The Fence

After a successful launch in 2017, The FENCE 2018, the largest public art photography exhibition in North America, is returning to downtown Durham next week and includes new art from 50 photographic artists, including nine Triangle-based artists. The City of Durham’s Public Art Committee, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and General Services Department will welcome The FENCE: Durham with an opening ceremony on Friday, August 17 at 4 p.m. on the Orange Street Mall, located at 102 W. Parrish St. The outdoor installation, which will be on display through November 2018, will again encompass the block surrounding the City’s Chapel Hill Street Parking Garage, beginning on West Chapel Hill Street to North Mangum Street to West Parrish Street to Orange Street to Black Wall Street Gardens. Mayor Steve Schewel, Public Art Committee Chair Chris Ogden, and other arts speakers will give opening remarks, sharing the importance of public art for increasing Durham’s quality of life and sense of place. Several of the artists featured will also be present to answer questions and share insights about their bodies of work. Guided docent tours of The FENCE: Durham will be available, and light refreshments will be served. According to The FENCE Creative Director and Co-Founder Sam Barzilay of United Photo Industries, Durham has turned out to be a top city for this exhibit. “It has been such a joy working with the City of Durham to make The FENCE: Durham a reality,” Barzilay said. “As The FENCE continues to grow into one of the largest public art programs in the country, we are so proud to call Durham our partner, and look forward to sharing another powerful and engaging exhibit with the people of this community.” The FENCE 2018 is a large-scale, traveling photography exhibition series, reaching over six million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions across North America. Artists were invited to submit a series of three-to-five images to the juried show relating to one-of-seven categories which embody a sense of community: Creatures, Food, Home, Nature, People, Play, and Streets. Nine Triangle-based artists’ portfolios were selected for the Durham installation, and are displayed alongside the national submission winners which appear in all eight cities. Those Triangle-based artists are: Nancy Arehart, Rachel Jesson, Mary Shannon Johnson, Ray Pfeiffer, Leah Sobsey, Tim Telkamp, Dawn Surratt, Barbara Tyroler, and Yousuf Zafar. Last year, Durham became the sixth city in North America to display the exhibit, and other host cities now include Brooklyn, N.Y., Boston, Mass., Atlanta, Ga., Santa Fe, N.M., Denver, Colo., Sarasota, Fla., and Calgary, Canada. For more information about The FENCE: Durham, including featured artists, volunteer opportunities, opening ceremony details, supporting programming such as docent tours, a PechaKucha, a children’s community photography show, and how residents can vote for the People’s Choice award, visit The FENCE: Durham website at The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information about the City’s Public Art Program, visit Artists and residents interested in more information about the Public Art program may also contact Senior Economic Development Coordinator Brian Smith with the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development at (919) 560-4965, ext. 15205 or by email at   FB Event Page