Durham Community Portrait | Durham Central Park | Activism | Indy Week


Durham Community Portrait

When: Sun., Oct. 3, 12 p.m. 2010

Since midsummer, plans for a large-scale community art project have been brewing in Durham. The details were worked out in weekly public meetings at The Scrap Exchange, and on Sunday, the whole city's invited to carry out the planners' collective vision by making a giant blue splotch on the grass. Slim red and yellow rectangles will abut the blue expanse, and from above, an aerial photographer will snap a portrait: Hey, presto! The flag of Durham.

The project was inspired by the luminous Full Frame documentary Waste Land, which showed the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz creating basketball court-size portraits of the workers at a huge garbage dump outside Rio de Janeiro. Muniz scavenged the dump for the portraits' materials and enlisted the workers to help arrange them. Local photographer and architect Chris Chinchar saw the film and was inspired to start a similar project here.

For weeks, enthusiastic contributors at The Scrap Exchange have been making like Picasso circa 1901–04, with all sorts of bluish art projects. Even if you've missed every meeting, you can still be part of the splotch. Come wearing blue or carrying blue things—"stuffed animals, kiddie pools or even Cameron Crazies," according to the website—or feeling depressed, and then raise your spirits by doing something creative with your neighbors. It starts at noon and lasts until 4, with the picture snapped at 1.—Marc Maximov

Price: Free

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