Art Gallery of Funny Faces Pops Up in Downtown Chapel Hill
A vacant downtown space in Chapel Hill will once again be transformed into a weekend art gallery as part of a collaboration between the Town’s Division of Community Arts & Culture and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership. This weekend, Marie Rossettie will display her show Friends Making Funny Faces at 109 E. Franklin Street in Downtown Chapel Hill. The pop-up gallery opens for the Second Friday ArtWalk on Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. The gallery continues on Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. Rosettie will hold an artist’s talk and demonstration on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Rossettie is a certified medical illustrator who meticulously portrays the human body, inside and out. Using a wide variety of media, she clearly and accurately recreates the goriest of scenes for medical journals, magazines, surgical how-to guides, patient education, and legal cases. However, for her series Friends Making Funny Faces, Marie intentionally veered from the severity of her professional work in both form and function.
The portraits that will be on display this weekend capture her subjects at their silliest using cheap and simple materials - brushes, ink, newsprint, wallpaper paste - to convey a sense of immediacy, intimacy, and fleeting fun. The subjects are familiar to her (friends, family, colleagues) and may be familiar to many as many live in the Chapel Hill area. This collection of portraits provides a glimpse of humanity every bit as informative and true as her medical illustrations.
This is the third in series of experimental pop up galleries in recent months, aimed at activating vacant downtown spaces and highlighting the work of artists who call Chapel Hill home. The project is a collaboration between Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, and UNC. Susan Brown, Executive Director for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says that these experiments have shown what’s possible downtown, noting “We have had a diverse series of artists – quilters and a puppeteer and now a portrait show – and each of them have brought several hundred people to the space each time. This series shows that there is an appetite for new and different arts events and spaces downtown and we hope to do more in the future.”