Public Art

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Radical Futures

By Charlie Dupee
Installed 2022

Located at Peace & Justice Plaza.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The Vera Institute of Justice found that as of 2017, “In North Carolina, Black people constituted 23% of state residents, but 48% of people in jail and 52% of people in prison.”

“Once we accept justice as a racialized struggle, the question becomes what is the role of the visual artist? In the book On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis, Walsh and Anzaldúa put forth the question, “how [do we] write (produce) without being inscribed (reproduced) in the dominant white structure and how [do we] write (produce) without reinscribing and reproducing what we rebel against.” Of course, there is no single or simple answer, but I do believe there is an approach in imagining an untethered, future solidary. The raised fist, a global symbol instantly recognized as call for collective liberation, adopted and propagated by people in times of struggle, strife, and resistance. What is the future of this symbol? My piece, radical futures, is an attempt to visualize a future for this symbol and continue its lineage as an emblem of abolition.”

Refreshing Connections

By Holly Felice
Installed 2021

Located at Booker Creek Basin Park

Large iridescent stainless steel sculptures towering about 12 feet above the trail. Each piece resembles a different inspect species that can be found in the space – butterfly, dragonfly, and ladybug.

 

Elemental Landscapes

By Laura Haddad & Tom Drugan
Installed 2009

Located at Southern Community Park.

A series of landscape art installations created from natural materials found at the space. Made from salvaged boulders and trees, the installations reveal and surround different elements of earth, air, water, and flora. Installations include:
  • Water The boulder-ringed wetlands bowl
  • Air A circle of large rocks creating a community gathering place
  • Cairns Sets of stacked stones marking the park entrances
  • Stone markers Etched with references of historic and contemporary places of Chapel Hill

Tanyard Branch Bridge

By Leo Gaev
Installed 2018

Located on the Tanyard Branch Trail.

In 2018, metalsmith Leo Gaev was commissioned to create art for the bridge on the Tanyard Branch Trail connecting Umstead Park to the Northside neighborhood. Lining the bridge are 43 steel silhouettes inspired by folks going about their daily lives.

Merritt’s Pasture Bike Racks

By Al Frega
Installed 2011

Located at Merritt’s Pasture.

Made from recycled brake drums from Chapel Hill Transit buses.

Magnolia Exotica

By Carl Regutti

Located at Homestead Park.

Inspired by the many colors of a peacock, Magnolia Exotica is made of an innovative type of stainless steel that produces different hues in the light.

Historical Markers

Freedom Fighters Gateway

Installed 2017

Located at the corner of W. Rosemary St. and Roberson St.

The Freedom Fighters Gateway shares a glimpse into the Civil Rights movement with photos and oral histories, marking the entrance to the Northside Neighborhood. Built of Chatham stone and features eight black, granite slabs.

Chapel Hill Nine Historical Marker

By Stephen Hayes
Installed in 2020

Located at 452 W Franklin St.

After community engagement and a series of design workshops, the marker was envisioned as a fusion of public art and historical monument. Designed by Durham artist Stephen Hayes, with project management by Alicia Hylton-Daniel, it features documentary photography from the era, the names and ages of the Chapel Hill Nine, and a base that evokes the rock walls of the Northside neighborhood where this and many other demonstrations and actions were planned.

Memorial Benches

Jim Huegerich Memorial Bench

By Jim Gallucci
Installed 2023

Located on the Bolin Creek Trail

This bench honors the late Jim Huegerich, a dedicated public servant who made significant contributions to the community. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the Friends of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, and artist Jim Gallucci collaborated with the Huegerich family to bring this unique bench and lasting tribute to the Bolin Creek Trail.

Downtown Window Art

A Space for All of Us

By Peri Law
Installed 2021

Located at Lula’s

ARTIST STATEMENT

“This piece is about creating a space that celebrates Asian American existence. It acts as an altar for the community, inspired by Chinese traditions with oranges symbolizing good fortune, a chrysanthemum to represent longevity, and plum blossoms as a sign of perseverance and hope.”

Successions

By Renzo Ortega
Installed 2021

Located at TOPO Distillery.

ARTIST STATEMENT

“Successions” mural is about the different cycles and transitions that families go through over the years. They are experiencing departures, absences, breaks, and reconciliations that are part of the family bond dynamics. This artwork tribute the relatives who left and did not return and the hope of a reunion.

HOPE

By Luis Franco
Installed 2021

Located at 501 W Franklin Street.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The art displays a woman wearing a face mask, with a message. This message is the word “Hope” to inspire everyone who is persevering through this pandemic. Right now we can use some hope as the world has experienced loss and quarantine.

We, Too, Sing America

By Antonio Alanis
Installed 2021

Located at 161 E Franklin Street.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The piece titled “We, Too, Sing America” pays homage to Langston Hughes’ poem “I, too.” I dedicate this piece to all the essential workers and people of color who continue to keep the United States afloat before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Shakti – The Power Within

By Sampada Agarwal
Installed 2020

Located at Que Chula Tacos

Sampada wrote a wonderful blog sharing her intention behind the piece. Read the full story here.

Learn More About Downtown Windows

Art + Transit

Enlivening the transit experience.

Still Together We Rise

By Janvika Shah
Installed 2023 as part of Women’s History Month

Located at the bus shelter on South Road at County Club Road

ARTIST STATEMENT

Drawing from softness, resilience, strength, and intuitive wisdom, this piece aims to inspire women from all backgrounds to come together to lift each other up in the name of equity.

Growth Of Life

By East Chapel Hill High students Selema De Bellis, Chia Liu, and Lan (Alice) Gao
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at East Chapel Hill High (no longer on display)

Students from the ECHHS Art Appreciation Club designed this work inspired by the growth and resilience of a tree, even in some of the most unforgiving environments. The seed panel was made by Selema De Bellis. The sapling panel was designed by Chia Liu (Sapling). The Tree panel was create by Lan (Alice) Gao.

Home Is Where The Hill Is

By Mayanthi Jayawardena
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at Ashley Forest Drive 

ARTIST STATEMENT

“My goal with this art is to show that home can be anywhere, no matter where you are from or who you are.”

Blooms Over Chapel Hill

By Sara Roberts
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at South Columbia Street at Westwood Drive

ARTIST STATEMENT

Blooms Over Chapel Hill was inspired by the textures, colors, art, businesses, patterns and murals that are found in and near Chapel Hill. Each petal is created from individual photographs from the area. The historical buildings include the theatre, castle, well, church and graveyard. The print media tells about various aspects of the development and transportation of Chapel Hill. This piece invites the passengers in to connect with and celebrate familiar objects, while enjoying art dedicated to the best parts of Chapel Hill.”

Hidden Worlds

By Jesse White
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at Manning Drive at Hibbard Drive

ARTIST STATEMENT

“What worlds exist just beyond our own? Each shape in this illustration represents a portal; a peek into another world. The colorful animals, trees, landscapes, and cityscapes form imagery that is somewhat familiar to us but with a hint of fantasy and nostalgia. In doing so, the work creates an immersive, magical space reminiscent of stepping into a children’s picture book. Bus riders and pedestrians are transported away from their daily routine for a few moments and invited to engage in imaginative, playful thinking and visioning. This type of experience can be therapeutic, especially now, when so much of our lives are consumed by difficult news updates and pandemic restrictions.”

Sun

By Antonio Alanis
Installed 2022

Located at bus shelter at South Columbia Street at Mason Farm Road

ARTIST STATEMENT

“My image titled Sun belongs to my “Healing Through the Arts” series, which explores how bold color, Latin-American-inspired graphics inspire happiness, warmth, and optimism. As society grapples with so much destruction, I believe that artists like me can counteract this havoc and help create spaces where people can feel a brief break from everything happening.” Instagram: @AntonioAlanisArt

Unity Flight

By Loren Pease
Installed 2022

Located at bus shelter at  the Carrboro Post Office

ARTIST STATEMENT

“These butterflies represent todays youth coming together from all parts of the world and cultures to help the environment heal.” (Original art- 24″x48″ Acrylic on Wood)

Barning Around In North Carolina

By Sally Gregoire
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at Ridge Road at Eringhaus Hall

Sally Gregoire of Mountain Shadow Designs created the artwork entitled “Barning Around In North Carolina” as a nod to the agricultural history of North Carolina. Depicted are four local barns that watch over the landscape and tie together our rural and urban existences as we drive by them everyday. Sally uses both traditional and digital art techniques to document these buildings and artistically present them before they disappear from our landscapes. Mountain Shadow Designs can be found at www.mountainshadowdesigns.net. Barn Around with me on Instagram: @mtnshadowdesign

Carolina Flora

By Taylor Bragg
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at 1211 East Franklin Street

ARTIST STATEMENT

“The Flowering Dogwood, Honeysuckle and Red Maple tree are all natural staples of North Carolina’s ecosystem. Native plants are such a crucial factor in keeping North Carolina’s landscapes healthy and beautiful. My hope with this piece is to highlight some of the state’s most important plants, even if they aren’t nearby.”

We Knew Intersectionality Was The Way Forward

By Jane Cheek
Installed 2022 as part of Small Town Pride

Located at the bus shelter at Carolina Apartments

ARTIST STATEMENT

“As a bisexual woman from the South, creating work that makes Queer Pride more visible and increases representation in our communities is important to me. My transit shelter design is based on the concept that progress needs to be intersectional, and the colors are inspired by the inclusive Progressive Pride Flag. The design is simple and whimsical, with overlapping colorful circles in which the overlapped areas will have blended colors. There are gold accents to add a painterly effect to the work and give it a celebratory vibe.”

A Tapestry of Rogers Road

By Kiara Chatterjee
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter on Rogers Road

ARTIST STATEMENT

The four figures on the left are Sam Rogers and his grandsons, who were part of the establishing of Rogers Road and the family who lived there. There is also a woman and child in the middle frame, they were unnamed but part of the Walker family who also had connection to Rogers Road. Then there is Robert Cambell who is on the right and a young girl holding a protest sign regarding environmental justice with the landfill. The background is the Faith Tabernacle church. I intended to superimpose a map of Rogers Rd and lower the opacity in the background.

The idea is the unification of the ancestors to the present day, and the connection of memories to history. Also, an acknowledgement of how a historic Black neighborhood dealt with trauma from the poisoned groundwater.

Pride and Power

By Charlie Dupee
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at Adelaide Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

ARTIST STATEMENT

“This diptych is an expression of LGBTQ+ pride in Chapel Hill, beyond the month of June. The blue panel on the left reimagines Athena, the goddess on Chapel Hill’s seal, as a genderqueer deity. And the pink panel on the right is in solidarity with our Black Trans community.”

Ansimit

By Sampada Agarwal
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at Airport Gardens Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

ARTIST STATEMENT

“This artwork is quite close to my heart, where I highlight the various facets of womanhood. We come in all shapes and sizes and colors – each one to be celebrated; encouraging all towards forging a gender equal world and building inclusive workplaces so that women thrive! It is rightly said – “Empowered women empower women”. It is quite serendipitous that the style of the art I have used, called Mithila art, is a folk art from the state of Bihar in India and has been practiced primarily by women and passed down generations from mothers to daughters. Its hallmark is colorful, busy, yet esthetically pleasing compositions.”

Plants are Resilient

By Antonio Alanis
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at Fire Station #3.

Antonio created this piece titled “Plants are Resilient,” a plant-themed bus shelter vinyl piece. He placed multiple-color leaves that people can enjoy as they wait for the bus and go on their day. This particular piece will invite the people waiting for the bus to take a moment to meditate, to turn to nature to uplift their spirits, and offer a space for healing and reflection. The different leaves symbolize Antonio’s commitment to fighting for diversity and inviting audience members to think critically about recognizing everyone’s humane interconnectedness regardless of race and ethnicity.

Chill Chapel Hill

By Ian Wenstrand
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at MLK Jr. Blvd at Chapel View

ARTIST STATEMENT

“My goal for this artwork is to create a scene combining all of Chapel Hill’s unique landmarks and buildings. Places such as Morehead Planetarium, Franklin Street, and the Varsity Theater appear together in one street corner representing Chapel Hill. Lastly, I wanted to show people getting out of the house and enjoying the town with each other, something we all haven’t been able to do in the past year.”

Ian Wenstrand is an artist & illustrator located in the Raleigh area. He creates obsessively detailed, colorful, fine line illustrations. Ian’s work blends modern cities with sci-fi, video games, and other fun graphical elements to create an imagined version of a place.

Random Joys

By Ms. TT & RedApple School students
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at Abernethy Hall on UNC Campus.  This shelter was made possible through a partnership with RedApple.

Made by RedApple students ages 5-9, guided and edited by the art teacher Ms. TT, and inspired by New York artist Keith Haring. Because social distancing must be kept, none of the lines in the pictures touch, besides the doctors and nurses working together to save lives. And because masks have to be on faces to protect our mouths and noses, everyone (person or animal) in our pictures have a mask. 

Have a Great Day

By Jermaine Powell 
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at Shadowood Apartments on M.L.K. Jr. Blvd.

This shelter pairs with Have a Really Good Day. 

ARTIST STATEMENT

“I simply wanted to bring honor to the diversity of people who ride the bus. My goal was also to make both the bus riders and the bus drivers feel appreciated throughout their day. I really got a unique opportunity to engage with my local community while working on this project in realtime. They gave me honest and encouraging feedback along the way. They are the ones that make creating public art so enjoyable.”

Birds of Different Feathers

By Victoria Primicias
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter at Eastgate Shopping Center.

ARTIST STATEMENT
“Birds of different feathers flock together on electric wires and light poles. It is a metaphor for inclusion, community, acceptance and diversity. The birds depicted include a cardinal, blue jay, mockingbird, woodpecker and goldfinch. All are common backyard birds found throughout the year in North Carolina. Other North Carolina references include a dogwood tree peeking out from the bottom left, and prominence given to the cardinal, the state bird.”

Pillar

By L Jámal Walton
Installed 2020

Located at the bus shelter at Brookside Condos on Hillsborough Street.

Pillar features the Greek Goddess Athena, who is on the Town of Chapel Hill seal. According to history, the Town leaders chose her to symbolize Chapel Hill as she represents civilization, knowledge, reasoning, logic, and wisdom. For this project, Athena is illustrated in a comic book style sharing her stories while watching over the “Southern Part of Heaven” that embraces the shape and colors of the Chapel Hill flag.

 

 

Connected

By Gabriela Amaya-Baron
Installed 2020

Located at the bus shelter at the Harris Teeter in Meadowmont.

Connected uses network imagery and street map patterns to symbolize ways that humans connect, whether to place, to information and data, to history and culture, or to each other.

Have A Really Good Day

By Jermaine Powell 
Installed 2020

Located at the bus shelter at Shadowood Apartments on M.L.K. Jr. Blvd.

In Have A Really Good Day, Powell hopes to remind people to enjoy the ride and make friends along the way. “I think my paintings are a beautiful example of where I live and the people who make my life worth living.” -JP

Distant Futures

By Charles Chace
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter on Pittsboro Street.

ARTIST STATEMENT
“In this work I’m attempting to create a digital image with a series of analog procedures. Starting by cutting sheets of paper into small triangles. The triangles are then unidirectionally stacked creating a three dimensional surface that allows an interplay of light and shadows. I’m less concerned with developing shapes or predetermined images than I am with developing random and intuitive patterns. These patterns create a digital landscape that approaches an image similar to scrambled television.”

 

The Ooom Pah Band

By Joel Sobelson
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter at Glen Lennox Shopping Center.

“To bring a smile to both young and old how about a circus-like sense of fun, color and enjoyment. I don’t know about you but If you look closely you can actually hear the fun um-pa-pa of the band. ” – Joel Sobelson on The Ooom Pah Band

Kindness Matters

By Helen Seebold
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter at Caldwell St by Northside Elementary.

In Kindness Matters, Seebold explores how we can make a difference in our community by stopping and taking a moment to be kind. She hopes the mural can help people shift their perspective and invite the viewer to become part of a movement to enlighten our minds and open our hearts.

Star Crossed Lovers

By Britt Flood
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter at University Place (no longer on display)

Star Crossed Lovers is a continuous line piece that depicts two figures connected by line and color, symbolizing connection and fate.

Umbrella

By Sarahlaine Calva
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter at Airport Gardens (no longer on display)

Using a signature style and vibrant color palette, Calva weaves in raindrops and flowers to depict how one must face trials and obstacles in order to grow and bloom. Growth is a beautiful thing that requires effort and patience.

“I believe it would be a nice touch to the city while also serving as a reminder to persevere.” – Sarahlaine Calva

Who We Are

By Chloe Strauss
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter at Franklin Woods Apartments.

Strauss’ art is inspired by diversity and helping others “to see aspects of themselves shown as beautiful and important.”

Chapel Hill Monuments

By Tarish Pipkins
Installed 2021

Located at the bus shelter on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd & Stateside Dr.

Tarish Pipkins’ recently updated this bus shelter. Chapel Hill Monuments portrays in bright acrylic hues well-known UNC-Chapel Hill landmarks like The Bell tower and The Old Well.

What Just Happened?

By Ron Liberti
Installed 2018

Located at the bus shelter on Southern Village Park & Ride Lot (no longer on display)

Ron Liberti’s What Just Happened? features altered stills from the final scene of the 1967 The Graduate where a bride runs out of her own wedding and hops on a city bus another suitor.

A Journey of Reconcilitation

Photo from the Library of Congress as part of the group of photos included in the writings of Bayard Rustin
Installed 2022

Located at the bus shelter at the Rosemary St. & Columbia St. Parking Lot.

This shelter commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Journey of Reconciliation, also known as the First Freedom Ride. 75 years ago, an interracial group of civil rights activists set out on “The First Freedom Ride” to test a Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on interstate buses unconstitutional. Chapel Hill was the only stop where the group was met with violence.

The photo from 1947 depicts Journey of Reconciliation riders Worth Randle, Wally Nelson, Ernest Bromley, Jim Peck, Igal Roodenko, Bayard Rustin, Joe Felmet, George Houser, and Andy Johnson holding suitcases and coats outside standing outside the office of Attorney S.W. Robinson in Richmond, Virginia.

I Raised My Hand To Volunteer

Photo by Jim Wallace
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter in front of Moe’s Southwest Grill on Franklin Street.

I Raised My Hand To Volunteer features a quote from Karen Parker, the first African American woman to graduate from UNC- Chapel Hill.

“On Saturday, the 14th, I decided to go to jail. It was not fun at all.” This was in December 1963 during a time when hundreds of people were arrested for protests and when those protests occasionally turned violent.

We Were Troublemakers

Photo by Jim Wallace
Installed 2019

Located at the bus shelter in front of The Graduate Hotel on Franklin Street.

We Were Troublemakers features a quote from Harold Foster, a leader in the Chapel Hill Civil Rights movement.

“We were troublemakers. We questioned authority and challenged it head on.”

Can’t Stop Pride Art Bus

By Wutang McDougal
Installed 2022 as part of Small Town Pride

ARTIST STATEMENT

“My first Pride was in 2018, and also the year I really explored my queerness. I created this design from what I saw and the feelings I had at Pride. Surrounded by collective love from my community. I love 80’s glam and I feel the palette I chose will be interesting and eye-catching. I also wanted to show representation of pride in Black queerness, Trans community and queer love”. I feel really good about what I’ve created and hope to spread the feeling of Pride wherever the bus goes.”

A bus wrapped in an artistic design that says Can't Stop Pride.

Orgullo Latino Art Bus

By Georges Le Chevallier
Installed 2020

ARTIST STATEMENT

“As a Latinx Artist, I believe that is extremely important to represent Latinx people in a positive image. Even though the majority of Latinx immigrants are extremely honest and hard-working people, that is not how they are seen by many people. Being born from a Puerto Rican Mother and having lived most of my childhood in Puerto Rico, I can personally understand the great pride we have towards the many Hispanic people making a constructive impact on our society. Today thousands of Hispanics now call the Traingle their home.
Celebrating the great moment that Hispanic culture is having here in North Carolina, I am proposing to create the “Orgullo Latino / Latinx Pride” Bus for Chapel Hill Transit.

In “Orgullo Latino / Latinx Pride” Bus I juxtapose visual patterns of colors with Spanish words that characterize Latinx people living at the beginning of this new millennium. Nothing divides people more than language, so my aim is to bring people together by showing them Spanish and English words coexisting together.The “Orgullo Latino / Latinx Pride” Bus also pays tribute to the many colorful buses in Latin America, from Chiva Buses in the Andean region of South America to the famous “Chicken Buses” in Central American countries like Guatemala.”

Rise Above Racial Injustices Art Bus

By Debi Drew and NAACP Youth Council members Kennedy Lytle, Sol Ramirez, and Anthony Swann
Installed 2021

ARTIST STATEMENT

“Working with NAACP youth for a bus wrap design against racial injustice was a wonderful opportunity.

The timing was ideal for these youth to have their voices heard as they witnessed in the media (and maybe in person) the constant reminders of negative racist views and acts of hatred against black people and other people of color which filled media reports across the nation.  My goal was to provide a comfortable space for them to be heard and be motivated to create visual art productions inspired by our discussions in workshop planning sessions.

Self Concept, Racist Viewpoints and Unity in Diversity were the themes in our workshops. A work of art created by each of the youth is displayed on their apparel of their images on the bus. Important and meaningful statements they communicated encircle their images, as well.  The design that fills the background of the bus is symbolic of an African mud cloth design.  The diversity of the artwork and size of the youth images of the youth artists, Kennedy Lytle, Sol Ramirez and Anthony Swann help spotlight their young voices and I am so proud that they contributed such sound advice against racial injustice.”

This project was made possible through partnership with Orange County Arts Commission and and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

From Asia to Chapel Hill with Love Art Bus

By Gabriel Eng-Goetz
Installed 2023

ARTIST STATEMENT

“My design celebrates the growing Asian American community here in the Triangle. My ancestors immigrated to America in the late 1800s, just prior to the Chinese Exclusion Act, leaving Southern China to start a Chinese vegetable farm here in the South and sell their exotic produce at markets in NYC. There are countless stories of change and sacrifice that all of our ancestors made to set us up for the opportunities we have today. The cultural identity of Asian Americans in the Southern United States continues to evolve in new and beautiful ways.

“This piece visually fuses ancient symbols with modern aesthetics and materials to recognize the amazing contributions Asian communities bring to the area. The left side of the bus features a leaping dog, which in Chinese culture symbolizes loyalty, honesty and friendship. The right side of the bus features an eagle to symbolize strength, freedom and vision. The back of the bus reads ‘From Asia to Chapel Hill with Love’, while Cantonese characters reading with ‘With Love’ are featured on the back and front of the bus.”

 

Motherland

By Dain Kim

Installed 2023

ARTIST STATEMENT

“When I imagined what I would like to see on a bus ceiling, my thoughts turned to nature. On passengers’ daily commute, this image might provide a short trip to a peaceful place, with perhaps a splash of fantasy and daydream. This landscape is inspired by Korean folk art, with the cranes being symbols of long life, and the sun and moon as symbols of balance. By sharing this work, I wish for well-being and vitality to all bus passengers in Chapel Hill.”

Water Your Garden

By Mayanthi Jayawardena, Serendib Creative LLC
Installed 2023

ARTIST STATEMENT

“I created Water Your Garden to bring awareness to how important taking care of our mental health is. I wanted to visualize how important it is to practice self-care and be kind to yourself. As someone who is a mental health advocate with a background in public health, and who has struggled with anxiety and PTSD in my life, I wanted to create artwork that is beautiful, positive and encouraging to destigmatize such an important subject. One side of the illustration shows the power of healthy thoughts (written in the persons long hair) through affirmations and the other side of the illustration is about ways that you can practice self-care and seek support within your community symbolized through the words and multiple watering cans collectively watering the garden growing from the other person’s head. In the center is a brain with one side illustrated in the same design as the positive thoughts side and the other is illustrated as a garden. I believe that artwork has the power to change the way people think and I believe that imagery and messaging like this in the Chapel Hill buses could have a positive impact on its riders.”

The Bear Truth

By Victoria Primicias
Installed 2021

ARTIST STATEMENT

“Fires, floods, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, drought, and high temperatures. It can’t be denied. Climate change is here, and it affects everyone. I hope to increase awareness about global warming while giving hoping that it’s not too late to change our ways and be a part of the solution.”

Caretaker (The Cardinal)

By Britt Flood
Installed 2023

Located at MLK Jr. Blvd. at Timber Hollow (Southbound)

ARTIST STATEMENT

“This is a whimsical ode to the backyard birds of my new home since moving to Chapel Hill. I feel lucky to hear the birdsong of cardinals every morning, and this is an ode to how nature positively shapes and takes care of our mental health and wellbeing.”

Photo by Fly Squirrel Films

Flower Power

By Kelly Schrader
Installed 2023

Located at North Greensboro Street at Shelton

ARTIST STATEMENT

“This design focuses on ‘flower power,’ how the queer community historically has been tied to certain types of flowers, from Oscar Wilde’s green carnations to Lincoln’s ‘streak of lavender,’ even back to Sappho’s violets. There have been many floral terms used derogatorily towards LGBTQ people, such as ‘pansy’ or ‘buttercup,’ and even sayings like ‘horticultural lad’ and ‘evening botanist’ to refer to same-sex attracted folks. Time and time again, the LGBTQ community reclaims these terms as a form of empowerment, and today the association between queer culture and flowers is a positive one. Flower types included: lavender, violets, green carnations, pansies, buttercups, white lilies (popular reference to lesbianism in Japan), roses, and other flowers that are specifically mentioned in Lord Alfred Douglas’ famously gay poem, ‘Two Loves’ (crocuses, fritillaries, pervenches).”

Photo by Fly Squirrel Films

Secret Psychic Bus Pass

By Stella Rosen
Installed 2023

Located at South Columbia Street at Frat Court

ARTIST STATEMENT

“Through eight panels connected by a central winding visual element, Secret Psychic Bus Pass depicts, in bright colors and bold linework, a journey from a bus stop in Chapel Hill through several North Carolina landscapes. The connection between panels takes the viewer on an imaginary journey from the bus stop bench to high in the night sky, back down to earth along the back of snakes, along a winding river, through a field of windflowers, through a dark bat cave, and then finally back to the bus stop bench. The last panel is a foil to the first, showing how the character, and viewer, may incorporate fantastical memories of the journey into their daily lives.”

Learn About Art + Transit

Murals

Telling the story of our community

The Trail Mural

By Calvin Ulrich

Installed 2023

Located on Booker Creek Trail

ARTIST STATEMENT

The Trail Mural depicts four separate scenes, each located on a different pipe along the trail. The idea for this work revolves around showing the different biomes and fauna that inhabit the area and depicting them in a classic, scientific-illustration style. Each pipe has a specific scene, such as Treetops and Upper Branches, Forest Floor, Creek Bed and Banks, and The Forest at Night. Within each scene, the animals depicted correspond to their environment.

Harmony in Nature

By Sampada Kodagali Agarwal

Installed 2023

Located on Booker Creek Trail

ARTIST STATEMENT

“Immersed in the rich tapestry of tribal art, this earthy composition is broken down in three different parts, yet comes together cohesively as a whole. It beautifully intertwines the harmonious connection between mankind, the life-sustaining element of water, and the captivating allure of the verdant, green North Carolina trails.

“These monochromatic, simplistic, yet expressive paintings are made using a basic set of geometric shapes – a circle, a triangle, and a square. Jivya Soma Mashe, a highly accomplished Warli artist, who introduced Warli to the world as an art form and inspired many tribal youths to practice Warli as commercial art, summed up the deep feeling which animates the Warli people, saying ‘There are human beings, birds, animals, insects, and so on. Everything moves, day and night. Life is movement.'”

The Power of Persistence

By Max Dowdle
Installed 2022

Located at 140 West Franklin Street

ARTIST STATEMENT

“The natural, enduring surroundings of Chapel Hill help make it the special place that it is. The mural takes inspiration from the four rivers (the Eno, Haw, Deep and Rocky Rivers) in the immediate environs, overlaid in colorful, dynamic harmony to create an abstract symphony of form and movement. It’s my intention that this painting brings the life and beauty of land and water into the 140 West courtyard, reminding visitors and viewers of the natural treasures found all around us. Like the immutable, persistent rivers, the power of these people and this place can overcome any obstacle.”

African American Trailblazers

By Kiara Chatterjee
Installed 2021

Located at 111 S. Merritt Mill Road

ARTIST STATEMENT

“The composition that I had in mind was strongly influenced by the artworks of Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas. His figures often had auras that seemed to radiate from them, giving them a powerful presence that I feel would be fitting for the trail-blazing African-American people this mural is dedicated to.”

Elizabeth Cotten Mural

By Scott Nurkin
Installed 2020

Located on the 111 N. Merritt Mill Road on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro line.

As part of the North Carolina Musicians Mural Project, the Elizabeth Cotten mural honors the local blues legend and her lasting impact on the community. Ms. Cotten is renowned for her distinctive musical style, created by playing left-handed on a right-handed guitar. Many of her songs reference her early life in North Carolina, including her most iconic song, “Freight Train.” This mural is a collaboration between the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.
Chapel Hill Public Library staff tell Elizabeth Cotten’s story on Episode 8 of the Re/Collecting Chapel Hill podcast.

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Water’s Perfect Memory

By Max Dowdle
Installed 2020

Located in the meadow where the Lower Booker Creek Trail connects with East Franklin Street.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The water of Booker Creek runs day and night, trickling along with sunrise and sunset. While deer feed, raccoons scavenge, squirrels nibble, foxes sneak, coyotes hunt, birds watch from above, and humans enjoy their walks, the water continues to travel its well-worn cut in the earth, remembering all that occurs around it.

Florifauns

By J Massullo
Installed 2020

Located on the Bolin Creek Greenway tunnel that passes underneath M.L.K. Jr. Blvd.

Inspired by traditional graffiti spray paint techniques, artist J Massullo incorporated elements from the natural world including stylized insects, animals, flora, and fauna.

In 2021, we commissioned J Massullo to work with Chapel Hill High School students to paint the OWASA pipes near the Florifauns mural. The result was a collaborative creative experience.

Stormwater Education

By Elisabeth Flock
Installed 2022

Located at Chapel Hill Public Library

ARTIST STATEMENT

These larger-than-life critters are designed to draw your attention towards storm drains and how they are connected to natural waterways and wildlife. A river otter points to the drain while holding a book called “Hydrosphere,” and a very fancy crayfish clasps “Creek Critters” in his claws. Both of these books are on the library’s “Clean Water is Precious!” reading list. The catfish reads a page (from the Nc-Clearwater.org website) that clearly states how stormwater is not treated.

We Are All Connected

By Mayanthi Jayawardena
Installed 2022

Located at Northside Elementary

ARTIST STATEMENT

My design is based on the connection that clean storm drains have with a clean and flourishing environment. I thought this would be a great design to celebrate Earth day and show clean water entering the storm drain. I created the whimsical landscape for the students at Northside to share the magic in nature.

Red Salamander

By Nyssa Collins
Installed 2022

Located at Southern Village Park & Ride

ARTIST STATEMENT

“The most fascinating creatures are our neighbors in wooded areas, creeks, and meadows across the piedmont of North Carolina. The brilliantly colored Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) looks like it belongs in the Amazon Rainforest, but is actually native to wooded streams of the eastern United States. North Carolina is home to more salamander species than any other place in the world due to the huge variety of agreeable ecosystems from the coast to the mountains. Salamanders are considered a bioindicator species, which means that their presence in a watershed indicates a clean and healthy creek. Water from city storm drains flows directly into the watershed without filtration (this storm drain flows to Wilson Creek and Morgan Creek before reaching Jordan Lake), so it is crucial to monitor non-permeable surfaces like driveways and roads to prevent pollution flowing to delicate habitats.”

Nyssa Collins is a painter, sculptor, puppeteer, and musician living in Durham, NC.

 

Year Of Jubilee: 1865

By Candy Carver
Installed 2022

Located at Hargraves Community Center

Bike racks and benches designed after the iconic rockwall in the historic Northside neighborhood. Candy Carver is a self taught, North Carolina based artist.

Artist Statement

“I create electric and brightly colored contemporary artwork that encompasses bold colors and utilizes abstract design, alongside figurative subjects. My work is intuitive and begins with a specified feeling as the goal. The colors I choose are therapeutic and enliven me as I create. Often, the themes broaden as I work through each piece. Creating allows for me to refill my reservoir of joy and impact others in a similar way. I leave every canvas feeling full in a way that I can only compare to meditation.”

Roller Rink

By Natasja Bresenski
Installed 2022

Located at Chapel Hill Community Center

ARTIST STATEMENT

“As an abstract artist who is inspired by bold, vibrant colors, I am thrilled to be able to share my work with the Chapel Hill community. I love the idea of “beautifying” public spaces and objects that are often overlooked by the everyday public. I like to explore the ways color can interact to create playful compositions and evoke different moods.

I think the most important part of public art is accessibility. Oftentimes art can feel out of reach to the community when it is in museums guarded by pretension and often a paywall. When art is displayed in a communal space, it is open for everyone to see and share and enjoy together.”

 

It Was Always The Perfect Day For A Swim

By Jane Cheek
Installed 2022

Located at Homestead Aquatics Center

ARTIST STATMENT

“My work memorializes personal moments and memories in immersive formats. I offer these glimpses into my daily life as a queer Southern woman to help create connections. I use simple geometric forms and familiar imagery to create universally accessible artwork that challenges the perception that our differences have to be larger than life, and I hope to create spaces and conversations that help bridge those differences. The bike rack design at Homestead Aquatic Center was inspired by my love of water, swimming, and the joy those spaces bring.”

The South Got Something To Say

By Artie Barksdale
Installed 2022

Located on the 108 Henderson Street

We partnered with Carolina Performing Arts on this mural to celebrate the Hip Hop South Festival. The location was selected because of its proximity to the site of a former hip hop club, The Hideaway, which was a key stop on the Southern hip hop circuit in the early 2000s.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

“The South Got Something to Say” is a quote from rapper/musician Andre 3000 of “OutKast” which is the theme for the mural project. The elements of the mural include:

  • A compass base of North, West and South. The south being highlighted to represent the regional direction.
  • A cassette tape of the group OutKast that Andre 3000 mentioned during the 1995 source awards.
  • Bass speakers pointed towards the sky. I positioned them like satellites to represent the hip hop south sound stretching across the airwaves to reach other parts of the world.
  • A record and needle which is placed towards the North. This is significant to how records and songs had to be played up north first before they transitioned to the south for airplay in the 90’s.
  • An 808 drum machine which is the foundation of the hip hop sound globally. I felt that this image was so important because without the 808 drum machine the hip hop sound would have never evolved.
  • A rooster. The rooster represents the southern hospitality, waking up early and fighting for supremacy. I was inspired by the rooster from the movie “Idlewild” a hip hop musical featuring OutKast which an animated rooster made cameo appearances throughout the film.
  • A microphone with lighting bolts surrounding the mic as representation of radio frequencies.
  • A green mouth of the south. I made the decision to make the mouth green to represent how hungry and ripe the voices of the south we were in 1995.

Lotus Rising – An Ode To Women

By Mayanthi Jayawardena
Installed 2023

Located on the 423 West Franklin Street

Created during Women’s History Month on the side of Lantern Restaurant, a women-owned business, the mural creates a community space that celebrates and uplifts women and marginalized voices. Themes of gold and lotus flowers are seen throughout the design symbolizing resilience, illumination, and wisdom. The lotus flower, or water lily, is the national flower of Sri Lanka, representing the artist’s native culture.

Many partners supported this project including the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Lantern Restaurant, and the Orange County Arts Commission.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Mayanthi has blended her art and her advocacy to continue to impact the communities she serves. Many of her pieces celebrate the beauty and power of being a woman, while others express her Sri Lankan pride and pain, her latest draws awareness to the importance of mental health and self-love, and others share a world of beauty, color, and life through her eyes. Mayanthi is forever grateful for the opportunities and support that she has received and will continue to appreciate the serendipity of her journey.

Water Connects Us (A Reminder)

By Jesse White
Installed 2023

Located at Chapel Hill Town Hall at North Columbia Street

ARTIST STATEMENT
It’s easy to forget that our community is part of a dynamic ecosystem that includes both the natural and built environment. Our actions have a direct impact on the plants and animals around us: we are like pieces of a living, breathing puzzle. Instead of allowing that knowledge to guide and enrich our daily lives, we often operate as if we are totally separate from nature. As soon as water disappears down the drain, we stop thinking about where it will end up. This mural uses color, shape, and visual movement to remind viewers of our interdependence, as well as the responsibility that comes with it. The design features a large semi-circle shape, filled with flora and fauna of North Carolina that are impacted by creek pollution. The images are carefully arranged in a radiating pattern to represent the ripple effect of even the smallest change within our environment, and the arrow shapes symbolize water as a connective tissue within that environment.

Goodness Sakes

By Alice Holleman 
Installed 2023

Located at Chapel Hill Town Hall

ARTIST STATEMENT
My concept for the mural on the storm drain depicts the native wildlife that are directly affected by what we put in North Carolina waters. Having grown up in North Carolina, our state’s natural beauty is endangered by the disregard of our resources. The catchy rhyme I wrote “For all our sake, take care of our creeks and lakes!” is meant to be a helpful reminder of what is at stake when we do not take care of our world. Being mindful of the environment is beneficial for the animals and humans alike.

Only Rain Down The Drain

By Anna Payne Rogers Previtte
Installed 2023

Located at the intersection of West Rosemary Street and Mitchell Lane

ARTIST STATEMENT
For years I have responded to themes of nature, environmentalism and climate change in my work. This piece of public art was particularly exciting for me to create as part of a clear effort to change one of our more damaging habits that directly effects our local surroundings. The composition of the mural consists of four projecting planes that represent the layers of our experience on Earth from cloud to creek. As a celebration of natural beauty this is a colorful illustration of the most fundamental purpose of these storm drains; to redirect rainfall and runoff. Anything that goes down these drains goes directly into our local creeks and natural habitats. Making sure the public is aware of this is important and designing these storm drain murals with this in mind is a tangible way to enact change, bringing a call to action into people’s daily lives and neighborhoods. Initiatives like these are exciting for artists to participate in where they can help actualize a shared vision that is inline with the communities existing goals. I sincerely hope this piece is a bright, enjoyable addition to the street and helps people to remember, only rain down the drain!

I’ve Got Pipes On It

By Kelly Schrader
Installed 2023

Located at Airport Gardens Housing Complex

ARTIST STATEMENT
Prior to drawing out a concept, I researched past examples of storm drain murals as well as the storm drain system and waterways of Chapel Hill. I noticed every previous design I found was a direct representation of local wildlife, water, fish, etc. I decided to try to go a different route while maintaining a connection to the environmental theme in the call. My design showcases a system of pipes, tubes, and other transport methods for water, with bright colors that are eye-catching and in a cartoonish style. I hope people walking by will stop to consider the network of water delivery systems rushing right below their feet. What goes down the storm drain travels through these systems to our waterways.

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