Artrain visits Calera

Artrain USA, a national art museum on wheels, rolled into Calera&8217;s Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum April 5-10.

Labeled &8220;America&8217;s Hometown Art Museum,&8221; the exhibit is housed in five vintage rail cars and features fine arts collections, an artist studio and gift shop.

The current display highlights Native American Art and is called &8220;Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture.&8221;

The Academy of Fine Arts of Shelby County, Alabama Power and Shelby County Commission sponsored the train&8217;s visit to Calera.

&8220;Artrain USA will make only two tour stops in Alabama, and we are excited to have this opportunity here in Calera,&8221; said Terri Sullivan, academy board president. &8220;Our own Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum was the perfect venue for families to enjoy this wonderful art exhibit.&8221;

The train also visited Anniston and is due in Nashville later this week.

Since founded in 1971 by the Michigan Council for the Arts, more than 2.8 million people have visited the train. It logs more than 10,000 miles each year.

Seven staff members travel with the train, including four artists, a tour manager and two engineers. It runs from February through June and then August through September.

Some of the artists on board say they were at first skeptical when hearing of the mobile museum.

&8220;I had never heard of art being on a train,&8221; said Kirsten Young, a college fellowship student from California. &8220;I was pretty amazed when I first saw it.&8221;

Others say they enjoy the train&8217;s constant schedule and the excitement of meeting new people.

&8220;I like traveling,&8221; said Amanda Thatch, a Washington University of St. Louis student. &8220;It&8217;s great for those who like to stay busy, because when you&8217;re on the train, you don&8217;t have time to get restless.&8221;