This summer an art studio on 109 East Franklin Street filled a vacant storefront in downtown Chapel Hill, offering visitors a chance to watch four talented local artists at work: Charlie Dupee, a graphic designer and painter; Paul Estrada, an art teacher at Chapel Hill High School who works in a variety of media; Ayla Gizlice, a mixed media artist who focuses on environmental art; and Heather Lewis, whose mixed-media works focus on loss and the process of grieving.
Each artist received a $1,000 stipend and the use of the studio for the summer months. In exchange, the artists agreed to work “in the open,” meaning that during certain hours members of the public could come in, watch them work, and talk to them about their art. Studio 109 was a collaboration of the Town of Chapel Hill’s Division of Community Arts & Culture, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, UNC-Chapel Hill Arts Everywhere, and the Orange County Arts Commission.
Each artist also taught two community workshops during the summer, including topics as varied as Cooking with Kudzu; Intro to Color Exploration; Ritual, Meaning-Making and Grief; and an Ephemeral Stream and Cyanotype workshop.