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 summer we continue the popular Windows on Chapel Hill pop-up art installations throughout downtown. Featuring two new striking displays by local artists  on Franklin Street.  Art installations will run June 1 through the end of August. This is the third year of Windows on Chapel Hill; having installed 16 different artists since 2011.

CALL FOR ARTISTS FOR FALL 2014: Applications now being accepted, extended until June 30, 2014. More Info Here.


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
Knots Landing:Macrame on Display - Chapel Hill News, May 30, 2014 

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

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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 

Hubba Bubba (Form Based Code) by Foamcore LLC Artists Martha Glenn & Rachel Johnson
The Courtyard, West Franklin Street

The empty storefront, a signifier of urban flux, inspired an imagination of outcomes of the efforts to predict and predetermine urban development. However planned, urban spaces inherit the detritus of the past and the instability of future in a world that is, in the words of John Cage, “teeming; anything can happen.” ‘Form Based Code’ refers to a new and increasingly common type of legislation that departs from traditional zoning in its standardization of building and planning to address the overall character of buildings, plantings and all aspects of development through standardized and regulated specifications. The code is drafted to achieve a cohesive and predictable relationship between building facades and the public realm as well as speed the process of development.  The abstraction maintains the original structure of these predestined Styrofoam forms, but Hubba Bubba becomes a meeting between human intention and the unstoppable and unpredictable forces of life that is both human and beyond human.

Artists Bio: Martha Glenn's recent artistic interest in plastic is not unexpected.  Growing up in Chardon, OH, where her grandfather started his plastics company, Sanborn plastics,  Her interest in this materials seeks to make people question their reliance upon and consumption of non-essential products as well as create art that re-purposes non-recycled substance.  

Rachel Johnson is a multimedia video and installation artist whose work is performative though its rigorous exploration of the inherent experiential qualities of a process or material.  Her work seeks to visualizes the absurdities of a world where the processes of life have changed more quickly than the narratives we tell ourselves to explain it. She is a senior Honors BFA student in the Studio Art program at UNC with a double major in Communication Studies.

Please Leave a Message (hashtag)
Artist Gabrielle Duggan
104 West Franklin Street

Humans have struggled to leave their mark, to communicate thought to others, since cave painting by firelight. This desire continues to
surface not only in the arts and popular media, but more directly
through graffiti, particularly tagging. The hashtag plays a similar social role in electronic media, as a tool to connect references and also construct the identity of an individual through methods that echo branding. Within this otherwise underutilized space, discarded architectural plans reflect the fragmentation of ideas just as language simplifies, whittling down to a single, self-referential, word.

“It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
George Orwell, 1984

Artist Bio:  Born in Buffalo, NY, Gabrielle Duggan has also studied and worked in New
York, NY and Raleigh, NC.Duggan’s work intends to highlight tensions between dichotomies and has been exhibited at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and Cameron Art Museum (Out of Fashion, 2011-2012). Duggan was the recipient of the NC Arts Council’s Regional Artist Project Grant (2011) and Artspace’s Regional Emerging Artist Residency (2013-2014), and presently holds a studio residency on Governor's Island, NY through August 2014.

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.

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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

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Past Installations