Local Arts

Artists examine race, gender, social justice at McColl Center

“In the Shadow of Blue” by Caroline Rust
“In the Shadow of Blue” by Caroline Rust McColl Center

The McColl Center for Art + Innovation welcomes eight new artists – all from the Carolinas – for its summer residency programs.

These artists will focus on studio practice in addition to their assigned spheres of impact. Stephen L. Hayes Jr. and Ivan Toth Depena have 13-month residencies, while the other artists will stay through Aug. 18.

Stephen L. Hayes Jr., Missy Luczak-Smith and Doug Smith Fellow: Hayes is the first to be honored with this fellowship for a regional artist studio residency for five years. His practice investigates race relations through multimedia installations. Working in the social justice sphere, he will develop a performance-based installation titled, “How to Make a Dollar,” in which he explores the consumer culture associated with hip-hop culture.

Ivan Toth Depena: Depena served his first residency in 2014 and worked with Discovery Place to improve their well-attended Van Gogh Alive exhibition. The artist, who holds an MFA from Harvard and focuses largely on architectural installations, often using responsive technology in his installations to invite engagement with viewers.

Erik Waterkotte: Charlotte printmaking fixture Erik Waterkotte will explore the history of the McColl Center’s building and its Neo-Gothic architecture in a site-specific piece. If his well-executed 2014 solo exhibition “An Abridged Equinox” at UNC Charlotte’s Rowe Gallery is any indication, audiences can expect an immersive experience enhanced with symbology explored through prints, photographs, film and light.

Caroline Rust: Rock Hill artist Caroline Rust uses found objects and paintings to explore societal roles women have played through history. Her work seeks to question gender roles by juxtaposing feminine objects with her own paintings; their union can appears somber, ritualistic, and yet inviting. She frequently employs makeup and dressing tables in her work, fitting as she will be working under the Beauty Sphere of Impact.

Charles Williams: Painter Charles Williams of Matthews creates landscapes based on personal experiences, with a recent series “Swim: An Artist’s Journey” exploring an incident where he was swept away by a riptide. His haunting ocean paintings convey an overwhelming sense of entrapment, translating psychological barriers to swimming he experienced growing up as an African-American.

TAPROOT: Charlotte experimental group TAPROOT is a grassroots ensemble primarily interested in audience engagement. Comprised of actors, dancers and musicians, TAPROOT has executed collaborations with artists who create work in response to performances as they take place. While in residency, they will develop the new work “FREYA,” which will pull from aspirations revealed in stories collected from Charlotte regional youth groups of all backgrounds.

Matt Horick: Rock Hill sculptor Matt Horick obtained a BFA from Winthrop University in 2013, and so represents promising emerging talent. He has aided in the fabrication of other residents’ work and was recently awarded a public art commission in Rock Hill. His sculptural work is minimalist and modernist, echoing 20th century forms while adding a humanistic touch through obvious seams in his metal and clay vessels. Horick will work under the Architecture + Design sphere.

Endia Beal: Winston-Salem artist Endia Beal investigates notions of race, gender and corporate America through photography and video. Her humorous 2013 portrait series “Can I Touch It?” shows corporate women in business attire with the popular hairstyles of black culture. While in residence, the 2013 Yale MFA grad will create a new series examining the dynamics between white men and minority women in the corporate world. She will work under the social justice sphere.

This story was produced as part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance.

McColl Center

Galleries are open 5-9 p.m. Thursday; noon-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 721 N. Tryon St.

Details: Free. Mccollcenter.org; 704-332-5535.