Who to meet
Meet Anne Lemanski and Brad Thomas at the openings of their dual solo exhibitions at SOCO Gallery, 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24. We got to know Spruce Pine-based Lemanski’s work well during her 2015 McColl Center residency, and we’re pleased she’ll be exhibiting her signature paper sculptures in this show. Brad Thomas returns to North Carolina to debut new paintings and sculptures that deal with the written word and its limitations and powers. Both artists plan to be at the reception.
What to do
Apply for The Light Factory’s ANNUALE juried photography exhibition by Jan. 26. Any photographer from around the world is welcome to apply, though only four to six artists will be selected and eligible to show a body of five to seven photographs. This exhibition is an annual favorite for the HappeningsCLT team as it regularly allows Charlotte audiences a look into the most challenging and inventive work currently being produced.
Where to go
On Jan. 25 (7 to 8:30 p.m.), you can get a look at the first showing in the Southeast of Arthur Jafa’s video installation “Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death,” at the Smith Gallery of Davidson College’s galleries. This traces the African American experience through found photographs and footage. Set to the sound of Kanye West’s gospel-inspired track “Ultralight Beam,” the 2016 film is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the Van Every Gallery, Raleigh-born Jen Ray’s work will be on view in the solo exhibition “Surrounded by Wolves,” an investigation into the feminist identity in the American South. This multidisciplinary artist will also present two performances: At the opening and Feb. 7 at the Mint Museum Uptown.
Each week, Grace Cote and Lia Newman offer Observer readers a to-do list on immersing yourself in visual arts around town. Newman is director/curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, Cote is senior coordinator at Jerald Melberg Gallery, and they collaborate on the blog HappeningsCLT (happeningsCLT.com).
For a seasonlong visual arts calendar, go to: www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article172583126.html.