The side of a Hampton Jitney is not merely a part of the East End landscape but is interwoven in the artistic history of the area, whether talking about the iconic logo—and the wave that was created by Roy Lichtenstein (we’ll get to more on him shortly)—or one of the custom-designed wraps that have covered the motor coaches and kept heads turning over the years.
In honor of its 40th anniversary, Hampton Jitney held a “Design a Jitney” contest this past spring, asking artists from all over to create works that celebrate this landmark. From the submissions, the company stated it would “choose the most creative entry that helps to celebrate 40 years of transportation to and from NYC & the East End”—and we’d all have a new Jitney wrap to look for on our highways and byways.
We spoke with the four finalists to see what inspired their unique visions, and what the Jitney means to them as a local institution.
Francis Quigley came up with a graffiti-style custom paint job for his submission. An employee of Hampton Jitney for many years, Quigley aimed for a ’70s street-art vibe, and filmed himself painting a Jitney on 40th Street for his submission. He says, “It was a fun thing to do and create—especially on the 40th, with so many people there.”
Stephanie Baloghy submitted a distinctive Roy Lichtenstein–inspired wrap. Lichtenstein originally designed the Jitney’s signature green-wave logo, and Baloghy calls her piece “a sort of homage to his work.” Baloghy has been a graphic designer for more than 40 years, and worked for the Jitney part-time, so this is “an opportunity to bring these parts of [my] life together.”
Lynn Mara went with iconic Long Island–style imagery for her piece, painting a montage of people, landscapes and other cultural high points of the island. This Southampton-born artist credits her inspiration to the people of the Hamptons—she says, “They have literally shaped who I’ve become”—and reveals that for her, the Jitney represents her home. Mara adds, “I remember feeling homesick when I’d see the Jitney in Manhattan. It was like seeing a familiar face in a foreign land. ‘Take me home,’ I thought to myself.”
Eddie Duque chose to portray the Long Island Expressway, stretching from New York all the way to the ocean. Guatemalan-born Duque says, “Growing up in Hampton Bays, the Jitney was a huge part of my life—going to see my family in the city and then heading back to the East End.” He feels the Jitney’s route from the beachfront to the city makes it an integral part of “the Hamptons family.”