Spring has sprung and the University is gearing up to celebrate artistic talent on campus, which can only mean one thing — Arts Everywhere Day is coming up.
Arts Everywhere Day is returning for its third year in a campuswide event that is taking place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on April 12. The initiative celebrates art and creativity by engaging the UNC community with art-making activities, performances and art installations.
Since the first Arts Everywhere Day in 2017, the celebration has expanded to create more spaces across campus for creative freedom. This year, the action-packed day is broader than previous years, with activities taking place all across campus and downtown Chapel Hill, including the launch of new installations.
Noah Merenbloom, a student Arts Everywhere ambassador, said he and other ambassadors have been working hard all semester to plan this event for the UNC community. He hopes students who do not come from an artistic background feel welcome to participate in the activities and get acquainted with the arts.
“It’s important to have a day where, at the very least, students can just take a little break from the hectic life of a UNC student and appreciate something that other people have put time into,” Merenbloom said. “All and all it just makes people happier to kind of take a deep breath and look or listen to something that’s cool.”
All day, Arts Everywhere will be collaborating with other on-campus organizations to showcase installations like “Color in Motion,” an art installation made by computer scientists, and “Words Matter,” a magnetic poetry installation that will be placed outside Greenlaw Hall.
Associate director of Arts Everywhere Kathryn Stewart Wagner said she is excited for two new installations: a photography exhibit by Mother F Stop at Hanes Art Center, and another called “Obscura Domes” created by junior Kaleb Lyda, who was able to create this piece after winning a grant from Arts Everywhere.
"Obscura Domes" is a series of pinhole camera sculptures comprised of wood, plastic and glass which will be located on Polk Place for the day. Lyda said his work was inspired out of his own interest in photography and the geodesic dome designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, who was a teacher at Black Mountain College. The installation is interactive and students are encouraged to enter the domes and see the world flipped upside-down.
“I hope they experience some of the magic that I feel whenever I see a camera obscura work,” Lyda said. “It really is hard to describe, but also just incredible. I hope that it creates sort of an art experience.”
Arts Everywhere is taking over the quad at Polk Place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a slew of hands-on art making, interactive installations and an arts fair. Additionally, a block party is taking place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Hanes Art Center. WXYC and the Department of Art & Art History teamed up to host this party, which will include a print sale, food trucks, DJ’s and a photo booth.
For the first time, Arts Everywhere will have a steamrolling print exhibition. At the Hanes Art Center block party, students can watch a demonstration of how a design can be printed onto paper via a steamroller and then take a print home.
For the third year in a row, the Pit will have a stage with pop-up performances by some of UNC’s student organizations that engage in performance arts. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. groups — including Carolina Tap Ensemble, Carolina Vibe, Chapel Hill Players and more — will display their talents in a short showcase.
Wagner said Arts Everywhere Day focuses on bringing the diverse fields of arts to all UNC students for one big celebration. She said the event is trying to promote a celebration that can be interdisciplinary, but still rooted in art.
“It’s a chance for people to kind of see a little taste of what all the amazing things that are going on at Carolina in the arts,” Wagner said. “For them to get a little creative and maybe even a little dirty with some paint of their fingers, for them to hear some incredible music or maybe discover something new.”
Wagner said Arts Everywhere is aiming for students to come to the many events and be introduced to the excitement of arts in a way that is not intimidating but is instead fun and expressive.
“We’re just excited to be a part of it in some way, and I hope that people find it engaging and fun because I think that’s what it’s intended to be,” Wagner said.
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