Local Arts

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

Untitled, 2018, by Jen Ray, in “Virago,” at SOCO.
Untitled, 2018, by Jen Ray, in “Virago,” at SOCO. Courtesy of Albertz Benda Gallery, New York, and SOCO Gallery

Who to meet

For more than a decade, Raleigh-born, New York-based multidisciplinary artist Jen Ray has been creating fictional worlds primarily inhabited by powerful women. Working in painting, installation, sound and performance, Ray’s works aim to celebrate women while initiating dialogue around gender, identity and feminism (sometimes specially related to the South where Ray was born and raised). A graduate of Winthrop University, and boasting an impressive resume including exhibitions and performances in New York, Dallas, Berlin and more, the artist returns to the area with a new body of work in her first solo exhibition at SOCO Gallery. The opening of “Virago” is 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20. More opportunities to meet the artist include a gallery walk-through at 11 a.m. Feb. 21, and – if you have already signed up for Charlotte’s Sphere Series – the chance to hear Ray in conversation with curator Jen Sudul Edwards in March as well.

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.

For a seasonlong visual arts calendar, go to: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article217677675.html.