Mind, Body, Spirit at the Bus Stop

At the corner of South Walker Street and 25th Avenue South, you’ll find the culmination of months of work from the participants of the Art Studio at Solstice Behavioral Health.  At the bus stop, a six-panel mural depicts values that the staff and clients agreed are quintessential to the program.

“Each pair of panels represent the idea of mind, body, and spirit,” says Katie Kapugi, a Mental Health Clinician at Solstice who oversaw the project. “I wanted the clients to co-create this mural, so I put a lot of the onus on them to come up with these ideas. We all agreed that mind, body, and spirit are sub-themes of what we do here at Solstice.”

The artwork was made possible through the Bus Shelter Mural Program, an initiative from King County Metro that aims to recruit local artists and members of the community to decorate its bus stops. Solstice was awarded the grant after Kapugi created the bid to the city. She saw it as a perfect chance to have a group project for the clients that attend the weekly studio session.

“We don’t always get to have group projects, so everyone was pretty excited about this,” says Kapugi. “For some of our clients, coming here is a big part of their social network and some come here with the specific goal of coming out and socializing, so projects like this create an easy way for the clients to engage with one another.”

The colorful mural has a smattering of upbeat images. Some are straightforward, like an individual joyfully moving around in a wheelchair, which encapsulates the idea of body. Others have a spiritual meaning, like the many-sided star of the Baha’i faith located on one panel, which a client explains represents the ideas of equality, spiritualism, world peace, and other valuable principles.

Clients and staff alike cite the project’s community-building effects. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the bright colors and being able to use teamwork to be supportive of everyone’s painting styles,” says Tim Bridges, a client at Solstice. “I’m really excited about the idea that the people that use the Metro are going to be able to see our creation.”

With the project complete, Kapugi positively reflects on the idea of the mural and the story that it tells about Solstice.

“Everyone put a tiny piece of themselves into the mural,” she says. “I think we’ve shown people how amazing art can be for creating a sense of community.”


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