Public Art for Bus Shelters

Ward Map
Bus Shelters - Public Art RFQ - example


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.  



Please visit the Durham Call for Artist webpage for more information the RFQ process, here:


  • 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 – Tuesday, August 7, 2020 – Review Committee to meet to evaluate applicants  (UPDATED)
  • Tuesday, July 28 – Friday, August 7, 2020 – City to notify artist(s) of decision (UPDATED)
  • Saturday, August 1 – Friday, August 7, 2020 – City and artist to enter into contract (UPDATED)
  • Friday, August 7  Friday, October 2, 2020 – Design Development and Community Engagement 
  • Monday, November 2, 2020 – Final Designs shared with the Community 
  • Tuesday, December 2, 2020 – Artists submit Final Designs to City for final approval 
  • Spring 2021 – Installation of bus shelters; printing and installation of public artworks


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

Alexandra Benson
Cultural & Public Arts Program Assistant
Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21238

Rebecca Brown
Cultural & Public Arts Program Manager
Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21245.