Public Art

Windows on Chapel Hill


Downtown Chapel Hill storefronts come to life with site-specific installations by local artists! A collaborative year-long project between the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, Town of Chapel Hill Public and Cultural Arts Office, and smArts Creative Programs & Events brings eye-catching pop-up art displays to downtown storefronts, promotes artists in our community and further establish downtown Chapel Hill as a dynamic space for art.

This spring we continue the popular Windows on Chapel Hill pop-up art installations throughout downtown. Featuring four striking, new displays by local artists all on Franklin Street.  Art installations will run March 1 through the end of May. This is the third year of Windows on Chapel Hill; having installed 14 different artists since 2011.


Local Storefronts to Host Windows on Chapel Hill Art Exhibitions - Daily Tar Heel, March 23, 2014
Window's on Chapel Hill Reception at Lantern Restaurant -, March 26, 2014 

Flower Box by Becky Joye
108 East Franklin Street - Walgreen's Display Case

Flower Box.jpg

Flower Box is a mixed-media installation depicting a whimsical flower garden in bloom to celebrate the arrival of spring. Flowers of different shapes and colors will be rendered in a composition of solid and patterned paper and fabric and then machine-sewn in layers. The blooming flowers will grow on vertical wood trellis structures with winding thread vines and paper leaves.


Artist Bio: Becky Joye is a visual artist and designer based in Raleigh, NC. Becky was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2003, with full intention of becoming an architect. After coming to her senses in 2009, she shifted course to focus on drawing and making. Now Becky enjoys escaping to an invented world of color, pattern, and impracticable structures. Becky Joye’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including No Dead Artists in New Orleans, LA and Symptoms of Structure, at grayDUCK gallery in Austin, TX. Recently, Becky Joye was an Artspace Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence and her work was exhibited in Thought Maps & Ladders with Ray Duffey in Artspace Gallery 1.  For more information on Becky Joye, go to 

Message in a Bottle by Helen Seebold & Erin Lawler
133-C West Franklin Street - University Square

bottle image.jpg

“Paint a bottle, write a message, watch the sculpture grow!” describes Message in a Bottle to a tee! Popping up at various locations, artists Helen Seebold and Erin Lawler invite community members to paint a small glass bottle or write a message to be placed in a pre-painted bottle, crossing that divide that often exists between viewer and artist. Encouraging a more personal connection to art, and the chance to share stories, the large glass sculpture found at 133C West Franklin Street will be created by you! 

Join the artists and become a part of the ever growing sculpture! Paint a Bottle, Leave a Message!
 Friday, March 14- at University Square 6:30-8pm
Friday, March 21- Opening Reception for Windows on Chapel Hill at Lantern Restaurant  5:30-7:30pm
Friday, April 4- Chapel Hill Library 3-5pm
Friday, April 11- University Square 6:30-8pm

Seebold selfie.jpg

Artists Bio: Artist team Helen Seebold and Erin Lawler enjoy creating site specific installations that cross the divide between viewer and artist. Exploring themes of nature and cultural traditions in their work, they hope to give viewers a more personal connection to art. Working in her studio in Cary, Helen also creates sculptural and functional pottery. Living and working in Boston, Erin explores the New England coast through photography and gallery pieces she creates in acrylic and ink.For more information on Helen Seebold, go to

Memory Bubbles by Carter Hubbard
104 West Franklin Street

Hubbard images.jpg

There are only so many details that a human can take in visually. According to David Brooks, author of The Social Animal, “The human brain can take in 11 million pieces of information at any one moment but, even by generous estimates, we are consciously aware of maybe 40 of these.” 

What do we find interesting enough to be one of those 40 pieces and what do we dismiss in our daily lives? What makes a town, street, place interesting to becomeworthy of catching our attention, making a memory?  Chances are, that memory will have a better chance of being anchored in your grey matter over time if this visual piece is accompanied by an engaged experience. One of the best ways is having fun playing a game.

Expand your memory making and capacity for fun by participating in this scavenger hunt along the few blocks west of the old Bruegger’s Bagels storefront, on either side of Franklin Street. The clues are hand sketched on rice paper styled ‘memory bubbles’ hanging in the window of this storefront, your starting point for fun and mummery making. Whetheryou are taking a business mid-day lunch, coming back from class, or out for fun with friends – find a few or all, if you can!

Post your finds @WOCH. Include your own clues as to what you think makes life in a downtown area fun and memorable, as well as what brings you to Franklin Street. Create your own story!

Carter Selfie.jpg

Artist Bio:  Carter Hubbard is a Carrboro resident using her skills as a visual linguist land her love of being a ‘materials junkie’ to ‘talk’ about and create culture. She is fascinated by the role of memory - how it shapes culture, ‘bends the rules’, and its impact on our social and physical environment. In this project, she tells a story of what she has seen on Franklin Street, wondering how you view it, engage with it, and remember. You can find out more about her work at  

Crochet Ricochet Macramé Cosmic Ray Hideaway by Gracelee Lawrence
419 West Franklin Street - Yates Motor Co. Bldg


“Crochet Ricochet Macramé Cosmic Ray Hideaway” is an installation rooted in central North Carolina’s rich legacy of agriculture and fiber arts. Using the history of North Carolina’s own unique tobacco twine crocheting, an installation of larger-than-life crochet and macramé forms will take over the storefront space, boldly and unapologetically creating brightly colored suspended amalgamations of twine and rope throughout the space. Also directly linked with craft and women’s empowerment from the 1800s, 1970s, and even the craft revival of today, the coloration and use of materials will provide both beautiful abstracted forms and a direct link to impactful social issues that are rooted in the act of making.

Also incorporating a “live” aspect, there will be one or two performative events that occur during the duration of the installation. Using the Crochet Ricochet Macramé Cosmic Ray Hideaway installation as a backdrop and a set, two macramé-clad performers will energize and animate the space with improvisational making (using rope) and moving (of bodies). Part macramé party and part interpretive dance, the performers will breathe life into the installation using props such as balloons, streamers, and confetti.

May 9 & May TBD

Gracelee self.jpg

Artist Bio: Gracelee Lawrence is a sculptor and performance artist from Chapel Hill, NC. She has taken part in numerous group and invitational exhibitions up and down the East Coast as well as in Kentucky, Texas, and Minnesota. She was a recipient of the 2011-2012 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. In 2011 she was chosen to create a storefront installation for the Durham Storefront Project and in 2012 had several solo exhibitions throughout central North Carolina. In 2013 she had three solo exhibitions in North Carolina as well as Minnesota and in 2014 has a solo exhibition on the books at greyDUCK Gallery in Austin, TX. 

More Info:


For more information on how to create store front installations in your community, Triangle ArtWorks has created a Pop Up Tool Kit.

Additionally, an art wrapped Transit bus by Chapel Hill artist Mary Carter Taub entitled Mobile Mural will be traveling downtown routes for a year beginning in March 2013 as part of the Town’s Downtown Art Program in partnership with the Orange County Arts Commission.

Windows on Chapel Hill is made possible by funds from the Town of Chapel Hill's Public and Cultural Arts Office, Windows on Chapel Hill has grown from one location in 2012  to four sites in the fall of 2013.  To support this and other arts initiatives in our community please make a donation to Friends of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation 

Windows on Chapel Hill is curated by Sarah Wolfe of smArts Creative Programs & Events. Producing creative, engaging and affordable programs and events that help exemplify and/or promote an organization, business or individual’s work and goals. More Info

public arts logo.jpg
smArts banner edited.jpg

Past Installations