A Project with Southwest Central Durham with Artist Brett Cook

Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life is a documentary/public art project that grows out of local conversations about neighborhood goals in Southwest Central Durham, North Carolina. The project blends an artist's residency with collaborative documentary exploration and art-making in community settings, building relationships in the process. Face Up connects individuals and organizations on the Duke University campus and in Durham communities through creative engagement. The project's open approach encourages diverse participation in the enhancement of the aesthetic environment, as visiting artist Brett Cook leads the creation of large murals that will expand awareness of historic and contemporary persons and places in Southwest Central Durham.

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Project Background 

Since 2001, CDS has worked with QOL to bring the arts and humanities to the task of community building and development through the documentary arts. As with most documentary work at CDS, this initiative merges practice and theory, expands the university classroom experience to include the broader community, and promotes visual and cultural literacy among students and local residents.
Six neighborhoods make up Southwest Central Durham: Burch Avenue, Lyon Park, West End, Lakewood Park, Morehead Hill, and Tuscaloosa-Lakewood. Historically segregated into African American and white neighborhoods, this area is becoming more integrated and is striving to reach out to the many newly emerging Latino enclaves within its borders. The residents and organizations that make up the Quality of Life Project are working to break down economic, social, and cultural boundaries by building intentional bridges of common experience and shared concern.
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Telling Stories of Community Life 

The Face Up project embraces and advances this approach through an artist residency/public art process that engages and amplifies the voices and stories of community members through the creation of monumental works of art. The project will connect faculty, students, staff, and Southwest Central Durham residents through an artistic endeavor, allowing them to access the power of creativity and discover new avenues to community membership and involvement. 
The Face Up project includes:
• A two-week artist residency in fall 2007 and a spring semester residency and visiting professorship with artist Brett Cook (www.brett-cook.com
• Commissioning of eight to ten large murals to be created collaboratively by Brett Cook and Durham residents 
• Collaborative site selection for mural installation 
• Studio and community-based art making 
• An archive of documentary materials based on interviews with community members and research of historic persons and events 
• A CDS gallery exhibit and catalog 
• Celebration and bus tour at the conclusion of the project

For more information about Face Up, contact Courtney Reid-Eaton at 919.660.3664 or
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