Local Arts

What’s up this week in Charlotte’s visual arts?

Sam Van Aken’s “Agen Plum,” 2017.
Sam Van Aken’s “Agen Plum,” 2017. Courtesy of the artist

Where to go

Bridging Division: Empathy and Humanity” at The Light Factory sounds like the kind of exhibition we can all benefit from seeing, focused around, according to the gallery exhibition, finding common ground and shared humanity in a time of fear, violence and alternative facts. Curated by Ashley Kauschinger, the exhibition opens on June 7 and features works by Priya Kambli, Rania Matar, Zora J. Murff, Melissa Kreider, and Lissa Rivera. (A behind-the-scenes video for Rivera’s work is here.)

TLF lissa
“Motel, Virginia,” 2015, from the series “Beautiful Boy” by Lissa Rivera. Courtesy of the artist and ClampArt, New York

What to do

Tanya Aguiñiga’s “Wall Hanging 3,” 2015. Keara Reburn Courtesy of the Mint Museum

Get together with other knitters (or those willing to learn) for World Wide Knit in Public Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 9. The Mint Museum hosts the Charlotte Knitting Guild at the Mint Museum Uptown. Spinners, knitters and crocheters – or those just interested in learning – are welcome. Free admissions to members or those who come with knitting needles.

Who to meet

Sam Van Aken headshot
Sam Van Aken Courtesy of the artist

Meet the new summer residents at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation at its Open House 6-9 p.m. June 7. You’ll be able to talk with Sam Van Aken, Eliana Arenas, Julio Gonzales, Monique Luck, April Marten, Antoine Williams and Stephanie J. Woods in the studios. And Van Aken, whose work focuses on botany, agriculture and climatology, presents an exhibition, “The Open Orchard,” building on his previous “Tree of 40 Fruit Project,” in which heirloom orchards were preserved by collapsing them onto a single tree through the process of grafting. Look out for related workshops with Van Aken later in his residency.

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).