Birmingham community turns bus stops into stained glass art galleries across Handsworth

Seven new bus stops along Birmingham’s busy Soho Road have been converted into art galleries to celebrate the region’s diverse communities and history.

China Plate Theater artist Nilupa Yasmin has spent months working with local groups to create the dazzling bus stop displays along National Express West Midlands route number 74 between Dudley and Birmingham.

Reflecting on how buses continued to operate throughout the lockdown, ensuring hundreds of thousands of key workers were able to get to work, On Our Way celebrates how, despite route 74 barely changing, the people who use it and the buildings around it have. The experience of the pandemic is only one episode in its long history.

Rakesh Soni and Arihant Parekh from Soho Road BID at one of the great bus stops

The stained glass style wrapping of each bus shelter tells a different story about the area and its people. These include collages created with the Soho Road Business Improvement District (BID) celebrating the region’s range of independent businesses and another, from the Black Heritage Walks Network, highlighting workers’ civil rights struggles Windrush generation buses.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is responsible for over 5,000 bus shelters in the region, worked with China Plate, Birmingham Hippodrome, Soho Road BID and National Express West Midlands to package the bus shelters with the designs.

The seven groups that designed the bus stops are:

  • Soho Road BID – inspired by the variety of thriving independent local businesses on Soho Road
  • South and City College Birmingham
  • Holyhead School
  • Handsworth Library
  • BID Services’ based at the Deaf Cultural Center
  • Association of Handsworth Schools
  • Black Heritage Walks Network – incorporating photographs by renowned Handsworth photographer Vanley Burke

Deborah Bonnique from the Handsworth Association of Schools said: “We have been very privileged to be part of the On Our Way project. We pride ourselves on creating opportunities for our youth and local schools to participate in experiences that will leave a legacy within their community. These bus stops are certainly a great example of this and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Bob Balu of Soho Road BID said, “On Our Way has been a success for Soho Road, bringing much needed art, culture and rejuvenation to our bustling and vibrant shopping district. The Soho Road BID worked closely on this project and was pleased that it had accelerated the installation of 11 brand new bus shelters at stops that were in desperate need of replacement along the 74 bus route in our BID area.

Nilupa Yasmin, artist curator of On Our Way, said: “Soho Road is a road that is part of many generations. Many pieces of art history document the altered landscapes around us and our mini bus stop galleries tell you all the stories we’ve heard and we want you to be part of them too.

Aksana Khan, Associate Producer of On Our Way, said: “Residents happily remixed photos from the Birmingham Museum Trust’s Picture Library with images on their phones, social media and family albums. We hope with these end results, the eye-catching designs will capture your attention as you walk past/wait for the bus!”

On Our Way artist Nilupa Yasmin chats with Daniel Richards, the barber who runs Dallaz

Senior member of TfWM’s Transport Delivery Committee, Cllr Chaman Lal (Soho and Jewelery Quarter), said: “The community has come up with some fantastic ideas and designs and that together with our partners we have been nothing but too much. happy to transform into these mini art. galleries on the bus shelters of Soho Road.

“They’ve really brightened up the street and maybe make waiting for their bus a little more enjoyable for people and maybe encourage a few more to try the bus.”

Anita Bhalla, Acting President of GBSLEP, said, “This project has been supported by GBSLEP’s Cultural Action Zones (CAZ) pilot program, which aims to create thriving and vibrant places for all. We have awarded grants that, along with other funding, support the recovery of local businesses, cultural organizations and communities.

“It’s fantastic to see organizations come together to co-create these pieces of bus shelter art. The importance of making our local areas attractive cannot be underestimated as a catalyst for investment and instilling pride at home – a driver for our mission to drive inclusive economic growth in the region. »

On Our Way is presented as part of Birmingham Festival 2022 and supported by National Lottery funding through Arts Council England and additional support from Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), the Garfield Weston Foundation and TfWM.


You can find more information about the On Our Way project here.

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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/2022/05/20/birmingham-community-turn-bus-stops-stained-glass-art-galleries-across-handsworth/https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/On-Our-Way-artist-Nilupa-Yasmin-right-chatting-to-Daniel-Richards-800×533.jpeghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/On-Our-Way-artist-Nilupa-Yasmin-right-chatting-to-Daniel-Richards-300×200.jpegStaff reporterArtsCommunityNewsstreet lifeTransportationRoute 74,Aksana Khan,Arihant Parekh,Art,Artists,B’ham,Birmingham,Black Heritage Walks,Brum,bus stops,bus,China Plate Theatre,Commonwealth Games Festival,Deborah Bonnique,Dudley,galleries,Gallery, Handsworth, Handsworth Association of Schools,I Am Birmingham,National Express West Midlands,Nilupa Yasmin,route number 74,On Our Way,Rakesh Soni,Soho Rd,Soho Road,Soho Road BID,stained glass art,streets,Transport for West Midlands , Vanley Burke, West Midlands, Generation WindrushSeven new bus stops along Birmingham’s busy Soho Road have been converted into art galleries to celebrate the region’s diverse communities and history. China Plate Theater artist Nilupa Yasmin has spent months working with local groups to create the dazzling displays at bus stops along the National Express West…The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham

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