These Five Winning Artists' Work Will Beautify Muni Buses

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Art piece “Teens of San Francisco,” by Monica Tiulescu.

The top winner of Muni Art 2017, “Teens of San Francisco,” by Monica Tiulescu.

The votes are in - the five winning artists have been selected to have their inspirational work displayed on 100 Muni buses next year.

Here are the winners for Muni Art 2017, along with the number of votes they received:

  • "Teens of SF" by Monica Tiulescu (606 votes)
  • "Bit by Bit" by Lillian Shanahan (446 votes)
  • "Las Historias" by Luis Pinto (443 votes)
  • "City Walks" by Counterpoint Studio (Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine) (443 votes)
  • "Sight Seeing" by Todd Kurnat (443 votes)

These artists’ exceptional creations, crafted around the theme of “San Francisco Neighborhoods,” will brighten Muni commutes starting in January.

This is the second round of Muni Art, a partnership between the SFMTA and San Francisco Beautiful. This year, the program was doubled in size to 100 buses.

Art piece “Bit by Bit” by Lillian Shanahan.

“Bit by Bit” by Lillian Shanahan, the second prize winner.

“This project is a win-win for both the artists and the riding public who were engaged in the voting process from the very beginning,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “These local artists can be proud to showcase their work across our city, which will add another round of engaging art to our Muni trips.”

The winners rose to the top out of more than 53 applicants, who were narrowed down to 10 finalists and voted on by the public.

The finalists were chosen by a jury based upon quality of concept, expression of theme, diversity and the likelihood of the artist to be able to deliver the completed work by the November 4 deadline. The jury was comprised of members of the arts community including a member of the SF Arts Commission, a local art gallery owner, a working artist, a community arts programmer and a curator at a public art cultural center.

The public voted on the finalists throughout August via a link from the SF Beautiful website to

Art piece “Las Historias” by Luis Pinto.

“Las Historias” by Luis Pinto, one of three winners tied for third prize.

“This project is such an important addition to the San Francisco arts scene,” said SF Beautiful Executive Director Darcy Brown, “because it highlights five local artists and gets their work in front of, not only the thousands of people who participate in the vote but over 700,000 Muni riders every day for four months. What young artist doesn’t dream of an opportunity like that?”

Each artist will have their work featured on 20 Muni buses. The artist who received the most votes will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize, and the remaining four will each receive $1,250.

Art piece “City Walks” by Counterpoint Studio.

City Walks” by Counterpoint Studio (Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine), one of three winners tied for third prize.

"I couldn't be happier to see my paintings of SF teens all over San Francisco,” said Monica Tiulescu, the thrilled first prize winner. “I am grateful for all the support I received from people I know and do not know throughout the country."

Look for these 100 rolling art galleries on the streets by the first weeks of January. They’ll run on Muni buses through April.

Art piece “Sight Seeing” by Todd Kurnat.

“Sight Seeing” by Todd Kurnat, one of three winners tied for third prize.