“In faithful remembrance of Cornelia Phillips Spencer, and to the truth-loving people of North Carolina”
Artist: Lauren Frances Adams
Artist Lauren Frances Adams has created a site-specific public art project at the Center for the Study of the American South, on view beginning in August 2020. Adams’ project intervenes throughout the Center’s location in a historic home on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The installation encompasses sculptures that evoke the historic fire screens found in house museums from the antebellum era in the United States, as well as a wallpaper display that depicts an illusory excavation into the walls of the building, the former home of Cornelia Phillips Spencer whose influence on the university was intertwined with her political activism that advanced Lost Cause Confederate mythology in the postbellum era. The title of the project takes on the position of Spencer as the “woman who rang the bell” at the University when classes resumed during the post-Civil War period. The title also refers to the concept of how exposure to gross inequity, in this case the reality of Spencer’s White supremacist beliefs, is cause for reconsideration and dismantling of the honorific position she has been placed into in UNC history.
Wallpaper is far more than decoration.
Art and domestic ornaments have and do make social and political statements. In this video, artist and art instructor Lauren Frances Adams explains where this idea came from and what she hopes audiences take away when they engage with it.
Although COVID-19 currently prevents tours of Lauren’s wallpaper artistry, you can still step into Love House and explore this impressive work through a virtual tour. The tour will place you on the front walk leading into Love House. Click on the blue arrows to advance. Hold down and move the arrow to explore the views around you. Click the blue light bulb icons to read more information, or click the audio icons to hear Lauren talk about her artistic, research, and activist choices. Welcome to Love House and enjoy Lauren’s artwork.