The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday February 1st

'ID: Coming Home' brings pop-up art to North Carolina Study Center

Everything we make says something about where we’re from — at least that's how UNC seniors Emma Biggerstaff and Maggie Blank see it. 

In fall of 2015, the two students created their own pop-up art show called "ID: Identity + Change." They are premiering their second show, "ID: Coming Home," at the North Carolina Study Center on April 2 at 5 p.m. This is the second show in a series focusing on the theme of identity. 

“It’s about this idea of home, coming home, returning home. What does it mean? How subjective it is, and how it’s constantly changing for people,” Biggerstaff said.

Carly Wooten, a senior studio art and psychology major, is one of many artists whose work will be displayed. She said her piece speaks to her personal definition of home. 

“I’m not attached to places — I’m attached to people, and that’s when I feel most at home,” Wooten said.

Along with the visual art on the walls, there will be performances by local musicians, dancers and writers. 

“Visual art is really great, but performance art is just as important," Blank said. "And they go together really well, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter is fine by itself, and jelly is fine by itself. But when they come together, there’s something new to be had.”

Biggerstaff said these performances will be in conversation with the art on the walls.

“People will see the art as they hear the performance, which will be cool for people to experience and think about,” Biggerstaff said.

There will also be an interactive art piece where attendees will be able to create something of their own and share their experiences with their own homes.

Blank said the show not only seeks to provide a space for artists to show their work but also to facilitate conversations between artists and attendees.

"So much of the show was about the conversations that people had — just being able to watch these conversations happen, people finding common ground and talking.”

Blank and Biggerstaff both said "ID: Coming Home" seeks to make art more accessible, something that goes hand in hand with facilitating conversations between artist and audience. 

Biggerstaff said this is what sparked her interest in starting the shows.

“I liked the idea of putting on a show completely independent of a class or an organization,” she said. “Hanes Art Center is like a bubble.” 

Wilson Greene IV, a UNC graduate and musician performing at the event, said he agrees with this sentiment. 

“When I was here, there were a ton of artists and musicians, but most of them that I know didn’t study art or music, and there weren’t a ton of opportunities for them to showcase their work,” he said.

Biggerstaff said the North Carolina Study Center’s intimate and casual environment aligns with that goal. The building, a Christian study center, is laid out like a home, with separate rooms and a fireplace.

“It’s very casual — no wine and cheese.”

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