Get Your Artwork Featured On MBTA Mugs, Posters, and Other Gifts

MBTAgifts is running a design contest and will plaster the winners' submissions on T-related gear.

Park Street Photo By Alex Lau

Park Street Photo By Alex Lau

If your dream as an artist has always been to have your work featured on mugs, T-shirts, and framed posters hanging up in people’s living rooms, the owners of the gift shop in Cambridge that sells MBTA-related knick-knacks are looking for original design concepts from local talents to create new transit oriented products.

MBTAgifts, the defacto T store that’s run by WardMaps LLC, in Porter Square, announced this week that they’re running a special contest with cash prizes for the best submissions they receive.

“As it’s getting closer to the holiday season, we usually do the artwork ourselves, in-house, but we are interested in reaching out to anyone and asking if they have cool photos, or paintings, or graphic art. We decided to come up with the competition to pick a few select pieces and feature them on our products,” said Steve Beaucher, co-owner of WardMaps LLC, who won a bid four years ago to sell MBTA gear and decommissioned transit signs at their store.

Beaucher said projects could be anything that celebrate and highlight the T’s history or future, including “cool” Instagram photos, images captured by riders traveling on the T during their daily commutes, or paintings.

“It’s focused on MBTA themes,” he said.

Beaucher said one artist has already submitted a poster design advertising for the late-night train service, made to look like a glowing neon T map.

“It’s fabulous to see something creative like that. Our goal with this is to really get things T-related to build out the gifts program,” he said.

The deadline for handing over Instagram photos, pictures, paintings, screen prints, and other T-centric designs is October 23. The winner of the contest will be announced via email and social media on October 29, according to contest details.

WardMaps will select three winners; the first place winner will receive $150, the second place pick will get $100, and the artist who comes in third will receive $75.

All three selections will be featured on some sort of product produced locally by the company, which could include mugs, mouse pads, coasters, t-shirts, or large posters with the image printed on them. The products will be sold in the Cambridge shop, and on the T’s website.

Unfortunately, the designs will not be printed on the more peculiar T products, like shower curtains or flip-flops.

“It’s the table top accessories,” Beaucher clarified. “Depending on the submission it would be that. If it’s screen-printing on t-shirts, maybe it could get converted there. And then prints. If they are cool enough and we can put them on paper we would offer them on prints. The goal is to go beyond what we do in-house and see what’s out there. There are so many talented artists making cool things.”