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New artists arrive at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation

The McColl Center for Art + Innovation is welcoming a new group of artists in residence and has announced a new residency this season, innovator-in-residence. Each artist focuses on a specific sphere of impact.

These artists will join the two 11-month artists-in-residence who have been at the center since April, Betsy Birkner and Austin Ballard.

• Beverly McIver is a painter from Durham who brings a national reputation for emotively painted portraits. Capturing struggles like the African-American experience, the death of a parent and caring for family members, her distinct tone captures relatable emotions of the human experience. She will collaborate with artists affiliated with LATIBAH Collard Green Museum, dedicated to the preservation of African-American heritage.

• Jessica Whitbread, the Wesley Mancini Artist-in-Residence, is a multimedia artist who promotes HIV activism at the grassroots level. As a woman living with HIV, her passion to create is rooted in providing opportunities for other women to come together to share their own stories. Whitbread is also showing work in the exhibition “Re/Presenting AIDS” at the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College. Working in her sphere of social justice, Whitbread will provide story sharing opportunities while in residence.

• Dignicraft, the Windgate Artists-in-Residence, is a six-member international collective working to bring awareness to the Mexican Purepecha pottery tradition and also educate native artisans on the dangers of using lead-based glazes, initially introduced by Spanish settlers centuries ago. The group will conduct workshops within our craft-rich region, targeting Purepecha communities in the Piedmont and mountains. Their work will be for sale at the annual Palate to Palette fundraiser.

• Maria Shell is a quilter from Anchorage, Alaska. As the Rasmuson Foundation Artist-in-Residence working in the craft sphere of impact, she will work with the neighborhoods near the Brightwalk Arts and Ecology Campus to incorporate their own fabrics in quilts telling stories of their quickly changing communities.

• Frank Selby creates paintings and works on paper representing “a contemporary remix of archival photographs depicting demonstrations, riots and wars.” His work points out flaws in society through beautiful, delicate and detailed mark making. While working under the sphere of beauty, Selby will partner with Sasha Janes, associate artistic director for Charlotte Ballet, on a new conceptual ballet performance to debut in the company’s Innovative Works Series Jan. 30-Feb. 21.

• Jennifer Appleby is the center’s first innovator-in-residence working in the business innovation sphere. While not a traditional artist, Appleby’s presence marries the center’s two entities, the residency program and the Innovation Institute. Appleby, president of Wray Ward in Charlotte, will engage with artists, business, leaders and educational institutions to study and promote Charlotte’s innovative spirit. With a drive rooted in improving Charlotte, she will investigate the benefits of artistic thinking and share knowledge of its business application.

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