Chapel Hill: Community

Chapel Hill painter asks public to collaborate

Painter Mary Lamb is inviting the public to participate in her creative process by contributing ideas to an encaustic painting now on view at FRANK Gallery.

The 24-inch x 36-inch painting will be on display in FRANK's Featured Artist exhibit area through Sept. 7.

As part of her exhibit, Lamb has offered a small challenge with a big reward. She will be distributing photocopies of her wax-based piece titled “Santa Lucia” at FRANK and other sites around Chapel Hill, inviting the public to make it into a personalized work of art. The request is simple: using the flyer as a template, add, subtract, or alter it in any way you see fit, and return the flyer to FRANK. Lamb will select her favorite from the submissions and make the changes to the piece itself. Once completed, she will give the work to the person whose submission she chose.

The idea occurred to Lamb while she was working on pieces for her exhibit. Painters usually work alone, and after they finish a piece, viewers assess it and enjoy it or not. Lamb thought art appreciation could extend to community involvement in contributing to a work instead of simply viewing the work and evaluating it.

“We have so little interaction with our audience,” she explains. “The recent postcard project at FRANK demonstrated that there are many who would like to participate in creative projects. This includes anyone who wants to be a part of the creative process and wants to own a painting that they helped to produce."

Lamb’s new encaustic and mixed media works play with clean lines, dense textures, and mostly neutral and muted colors to create an elegant and rich body of work.

Franklin Street Arts Collective is an art gallery and art collective at 109 E. Franklin St. in downtown Chapel Chill.