Our Bull City Exhibit: Remembering Loaded Text

RememberingLoaded Text 

New exhibit opens in Our Bull City space

Remembering Loaded Text: The 25th Anniversary of a Public Art Work Made in Durham

Remembering Loaded Text, the newest exhibit in the Hub’s community space, opens June 17 and runs through July 19. The exhibit will remember and collect memories about the temporary public art work Loaded Text, created in June 1989 by artists Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler in downtown Durham.


The work was one of two temporary public art projects commissioned by the Durham Arts Council to coincide with Public Art Dialogue Southeast, a conference on public art. The conference included both national and international artists and scholars and was co-sponsored by the Durham Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council.


The Hub exhibit will recover and present the history of Loaded Text, collect memories about it in the Story Room, and document the exhibit’s current state. The exhibit is co-curated by Andrew Barco, Sabri Reed, and Julie Thomson.


When Ericson and Ziegler read in a Durham newspaper that only two copies of the city’s Downtown Durham Revitalization Plan would be available for public review at the Durham Library they began developing a work with that plan at the center, which became Loaded Text, a four-stage work. First they wrote the Revitalization Plan on a section of sidewalk next to the downtown post office. Next they had contractors jackhammer the sidewalk into pieces, which they displayed in three dump trucks in front of the Durham Arts Council during the public art conference. Then the sidewalk fragments were driven to a creek near the Durham Farmers Market and Ericson and Ziegler used them to reinforce the embankment to prevent erosion. For the final part, the artists had Blalock Paving repave the sidewalk next to the post office, where it stands today.


On Saturday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m., Julie Thomson will lead a free, one-hour walking tour, beginning at the Hub, visiting the three sites of Loaded Text.


Have memories of Loaded Text? Contact rememberingloadedtext@gmail.com   Join other folks interested in learning more and stop by the exhibit’s opening reception on Friday, June 20, from 6pm to 9pm at the History Hub, 500 W. Main St.


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