Artist Larassa Kabel Commissioned for Fourth Public Art Bus Wrap

May 26, 2016  |   Feature,   Initiatives,   Local
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Des Moines, IA — The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation announces that the artist Larassa Kabel has been commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind design which will be wrapped around a large transit bus. The project is part of the Foundation’s Project Spaces initiative, which places compelling, temporary works of art in highly accessible and visible public spaces.

The Bus Wrap project is in partnership with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART). The bus wrap project began with an open call to which 45 artists from 21 states submitted applications. A team of art professionals reviewed more than 325 images and finalists were commissioned to create concept proposals. A series of DART buses have been wrapped with unique and colorful compositions. The first design by artist Alex Brown was unveiled in November 2014. Since then, a design by Jay Vigon was unveiled in June 2015. and the third design by Susan Chrylser White was recently unveiled in March 2016.

Larassa Kabel’s design will be the fourth in a series, and will be unveiled at a ceremony in June during the Des Moines Arts Festival.

“I am so thrilled to announce Larassa Kabel as our next featured artist,” said M. Jessica Rowe, director of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation. “A large transit bus is a challenging format for any artist, yet it is a perfect fit for Larassa to engage the public in what will be a whimsical and stunningly creation.”


Artist Larassa Kabel working in her studio
Artist Larassa Kabel working in her studio



Larassa Kabel is known for creating works of art in a highly distinctive style of photorealism. Kabel’s large-scale artwork, especially her drawings of elegant, free-falling horses “mesmerized viewers in their skill and beauty.” She earned a BFA (1982) from Iowa State University and has exhibited her work in solo shows including the Des Moines Art Center, PEEL Gallery in Houston, TX, and SOHO 20, New York City. Her group exhibitions are extensive and national.


Conceptually, my art usually falls into emotionally challenging work. However, because of where this art will be displayed and who will be encountering it, I played with a different way that art can bring joy – comedy. I wanted to have the bus be an art ambassador of joy, something that comes up unexpectedly but brings a spark of happiness.” – Larassa Kabel


The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, established in 2004, recognizes that art belongs not just in galleries and museums, but also in streetscapes, parks, buildings and infrastructures of a thriving community. Dedicated to envisioning, developing, advancing and promoting public art projects, the Public Art Foundation collaborates with local entities and artists to engage, inspire and enrich the lives of residents and visitors to the community. The goal is to increase awareness of our community as a world-class destination for public art.