Another important aspect of the opportunity is the effort to give local artists a particular space to share their work and creativity, Litchfield said. In order to apply, the artist proposing the design must live within a 40-mile radius of Chapel Hill.
Sarahlaine Calva is a local artist from Raleigh who brought her self-taught skills in mural design to Chapel Hill bus shelters in last year’s program.
“My piece was raindrops, and that's pretty much my signature design in most of my artwork,” Calva said. “But with this particular project, it was to represent the shelter's purpose and how it's supposed to shield us from different types of weather while at the same time admiring it.”
She said while installing her piece, she was able to engage with the community as they continued to use the bus lines.
“A lot of people thought I was vandalizing, and I even had the cops called on me,” Calva said. “In the end, it was fine because it ended up being informative, telling people about the arts program in Chapel Hill.”
Britt Flood also participated in the program last year, sharing her continuous line design “Star Crossed Lovers” with the Chapel Hill community.
She said a lot of her work often focuses on love and the characters meeting in whimsical ways.
“I wanted to do something a little bit more abstract so that when you're far away from the bus stop, it kind of looks like a colorful abstract painting,” Flood said. “But when you get up close, maybe you recognize ‘Oh, I think I see a silhouette, or like a nose, or a pair of lips or something.'”
Flood said she believes this project brings moments of hope to the community during a time of their day where they usually are only focused on getting to the next place and doing the next thing they have to do.
Flood also said she is glad the Town of Chapel Hill is continuing the project this year, especially amidst COVID-19 and social distancing.
“I think that any pop of color anywhere will be super helpful,” Flood said. “Especially with people being able to drive or walk by the bus stop, they can still experience and interact with their art in a safe way.”
Both Calva and Flood said the application process was simple and encouraged local artists to apply and take the opportunity to get their work out in the community.
Applications are open until April 24 and can be submitted on the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts and Culture website with examples of past work and a proposal for a bus shelter design.