“Boat Journeys: Yoda” by Rachel Schmidt

Attention Arlington commuters: If you see familiar buildings floating by on boats, don’t be alarmed. You are probably on Arlington bus 5257, which, starting Sept. 12, will feature whimsical versions of Northern Virginia landscapes by local artist Rachel Schmidt.

Through January, Schmidt’s drawings and collages will take the place of the bus’s usual advertisements. Otherwise, 5257 is just a regular bus, picking up travelers on six different Arlington Transit routes: 41, 42, 45, 75, 77 and 87.

The surprise is half the fun, says Artisphere’s Cynthia Connolly, who is coordinating the exhibit.

“Some people might look up from their cellphones and go, ‘Woah, this is original art,’ ” she says.

Schmidt’s rolling exhibit is the newest installment of the “Art on the ART Bus” program, which began in 2012.

“I noticed that the Arlington Transit buses said ART on the side, so I thought, ‘Let’s put some real art on there,” Connolly says.

There’s been at least one “Art on the ART bus” in rotation ever since. Artists receive $2,500 for their original work, understanding that their art may get damaged or stolen along the way.

If you don’t like to leave things to chance, catch the art bus at the Court House Metro on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7:04 p.m. Schmidt will give a talk en route to her studio at the Arlington Arts Center.

“We’ll get off right near the Virginia Square Metro, so D.C. people don’t panic about how to get home,” Connolly says.

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