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Art means many things, everything

CHAPEL HILL — Nearly everything is tied to technology these days. Even art. Cellphones and iPads double as art canvases.

“Sometimes I wonder about that,” North Chatham Elementary School art teacher Lee Means said during “Art Means Everything” at The Fearrington Barn in Fearrington Village on Feb. 15.

Means is the namesake of the event, an arts exhibition in its third year that included a framed piece of artwork from every North Chatham Elementary student, including pre-kindergarteners. The art was sold and auctioned, and proceeds will flow into the arts program at the school.

North Chatham Elementary students also lifted their voices for several musical numbers. That’s art, too, Means explained.

“One thing that art does is it expresses the individuality of every child, and you don’t necessarily have that just happen,” Means said. “They need the space. They need to feel safe. They need to have the great materials. And they need a little guidance.”

What they don’t need are paper and crayons. Not anymore.

“But I feel like the process of creating with our hands is a very natural and deeply ingrained process,” Means said about the evolution of art. “It will change, and I think that we’ll use much more technology to do that. But, at the same time, I think children putting their hands into something — whether it be mud or it be paint — they’re going to go there. That’s the beauty of art. It comes naturally to us.

“As soon as you put something in our hands — or even a handprint or a thumbprint — we want to make art, and it’s something that connects and binds us as humans.”