Art in Transit Exhibit - STA Station Design through Aug 12

Friday, August 12, 2022

For Immediate Release: STA and Spokane Arts to reveal City Line station designs July 12 


Melissa Huggins,, 509.939.0234 (Spokane Arts executive director)

Brandon Rapez-Betty, Spokane Transit, Chief Operations Officer,

Juliet Sinisterra, lead project designer,


Spokane Transit Authority (STA) and Spokane Arts are thrilled to reveal the community placemaking designs for all bus stations along the City Line! The designs, integrated into the physical infrastructure of each station, begin coming to life this week as construction continues to build out the City Line stations. The first glass shelter of the City Line is scheduled to be installed this Wednesday, 7/13 (subject to construction schedule changes.) Each glass shelter includes designs by local artists, created using community input. At the event on Tuesday, July 12, Spokane Arts and STA will reveal a poster exhibit featuring renderings of the designs, bios for each of the designers, and more.

Designs for City Line stations were developed in partnership with neighborhoods, businesses, and residents through an extensive community engagement process that began in 2019. The City Line stations are organized in nine station “groups” based on geographic location, such as Browne’s Addition, City Center, Chief Garry, Logan, and more. Spokane Arts and STA conducted extensive community engagement to learn from neighborhoods, businesses, and individuals how the new transit stations could reflect the identity of surrounding communities, so that transit users perceive the unique characteristics of each stop along the City Line.

Local designers/artists applied to an open call in Spring 2021, and they were provided with summaries of the community input collected to date, including themes identified, site-specific considerations based on the location of each station, safety considerations and more. For every station group, multiple designers were interviewed and asked to present concept designs specific to that area, with the goal of reflecting the character of the surrounding community. A different panel of community members for each station group participated in interviewing the prospective designers, asking questions about their designs, and then ultimately selecting the designs they felt were the best for their neighborhood. Once nine designers were selected (one for each station group), they worked on developing initial concepts into complete design sets, incorporating input from the neighborhood representatives and technical specifications from STA. This meant that all the designs evolved based on direct input from residents, business owners, and others within each unique area/neighborhood surrounding the stations, resulting in final designs embraced by the communities who helped shape them. In addition, Spokane Arts hired lead designer Juliet Sinisterra, who guided the iterative design process, ensured consistency across the many station groups, and was the liaison between the designers, neighborhood stakeholders, and STA staff. 

Joan Menzies, member of the Browne’s Addition neighborhood council, said their designs are “a delightful mix of colors and images…to my eye the artist Kate Reed reflects things like fencing details, historic home colors and decor in a way that will announce to the City Line commuter that they are in a historic neighborhood.  It is clear Kate knows our neighborhood and her art will make the City Line experience a very pleasant one while adding art to Browne’s Addition.”

Similarly, Pia Hallenberg of the Riverside Neighborhood Council praised designs by Joshua Thomas, which will appear at two stations near the Fox Theater. “The design is so energetic,” she said. “He has captured so much energy and diversity. Fantastic color palette.”

On the east end of downtown, designer Jiemei Lin celebrates the history of the Chinese community who used to reside there. “A community member shared the memory of a neighborhood instrument parade with children,” she said, which inspired one of her designs. In another, she depicts women from different immigration backgrounds, such as Chinese, Japanese, and European, working together to dye indigo fabric, a creative method that has existed for hundreds of years. “Jiemei’s work is absolutely beautiful,” said Rebecca Mack of the Community Building. “The colors, the imagery, the community she depicts, speaks to who we are.”



The Spokane Transit Authority undertook a project to build 30+ new stations for a bus rapid transit City Line connecting Spokane’s Browne’s Addition in the west end of downtown through the center of the downtown and on to the Logan neighborhood and Spokane Community College to the east. The City Line is a six-mile, corridor-based route. It is a modern-style electric bus estimated to provide over one million rides per year. It will feature more frequent trips and convenient elements like pre-board ticketing, level boarding and improved stations with real-time signage, wayfinding and other amenities.


The overall City Line project is primarily funded by federal dollars, with state and local investment as well. Spokane Arts, working with Spokane Transit Authority, identified nine place-based themes based on community input that informed the design for each of the 30+ stations.



Spokane Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that partners with public and private entities to support arts, culture, and creativity in the Spokane region. Spokane Arts is supported by a governing board and an advisory board. The governing board provides fiduciary oversight and accountability. The advisory board is comprised of the Spokane Arts Commission, a 16-member body of volunteers whose seats on the commission are reviewed and confirmed by both the City of Spokane Mayor and the full City Council. The arts commission functions as both an advisory board to Spokane Arts, and as a city commission that makes policy recommendations to the City of Spokane and fulfills the duties and policies outlined in the city’s municipal code.

Meet the Artists behind the UD project:

Melissa Cole: University District

Melissa Cole was born in Oregon and raised in London, Hong Kong, and India.  She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Zoology and worked as a naturalist in Mexico and the Caribbean. It is from these encounters that she derives much of her inspiration for her vividly colored, heavily textured and patterned paintings and mosaic sculptures.  

She’s written over 30 children’s books and travels extensively with her marine photographer husband.  Melissa has spent the last 18 years fully devoted to art.  Her creations are showcased in national galleries, corporate and private collections, aquariums, hospitals and numerous public places.

Artist Statement:

“I wanted my designs to reflect the buzz of ideas, knowledge and excitement that this district of multiple university institutions holds. It is a cutting-edge campus with a focus on technology, health sciences and medicine as well as business, law and education/creative writing.

I was looking for a fun vibe, creative learning potential, diversity of students, and a focus on forward facing motion. These elements are set against the rolling waves of the nearby Spokane River and surrounding natural beauty. I also emphasized the unique architecture of this district.”

Thank you to the community stakeholders who volunteered to give multiple rounds of design input on the University District stations: Eric Smith (WSU), Carlos Hernandez (EWU), John Sklut (Gonzaga), Karen Troxell (Gonzaga), Jim Simons (Gonzaga), Alden Jones (University District) and others. 

For more information and the full list of station artists see this link.