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Officials Join High School Artists in Unveiling “Knee Wall” Mosaics at County Bus Stops

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT) Acting Director Al Roshdieh joined Arts on the Block Director Jan Goldstein and student artists from Rockville, Wheaton, and Richard Montgomery high schools in unveiling one of 20 mosaic designs installed on the “knee walls” of County bus stops – located at Hungerford Drive and Jefferson Avenue in Rockville.

Four hundred and twenty-two “knee walls” have been constructed at sloped County bus sites to prevent wheelchairs from rolling onto dangerous terrain and provide seating for waiting passengers. The knee walls are part of an eight-year, $11 million County DOT project that has improved 91 percent of the County’s 3,325 bus stops to meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards.

“This is a great partnership,” said County Executive Leggett. “Our Department of Transportation has teamed up with Arts on the Block and 16 student artists to help decorate County knee walls with mosaics. This is a great product – but even greater is the experience this gave young people in designing and presenting artistic ideas.”

"Within a period of five weeks, Arts on the Block apprentice artists created dozens of designs from which 20 were selected, and proceeded to create the mosaics for installation -- on time and within budget -- developing both artistic and transferable job skills,” said Goldstein. “By commissioning the talented young apprentices of Arts on the Block to create 20 new mosaic insets for bus stop knee walls, Montgomery County Department of Transportation has brightened the commutes for thousands of individuals every day of the year - for years to come."

Arts on the Block is the only organization in the Washington, DC area offering youth the opportunity to learn about the intersection of art, design and business by engaging them in real-world art projects. Today, hundreds of individual artworks — from park benches to large-scale murals — grace public and private spaces throughout the area. These commissions transform neighborhoods and youth in their pursuit of creativity, collaboration and community. For more information about Arts on the Block, visit www.artsontheblock.com.

The designs were installed by a contractor and each knee wall has a plaque stating the name of the artist and the name of the design. Participating students received a stipend and earned MCPS Student Learning Hours. The County paid $41,000 for materials and installation.

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Release ID: 16-012
Media Contact: Patrick LacefieldĀ 240-777-6507