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ARTS 490 One Day Installation and Public Sculpture Event May 5, 2023

May 1, 2023

By flood or fire, the land will take what it is owed

Public sculpture & one-day installation public event

By artists in ARTS 490: Art As Social Action
Hanes Art Center Sculpture Garden
May 5, 2-6pm

By flood or fire, the land will take what it is owed is a public sculpture as well as a one-day installation and public event centered around calling attention to and supporting the Stop Cop City movement, as well as broader themes of policing, abolition, and protecting the environment. The sculpture consists of a garden housed within a cop-car structure created using locally scavenged car parts, recycled materials, and thrifted items, constructed to look like a demolished police car. The garden is planted with native plants to North Carolina which will thrive year round. The one-day event includes a “Living Room” installation, a space and title that refers to the living space created and tended by activists who defended and occupied Weelaunee Forest. The program will include workshops, a letter-writing campaign, live music, and banner-making.

This project was conceptually inspired by the Stop Cop City Movement in the Weelaunee People’s Forest, envisioning a future in which Cop City does not exist, or has been reclaimed by nature. Native plants growing in the cop car symbolize nature’s resilience in the face of destruction. The work’s use of a police car not only suggests a destabilization of human dominance over the natural environment but asserts a critique of entrenched institutions of power through which the natural environment is subjugated for oppressive ends. The project’s status as a work of life, rather than just a work of art, through its entanglement with living plants, posits the existence of a reality where life is protected and enabled to thrive, rather than targeted and perpetually dismantled.

When we speak of abolition we refer to the dismantling of the carceral system in the U.S. and the construction of new systems, practices, and values that resist our present carceral logic. With abolition, we want to build a new world where we can rely on our community to protect and care for us. As abolitionists Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Naomi Murakawa once said, “abolition is about abolishing the conditions under which prison became the solution to problems, rather than abolishing the buildings we call prisons.”

With By flood or fire, the land will take what it is owed, we hope to create solidarity with the forest defenders of the Stop Cop City Movement in Atlanta, showing that the impact of Cop City will be felt beyond Atlanta. We want to remind everyone that the resistance to and destruction of our existing systems is necessary to our growth, much like how the plants are able to grow out of our destroyed police car.

By flood or fire, the land will take what it is owed is a class project created by students in ARTS 490 (Art as Social Action), an upper-level undergraduate studio art course focused on socially-engaged practices. Experientially in this class, students collaboratively discussed and created work that blurred the boundary between life and art, revealing an inherent political connection. Projects ranged from performance to sculpture.

Timothy Anderson, Deja Boone, Alexis Breitenfeld, Marin Carr-Quimet, A Cook, Jacqueline Doyle, Delilah Eby, Molly English, Lauren Guillemette, Sergia Jimenez, Samuel Martin, Jennifer Nguy, Abby Pallant, Maya Rampel, Nina Scott-Farquharson, Audrey Keelin, Hồng-Ân Trương (faculty)

Background on “Cop City” in the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta

The Atlanta Police Foundation has plans to build a police militarization facility, known as “Cop City” by protestors and activists, for urban warfare training for police. Cop City is planned to include a mock city for police to practice urban warfare tactics, military-grade training grounds, explosive testing areas, shooting ranges, and a Black Hawk helicopter landing pad, all of which will be built in the Weelaunee Forest. Called the “lungs of Atlanta” by city officials, the Weelaunee Forest is home to wetlands that prevent flooding and filter rainwater, and is also a breeding ground for regional amphibians and a migration site for wading birds. Over 380 acres of the Forest are set to be destroyed to build Cop City, which will deeply impact the health and biodiversity of the surrounding community. The facility is a $90+ million project, $60+ million of which is funded by over 40 corporations, including Coca-Cola and Home Depot, and $30+ million of which is funded using tax-payer dollars.

For further information and resources, please visit the following:
Local Organizations:
Durham Beyond Policing:
Southerners on New Ground Bail Out Black Mamas:
Prison Books Collective:

Defend Atlanta Forest:
Stop Cop City Solidarity:
Stop Cop City:

MFA Candidate Group Exhibition at PEEL: A Tell Tale

April 10, 2023

A Tell Tale
Date: 14 April- 7 May, 2023
Opening Reception: 14 April, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Closing Reception & Panel Discussion: 7th of May, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This web we’ve spun is not a trap. Here are the telltale signs: life under highways and in gun clubs and in mountains shedding their names: food and food and food. This web we’ve spun is not a trap—it’s a cocoon. “Pull up the boards and you shall see,a tell-tale heart beats inside.

A Tell Tale is an exhibition of narrative artworks that speak emergently from our contemporary moment. Spanning a variety of mediums, the work of Mark Anthony Brown Jr, Molly English, Matthew Troyer, and Vera Weinfield seeks to explore, uncover, and interpret a range of experience, telling tales of what transformation is forming just under the surface.

PEEL Gallery
708 W Rosemary ST

Cosmic Rays Festival Digital Exhibition at Lump

February 17, 2023

The Digital Wilds
March 3 – April 2, 2023

Lump Gallery
505 S. Blount Street
Raleigh NC 27601

Opening reception: March 3rd 6-9 pm


Friday – Sunday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm *other times by appointment.

The artists selected for this exhibition observe human-made digital technology as it interacts with the natural world. Their works include computerized bivalves, botanical fakery, species séances, and vegetal matrices. Through the twisting tendrils of digital code, these artists render nature as both wild and programmed, toggling between responsive and impervious states.

The Digital Wilds is an exhibition of Cosmic Rays Digital, a new programming initiative of the Cosmic Rays Film Festival.

The artists selected for this exhibition critically engage with the new media technologies that surround us– technologies that threaten to ensnare us at the same time they promise to set us free– while investigating digital forms of privacy, identity, and nature.

Patricia Dominguez
Meredith Drum
eteam (Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger)
Tama Hochbaum
Kristin Lucas
Jessye McDowell
Melodie Mousset and Edo Fouilloux
Stephanie Rothenberg


Image: Still from Aquadisia (2022) by Stephanie Rothenberg

Faculty Member Martin Wannam part of Bienal de Arte Paiz in Guatemala

February 2, 2023

Newest faculty member Martin Wannam is one of the artists chosen for the XXIII Bienal de Arte Paiz in Guatemala.

From their website:

“Fundación Paiz is very excited about the twenty-third edition of the Bienal de Arte Paiz, which will take place from July 13 to 30, 2023, with an outstanding curatorial team made up of Francine Birbragher (USA) and Juan Canela (ESP).

The curatorial team focused on creating an inclusive platform to open dialogue in the region because they noticed that spaces where ideas and thoughts are shared are important to nurture art.

In 2022, a public call was held to select national and international artists. Thanks to this, a very diverse exhibition was built. We are looking for new ways to present art so that it reaches more people!

In addition to the exhibitions, we will have different activities such as conservatories, workshops, and meetings that promote spaces for collective learning. Having your participation is the most important thing!”

You can see the full list of participating artists in the Bienal press release.

Infosession for Camino de Santiago Study Abroad program for Summer 2023

January 30, 2023

Does an artistic hike across Spain sound like a great way to spend your Summer in 2023? 

Come join us this week, Friday, February 3rd at 2:00pm in Hanes Art Center room 226 for an info session about the Department of Art + Art History’s Art on the Camino de Santiago Study Abroad program — walking an ancient pilgrimage path across Northern Spain. Professors Pérez-Méndez and Marzán will walk you through the experience and the courses they’ve developed for this UNC Faculty-Led Program, which is scheduled to take place from May 15 – June 23, 2023. The program earns you 6 credit hours in Studio Art towards your minor or major, or general education. Scholarships Available!!!

Topic: Art on the Camino de Santiago Study Abroad Info Session

Time: FEB 3, 2023 2:00 PM


Read more about the program at