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Chapel Hill, Carrboro to be lit for 'Shimmer' event showcasing local artists

Shimmer starts at 6 p.m. during Chapel Hill’s 2nd Friday ArtWalk covering a five-block radius spanning from Robeson Street in Chapel Hill to the ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

Jeff York, the Chapel Hill Public and Cultural Arts administrator, said the art involves light in a variety of ways, from light boxes to projections.

“We wanted something that would connect the town of Carrboro and Chapel Hill together and bring something different to the 2nd Friday ArtWalk,” York said.

Last year, about 2,000 people came on a cold night to wander the streets and enjoy the numerous art exhibits spread across town, York said.

Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said their organization serves as a fiscal agent, promoter and sponsor for the event.

“We are looking for ways to encourage the arts and partner with others on events that bring people to experience and have a positive impact,” McGurk said.

York said the event will feature a projection where people can pour water into a basin as an artist simultaneously arranges it into a projection of the moon.

For those who get hungry, there will be a donut and coffee truck in the parking lot at the St. Paul AME Church in Chapel Hill, York said.

“One of the things about the event is the number of art professors that are participating are not only from the UNC department of art and music but from the school of art and design at NC State,” York said.

Lee Weisert, an assistant professor in the UNC Music Department, will present a piece called “Sonolumen” in collaboration with another composer from North Central College in Illinois.

“Our performance will be projected images with electronic sound,” Weisert said. “The idea for our piece was that the images are filmed images from an oscilloscope, which is an electrical instrument used to visualize sound waves.”

People will be able to see what sound looks like when it is translated visually in the oscilloscope, Weisert said. The performance will be near the outer wall of the Bowbarr bar in Carrboro.

“Images that you are seeing are an exact one-to-one correspondence with the sound,” Weisert said.

The visuals will include symmetrical shapes resembling mandalas and flowers that display hypnotic patterns, Weisert said. Another UNC art assistant professor, Lien Truong, will depict a contemporary version of her piece, “Portrait of an Icon.”

York said he would like Shimmer to happen again next year.

“Hopefully if we do it again next year we would like to expand it further into Chapel Hill,” he said.

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