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CAT and JAUNT All Wrapped Up in Art

by Tom Tom Staff

You voted, we tallied, and they wrapped! We are pleased to present the 2018 City Art Bus winners – for the first time, we have TWO! One design will be featured on a CAT bus, and another on a JAUNT bus for the duration of the year.

Four Years of Art Bus Initiatives


In the four-year running annual initiative, Tom Tom Festival and Charlottesville have seen buses decked in art come and go, bringing diversity and joy to the city streets and the over 200,000 commuters and pedestrians.

Bus Wrapping!


This year, our TWO bus winners’ works take us back to our roots, here on Earth and far out in the Universe. The designs exemplify the versatility of art, and remind us all of our footprints and impact on the environment and place in space as we continue to explore our horizons.

If you’re an artist and want to see your art displayed annually on a city bus, be sure to submit an entry later on this year! For everyone else, don’t forget to vote when we release the entries. It’s up to you, Charlottesville, to pick what you want to see rolling around the community!

City Art Bus Initiative

CAT Bus Artist


Sam Gray – Nature: “My art usually portrays the blending of humans and their natural world in a kind of anthro-botanical surrealism.” Her ethereal pieces agree with that notion. “Nature” was chosen to wrap the 20′ CAT bus for the 2018 year, after receiving the right amount of votes by the community.

Sam is a member of McGuffey Art Center and works there as an artist, illustrator, and freelance graphic designer. Her work spans various media from painting and drawing to printing and ceramics, but throughout it all she often features a confluence of people and nature. She was born and raised in Northern Virginia and studied graphic design at the University of Georgia, graduating summa cum laude in 2012.

Sam Gray & “Nature”


After a soul-crushing design studio internship, Sam traveled internationally for a year and a half. During those travels she volunteered on organic farms and reconnected with nature through communing with the wild, growing plants, and caring for animals. In 2016 she became an Incubator Artist at the McGuffey Art Center, reigniting her childhood dream of becoming an artist. Sam is now a full member at McGuffey and is preparing for her first two solo shows this year: the first is in July at McGuffey and the second in December at Studio IX.

“Being in nature centers my spirit. Even taking the time to notice the trees in yards or weeds in the sidewalk is healing, and I hope that my bus will help remind people to take the time to seek out that magical state,” says Gray.

JAUNT Bus Artist


Andrew Stronge – Outerspace: “I’ve always been a fan of robots & retro futurism to the point it’s become a niche,” says Stronge of his art. Indeed, his spread that will wrap a 15′ JAUNT bus for the duration of the year, features an eccentric choreography of planets, comets, rockets, shuttles, and stars. One can’t help but think of the “final frontier” when seeing it, and our collective mission to put humankind on Mars.

As for his work being seen by the hundreds of thousands of riders and pedestrians, says Stronge, “I designed something that would make me smile and hopefully others too. I’d love to see and hear kids pointing it out as it’s going down the road.”

Stronge is a freelance designer based in Charlottesville: he has worked for Crazy Horse Studio,

But we all know being an artist is no walk in the park. Stronge is upbeat, positive, and encouraging, though: “Don’t be scared to fail when putting yourself out there, a lot of practice, patience, and determination will get you there.”

Here, there, everywhere – see Stronge’s “Outerspace” on a JAUNT bus near you this year beginning March 30.

See Art Events

More Artistic Events


Can’t get enough of the art programs at Tom Tom? Neither can we! This year, we are pleased to bring you a swath of beautifully inclusive artist residency programs, competitions, workshops, classes, and galleries to peruse and register for.


ResidenciesEvery year, Tom Tom highlights artisitic masterminds who are bettering the community with their art. This year, attend workshops and classes with Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein, Charlottesville’s favorite salsa instructor Edwin Roa, the powerful Charlottesville Ballet troupe, and the incredible percussionist Darrell Rose!

Artisanal Tom Tom: The open-air market and showcase for local an regional creativity, ranging from upcycled furniture, artisanal food goos, to handmade toys, crafts, and rogiinal works for final art. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir to remember an incredible week!

#featured #Ideas #News

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The Tom Tom Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN: 46-2048771