In the spring of 2009 members of the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and University of North Carolina communities were invited to share personal stories and family mementos as part of the 2009 Community Art and History Project. Participants were asked to look more closely at their personal and community histories by considering these questions: What brought you or your family to this place? and What is the legacy you want to leave in your community? Participants brought pieces of their history (photos, letters, etc.) to community workshops held at the Hargraves Community Center, UNC's Student Union, the University Mall, and the Carrboro Century Center where local artists Leah Sobsey and Lynn Bregman Blass scanned and photographed the mementos. Other participants submitted images of their mementos via email. The artists then created a community portrait out of these collected images through acetate transfer and encaustic processes.
The finished piece of public art was unveilled on June 12th, 2009 at University Place. In the fall of 2009 it was displayed at the former Chapel Hill Museum at 523 East Franklin Street. In September of 2012 the piece was installed at the Robert and Pearl Seymour Senior Center and remains there on long term loan.
Our Stories, In Focus was sponsored by the Town of Chapel Hill's Community Arts & Culture effort, the University of North Carolina Program in the Humanities and Human Values, the Orange County Arts Commission, and The Chapel Hill Historical Society.