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Phase one of The UNITY Project has come to a spectacular close. More than 150 individual collage panels were created by foothills residents-professional artists, amateurs, students, seniors and everything in between.

UNITY Project 2
UNITY Project 1

The UNITY Project

The Exhibits Committee of Tryon Fine Arts Center is embarking on a new community art project under the leadership of John Wilkins and with the financial support of Polk County Community Foundation. Entitled the UNITY project, this special collaboration will have three major parts – visual arts, music and spoken word.

The first in this series was completed in spring and summer 2017. The visual arts project was designed to engage the foothills community in a conversation about unity through the creation of artworks that capture both individual and collective visions of unity. This art project provided opportunities for local amateur and professional artists to work together, as well as opportunities to directly involve and engage students, adults, and senior citizens in an art project. 

  • A COLLABORATIVE LARGE-SCALE COMMUNITY WORK

Working together, local professional artists created a work of art that will express a combined vision of unity on three 4’ x 8’ panels. Local artists volunteered their time and talent to develop the unity theme and execute a cohesive project. The final product has been displayed at TFAC for the past month, and is now on tour at selected locations in our foothills.

  • INDIVIDUAL, ARTISTS-LED UNITY-THEMED WORKS

Local arts professionals also led community members, from students to adults to seniors, in a series of mixed-media/collage workshops. At the workshops, community members were provided a small canvas, basic art supplies and guidance on how to express and execute their individual visions of unity using personal collage materials. The resulting individual artworks were hung together in a one-of-a-kind "quilt" in TFAC's Gallery I. Participants may contact TFAC to find out how to pick up their panels.

Raleigh-based professional artist Eric McRay helped lead important workshops to begin the project. McRay led a teaching workshop designed for local arts professionals who served as workshop session leaders, facilitating the mixed-media/collage workshops noted above.

Work session locations included Landrum High School, Saluda Elementary, TFAC, Isothermal Community College, Polk Middle, Landrum Library, The Meeting Place, Roseland Community Center, and Carolina Confections.

Thank you to Polk County Community Foundation and all who made this event possible!

More photos and interviews with participants coming soon

TFAC Exhibits Chair and Unity Committee member Julia Calhoun led a team of volunteers for the installation on Thursday, May 4, of the Unity Project exhibit at Tryon Fine Arts Center. 150 one-foot square panels were arranged in a quilt pattern by Calhoun, Frances McCain, Tim Brannon, Mike Rigney, Wim Woody and Ned Dick.  The Unity Project held collage sessions all over Polk County and in Landrum.