The work of four local and regional artists will soon be featured on new bus shelters located throughout Durham.
The City of Durham Cultural and Public Art Program and Participatory Budgeting Program (PB Durham), in collaboration with an Artist Selection Panel of community members, have selected Tanya Lipscomb, Jermaine Powell and the artist team of Tim Stallmann and William Paul Thomas to design 2-D public artworks to enrich nine new solar-powered bus shelters.
Through PB Durham funding, the new bus shelters will feature solar panel installations to power lights and USB charging stations to improve the ridership experience of Durham’s transit system as well as contribute to renewable energy generation. The four artists will soon create public 2-D artworks that contribute to the interest and aesthetic appeal of the bus shelters with themes promoting community healing and equality. Each artists and artist team will design three bus shelter locations, which can be found on the project website.
Tanya Lipscomb, a Durham native, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Literature at North Carolina Central University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Lipscomb will create artwork for three bus shelters. Her work seeks to project a truthful reflection of her city through the use of mixed media, acrylic, and photography, showing “facets of Durham’s rich Black past along with its even more lustrous Black future.”
Jermaine “J.P.” Powell is a North Carolina-based mixed-media artist and muralist, who will also develop artwork for three bus shelters. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Powell holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute. His paintings and public art projects explore the complexities of human relationships, materialism, and consumerism. Powell’s artwork has also been featured in Cary Living Magazine, at Duke University, Art Space Galleries, Raleigh Arts, the City of Durham, and the Durham Art Guild in addition to collectors throughout the United States, Argentina, Japan, South Africa, and London.
The artist team of Tim Stallmann and William Paul Thomas will create artwork for the final three bus shelters. Stallmann is a cartographer based in Durham. As a worker-owner at Research Action Design, he works with organizations and communities to co-design research, media, and technology projects toward social change and collective liberation. William Paul Thomas is a visual artist also based in Durham. His work is centered on making images to record his life experiences and observations with an approach that defies standard documentary practices. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Masters of Fine Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Each artist/artist team will receive $9,000, for a total project budget of $27,000, to create and fabricate their artworks. The artists will also host, facilitate, and participate in community engagement activities before finalizing their designs to gather feedback from residents living in the respective City Council wards where the bus shelters will be located. The new artworks will be installed by late spring 2021.
For questions or more information, artists are encouraged to contact Cultural and Public Art Program Manager Rebecca Brown with the City’s General Services Department at (912) 398-8075 or by email.
About the City of Durham Public Art Committee
The Public Art Committee serves as an advisory body to the Durham City Council and the City Manager, and its functions include assisting the City's General Services Department on matters relating to public art; implementation of the Public Art Policy; and reviewing proposals for public art projects brought to it by the City administration; and making recommendations to the Durham Cultural Advisory Board regarding project approvals. To further help artists connect with opportunities, the City has also launched a Durham Calls for Artists page on its website, which lists a number of upcoming opportunities for artists in and around Durham. Artists and other stakeholders who would like to be notified of current and future art-related opportunities and news can now sign up for alerts through the Cultural and Public Arts Calls for Art mailing list. For more information about the City’s Cultural and Public Arts Program, visit the City’s cultural and public arts page. Artists and residents interested in more information about the Cultural and Public Arts program may also contact Division Manager Stacey Poston with the City’s General Services Department at (919) 560-4197, ext. 21254 or by email.
About the City of Durham General Services Department
The General Services Department builds and maintains City properties to make Durham a great place for people to live, work, and play. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department’s core functions include the acquisition and sale of properties, design and management of new construction and renovation projects, building maintenance, landscaping and urban forestry services, cemeteries management, sustainability and energy management, and supporting the nonprofit Keep Durham Beautiful.
About Participatory Budgeting
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 their monthly committee meeting. Visit the PB Durham website to review the results for the Cycle 1 Election in addition to voting guidelines adopted by the Steering Committee.