The Hampton Jitney has given birth to a new art movement.
Artist Lynn Mara’s colorful portrayal of life on the East End was chosen as the winner of this spring’s “Design a Jitney” contest, held in celebration of the Hampton Jitney’s 40th anniversary.
The bus was in the process of being wrapped in Mara’s design on Tuesday afternoon.
“My inspiration for the design was my life growing up here,” says Mara, a Southampton native who remembers when the Jitney launched its inaugural bus. The Hampton Jitney has shuttled people to and from the East End since 1974.
Both sides of Mara’s Hampton Jitney tell the story of traversing the island. One side features a medley of paintings that read from west to east—the first painting is of the Statue of Liberty, followed by paintings of such iconic East End images as a surfer, farmland, vineyards and finally the quintessential end-of-summer event, the Hampton Classic.
The opposite side features a digitally altered photo of a surfer riding a yellow wave across the Jitney’s hunter green background. “The wave looks like a backward version of a map of Long Island,” says Mara. The surfer is somewhere in Nassau County, carving toward the East End. Seeing the rendering of Long Island in her work was a serendipitous phenomenon that Mara didn’t realize had occurred until she stepped away and took in the bigger picture, much like Impressionism.
The back of the bus is also a digitally altered photo of a surfer at Flying Point, truly art in motion.
Mara currently lives in Bedford, New York, with her husband and four sons. She returns to the East End with her family for the summers, staying in her home on Peconic Bay in Hampton Bays. “My kids are living the dream I lived here,” she says.
Mara first found out about the “Design a Jitney” contest two days before the April 30 deadline. She scoured her website, going through previous paintings that she had done before selecting the works that best extol the beauty of life on the East End. She credits her youngest son Owen for helping her to work on the digital aspects of submitting, like resizing her paintings and superimposing the Jitney’s logo onto her work.
Mara is a professional artist whose work has been exhibited throughout Long Island and the Northeast. For more information, visit her website, lynnmara.com.