bus they can see how the students’ skill level advances from year to year.

Organizing the Event

The elementary, middle school (that’s me), and high school art teachers, along with the private school’s art teacher got together a month or so before this event to make sure all of our ducks were in a row.  We called to get the bus reserved and also divided this event into shifts.  During the event, there was always an art teacher close by to answer any questions about the bus display or the students’ artwork.

Set Up

So, how’d we do it?  Setting up the bus was easy.  We tried to show a variety of artwork from throughout the school year, including both 2D & 3D artwork.  Wooden boards were placed on top of the bus seats to convert into display tables.  To display my students’ pottery work I tipped some bowls of various sizes upside down and covered them with a few yards of black fabric.  This created various heights and a professional touch to help showcase my students’ 3D pottery.


The Funding

One problem was how to fund this bus. Between the cost of the mileage and paying a driver to bring the bus to the site, it wasn’t expensive, about $40, but we still needed to find a way to fund it.

We came up with the solution of asking local banks if they would be willing to sponsor the Art Bus!

First National Bank in town sponsored the bus.  We advertised the Art Walk event by putting together a display case at the bank, which helped to spread the word about both the Art Bus and their support. The bank then provided us with a fantastic banner to put on the Art Bus during the Art Walk to advertise their business and sponsorship. It was a huge win-win for all parties involved!


This year was the third year that the art teachers teamed up to present the Art Bus.  Every year we make tweaks and changes.  The reason we keep doing it year after year is the positive reaction that we get from people both at the event and the following week at school.  It makes my Monday when a student proudly exclaims that they saw their artwork displayed on the Art Bus!

Check out more details about this event right here.

Transforming a school bus into a temporary art gallery is a creative way to help set the students’ art apart!

 What is the most unique and unusual way you have ever displayed student art?

 [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Chelsie teaches middle school art, loves using technology in her 1:1 iPad School, and is one of the new members of the AOE Team. Learn more about all of our writers, including Chelsie, on the About Page.[/author_info] [/author]

Chelsie Meyer

This article was written by former AOE writer and technology guru Chelsie Meyer.


  • Eukent

    Do you have any idea how many pieces of artwork  you were able to display on the bus?  Very clever idea!!

    • Thanks so much Eukent! I have a great team of teachers that I work with which helps make it all possible.

      That is a great question! You know we have never really counted, but if I had to guess I would say around 150 or so.  We try to display as many pieces as we can, but we do not want it to look too crowded.   

      Our elementary art teacher had her iPad on display so people walking through could browse through her camera roll.  This was a nice addition since we are a 1:1 school.   

  • Marciadotcom

    Awesome idea!

  • This is so fantastic!!! I would love to do this! Who made the boards? The art bus 2 I think I will have to call ours. 

    • Thanks! We had the local lumber yard cut the boards for us.  I believe they ripped a sheet of 4′ x 8′ 1/2″ chip board in half. 

      A community member offered to pay for them, he actually stores them for us and brings them to the site each year. 

      I like that! The Art Bus 2 :) I think we are on to something.

  • This is a great idea! As a PTO member, I definitely want to share this with the board. It is such a natural and affordable setting for displaying student work. What a unique art gallery and sure to attract plenty of attention to make the kids feel really good about their creative work.

    • Thanks! That is great to hear that you want to share this idea with your board!

      It is fun to walk through the bus.  Shortly after walking through the first time, my 2 year old daughter was pulling me back towards the front of the bus for another walk through!

  • Cerretda

    Terrific idea! 

  • Hannah

    Someone local here actually has a “traveling” gallery as she duplicates her student work onto giant sheets of magnet and then places them on her minivan. It’s awesome! It’s interchangeable and interactive as she even has a spot for people to write and leave comments. 

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  • Cathy

    Love this!! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  • Pstevens

    I went out and asked local business’ for $500 to buy billboards to display student art. I actually had ten agree to do it!

    • That is AMAZING, Pat! Wow. You have the magic touch. See you in CB in a few weeks! Come find me at the AOE booth.

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