Public Art Collection

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Photo by Estlin Haiss

The Durham Public Art Program contains a growing number of permanent and temporary works exhibited throughout the city. The collection contains works from public artists locally and around the country, and helps enhance the sense of place experienced by Durhamites and visitors alike.Take a moment to explore and enjoy Durham through its Public Art Collection!  

Mural Durham, one of the Cultural and Public Art Program’s partners, connects Durham through creativity, one mural at a time.Their online archive preserves Durham’s painted history and bike tours and events celebrate public art across Durham. Mural Durham supports the creation of new murals in collaboration with artists, property and business owners, organizations, neighbors, and funders. Check out the Mural Map, here

Interactive Public Art Map Coming Soon!

City Center District

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We Must Remember and Continue to Tell, 2015
 Brenda Miller Holmes

The Durham Civil Rights Mural is located next to the Durham Arts Council.  Artist Brenda Miller Holmes helped create a number of different opportunities  for  community members,ranging in age from 15 to 65, to participate in this  community-centered project. The mural depicts local leaders in the fight for  civil rights, including Dr. Aaron Moore, who founded the first hospital for  African-Americans in Durham; Richard Fitzgerald, who was a successful  brickmaker in Durham; Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist; and C.P. Ellis, a  former KKK leader who became an unlikely friend of Atwater’s, changing from  an advocate for segregation to one of desegregation.

Located at 120 Morris Street Durham, NC

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Pursuit of Happiness, 2014
Charlie Brouwer

The Pursuit of Happiness was part of the inaugural 2014 Bull City Sculpture Show, hosted by Liberty Arts. Artist Charlie Brouwer created the piece to convey the importance of living in the moment. The sculpture is made of locust wood, one of the hardest and most weather-resistant woods in the world. After the show, a private resident who enjoyed seeing the sculpture purchased the piece and donated it to the City. The piece remains in its original location in Convention Center Plaza.

Located in the Durham Convention Center Plaza at 301 West Morgan Street

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Major the Bull, 2004
Michael Waller and Leah Foushee

Major was cast in bronze and created from start to finish in Durham at Liberty Arts, a Studio and Foundry dedicated to enriching our communities with arts experiences that inspire, empower, educate, and entertain. The sculpture and plaza were gifted through a grant by The Central Carolina Bank to the citizens of Durham.

Located in City Center Plaza at the corner of 100 Market Street and 201 Foster Street in downtown Durham

Durham Convention Center Garage Door Murals


Juchari Ziranhua / Nuestros Raices/ Our Roots, 2019
Cornelio Campo

I Am My Own Muse, 2019
Cecilia Lueza

The City of Durham’s Cultural and Public Art Program collaborated with North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) to execute a public mural project on the Durham Convention Center (DCC)’s two blank garage doors located on W. Chapel Hill Street. The North Carolina Museum of Art installed these murals in anticipation of their Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection exhibition during  October 2019. While the murals are intended to bring awareness to the museum’s exhibition, they will also reflect the idea of “Durham as a destination” while honoring the community’s Hispanic heritage and Durham’s 150th Anniversary celebration.

More information on the project is located here

Watch the time-lapse video installation of Juchari Ziranhua / Nuestros Raices/ Our Roots, here.

Download the interactive app created by Code the Dream here.

ArtAlcoves

Charging Durham, 2017
Frank Kreacic

Inspired by many facets of the City, Frank Kreacic draws on history, citizenry, and progress in the fabrication of his 3D tribute to the spirit and future of Durham. Based on the Durham City Flag, the three areas of color—Red, Yellow, and Blue—are placed similarly across the three panels. Kreacic represents the city’s early beginnings by the old map and wheel of a train in the first panel. The train engineer on the center panel symbolizes the people of Durham, and the right panel, surrounded by the city’s streets, holds the head and horns of the bull. Kreacic’s piece speaks to the tenacity and creativity of the Bull City.  The paintings can be enjoyed without 3-D glasses, but those who want to see the full effect can borrow the glasses from the City Hall lobby.

Located at 101 City Hall Plaza in downtown Durham

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Chalice, 2014
Al Frega

The Chalice was donated to the City by Downtown Durham, Inc. as a tribute to the organization’s founder and former CEO, Bill Kalkhof. The sculpture symbolizes the rebirth of downtown Durham. The base consists of three legs made from heavy steel components collected from the “relics” of industry past; trolley rail, piping, beams, water tower legs, etc. The metalwork and stem at the base are meant to resemble the city skyline.

Located on the west side of City Center Plaza at 100 Market Street

All the Possibilities of Stacking Up

All the Possibilities, 1988
Vernon Pratt

The Durham Arts Council, with the support of a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, issued a call to commission an exterior piece of public art  for the courtyard of the Durham Arts Council. Vistors are invited to explore Pratt’s stone, geometric installation.

Located at the Durham Arts Council at 120 Morris Street

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Winding Out, 2014
Robert Winkler

This public art sculpture was part of the Bull City Sculpture Show.

Located at 101 West Parrish Street at the corner of Orange Street and Mangum Street

HereComesTheSun

Here Comes the Sun, 1975
Karen Sterm Perkins

This sunny, vibrant mural is the product of a student art competition sponsored by the Downtown Revitalization Foundation, the Durham Arts Council, the Council for Creative Art in Public Schools, and the city and county school of Durham. Fifteen year-old artist and student Karen Stern’s sunburst design was selected from over thirty other applicants. The mural was conserved and restored in the early 1990’s.

Located at 119 East Main Street

Youthful

Pauli Murray Murals, 2008
Brett Cook

Part of the collaborative story-telling project "Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life". This mural is part of a series of fourteen permanent murals across Durham. The project was led by Brett Cook, a public artist with over 20 years of collaborative community-based art-making. "Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life" is a project of Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in association with the Southwest Central Durham Quality of Life Project and the Duke office of Community Affairs.


Locations include: 
"Pauli Murray and True Community" - 313 Foster Street
"Pauli Murray in the World" - 117 S. Buchanan Boulevard
"Pauli Murray Roots and Soul" - 1101 W. Chapel Hill Street
"Pauli Murray and the Virgin de Guadalupe" - 2009 Chapel Hill Street
"Pauli Murray: A Youthful Spirit" - 2420 Vesson Avenue

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Parrish Street Markers, 2009
Al Frega, Michael Waller and Leah Foushee

These bronze sculptures are part of a series of six monuments detailing "Black Wall Street" in Durham.

Locations include:
“A Legacy of Community and Institutional Connections" - At the corner of West Parrish Street and Orange Street


"Visionary Leaders in the New South" - At the corner of Parrish Street and Corcoran Street


"Tobacco Leaves" - E Parrish Street in front of church parking lot


“Empowering Diverse Opportunities” - At the northeast corner of East Parrish and Church Street


“A Black Capital for the World to See” – 116 W Parrish Street


“Financial and Professional Impact in Durham” -  In Black Wall Street Plaza at the corner of West Parrish Street and Mangum Street

Time Bridge (Photo

Time Bridge, 2015
Odili Donald Odita

Artist Odili Donald Odita represents Durham’s "melting pot of sorts" identity in this abstract, colorful mural. Time Bridge is one of two wall paintings commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art in celebration of it’s ten-year anniversary.

Located at 218 West Morgan Street

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Wall of Hope, 2008
Andria Linn

This mural was installed in 2008 as a fundraiser for Threshold Clubhouse, a local group that helps adults in Durham with severe mental illness stay out of the hospital, succeed at work, advance their education, and reach their goals. The mural is a celebration of life and sends a message of community empowerment. The connected chain of individuals depicted represents themes of togetherness and support, while the open hands and doves portray love and friendship.

Located at 136 East Chapel Hill Street

Candy Carver street mural

The Drain on Main, 2017
Candy Carver

The City of Durham commissioned Artist Candy Carver to create colorful, visual imagery along a stormwater drain on West Main Street. The project promoted awareness of the importance preserving local streams and waterways.

Located on West Main Street in front of Beyú Caffè

Corcoran Garage Art Banner

Durham in Continuum, 2018
Olalekan Jeyifous  

As a part of the Durham SmART Initiative, Olalekan Jeyifous created a colorful and joyous interpretation of the architectural and iconic elements of the downtown corridor on the Corcoran Street parking garage. Durham in Continuum is the first public art installation of the Durham SmART Initiative to receive national recognition as part of the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review in 2019.  

The Durham Arts Council, Downtown Durham, Inc., and the City of Durham work in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council as one of the eight SmART Communities, utilizing the arts to reimagine the Blackwell, Corcoran, and Foster Street corridor as a vibrant arts and entertainment district that reflects Durham’s unique character.

Located at 110 E Corcoran Street

Snapping!, Crackling!, Popping!, 2019
Mary Carter Taub

The Durham SmART Initiative, in partnership with the Durham Arts Council, the NC Arts Council, Downtown Durham, Inc., and the City of Durham, installed ground-plane murals on 3-5 selected streets and intersections in downtown Durham. The project’s goals were to build on Durham’s SmART Vision Plan and increase cultural connectivity and economic vitality while also branding the Arts & Entertainment corridor and encouraging safe pedestrian movement.

Locations include: 
Snapping!
Intersection of Blackwell St and Vivian St in front of Durham Performing Arts Center. Photo Credit: Estlin Haiss.

Crackling!
220 Foster St in front of the Armory

Popping!
501 Foster St at Durham Central Park

David Wilson_Durham Police Headquaters_Interior

Culture of Transparency, 2019
David Wilson

The new Durham Police Headquarters Complex has been purpose-built to accommodate the current and future space, technology, and equipment needs of the City’s Police and Emergency Communications Departments. As part of the public engagement process associated with the planning and development of the new facility, multiple design goals were established, including but not limited to, increasing connectivity between downtown and east Durham, activating Ramseur and Main Streets, and incorporating public art in the project. 

Norman Lee_Shane Albritton_Durham Police Headquaters

Woven Shield, 2019
Norman Lee and Shane Albritton of RE:site

Industrial painted stainless steel. 14’ x 7’ x 7’.  

The new Durham Police Headquarters Complex has been purpose-built to accommodate the current and future space, technology, and equipment needs of the City’s Police and Emergency Communications Departments. As part of the public engagement process associated with the planning and development of the new facility, multiple design goals were established, including but not limited to, increasing connectivity between downtown and east Durham, activating Ramseur and Main Streets, and incorporating public art in the project.

Norman Lee_Shane Albritton_Durham Police Headquaters_Interior

Sewing Peace, 2019.
Norman Lee and Shane Albritton of RE:site

Industrial painted stainless steel and colorful bonded polyester upholstery thread. 11’ x 23’ x 1’. 

The new Durham Police Headquarters Complex has been purpose-built to accommodate the current and future space, technology, and equipment needs of the City’s Police and Emergency Communications Departments. As part of the public engagement process associated with the planning and development of the new facility, multiple design goals were established, including but not limited to, increasing connectivity between downtown and east Durham, activating Ramseur and Main Streets, and incorporating public art in the project. 

Central Park District

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Mr. Pickles, 2005
Michael Waller and Leah Foushee

A friendly turtle invites guests to Durham Central Park to climb aboard his shell and play at the park.

Located at Durham Central Park

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Phat Ryan, 2009
Michael Waller and Leah Foushee

A Central Park favorite, Phat Ryan is a curious cardinal sculpture designed for children to climb and explore.

Located at Durham Central Park

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Earthsplitter, 2007
Michael Waller and Leah Foushee

This unique sculpture can be found across from the Durham Farmer’s Market stalls in Durham Central Park.

Located at Durham Central Park

Trinity Park

Max Gray Rogers Memorial

Max Gray Rogers Memorial, 2003
Andrew Preiss

In 2003 the Trinity Park neighborhood raised money to create a memorial art work in honor of Max Rogers, a key resident responsible for sustaining and revitalizing the Trinity Park neighborhood. The work chosen to honor Rogers was designed by Andrew Preiss and is made of fiber reinforced cement over a steel armature. A key feature of the work are the metal discs of stainless steel and copper, which resemble a Studebaker hubcap. Max Rogers drove a Studebaker for most of his adult life. The sculpture’s placement in Trinity Park is significant in that it is located across the street from the family home of Rogers on Trinity Avenue.

Located at 1000 West Trinity Avenue

Near Watts Hospital-Hillandale

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Westover Park Groundplane, 2019
JP Trostle & YouthWorks Interns

The City of Durham’s Cultural and Public Art Program worked with the Durham Parks and Recreation Department, JP Trostle, a local Durham artist, and six youth interns for the summer five-week internship project, YouthWork, to design and install a temporary public art project in Westover Park and W. Ellerbee Creek Trail. The identified locations within the park and trail is the paved circle on the W. Ellerbee Creek Trail near the parking for Westover Park.

Westover Park, 1900 Maryland Avenue

Near Duke West Campus

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Morreene Road Park, 2019
Muriel Epling

The City of Durham has completed the renovation of the groundscape and athletic courts at Morreene Road Park, the first purpose-build ADA accessible play structure in Durham. Improvements to the park include a full reconstruction of the tennis courts, removal of old asphalt around the playground, the addition of new ADA-accessible pedestrian pathways, and the installation of a public art piece. Public art at this site reinforces an accessible play space and provides visual interest for community members while inspiring residents of all ages and abilities to come out and Play More.

Morreene Road Park, 1102 Morreene Road

South Durham

StephensBent

Stephen’s Bent, 2010
Thomas Sayre

This 17 foot sculpture, composed of stacked earthcast slabs of red clay, pays homage to the land of Durham County and its long agricultural history. In the title, the name "Stephen" refers to Stephen Lowe, the 18th century patriarch of the Lowe family for whom the area Lowe’s Grove is named. The word "Bent" refers to tobacco barn parlance. Commissioned for the South Regional Library,  Stephen’s Bent was made possible by a generous donation from the C.M. Herndon Foundation.

Located at the South Regional Library at the intersection of Alston Road and NC Highway 54

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Southern Boundaries Park Mural, 2017
Julienne Alexander and Julia Gartrell

This colorful mural is based off of silhouettes of Durhamites collected by artist team Julia Gartrell and Julienne Alexander. This installation is the first iteration of a continued effort to bring murals to parks across Durham.

Located at Southern Boundaries Park at 100 3rd Fork Road

Penquin

Penguin, Date Unknown
Benjamin Bufano

Benjamin Bufano was an Italian American sculptor who specialized in large scale, modernist works. "Penguin" is true to this style, featuring two large penguins and simple shapes.

Located inside the traffic circle at Westpark Corporate Center at 4364 South Alston Avenue