UPASS celebrates 20-year anniversary with art competition

The “Platinum Partnership” art exhibit, named after the anniversary metal for 20 years, is a component of a year-long celebration in honor of the 20th anniversary of the UPASS partnership between UAA Parking Services and Anchorage People Mover. The call for artists gives students an opportunity to display their artwork not only for the university, but also for the community as well.

Photo credit: Christian Cielo

“It’s important to recognize that we’ve reached this milestone,” Glenna Muncy, director of Parking Services, said. “This puts a spotlight on the relationship we have with People Mover and the ways the university is trying to be a good community partner not just with our surrounding neighbors, but also the city as a whole.”

Artwork submitted in the “Platinum Partnership” exhibit aimed to “capture the positive aspects of public transportation,” according to Parking Services’ web page. Pieces of all mediums from digital to drawings were accepted for consideration. Submissions were open exclusively to UAA students.

The piece selected for the grand prize, or People’s Choice Award, will be featured on the cover of the 2019 People Mover ride guide. Other prizes include the Hungry Artist Award, rewarding the winner with both a Blaines Art and Spenard Roadhouse gift card.

“[The exhibit] is going to show how the younger minds view public transportation in their world,” Whitney Tillman, marketing supervisor for People Mover, said. “While a driver is frustrated because they get stuck behind a bus, a college student is thankful because they get to ride the bus for free and save their money for other opportunities that they come upon in college.”

UAA was one of the first institutions to partner with People Mover. With UPASS, students registered on-campus and taking three or more credits have the ability to ride People Mover buses for free, along with Valley Mover and the Seawolf Shuttle, by simply swiping their Wolfcard. This is valid on any route, at any time and on any day the bus is operating.

“[The partnership] is a mechanism to encourage the younger generation to take advantage of public transportation and build good habits now for the future,” Tillman said.

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The exhibit will coincide with the annual “No Big Heads” juried exhibition in the Hugh McPeck Gallery. On the opening night of “No Big Heads,” pieces from The Platinum Partnership, along with ride guide covers from years past, will be on display outside of the gallery. Anyone who views the artwork that night, whether they are affiliated with the university or not, will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite. The piece that receives the most votes will win the People’s Choice Award.

The “Platinum Partnership” art exhibit will take place from Oct. 18 to Nov. 6 outside of the Hugh McPeck Gallery on the second floor of the Student Union. To vote for your favorite piece, join in on the opening reception of “No Big Heads” on Oct. 18 at 5 p.m.