We Are Cary - 150 Years Later

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We Are Cary - 150 Years Later is a social practice and artist residency led by nationally-known textile and installation artist Jan-Ru Wan to commemorate Cary's 150th anniversary as a town. Originally, Wan and her team were to lead a series of free community workshops assisted by participants in the Teen Docent Program to create material for installations including stitching and fabric printing. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic this plan has shifted a bit to make sure that everyone who wants to participate can do so in a safe way. 

The exhibition will be on view in 2021 at the Cary Arts Center.

Learn more about this project shift and how to get involved. 

Artist Jan-Ru Wan and her team

Pictured from left to right: Lauren Blackwell, artists Jan-Ru Wan, Megan Bostic, and Samantha Pell.


Cary began as a settlement in 1750, incorporated as a town in 1871, and is today the seventh largest municipality in North Carolina. As the Town continues to grow and change, so have the many faces of Cary. In the 19th century the growth of Cary was directly related to the arrival of the North Carolina railroad; in the mid-20th century and continuing through today, Cary's growth can be attributed to the Research Triangle Park (RTP).

The people of Cary come from near and far. Some have families who have lived here for generations, others are first-generation immigrants. Today, many residents bring their own unique lived experience to enrich our town. The contributions of this culturally rich community make Cary a peaceful, beautiful place to call home. 

To commemorate what makes Cary today, the artist team will use images from Cary's past and present, celebrating residents' stories and lives through art. The process will include several community workshops and participant interviews, spotlighting family stories and unique experiences that contribute to the cultural identity of Cary 150 years after its founding.

Learn more about Jan-Ru Wan's work.

Learn more about the Cary150 Celebration.