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Imagining the Future: Public Art Confronts the Past

April 22, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Flyer for imagining the future: public art confronts the past

Join us for a conversation about the creation of memories in public space and the power of art in the public sphere. We will be speaking with two artists – Lauren Frances Adams and Jason Patterson – whose work critically engages and analyzes items and symbols created in the nineteenth century. Using their art as a focal point, we will discuss the power of art to encourage the public to think differently about the meanings conveyed, then and now, in site-specific settings.

Introduction & closing remarks by Malinda Maynor Lowry, Professor of History, UNC-CH, and Director of the Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS)

Moderated by Jacqueline Lawton, Associate Professor, Dramatic Art, UNC-CH


Lauren Frances Adams, Artist

Lauren’s wallpaper art, “In Faithful Remembrance of Cornelia Phillips Spencer, and to the Truth-Loving People of North Carolina”, is displayed in Love House, home of CSAS. This house was built in the 1800s and maintained by Cornelia Spencer, a white woman whose decor reflected her Southern ideologies. Lauren’s art puts Spencer’s own words back in a space that is now used in a completely different way.

Jason Patterson, Artist

Recreating and reimagining historical documents, Jason focuses on portraiture and frame-building, modeling the frame after the time period the art represents. His work is a catalyst for things that should happen, addressing “…often unknown histories of white supremacy and racial inequality that have existed in this area for centuries and that continue to influence the social conditions.”

Michelle Lanier, Director, N.C. Division of State Historic Sites

With her background in folklore, public history, documentary, oral history, and cultural preservation, Michelle understands the entanglements of stories and places. She brings critical analysis to the ways historic locations engage audiences and how we imagine and reconcile the conflicting histories of places in our state.





April 22, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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