Hillsborough, NC, Jan. 13, 2023 – Together with its community partners, the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) announces a new arts festival coming summer 2023. From July 14 to Aug. 12, Uproar Festival of Public Art will showcase 60 large-scale, bold works of art throughout the downtown areas of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough. Cash prizes will be awarded to Southeastern artists chosen by both the public and a jury panel of experts.
“Uproar will allow our community to serve as the backdrop for fantastic, awe-inspiring works of art while lauding, supporting, and welcoming the participating artists,” says Katie Murray, OCAC director.
Inspired by ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and ArtFields in Lake Park, South Carolina, Uproar will be the first festival of its kind in the state and will prioritize accessibility.
“We believe all people should be able to participate in the arts,” Murray says. “Uproar will provide a completely free and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities and will task participants in selecting the People’s Choice Winner.”
Since summer can be a slow time for local business owners, Uproar will also boost the small business community.
“Uproar will transform our downtowns this summer and lead to a host of energizing related activities as locals and travelers alike take part in it,” says Jamezetta Bedford, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. “This inclusive festival will allow us an unforgettable opportunity to celebrate art, the people who make it, the people who consume it, and our wonderful communities that uplift it.”
The OCAC, an agency of Orange County government, is the primary coordinator of the festival. Key Uproar partners include:
- The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro
- Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
- Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
- Hillsborough Arts Council
- Orange County Arts Alliance
- Orange County Department of Economic Development
- Town of Carrboro Arts Committee
- Town of Carrboro Tourism Development Authority
- Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture
- Town of Hillsborough Tourism Development Authority
- Town of Hillsborough Tourism Board
- UNC-Chapel Hill Arts Everywhere
Artists living in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia can apply to have their work included in Uproar 2023 between now and March 1. Artists will be notified of their acceptance and assigned a location to display their works in April. Murray expects Uproar to include two-dimensional pieces, sculptures, and interactive installations.
Uproar will launch with a kick-off party in Chapel Hill on July 14. An awards celebration in Hillsborough will close the festival on Aug. 12. The People’s Choice Winner will receive $10,000. The jury’s first-place winner will also receive $10,000, with a second-place winner earning $5,000 and a third-place winner receiving $2,500. Applicants will be evaluated based on artistic excellence, visual impact, creativity, and feasibility (including public safety, durability, and space required). Jurors include Larry Wheeler, retired director of the North Carolina Museum of Art; Stacey L. Kirby, installation artist and the winner of ArtPrize 8; and interdisciplinary award-winning artist Antoine Williams.
Uproar will provide a $500 honorarium for each selected applicant (artist or team). Artists living further than 60 miles from Chapel Hill will receive four nights’ complimentary lodging at a partner hotel, as well as a mileage stipend for up to 200 miles based on location.
Artists are encouraged to sell their work during Uproar; however, the work must remain on-site for the duration of the festival.
- For more information on volunteering click here
- For more information on sponsorships click here
- For more information on the artists’ application process click here.
The Uproar logo was designed by Charlie Dupee, a Chapel Hill-based visual artist and designer.
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Based out of Hillsborough, the OCAC is an agency of Orange County government with a mission of promoting and strengthening the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina. The commission awards state-funded and county-funded grants, sponsors programs, serves as an arts information clearinghouse and operates the Eno Arts Mill Gallery and Studios in the historic Eno Mill in Hillsborough. Learn more at artsorange.org.
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