Smile Politely

MTD’s Juneteenth bus will drive your curiosity to learn more

A bright blue city bus is colorfully illustrated for Juneteenth with images of Frederick Douglass, a Black man with grey hair and a black and white suit, as well as images of young Black faces looking up through virtual reality glasses.
MTD’s 2024 Juneteenth bus; Photo by Amy Penne

Blackmau artists Stacey “BLACKSTAR” Robinson and Kamau “DJ Kamaumau” Grantham teamed up to design this year’s Juneteenth bus for MTD and it is stunning in all the best ways. Every inch of the bus combines my two great passions: education and art. MTD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee worked with these two brilliant artists to create this year’s bus and mobile exhibit.

Robinson and Grantham utilize digital collage aesthetics that are influenced by, and digitally mimic the visual and sonic production methods of the music cultures that influenced them through digital collage and sound creation. This is to prompt a conversation of Black liberation and freedom as a reality not yet fulfilled. Their works demystify the weightier conversations of Black people’s erasure from future spaces, by creating images that are to be interpreted through a visually strange or obscure discourse. The future is as real as it is surreal. By centralizing Black people within the narrative, BLACKMAU prompts the audience to imagine themselves in the spaces with the subject and to thoughtfully consider what that means.

MTD information handout

MTD”s Juneteenth Bus and Mobile Exhibit
Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Event
King Park
Urbana
Sa June 22
Noon to 4 p.m.
Free

Arts Editor

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