This Ghanaian Designer Just Won “America’s Best Bus Stop” Award For His Colorful Adinkra Design

After a nail-biting battle between two fantastic New England nominees, Portland, Maine has been crowned the winner of our America’s Best Bus Stops contest for 2022.

The colorful bus shelter was designed by Portland-based artist Ebenezer Akakpo.

“For a very long time I’ve been thinking of doing public art,” Akakpo said. “There was this voice that said you’ve always wanted to follow the steps of your dad who was an architect, this is your chance.”

Akakpo is originally from Ghana. He moved to Portland to attend Maine College of Art and Design. His design for the bus stop is inspired by the Ghanaian Adinkra symbols for hope and friendship.

America's Best Bus Stop

He created patterns by repeating those symbols in vivid colors. He’s honored to share a piece of his culture with locals.

“I see the symbols as a piece of my culture that’s been represented here and has been accepted whole heartedly,” Akakpo said.

He started designing the bus stop in 2020 and wanted to craft something that would provide hope and comfort during a challenging time.

“We are a mixture of immigrants and people from here, original Mainers,” Akakpo said. “So the two symbols that jumped at me, which were friendship and hope, were the two appropriate symbols I feel we needed in the community.”

The bus stop, which is on Congress Street, went up against six bus stops in other cities before going head-to-head with a contender in Boston and winning a popular vote.

The decorative bus shelter is part of a larger effort from Creative Portland and Greater Portland Metro to beautify local bus stops in the Portland area.


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