CSAS is accepting public art project proposals from now until Jan. 8. The event at the Ackland last Friday aimed to stimulate ideas for proposals.
Elizabeth Manekin is the head of university programs and academic projects for the Ackland.
“It could be a performance, it could just be a table where people come and have a conversation. It could be any number of things, and those don’t need to be dictated, necessarily, by the traditional anatomy of a monument,” Manekin said about the future art installation.
UNC graduate Lauren Adams teaches art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md. The discussion took place at the foot of her large painting named “Crazy Quilt,” which features various images of historical events in North Carolina taken from Ackland’s collection.
“I wanted to make a piece that was relevant to the history of the state of North Carolina and the history of UNC in particular and also to the 60th anniversary of the Ackland Art Museum,” Adams said.
Adams spoke about her piece, which functions like public art, at the event to get the conversation about the format of the new work of public art started. CSAS has looked for ideas in unconventional places as well.
Ben Hamburger teaches art classes to children at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro and has painted a series of pieces about the removal of Confederate monuments from places he’s lived.
“From there, I conceived this Making Monuments Residency at the ArtsCenter,” Hamburger said.
His Making Monuments Residency refers to an art class he taught on mini-monument building to elementary school kids.Their art was later exhibited in the ArtsCenter.
“A lot of times, kids aren’t included in discussions around this really heavy content, political content, and so this was a way to make it accessible,” Hamburger said.
When CSAS approached the Ackland about its intention for a new work of public art, Manekin suggested that conversations about the piece could take place in their art room in front of Adams’ piece.
“We have all of these disparate images from the history of the collection, from UNC’s history, from the state’s history, from Silent Sam coming down,” Manekin said. “How does the fact that it’s put together in a quilt amplify the meaning that she’s trying to convey, or how does that sort of change it?”