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Embrace Your Creativity With Yard Art Day This Labor Day

On a typical Yard Art Day, Tom Petaccia will put anywhere from 350 to 500 miles on his car.

“There’s a lot to see,” said the Yard Art Day coordinator. “You’ve just got to get out to see it.”

Yard Art Day, known as YAD, has been held on Labor Day each year since it started in 2012 by local artist Deborah Triplett. That was the same year Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention, and she wanted to show off the artistic side of the city to all the visitors.

“She just wanted to create something where people can embrace their creativity,” Petaccia said.

The idea is for participants to create and display art in their front yards for everyone in the community to enjoy. Past displays have included everything from sidewalk chalk art to banjo performances to elaborate, life-sized displays.

“One of my all-time favorites was a couple of years ago where a young woman had just moved into her new home and she did basically a tableau of nightmares and moving,” Petaccia said. “So she had broken boxes and people diving into the overturned couches. And it was an amazing piece of work.”

This year, more than three dozen entries are in the Charlotte area, alone, each highlighted on a handy map compiled by YAD organizers — and that's how Petaccia logs all those miles on his car. There are 70 registrants, in all, within about a 60-minute drive of Charlotte.

“You don't have to be a fine artist or a sculptor or anything else to do this,” Petaccia said. “Whatever you can do that allows you to share your imagination and creativity with the community, the better.”

 This art display was intended to show the chaos involved in moving —  told by a newly relocated resident.
Courtesy Yard Art Day /
This art display was intended to show the chaos involved in moving — told by a newly relocated resident.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

Jodie Valade is a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks -- where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal -- and at The Kansas City Star.