Student’s winter art goes downtown

Carolina student Adrian Schlesinger brought the Chapel Hill community together through her art installation in the vacant Yates Motor Company building on West Franklin Street.

The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership sponsored the project, selecting the senior and art major to help improve the overall appearance during the winter months.

See the video below.

Schlesinger said the building itself inspired her artwork. She used the notable “absence of people, running water, electricity, light and softness” of the building to contrast the “togetherness, giving, light and warmth” of the winter holidays. The artwork features banners with silhouettes, an 18th century technique representing people in light, and three-dimensional props. And, she included Shel Silverstein’s poem about a bird that stays in town during the winter – “Weird-Bird.”

The installation was delayed following a controversial incident involving Chapel Hill police and protesters in mid-November. The final installation on Dec. 9 brought community members together to help put on the finishing touches despite an unplanned delay.

“The process was representative of many projects in the arts in that there are usually surprises and unexpected events along the way,” said Schlesinger. “It was invigorating, challenging at times and rewarding.”

Schlesinger’s contribution to the intimacy of downtown Chapel Hill ensures that no one in the area will be “the only bird in town.”

W. Franklin Art Installation.