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In February, grab your friends and interact with Carolina Performing Arts

Paul Dresher plays with the instrument he named 'peacock' in preparation for the grand opening of Carolina Preforming Arts new space, CURRENT.
Paul Dresher plays with the instrument he named 'peacock' in preparation for the grand opening of Carolina Preforming Arts new space, CURRENT.

Carolina Performing Arts will kick off their new venue CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio with a special installation by Paul Dresher on Feb. 2. His installation, “Sound Maze” is interactive, inviting an audience of all ages and musical backgrounds to play large instruments created by the ensemble, scattered around the room. 

The events at CURRENT are unlike a typical gallery show or stage performance. Attending a gallery or art exhibit usually involves walking around and looking at the art. CURRENT, however, wants to challenge that norm of the art world. Events will involve more of the senses. 

Amy Russell, the director of programming at CPA, said that "Sound Maze" has an immersive quality to it. 

“We want people to come in and have moments where they can be surprised, have really intimate experiences with the artists, or where they come in and explore the space, and maybe there aren’t any artists in the room," Russell said. "The audience at every point has the chance to really shift and change what happens in the room together.”

James Pallant, a studio art and political science major, said that he is looking forward to the interactive elements of the installation. 

“It could be an exhibit that could be really social and would be really fun if you go with a bunch of people," he said. "So I’ll be going with a couple friends.”

Pallant understands how finding a venue to display art is a challenging part of being an artist. 

“It’s great that Chapel Hill is taking the artistic community seriously, and they’re doing their part,” he said. 

“Sound Maze" is just the start of exhibits, installations and performances hosted by CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio. Christina Rodriguez, the associate director of marketing and communications at CPA, said that CURRENT, which is two spaces — the ArtSpace and a studio — offers an accommodating environment for an array of performances and installations.

“Sound Maze is a really wonderful sort of inaugural installation for us to have here because it is sort of just one example of what we’ll be able to do at CURRENT,” Rodriguez said. 

CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio is hoping to display art in a different way, giving the chance for artists and the audience to mingle. The venue will host different events that encourage the audience to think about how art is not solely for looking. Russell said the connection of the art and the artist is what helps build a community. 

“The theme we want to extend throughout the life of CURRENT (is) how can we explore inviting artists into the space so that we can build a community here," he said. "There’s a whole life of CURRENT that we are excited about that goes beyond buying a ticket to a show. It really is all about the experience itself and how you can come in and be an active participant in different ways.”


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