Public Art for Bus Shelters

Public Art Here
Pictured left: An example of the bus shelter that will be installed in nine locations across Durham, with graphic showing where the public art work will be placed. Pictured right: Example initial designs from selected artists. 


As part of the Participatory Budgeting initiative, the City of Durham’s Cultural and Public Art Program is partnering with the Budget and Management Services Department to hire professional artists or artist teams to create public art that will enrich the new solar-powered bus stops. Bus shelters will be installed throughout Durham at existing stops that lack shelters and other amenities. To improve ridership experience as well as contribute to renewable energy generation, shelters will include 2-D vinyl artwork commissioned by the City, as well as solar panel installations at select shelters that will power lights and USB charging stations. The shelters proposed across the three wards of Durham are based on locations identified by the community through the Participatory Budgeting process. The ballot outlined the following description of the project: “Bus Shelters with Reclaimed Art and Solar Panels. Install bus shelters at existing stops that lack shelters and other stop amenities in nearby areas. To improve the ridership experience and aesthetics as well as contribute to renewable energy generation, shelters will include artwork commissioned by local artists using reclaimed materials as well as solar panels installations at select shelters that will power lights and USB charging stations.”  

Recognizing the need to improve the experience of our transit system, the City seeks artists or artist teams to create artworks that contribute to the interest and aesthetic appeal of the bus shelters and the riders’ experience.  

  • Artwork with designs promoting community healing and equality encouraged.  
  • The artwork may relate to the location in design and content. For example, art could connect visually to the site or interpret historical, environmental, decorative, architectural, scientific, or cultural aspects of the site. 
  • The artwork or the printing of the artwork should utilize reclaimed materials, to meet the goal of the project as outlined in the Participatory Budgeting’s ballot. The artwork may be fabricated using any materials the artist chooses, however, the final artwork submitted to the City must be a high-resolution digital file, as the final artwork will be printed on vinyl or other reclaimed material to produce a 2-D installation.  
  • For example, an artist may photograph found objects or use recycled art supplies to create an artwork that may be converted to a high-resolution digital file. 
  • Artists should consider that shelters are experienced by bus users as well as passers-by on foot and in vehicles. 
  • Artwork should be designed to last at least three years. Artwork may be open to the elements (i.e. weather damage, graffiti, theft) and any permanent damage to the artwork may result in its early removal.  


Participatory Budgeting, also known as PB Durham, was a democratic process that allowed residents to directly decide how to spend $2.4 million dollars for one-time projects in each of the three City Council wards. Since its initial launch in November 2018, PB Durham engaged over 10,000 residents and students in its first-year process. Over 500 ideas were initially submitted during the idea collection phase in fall 2018, with the second phase of proposal development taking place from January through April 2019. During the second phase, over 100 students and residents from the community reviewed, vetted, analyzed, and developed over 40 project proposals using data, community research, and support from technical experts. The voting phase throughout May 2019 sought resident input on which of the top 40 projects should move to the final implementation phase. The PB Steering Committee certified the election results on June 17, 2019 at the monthly committee meeting. Please visit the PB website,, review the results for PB Durham Cycle 1 Election in addition to voting guidelines adopted by the Steering Committee.  


  • Friday, June 26, 2020 – Release of Public Art for Bus Shelters in Durham RFQ  
  • Tuesday, July 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. EST -- Information Sessions via Zoom meeting  
  • Friday, July 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST-- Information Sessions via Zoom meeting 
  • Monday, July 20, 2020 by 11:59 p.m. EST – Submission deadline 
  • Monday, July 20 – Friday, August 15, 2020 – Review Committee to meet to evaluate applicants  (UPDATED) 
  • Wednesday, August 19 – Friday, August 21, 2020 – City to notify artist(s) of decision (UPDATED) 
  • Saturday, August 21 – Friday, August 28, 2020 – City and artist to enter into contract (UPDATED) 
  • Friday, August 28 – Friday, October 16, 2020 – Design Development and Community Engagement  (UPDATED) 
  • Monday, November 16, 2020 – Final Designs shared with the Community (UPDATED) 
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020 – Artists submit Final Designs to City for final approval (UPDATED) 
  • Spring 2022 – Installation of bus shelters; printing and installation of public artworks (UPDATED)


Locations are subject to change.


Ward 2  


Ward 3  

ARTIST Selection Process

The artists selected to complete the public art project are Tanya Lipscomb, Jermaine “JP” Powell, and the artists team, Tim Stallmann and William Paul Thomas. The new solar-powered bus stops public art project used a Request for Qualification (RFQ) application process. From the pool of applicants, a panel of community members, artists, and City staff reviewed the artists' applications and selected the following three artists/artist team. The RFQ process closed on Monday, July 20 at 11:59 PM EST. For information on the RFQ process, please click below:

RFQ in English
RFQ in Spanish

Artist Statements & Initial Design Concepts

Tanya Lipscomb 

Tanya Lipscomb started her creative journey through the study of words before tampering with the painter’s pallet. She takes an interest in charcoals, photography, and portraits. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Literature at NCCU, Tanya honed her storytelling skills in Florida, where she earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida. Tanya finds interdisciplinary approaches to art exciting and has been published multiple times across artistic disciplines--photography, poetry, and nonfiction. Her writing has informed her artwork in ways that she is passionate about exploring further. Currently, she focuses on a collection in which she explores her Carolina rearing. She refers to it as “an autobiography on canvas." Primarily self-taught, Tanya experimented with portraits and practiced executing even the most subtle of facial contours. She is a Durham native who seeks to project a truthful reflection of her city through the use of mixed media, acrylic, and photography. Her work aims to show the charm and luster of a bold culture. She states that she "hopes her art will show facets of Durham’s rich Black past, along with its even more lustrous Black future."  

Click Here for Initial Design Concepts


Bus Stop # 5690 NC 54 at NC 55  

Jermaine Powell

Jermaine “JP” Powell is a North Carolina based mixed-media artist and muralist. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, JP holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, located in Brooklyn, New York. His paintings and public art projects explore the complexities of human relationships, materialism, and consumerism. As a world traveler, JP’s travel experiences have inspired the use of various luxury objects used in his work. Both American and international currencies are often featured symbolically in his work. In his Modern Currency and Pure Luxury Collections (2018- 2020), JP also uses bold, colorful textures, flowers, patterns, and mosaic tile. JP is the co-creator of the Breathe: Life After Death group art exhibition featured at the Block Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina. JP’s artwork has also been featured in Cary Living Magazine, Duke University, Art Space Galleries, Raleigh Arts, The City of Durham, and the Durham Art Guild. He is fortunate to have collectors throughout the United States, Argentina, Japan, South Africa and London. In June of 2020 JP was formally announced as the 1 st place winner of the Fuquay Varina Plein Air Paint Off. JP’s work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Ohio, New York, Maryland, Washington D.C. and North Carolina. His work can be seen at

The artist Jermaine Powell has created a community survey and initial designs for the public artworks for three bus shelters in Durham. To help inform these designs, we invite members of the community to complete the following engagement survey:

Click here for Initial Design Concepts


Tim Stallmann and William Paul Thomas (Artist Team) 

Tim Stallmann is a cartographer based in Durham, NC. As a worker-owner at Research Action Design, he works with organizations and communities to co-design research, media and tech projects towards social change and collective liberation. His work focuses on the role maps and geographic data can play in addressing issues of racial, economic and environmental justice, especially stopping displacement and building neighborhood self-determination. Tim is a founding member of the Counter Cartographies Collective, and a co-editor of A People's Atlas of Detroit (Wayne State University Press, Fall 2019). His work can be seen at and 

William Paul Thomas is a visual artist based in Durham, North Carolina. His work is centered on making images to record his life experiences and observations, with an approach that defies standard documentary practices. For over 10 years he has created intimate painted portraits of everyday people that he chooses as a way of recognizing their significance in his life’s path. Three portraits from his Cyanosis series are currently on display at the North Carolina Museum of Art in an exhibition called Front Burner, which features emerging and established painters from around the state. Thomas draws on his personal network to offer complex representations that counter the simplified stereotypes found in popular media. In addition to painting and drawing, he also deploys video and photography to capture idiosyncratic, abstracted depictions of love, joy, and adversity. He earned a B.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He currently teaches Visual Communications at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.  

Click here for Initial Design Concepts


Bus Stop # 1075 - University Dr at Ivy Creek Blvd  

Bus Stop # 6016 - Lawson St at Bacon St  

Bus Stop # 5332 - University Drive at Shannon Drive  


For information about the public art project, please contact the Cultural & Public Art Program staff here: 

Rebecca Brown
Cultural & Public Arts Program Manager
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21245.