This year, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture has committed resources to several public art displays around Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture commissioned 20 projects that were installed in 2022. Specifically, the Art + Transit program had 9 projects go up this year to help public transit areas feel more vibrant.
According to the application for the program, which was due in February, the pieces would be chosen for display, in part, based on how they reflected the values of inclusion, experience and understanding. Artists from all over the Triangle applied to be featured.
One selected artist, Jane Cheek, created art for a transit shelter located at the Carolina Apartments. Her work, titled “We Knew Intersectionality Was The Way Forward,” features colors from the progress pride flag.
Cheek said a lot of her work is inspired by pride flags and that art is a way for her to put out happy, welcoming vibes.
“As a queer artist, I feel like you kind of get into these habits of looking for signs that let you know that a place is safe, and it's welcoming, and it's where you want to be.” Cheek said. “For me seeing pride flags or other signals in people's yards or businesses, lets me know that that’s a place I want to shop at or eat at.”
Sara Roberts, another Triangle artist, was also selected for an Art + Transit project. Her mural, titled “Blooms over Chapel Hill,” features historical sites like the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, the Historic Playmakers Theatre, Gimghoul Castle and the Old Well.
The buildings and the stems of the flowers on the mural are all printed words holding information about the history of Chapel Hill.
“The history of Chapel Hill is kind of dark," she said. "Chapel Hill was built by slaves. There was a lot of segregation and things like that, that were problematic for the University and therefore the Town, so the words that are in there do highlight the achievements of Black individuals at the University and how they shifted what was happening there to a more positive and appropriate, equitable light.”