Carolina celebrates the arts with third annual Arts Everywhere Day

This celebration included a virtual reality painting activity, short story vending machines, photography exhibits and more.

A little rain didn’t dampen the excitement on campus April 12, as Carolina kicked off its third annual Arts Everywhere Day.

The campus-wide celebration featured more than 30 performances by student groups, exhibits, installations and hands-on activities, including an opportunity to digitally paint with virtual reality headsets.

More than 60 campus and community partners collaborated to put on the event, representing the breadth and depth of artistic collaborations at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“I think [Arts Everywhere Day] is a convergence of all the great things that happen at Carolina,” said Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “I just had an opportunity to walk through several displays and really enjoyed seeing how we could showcase the work of our students across a variety of art forms.”

The celebration is part of the University’s larger Arts Everywhere initiative, which seeks to transform campus spaces into creative hubs where anyone and everyone can engage with the arts in diverse ways. This year, the initiative announced the Arts Everywhere Student Art Making Grant, which provides funding for two students to develop and install their own piece of art. The recipients of the grant were junior Barron Nothrup and graduate student Tristan Parks.

This year the event folded the literary arts into the festivities with Carolina blue short story dispensers — pint-sized vending machines that print out short works of literature written by Carolina students, faculty and staff members, as well as stories from around the world.

“We are excited to integrate the literary arts into Arts Everywhere. At the touch of a button, people are able to discover or re-discover the joy of reading in unexpected places,” said Emil Kang, special assistant to the chancellor for the arts. “We hope this project continues to build on our mission to transform everyday spaces into areas that spark creativity and to serve as a platform to showcase the diversity and abundance of arts at Carolina.”

Sally Sasz, a sophomore studying English and art history, helped bring poetry to this year’s celebration with an installation called “Words Matter,” which featured a magnetic wall that encouraged visitors to create refrigerator magnet poetry on a grand scale.

From the profound to the playful, the magnet poetry helped students, faculty and staff express themselves, Sasz said.

“We really wanted to create something very interactive. The idea was to have a free-for-all and get people excited about writing,” she said. “I think it just brings people together, which is one of the virtues of our school, but this day and this project really help to emphasize that.”