Keep Bull City Litter-Free Public Art Project

W. Club_Completed Project_Groundplane art example

Project Background

The City of Durham Cultural and Public Art Program in partnership with Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) have received a $15,000 grant from South Arts to promote litter prevention through creative public art at three upcoming bus stop shelters across Durham. These bus shelters are located at Fulton Street directly in front of the Durham VA Medical Center; Erwin Road at Fulton Street; and E Main Street at Dillard Street near the Durham County Human Services Building.

Durham’s grant award will fund the collaboration to create new ground plane murals that encourage residents to decrease cigarette butt litter and act as advocacy agents around litter prevention in their community. The City’s Cultural and Public Art Program and KDB will work closely with a selected artists or artist teams to design temporary ground plane murals around the bus shelter locations in summer 2021. These new shelters will also include newly installed ash receptacles and ballot bins as a way to encourage residents to reduce litter. Ballot bins are customizable ashtrays with clear glass fronts that display a question and two answers for smokers to vote on by putting their cigarette butts into one of the answer slots underneath.  

South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists and arts organizations through an array of grants, fellowships, and programs. South Arts uses the Cross-Sector Impact Grant program to provide significant support to projects developed by partners that harness the power of “Arts & …”, for example, arts and the military, arts and equity, arts and aging, arts and community revitalization. Durham’s project is funded in part by a grant from this South Arts program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. 

The City and Keep Durham Beautiful will work closely with a selected artist(s) or artist team(s) to design temporary ground-plane murals around three bus shelter sites with newly installed Ballot Bins (ash receptacles) with anticipated socially-distant community engagement sessions at Durham Bus Station. The program will also explore developing an interactive video with the selected artists to distribute to Durham Public Schools on the topic of litter prevention, sustainable art practices, and recyclable art materials. 

Proposed Timeline

Friday, July 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.: Deadline to submit application to Pre-Qualified Artist Registry for Keep Bull City Litter-Free groundplane project Monday, July 23, 2021: Notify Artist of Decision   
Monday, August 2, 2021: Design Development and Community Engagement Begins   
Monday, September 13, 2021: Design Development and Community Engagement Ends   
Monday, September 20, 2021: Artist(s) begin installation 
Monday, October 8, 2021: Deadline for Artist(s) installations to be completed 


There are three locations identified for these ground-plane murals, with anticipated socially-distanced community engagement sessions to inform the artist(s) designs. These bus shelter locations are: 

Fulton Street (SB) - Directly in front of Veteran Affairs Hospital - (Map)
Stop ID: 5228


Fayetteville Street at Pilot Street (NB) - (Map)
Stop ID: 6146


E Main Street at Dillard Street (WB), near E Main Street & Department of Public Health and Human Services - (Map)
Stop ID: 5819

Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 10.36.42 AM

Selected Artist: Jai Martin

Jai Martin_headshot

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.

Artist Statement
"I’m not sure if I’m an artist, so I’m not sure if this is an artist statement."

Artist Selection Process

Artist Selection Process: Pre-Qualified Artist Registry. The deadline to submit to the Pre-Qualified Artist Registry to be eligible to create public art for the Keep Bull City Litter-Free groundplane project is Friday, July 9 at 11:59 PM EST. Apply today!

The Pre-Qualified Artist Registry has a rolling deadline for other upcoming public art projects. 

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.


The total maximum budget for this project is $12,500, including artist-design, community engagement, fabrication, installation and documentation of the artwork on site. The additional $2,500 provided by the grant award will be allocated towards community engagement materials and additional materials for placemaking activities. 


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

Alexandra Benson
Cultural & Public Arts Program Assistant
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21238

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