Photo Credit: Eric Waters
The City of Durham is one of 16 U.S. cities to receive $25,000 from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative grant program, which assists small and medium-sized cities looking to use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage their communities. The grant program is designed to create vibrant, new public spaces while also building city capacity for future collaborations with artists and community groups on transportation infrastructure projects.
Durham’s award funded a collaboration between the City’s Transportation Department, Cultural and Public Art Program, and the Durham Parks Foundation to improve street and pedestrian safety throughout the Club Crossing project at the intersection of West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue in Durham. This public art project ties distinct elements of this corridor together: Club Boulevard Elementary, Northgate Park, Ellerbe Creek Trail, and the East Coast Greenway.
The Club Crossing project used creative intervention to form a fun environment for elementary school students, families, and residents to safely experience street crossing and connectivity for the Club Boulevard Elementary School, Northgate Park, and the Ellerbe Creek Trail. The project intends to activate the intersection and travel lanes by adding artwork to the crosswalks in front of Club Boulevard Elementary, reducing speeding on West Club Boulevard, and increasing yielding to pedestrians crossing. The artists selected to complete the initial designs for Club Crossing project were Claire Alexandre, Candy Carver, Jai Martin, Renzo Ortega and Cassandra Rowe. Based on responses from more than 1,800 residents through an online community vote held in January and February of 2021, Candy Carver received the most votes for her proposed design concept. Carver worked with community members and stakeholders to refine her designs for the crosswalk asphalt art to transform the intersection.
Ground plane artwork was painted at the intersection of West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue on Saturday, May 22 with a group of volunteers led by Candy Carver.
Artist Finalist Candy Carver's Designs
Community Vote & Survey
Community members were encouraged to vote for one of the five artists to be selected as the Club Crossing finalist through a community vote. In the survey link below, residents selected the top choice for the artist finalist based on their presented designs. Candy Carver was selected as the Artist Finalist by the community vote. The deadline to vote passed on Monday, February 1, 2021.
Community Vote in English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/clubcrossingcommunityvote (The community vote has closed.)
Community Vote in Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ClubCrossingVotodelaComunidad (La votación de la comunidad ha cerrado.)
Community & Artists Conversation - Drop-In Virtual Sessions
In addition to the community survey that was released in fall of 2020, the Club Crossing artist finalist continued to meet with the community to refine the designs. Residents were encouraged to meet the artists and share their thoughts about the Club Crossing project during virtual, drop-in meetings.
Community Follow-up Survey
Community members were encouraged to provide their feedback and thoughts about the Club Crossing project through a community survey. In the survey, residents were able to provide their thoughts on the public art project, safety of the site, and general feedback.
West Club Boulevard and Glendale Avenue
Durham, NC 27704
Pictured above is the area for the artwork, also known as ground plane art or asphalt art, at the W. Club Blvd and Glendale intersection prior to installation. Residents were invited to share their thoughts on the crosswalk location through an initial survey on the design.
ARTISTS SELECTION Process
Artist(s) Selection Process: Pre-Qualified Artist Registry. The application process for the Club Crossing project has closed.
The artists selected to complete the initial designs for Club Crossing project are Claire Alexandre, Candy Carver, Jai Martin, Renzo Ortega and Cassandra Rowe. The project used the Pre-Qualified Artist Registry application process. From the pool of applicants, a panel of community members, artists, stakeholders and City staff reviewed the artists’ applications and selected the five artists. One of the five artists will be selected through a community vote, based on the artists' initial designs, to install their design in the spring of 2021. The winning artist selected by the community vote, Candy Carver, was announced in February 2021.
The Pre-Qualified Artist Registry has a rolling deadline for other upcoming public art projects. Apply today!
The City of Durham’s Cultural and Public Art Program invites artists and artist teams to submit portfolios to be selected to join the City of Durham Pre-Qualified Artist Registry. This registry serves as a resource for the program’s selection of artists and artist teams to create City cultural and public art projects. Candidates must either identify as or partner with a professional artist, designer, or fabricator, eligible to work in the United States, and age 18 and older. The City encourages people from diverse backgrounds to apply. Candidates are eligible regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability. All applications must be in digital format and include an artist statement, photos of previous work, a personal resume(s), and references.
Full submission guidelines, project details, and submission portal are available here.
Artist Statements & Initial Designs
Five artists were commissioned by the City to create individual initial designs for the Club Crossing project. The artists selected to complete the initial designs for Club Crossing project were Claire Alexandre, Candy Carver, Jai Martin, Renzo Ortega and Cassandra Rowe. The community had an opportunity to vote for the artist finalist, based on the artists' presented designs. Based on responses from more than 1,800 residents through an online community vote held in January and February of 2021, Candy Carver received the most votes for her proposed concept. To see detailed images of their designs, click on their names below.
Claire Alexandre is an intersectional artist and storyteller who weaves autobiographical reflections with ancestral wisdom while exploring larger themes of environmental, gender, and racial justice. Through mixed-media painting, street art and botanical knowledge, she uses her skills to create modern-day mythologies and heroes honoring the resilience, power, and complexities of Black diaspora identity, with a particular focus on women.
Candy Carver is a Durham native who spent her formative years in Indiana, where she developed her abstract creativity. As a self-taught artist, she has been painting for over 20 years. Her artwork is inspired by her personal journey to experience and share positive and encouraging emotions. Her goal is for the viewer to be engulfed by the tangibility of strength, power, boldness, and resilience of her art.
"I’m not sure if I’m a artist, so I’m not sure if this is an artist statement."
Jai Martin is a painter, illustrator, and designer based in Durham. Upon graduating from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communications, Martin began working as a designer. In 2012, he created the brand Contrare, where he works as an artist and illustrator.
Renzo Ortega, born in Lima, Perú, is an artist based in Carrboro. Renzo received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes del Perú, studied at the Art Students League of New York, and has a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Hunter College. He exhibited his artwork in solo and group shows in the United States and Perú. Ortega’s influences range from pre-Hispanic patterns to folk-art to expressionism to abstraction. He uses colors and shapes to metaphorically embrace the ideal that diverse populations can share the same spaces generating positive dynamics.
Cassandra Rowe is an artist with many creative pursuits in addition to being a domestic violence advocate and program manager at the N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is a founding member of the artist collective Brainchild, a group in residency at North Star Church of the Arts in early 2020. Her inspirations include her community and close friends, love and heartbreak, queerness, the extraterrestrial, and the horror genre. Rowe’s background is in sociology and public health, and has only considered herself an artist since 2018.
For information about the public art project, please contact the Cultural & Public Art Program staff here: