“I thought it would be important to me as an artist to bring (the use of newspapers) back to the community where I began working with this concept and material,” Simmons said.
Simmons, whose father is a journalist, said her interest in newspapers stems from childhood, when she would watch them being printed with him.
Each “path” of story lines has been cut out of local papers like The Carrboro Citizen, The Daily Tar Heel and Independent Weekly. Simmons plans on having the meshwork of related stories extend beyond the gallery and onto the pavement outside, she said.
“The lines of story trails are made to respond to indentations, nicks, dents,” Simmons said. “I don’t do any mapping out of this beforehand — it’s all responsive to the site.”
The installation revolves around the concept that printed stories are tangible and can be manipulated, which is a feature of newspaper media but not digital media, Simmons said.
“We’re obsessed with documentation but we’re not obsessed with documentation beyond the digital,” said Adrian Schlesinger, a UNC senior who is helping to document the exhibit’s installation process.
Simmons uses the newspaper stories as a way to engage the community directly, Levine said.
“She’s really localizing the issues,” he said. “It reflects the local community in addition to all the larger issues and problems.”
Simmons said she hopes more artists can capitalize on artistic opportunities available in everyday life.
“I’m very much inspired by public artists who re-imagine the relation between the public and the artwork,” Simmons said.
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