This summer, the new Uproar Festival of Public Art will showcase 60 outdoor works in the downtown areas of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough.
During the month-long festival, community members and art enthusiasts can visit several sites across Orange County to view and vote on the installations.
The festival will launch on July 14 with a kick-off party in Chapel Hill, and will conclude on Aug. 12 with an awards celebration in Hillsborough. Cash prizes — up to $10,000 — will be awarded to artists chosen by both the public and a jury panel of three selected experts.
Inspired by festivals featuring installation art, such as ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Mich., and ArtFields in Lake City, S.C., Uproar will be the first festival of its kind in North Carolina.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County Arts Commission, the main coordinator for the event, saw a need for an interactive art festival in the community and came up with the idea of Uproar, Katie Murray, director of the commission, said.
However, due to regulations restricting crowd gatherings, it elected to wait until the art could be enjoyed in person.
“My hope is that for this one month, the arts are on display and are drawing people into our communities and it can show everyone what is possible when we really are prioritizing the arts,” Murray said.
Though Uproar is happening in the summer and fewer students are in the area, the festival aims to support local businesses and the community by bringing people to Orange County.
Visitors can expect to find two-dimensional pieces, sculptures and interactive installations sprinkled across the towns.