The Dragonfly: Living on the 1953 Art Bus

Imagine traveling the country in a bus that has a Volkswagen van for a topper. Imagine traveling the country with the idea of bringing art to everyone. That is what one family of four is doing.

Heather Platen told me that her family has been all over the country on the bus, known as the Dragonfly, covered on all sides with colorful artwork.

Keep in mind, this is not your average bus. The lower half is a 1953 Chevrolet bus purchased in South Dakota. The 1969 VW van was purchased, and added to the top, in New Mexico. The travelers have also been to Vermont, Baltimore and New York City, just to name a few stops.

I ran into the family of four when they decided to make a pit stop in the community of Beechgrove, Tennessee. On board is Heather, her husband LeRoy Herr and their daughters, ages 1 and 5. Together, they take their artwork into communities far and wide.

The bus allows for a more self-sustainable lifestyle, and Heather commented that their family went off the grid to be in total control of their life.

“We were able to provide everything that we needed and more by reducing our need for income,” Heather told me. “By living a more simple life we were able to access that ‘extra’ that we wanted to provide for our kids.”

LeRoy said that he likes for the bus to be a conversation starter that leads to important topics like self-sustainability, monetary slavery and more.

Meanwhile, Heather talks about being creative with art with friends and other travelers they meet all over the country.

Dragonfly Bus courtesy Heather Platen


Follow #dragonflybus on social media.

For more from Scott Walker, visit smalltownbigworld.com.


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