Things to do: McColl Center open house

Eight artists from around the country joined McColl Center for Art + Innovation as new artists-in-residence. They’ll engage with communities specific to their practice and use their art to invoke change or improvement.

Some will focus on studio practice and others will engage with social issues. Brad Thomas, McColl director of residencies + exhibitions, said this is an “exciting time of new discoveries for the artists and our guests.”

The artists and their studios will be open for a reception, 6-9 p.m. Friday at the center, 721 N. Tryon St.


Robert Lazzarini,

Brooklyn, N.Y., Knight Artist-in-Residence. A sculptor, Lazzarini playfully removes objects from their context, distorts and manipulates their forms using digital and traditional techniques, and presents them as their trippy counterparts. He has work at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Mint Museum. Benjamin Genocchio, writing for The New York Times in 2009, called him “one of America’s most exciting Young Artists.”


Robert Karimi,

St. Paul, Minn., Knight Artist-in-Residence. Karimi is a multidisciplinary artist best known for culinary experiences heightened by dynamic performance. He works through projects like Kaotic Good Productions and ThePeoplesCook to address health, wellness and social change. He has touched more than 40,000 people through engagements like 28 Days of Good Energía, a project aimed at awareness of Type 2 Diabetes. Karimi, a National Poetry Slam champion, will host food “happenings” through partnerships with 7th Street Market, Charlotte B Cycle, Carolinas Heathcare System and Charlotte Center City Partners.

• Anne Lemanski, Spruce Pine, Windgate Artist-in-Residence. She is a artist whose three-dimensional paper animal sculptures provide social and environmental commentary. Printed papers cover copper wire forms, bound by artificial sinew to create objects whose cuteness is undeniable. The prints often hum with underlying sinister tones, revealing humanity’s impact on animal populations: exploitation, domestication, and environmental extinction.


Amanda Lee,

Seattle, UNC Charlotte Artist-in-Residence. She is a printmaker who mixes silkscreen and lithography with salt paper photographic prints. Series are laid out in large colored grids reminiscent of quilts, sometimes overlaid with film projections to create a moment-specific work. Conceptually, her work investigates social issues like domestic violence with a lens on its effects and the healing process.

Lee will team teach with Assistant Professor Erik Waterkotte, leading a curriculum in which students will create work based on research at human service agencies. UNCC’s Rowe Galleries will host the project in March.

ArtPlace America Environmental Artists-in-Residence have plans for a project in the Brightwalk Neighborhood north of uptown, carrying out a partnership with the center, whose “goal is to create innovative solutions for restoring and preserving natural resources, all while enhancing visual appeal,” the Brightwalk website says. The artists will work independently on their projects:

• Brandon Ballengee will create a Love Motel for Insects, attracting bugs to canvases via ultraviolet lights to “create an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods.”


Stacey Levy,

a sculptor, will restore bird habitats through “Fly Line: Bird Habitat Ribbon, Making a neighborhood to share with the birds at Brightwalk.”

• Tattfoo Tan will realize a food forest, highlighting trees with edible elements and medicinal and historical importance.

• Wowhaus – the team of Ene Osteraas-Constable and Scott Constable will transform a small park into Scuppernong Commons, which will be a “living lab” focused on growing and preparing the native scuppernong grape.