Outdoor Gallery of Art Launches in Downtown Chapel Hill Spaces

September 1, 2020

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Visitors to downtown Chapel Hill will now see art in windows as they walk or roll along Franklin Street. To enliven downtown, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture is installing a series of vinyl art creations in windows. Installation for the first round of art is being completed this week and a call for submissions for the next round is officially open.

Created by local artists, the graphics are bright, colorful, and incorporate messages of resilience despite the troubled times we face as a community. One piece features Maya Angelou’s words, “And Still I Rise,” while another encourages us all to “Slay Today, America.” Another piece reminds passersby that “We Are Stronger Together.”

The locations for the first round include a variety of businesses, most of which are open and offering both curbside and limited capacity indoor options for customers. The following is a list of locations and artists:

  • Home Is Where The Heart Is by Gina Franco, Spicy 9, 140 West Franklin St
  • Shakti – The Power Within by Sampada Agarwal, Que Chula Tacos, 140 West Franklin St
  • Slay TodayAmerica by Charlie Dupee, 109 E. Franklin Street
  • Stronger Together by Loren Pease, The Pit, 462 W. Franklin St
  • Welcome Furriends by Julienne Alexander, Cat Tales Cat Café, 431 West Franklin St.

The project was envisioned as a way to highlight local artists, enliven downtown, and lift community spirit in these difficult times. Erin Jobe, the Town’s Special Events and Festivals Coordinator, managed the project and worked with artists and business owners. She says that people have said they are excited about the project, noting “Downtown is the heart of Chapel Hill and it is facing an immense challenge right now. Anything that encourages people to enjoy downtown safely, whether to grab take out or just take a stroll, is welcome.”

Community Arts & Culture is encouraging regional graphic design artists to apply for the second round of installations. Local artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color will take priority in the selection. Selected artists or artist teams will each receive $500 – $2,000 to design a final digital art design for certain windows, storefronts, and buildings in Downtown Chapel Hill. Applications are open now through Monday, September 14.

The vinyl is expected to remain downtown for the next several months with more installations to come later in September and October. For more information about this project and about Community Arts & Culture, visit chapelhillarts.org. For interested artists, apply for round two at chapelhillarts.org/applications.