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).
Where to go
Grab a friend for your very own DIY art night! Feb. 5 is your chance to meet all the new studio artists at the McColl Center during the opening for “People/Places/Exchanges: Art as a Visual Voice,” an exhibition featuring 2015 Artists-in-Residence. Next, walk over to the UNC Charlotte Projective Eye Gallery to witness the innovative installation work of Julianne Swartz. If South End is more your style, the first Friday gallery crawl leaves you with great options: the opening of the Emily T. Andress show at Ciel Gallery and “New Horizons” and “8x8” at Lark & Key (be sure to congratulate them on their eighth-year anniversary!).
Who to meet
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Charlotte native Miranda Pfeiffer recently opened a show of new drawings at CPCC Ross Gallery titled “Rock Line.” She traveled from her current hometown of Los Angeles to showcase a series of excruciatingly (and excellently!) detailed graphite on paper drawings made of methodical, tiny marks that are the slow-paced antithesis to our fast-paced world; they demand long, intense study and viewers must intentionally slow down to appreciate them.
What to do
Find your inner artist by taking a class at one of these great institutions: Artists-in-Residence lead specific skill workshops at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation; The Light Factory has lessons for photographers of all skill levels; and Clayworks is a great resource for those interested in just throwing a pot to those following in the footsteps of the greats.