Go to Mary Mihelic’s Running Girls SeriesMihelic_Running_Girls_Artist_Statement.html

Mary Mihelic is presently part of the t.Rutt artist team which bought a former Trump campaign bus when it went up for sale on Craigslist and transformed it into a contemporary traveling anti-Trump artwork.  (That was in October 2015 – when Trump was still a longshot.)  Since then, the bus has been all over the country.  The artists have driven to dozens of Trump rallies and talked to thousands of Trump supporters about voting for Trump. 


The artists first changed the bus to read T.RUMP instead of TRUMP.  Trump’s campaign slogan was crossed out and replaced with #women trump trump on one side and #make fruit punch great again on the other.   An arabic version of Trump’s tagline has been added to the back of the bus.  It keeps evolving.  The artists on the t.Rutt team are Mary Mihelic and David Gleeson.   The art has been featured in news around the world including Vice, Rolling Stone, The Rachel Maddow Show, Univison, The BBC London, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, The Economist, and more....

(Photo courtesy of Miroslav Tomoski, The Plaid Zebra.  State troopers and riot police were needed at the Berlin, MD Trump Rally.)

ABOVE: In a performance artwork called Desecration, the artists embroider Trump quotes onto American flags on the bus.  The artwork comments on how, with a Presidential candidate saying everything from “There was blood coming out of her eyes” to “Look at these hands”, nothing is sacred anymore.  It reflects on how Trump is desecrating the country and juxtaposes his words against American ideals.  The artists found a 10’ x 15 ‘vintage flag in an antique store in southern California Flag and embroidered Trump’s complete hot mic comment on it  which begins with “I did try and fuck her...”  and ends with  “Grab ‘em by the pussy”.  The artists displayed the flag outside early voting locations on the East Coast.  Above left at a Trump Rally and above right in front of the White House.

ABOVE LEFT: The back of the bus now says “Birthed in the USA.”  ABOVE MIDDLE: The Open Carry performance includes a paintbrush mounted with a rifle scope (commenting on the gun culture in the U.S.) This photo of Mary standing on the top of the bus in front of Trump’s Las Vegas hotel was taken a year before the Vegas shootings.  ABOVE RIGHT: The artists wrap Trump political yard signs in Burkas. 

In July 2016, the artists built the first section of Donald Trump’s “Mexico wall” 20-yards in front of the existing border fence in Jacumba Hot Springs, California.  They then billed Mexico for it.   The artwork is about what would happen to the U.S. if all the immigrants were stopped at the border and Trump truly deported 11 million people back to Mexico.  The US side of the wall is made from materials that symbolize how our lifestyle in the US would be impacted.   For example, dead flowers represent how the flower industry would be affected, rotting fruit and vegetables symbolize the agricultural impact that would have on the country, and rakes, hoses and toilet bowl brushes represent the effect on landscaping and American households.  The Mexican side of the wall is crisper, neater, well-maintained and simple.  The Mexican side is in high-vis neon yellow which the artists wear when on the road and that color symbolizes everything from “don’t get run over by what’s coming down the road” to peaceful protest.  The cinderblocks hint to detention centers.  This artwork has been featured in The New York Times.

The text on the side facing Mexico says, “Are you nice?”  This reflects on Trump’s supposed vetting process.  He is now saying he is going to deport 11 million Mexicans, yet let the "good ones back in.”  The text on the US side (shown below) says, “Were we nice?” This refers to the US's treatment of Mexico and South America throughout history.   Shown in the background on the other side of the fence in Mexico — on the hillside is a small white building.  This is a shrine the Mexicans built honoring immigrants.  The art is white to honor that.  Playing on the ironies of US/Mexico relations at all levels, the artists mailed El Chapo a letter requesting protection for the new wall.  This wall is approximately 12 feet high x 20 feet long.  It is made from ropes, old ladders, cinder blocks, and the “booties” found on site which Mexicans use when crossing over to the US so the border patrol can’t follow their footprints.  The other element sits in front of the wall and symbolizes how the US rakes the dirt in front of the existing fence — the Border Patrol uses old tires to smooth the dirt path so they can see footprints if anyone steps on it.  

The wall above “disappeared” and the artists do not know what happened to it; it’s no longer there.  So they went back to Jacumba and built the second section of Trump’s border wall. Only this time the artists sent an RFP (Request for Protection) to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán for it.  Photos of The Vetting Wall: Trump Border Wall Section 2 below:

The bus has been spray-painted, egged, keyed, ketchupped, spit at... people try to run it off the road.  Since it was getting vandalized when unattended, the artists decided to disguise it when parked.  The team created fake fruit punch advertisements and now hang these on the bus over the TRUMP name when not driving the bus.  The fake fruit punch ads are based on the fallen GOP candidates. 

The addition to the bus made on Earth Day (left).  When Supreme Court Justice Antonia Scalia died, the artists roped off a double-wide seat for him.  When Trump got in a tiff with the Pope, the team created a dashboard shrine from a t-shirt they found on the bus. 

SEE MORE TRUMP BUS PHOTOSmore_bus_photos_1.html

ABOVE LEFT: On the road, anti-Trumpers typically misunderstand the bus and give us the finger.     ABOVE RIGHT: Trump supporter at Trump rally wearing t-shirt which reads “Fuck the Democrats.”

ABOVE LEFT: Trump supporters who posed in front of the bus and never noticed it was anti-Trump.     ABOVE RIGHT: Trump supporter “getting” the bus. 

BELOW: In a performance, David gets on top of the bus and swings a golf club hinting Trump should stick to real estate and golf courses, not politics.  Since Trump has been said to be a big cheater on the golf course, the performance also reflecting on Trump’s honesty both on and off the gold course. 

David discussed waterboarding with a vet and Trump supporter at a Trump Rally in PA (above left).  Right: a map of where the bus has traveled to date.

The artist painted over a 4’ x 8’ Trump Make America Great Again yard sign and covered it with images of protestors from the Women’s March.  Front and back of artwork shown.  Detail from the artwork shown on the right.  

ABOVE: The artist collects the oil which leaks from the bus when parked and creates “Leaked Oil Paintings”. The oil has a golden glow when illuminated. The artworks highlight the importance of all the Trump leaks in discovering the truth about such a tyrannical figure. The light is a metaphor for how visibility is critical in politics.  The use of oil alludes to Russia and the environment.  Above left:  “Trump Bus Leaked Oil Painting 1: Golden Shower.”  It is 52 inches x 42 inches on paper.  Above right: “Trump Bus Leaked Oil Painting 2: He’s a Leaker.”  It is 42 inches x 42 inches on paper and also has waterproofing tape over Comey’s mouth (we use this tape on the bus for repairs).    

Above: Another flag from the artist’s Desecration series.  This one with a pink knit stripe inspired by the Pussy Hat.  It honors all the women who are speaking out right now and all the women running for office (and winning).