Open studios are not new. For years, artists opened up their world to others. Often when one thinks about an “open studio,” we envision the artist in their recently tidied space with brushes or other supplies neatly put away. But McColl Center for Visual Art (the Center) is on the cutting edge of contemporary art and even its open studios are atypical. Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Center will give the public another opportunity to enter the inner world of a number of fascinating local, national and international artists.
Throughout the past decade some things have evolved at the McColl Center for Visual Art, but its commitment to making contemporary art accessible to the public remains an integral part of its mission. One way it accomplishes this is its regularly scheduled, always free “open studios” with resident artists.
During these scheduled open studio Saturdays, all of the resident artists are working in their studios with doors open, which gives the public access to authentic, unique artistic processes. These have always been free, open to anyone and an excellent opportunity to explore the inner workings of an artists’ process. Right now, the studios are full with Affiliate Artists (local artists) and Artists-in-Residents. There are two Knight Foundation sponsored residents, Quisqueya Henriquez, who works with mixed media, and P. Scott Cunningham, who is the Center’s inaugural Writer-in-Residence.
In addition to the June 25 open studio, mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 28, for a “poetry reading” with Cunningham from 7 to 9 p.m. The performance itself is scheduled for 8 p.m. Cunningham will shake things up by adding a new level of theatricality and drama. Stripped of titles, introductions and banter, Cunningham will tower above the audience as he stands atop custom scaffolding built on the exterior walls of McColl Center for Visual Art. This happening, titled “Poet on a Hot Tin Roof,” is anything but your typical poetry reading. Admission is free — there will be a cash bar — and there is plenty of free parking behind NC Dance Theatre.
“My Floating World,” by resident Thomas Spradling, will also be on exhibit at the Center until mid-July and is located on the first floor beside the welcome desk. If you bring four quarters, you can leave with your own capsule. Spradling’s work attempts to ask the question: “How can we locate and define ourselves in an increasingly global and virtual culture?”
The McColl Center for Visual Art is a nationally acclaimed contemporary art center dedicated to connecting art and artists with the community. Located in an historic, Neo-Gothic church in Uptown Charlotte, the Center houses nine artist studios and more than 5,000 square feet of gallery space. It welcomes the public to explore its exhibitions and connect with artists through various programs, including open studios, community outreaches, workshops and more.
Please note this summer there are different schedules for artists-in-resident, so check the website for specifics.
721 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
Open to the public: Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.