The closing reception on Friday, Aug. 19 marks the end of another round of artists in residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art, a Knight Arts grantee. In 11 years, The Center played host to more than 250 different artists, representing some of the best contemporary artists regionally, nationally and even internationally. The list of alumni reads like a “Who’s Who” of the art world.
As wonderful as these residencies are from the artists’ perspective, The Center also gives back to the Charlotte community through a variety of efforts. In addition to the residencies and gallery exhibitions, it offers different art workshop experiences for adults and children alike and has numerous partnerships with local institutions/groups. (Every visiting artist does some type of outreach project during their stay.)
One of the best parts of this Queen City gem is its “Open Studio” policy. Every artist is asked to keep their studio open to the public as much as possible. The idea of an open studio is not new, but very seldom does one find a half dozen artists or more working on their craft in their studio space, willing to share and discuss their work with the outside world.
Looking at digitally reproduced art is good. But, seeing artwork in real life, the many powerful and vastly interesting works in person, can — and often will — transform the way we look at the world. Experiencing original art first-hand with the artist, sharing intricacies of their process, is a gift.
Sonya Clark, Knight Artist-in-Residence, was trained as a textile artist and her work takes us back to the first “textile” art, that of a hairdresser. She uses African-American hair as a medium to play with a “poetic space in between” the subject of this work and deeper meanings of materials used in its creation. (You will have an opportunity to see her work again in January 2012 at the McColl Center for Visual Art at her exhibition.)
You really want to see these completed and in-process cutting-edge works of art before they are gone. Whether it’s Felicia van Bork’s monotype multiples, Erika Diamond’s “wearables” (costumes made from recycled materials) or Sharon Dowell’s architectural relief paintings inspired by “energy of place,” do not miss your last opportunity to experience all of this first-hand.
There are two special opportunities to celebrate with this latest group of outstanding artists. Saturday, Aug. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the last “Open Studio Saturday” of this session, and Friday, Aug. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the always festive “Closing Reception.” The closing reception will have $1 beers, free admission and will feature “SIDE TWO: A LIVE MIXTAPE” By P. Scott Cunningham (with David Wilson). (Cunningham is the inaugural Knight Writer-in-Residence.)
721 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
Visit Tuesday through Saturday
, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free to the public (Free parking in lot behind NC Dance Theatre)