Bus Wrap Contest

Vote for Your Favorite Design for the First-Ever Public Art Installation  

Now it's your turn to choose the design for our first-ever public art installation on our Nevada County Connects buses. Please choose the pieces you feel best represent the county's diverse population, love for the arts, the outdoors, and the community.  Each piece created for this project reflects what draws the artist to Nevada County.  

Want to vote?

A colorful rainbow bus caricature with the words Vote for the bus art! (Click the image above to vote!)

About the Project      

Nevada County Transit is pleased to announce their new brand Nevada County Connects and Nevada County Now. The Gold Country Stage will soon be retired in favor of the new name Nevada County Connects or Nevada County Now. 

In celebration of the new name and as the only rural county with two (2) Cultural Arts Districts, a public art installation featuring eleven (11) Nevada County Connects buses is underway. The goal of this project is to spotlight the culturally diverse population of residents, love for the arts, the outdoors, and our community. The artwork created for this project reflects A colorful rainbow art palette and brush caricature with the words Vote for the bus art!what draws the artist to Nevada County.

The process included a call to local artists to submit their personal art in hopes of making our local buses stand out as well as feature the true Nevada County feel. Artists were encouraged to create a visual representation of their “version” of Nevada County in the form of a design. The deadline to submit artwork was May 14, 2021. The pieces then went through an extensive jurying process for fit, style, and ultimately ranking. The seven (7) pieces you see today represent the results of the process. The final piece of artwork selected through public participation will be displayed as a single vinyl bus wrap on eleven buses. The artist of this piece will be awarded $3,000.

Meet the Artists

Neighborhood Center for the Arts Featuring Lauren Lombard

Artist Statement: NCA’s joins clients with the local fabric of Nevada County’s culture, flora, and fauna. Many NCA Artists understand Nevada County from the view of a bus window, which provides access to opportunities like local commerce, friends, and rare wealth of inspiring vistas. Their interpretations of this region are re-imaginings of the timeless wonder that has pulled people here from all over. Local events like the Nevada County Fair, local street markets, music performances, and the local parks provide them with community and rejuvenation. Their artwork represents these experiences nurtured by a unity that has enriched their artistic journey through goodwill, care, and support.
Work of Art Statement: Our intent is to share a visually intriguing collaboration that represents joyful vitality, awe, and gratitude for Nevada County, a community that hosts a rare and inspiring fabric of wild beauty, kindness, and opportunity. With a collection of singular images created by individual NCA Artists, we have composed an original and layered digital artwork in the spirit that we feel reflects the invitingly playful yet wildly untouched energy of this region.

Text "Being Different IS Life" foothills, trees, sun/moon, roller skate with 2 characters wavi

Sara Smith

Website: saralsmith.com
Artist Statement: I am a fine ar/st, public art inclusivity activist, mother, and community advocate. My work connects people to an experience of wilderness that transcends the decora/ve symbolism found in mountain communities like ours by layering elements of human influence into larger-than-life portraits of wildlife that we idolize. I explore the remnants and habits of humans in relationship to the wilderness, and use materials that speak to that intersection: reclaimed upholstery fabric, spray paint, stencils, graffiti/ markers, building materials, historic references like reclaimed pier wood, nods to ideas of preciousness with gold leaf, connec/ng all with tradi/onal materials and techniques.
Work of Art Statement: Spirit Bear encompasses many of my feelings about this beautiful place I gratefully call home. In it, you see a twilit mountain scene with a large bear in the foreground. Her body is semitransparent and incorporates the moon, water, and both fade into and emerges out of the land: the intrinsic connection of wildlife and wilderness. Within her body are layers of imagery and words, as well as in the landscape to which she, and we, are /ed. Spirit Bear is a reflection of our universal interconnection with our lived environment and the magic and stewardship associated with that connection.Foothills with river in front, bear walking in moon light with iridescence on back from moon..

Jessica Cook

Website: jessicacook.co
Artist Statement: Jessica Cook is a California native with a deep love for the beauty of nature. As an artist, she enjoys exploring the intersection of color and modern shapes to evoke a sense of delight and curiosity. The resulting work is caught in a state of metamorphosis, changing and blending, as traditional subjects turn into contemporary design.
Work of Art Statement: Adventure is for everyone–no matter the season or place in Nevada County. This artwork highlights iconic locations and some of my favorite places in North Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Truckee. The sites, scenes, and history blend together as the artwork moves from winter, spring, summer, and fall. The pattern reveals both recognizable landscapes and hidden imagery for the locals from the two cultural art districts. I hope viewers will discover new places and hidden gems in the artwork, just as I continue to find new joys in Nevada County.


Pamela Hodges

Artist Statement: I am a life-long artist residing and working in Nevada County since 1990. I am an illustrator, graphics artist and theatre artist (sets and visual elements) currently the Artistic Director of the UpStart Theatre Company. I had a previous 26 year career as a glass artist, turning to the theatre in 2000. I am the recipient of numerous awards for my work, including the Leland and Sally Lewis Award for Visual Artist, February 2020.
Work of Art Statement: I am submitting a collection of several images representing cultural, animal, and environmental elements of Nevada county.Foothills with river flowing in middle, rocks on side, local animals, bikers, musical pieces.

Jerianne Van Dijk

Artist Statement: I wanted to bring the nature of our area to life. It's called "Bus Trip" it's my pleasure to live here and it is my hope it brings joy. A bit of fun and whimsy to people in going around our towns. It's simply what it is. As an illustrator living here, it was my one opportunity to get everyone together for the ride.
Work of Art Statement: I propose this for the side of the busses.

Many animals seen through bus windows with the mountains, clouds, trees, and river around them.
Jan Pellizzer

Website: shopnevadacounty.com
Artist Statement: Creative Spirits Art Studio is located in beautiful Chicago Park. Alcohol inks, acrylics and watercolors are the tools for my stories. My hope is to share the free-flowing beauty of colors and brighten days. Vibrant, uplifting colors - blending, swirling, shaping our creative visions and dreams. A self-taught visual artist, I create from my heart and soul - drawing inspiration from the beauty of nature that surrounds me.
Work of Art Statement: I have lived in Nevada County for 21 years and have enjoyed every moment of the mountains, rivers, forests, lakes, and peaceful creative lifestyle. I created this artwork which visually describes what is most important to our County residents and visitors - clean water, rural countryside, sustainable farms growing abundant crops. This artwork will cheerfully portray what we all love, and I look forward to being a part of this creative process to enhance the beauty of Nevada County.

The sun shining over a grid of countryside with many uses, river in the middle, big tree on side.

Denise Wey

Artist Statement: Paying homage to the power and beauty of Nature is the core of my artistic purpose; this journey, I continue to explore the River’s many moods and seasons. I’m inspired by the soothing influence of water on our collective dreaming soul. It is fascinating to look at, be with and paint. Our Yuba River is alive, vibrant, breathtakingly beautiful, and sacred. It is truly the heart’s blood of our community, motivating activism for its protection. The river inspires adventures, paintings, prose, and song for many of us. Our buses provide vital public transportation throughout our county.
Work of Art Statement: Each photograph of a painting would have a transparent edge, allowing for an overlap and background color or texture. The wrap is printed material; therefore, my materials would be digital reproductions of the original Denise Wey paintings. My concept intent is to portray a readily identifiable image of the Yuba River, a symbol of Nevada County, thereby inspiring interest as well as community pride and unity.

Poppies looking over a riverbank with water flowing by and a beach on the far side of the river.