Community Arts & Culture

The Chapel Hill Public Library - The Grand Intimate

Todd Frahm

Swannanoa, NC


carved limestone

Chapel Hill Public Library
upper plaza, 100 Library Drive
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The Grand Intimate is a group of four carved limestone sculptures – a rabbit, a tortoise, a toad and a snake – created by artist Todd Frahm of Swannanoa, North Carolina and located on the upper outdoor plaza of The Chapel Hill Public Library.  Each limestone sculpture is approximately 40" tall and weighs 4,400 pounds.  The limestone animals reference the stories and fables that we read as children and share in our collective cultural memory.  The Grand Intimate was installed in July of 2015 and funded through the Town of Chapel Hill's Percent for Art Program with assistance from The Chapel Hill Library Foundation.

"From the White Rabbit to the Velveteen and the persistent tortoise to Yertle, anthropomorphized animals have been used to frame narratives that mirror human foibles while providing a roadmap for morality. The use of animals as human proxy allows us to reflect without taking offense.  Aesop, Seuss, H.C. Andersen, Silverstein… all step aside and allow their animals to teach lessons in humanity - humility, kindness, respect, patience, perseverance and love.  As children the animals teach us how to behave and as adults the author speaks for us, writing a better world into existence.  The opportunity for us to reexamine our favorite childhood stories lays bare the fabric used by the author to quietly weave the foundation of our empathy, integrity and imagination" (Todd Frahm, Artist).

Todd Frahm graduated from Illinois University in Champaign-Urbana with his BFA in 1998 and received his MFA in 2002 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.  Frahm has exhibited nationally in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee and internationally in Canada and Korea.  Frahm has also completed numerous large public works in California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Palanga, Lithuania.


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