Local Arts

Here’s what’s coming up in Charlotte’s visual arts

Erik Waterkotte is leading a workshop July 18 at the McColl Center.
Erik Waterkotte is leading a workshop July 18 at the McColl Center. Charlotte Observer file

Best bet

During the summer, many arts institutions slow down a bit. Limited hours and group exhibitions are common, with opening receptions for new exhibitions delayed until late summer or early fall. Take advantage of this time to see exhibitions you have not had a chance to see yet, wander the permanent collections at local museums, or better yet, delve into your own creative practice.

Where to go

Suggestions this week include workshops and classes for both novices or pros. Some require minimal commitment, while others span about a month. Costs are as low as $5. All courses require advanced registration and have limited space, so be sure to take a look and sign up soon. The first class begins July 13.

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Families look at artwork in the downstairs gallery at the Gantt Center, which is holding a Family First event July 13. Isabella Bartolucci Charlotte Observer file

Interested in making your own jewelry? The Gantt Center presents an opportunity for painting wooden medallions for earrings, necklaces or pins during its Family First event on July 13. This activity is for adults, as well as students as young as 6, so it will make for a perfect outing with your child or grandchild. It’s also inexpensive — free for members and just $5 for non-members. Artist, designer and jewelry maker Kim Turner of Elizabeth in Pearls teaches the class, which requires advanced registration at the link.

There are three workshop opportunities for exploring your creativity this summer at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation — all focused around experimentation and collage in some capacity. All classes are taught by talented alumni artists. Offered in two-hour blocks, these workshops for teens and adults will give you a brief taste of the process — just enough time to know if you want to learn more. Workshops range from $35-$55 with discounts for members, and all materials are included. So there’s little investment if you are interested in exploring new techniques.

Erik Waterkotte, printmaker and associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, will teach a monotype printmaking workshop on July 18. From 6-8 p.m., Waterkotte will demonstrate a variety of techniques to print from glass and other surfaces.

Build on some of the collage techniques you learn with Waterkotte on July 27 from 10 a.m. to noon in Sharon Dowell’s collage workshop. This class encourages experimentation — with color, texture and pattern — as you create abstract collages inspired by flora.

The last summer workshop at McColl Center is with Antoine Williams, an artist and assistant professor of art at Guilford College who recently spent almost a year in residence at The Center. Repurposing plastic bags is the basis of this workshop. Building on your previous collage experience, you will melt and manipulate the plastic onto a canvas substrate. This workshop takes place Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Who to meet

Want to really dedicate yourself to exploring your creative side? Acclaimed artist Carolyn DeMeritt will offer three sessions of black and white darkroom photography at The Light Factory, Charlotte’s only venue solely dedicated to exhibiting and teaching photography. While the course is $275 members or $325 non-members, The Light Factory loans out 35mm cameras so you can try out a class without making a huge investment in equipment.

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Photographer Carolyn DeMeritt is holding workshops at The Light Factory. Shown here is her 2016 work “Kira’s Braid,” an archival pigment photograph. Charlotte Observer file

Newbies will learn to load film into the camera and will be instructed in basic film shooting. In this multi-week course, students will learn to develop their own negatives, contact sheets and photographic prints. Advanced students will move from 35mm to medium format, and ultimately, large-format shooting and printing. Programs are offered on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday evenings or Thursday evenings beginning Aug.t 13 and concluding Sept. 19. More course offerings are available for the fall and spring.

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