A few days ago, Las Vegas photographer Steve Patchin drove to Nevada Public Radio in a bus.
And, not just any bus. This one is a bright red, English, double-decker bus that he bought in El Paso, Texas a few months ago. The bus - circa 1985 - was originally a commuter bus in London.
The bus comes with a lot of built-in charm - but Patchin has taken it to new heights with a renovation he calls, "Art Bus Coffee."
“It is a mobile coffee shop and mobile art gallery, in an English double-decker bus,” Patchin said.
So far, he's parked the bus at corporate events and at First Friday South. But his plan is to see what kind of reaction he gets in Las Vegas's neighborhoods.
“We wanted to find a way to get art out to people rather than having them have to come to existing galleries or go down on the Strip. If you present a relaxing atmosphere, you have some coffee, and you can come and just sit down and look at what’s here it gives you a different opportunity to experience art rather than having to go out shopping for it”
After driving the bus from Texas, it took Patchin eight months to get the bus into a state where people could enjoy both the art and coffee.
“Upstairs we have some removable bench seats that we created out of commuter seats that were in here. There’s a little more room to walk around. There are side tables so people can bring their coffee up sit on these seats with some nice pillows behind them and look at the art that’s on the walls.”
So far, the art on the walls is Patchin's. “I started some years ago doing what I call photo painting," he says. "I'm not a painter in terms of using paint. But I am in terms of using digital software."
Eventually, Art Bus Coffee will be a traveling gallery for the work of other artists as well. "That was part of the plan from the beginning."
Steve Patchin, proprietor, Art Bus Coffee
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