Archive by Author

Public art to unify new CMPD station with the community it serves

29 May

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

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Durham-based glass artist Vivienne McConnell in front of the exterior public artwork installed in April at the soon-to-open CMPD Eastway Station on Central Avenue in Charlotte.

Charlotte’s newest public art piece will help connect a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department station with the community it protects and serves.

The artwork, created by Durham-based glass artist Vivienne McConnell and installed in April, will link neighborhoods along Central Avenue in East Charlotte to the brand new CMPD Eastway Station.

Funding for the $30,600 work comes from the one-percent ordinance for public art. ASC manages the public art programs for the city and the county.

McConnell’s exterior art wall utilizes interlinking circular shapes and rectilinear lines to convey the theme of how police departments and neighborhoods cooperate in creating a safe place.

The interior stained art glass above the doors in the main entrance is named “Unity.”

“It’s built around the idea of unity – the unity of the police department and the community,” McConnell said. “It really did seem to me that there was a lot of camaraderie and unity in the community.”

The center panel of the exterior piece contains a similar motif to the indoor glass. On either side is cooperation, an abstracted idea of two people joined by their arms.

“It’s a different take on ‘Unity,’ with the circles interlocking,” she said. “I thought it was something that would work for the community and the police department as well.”

As the day progresses, the glass panels change according to the movement of the sun and what is around them.

“In this particular installation we have a lot of sky at certain places of the room and there are trees in certain places of the room,” she said. “If you have something like trees behind the glass, it helps you perceive the movement in the glass.”

A self-described color person, McConnell said she used a more sedate and formal color palate for the glass panels to better match the building. She also used a “little bit of gold to give it some excitement.”

“I hope that the people who own this artwork, and that would be the city, and the people who work in this building will enjoy it,” she said. “I hope it brightens their day and it helps attitudes.”

Digital & Media Literacy Camp Combines Learning and Creativity

29 May

By David Fowler
Communications Intern

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Arts & Science Council (ASC) Digital & Media Literacy Camp Director Crystal Lail has always worked in education.

A veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system, Lail knows firsthand the importance of creativity in education. As camp director, Lail sees creativity as an opportunity to make learning enjoyable and engaging for every student.

Often times, education and creativity are wrongly separated. Sometimes creativity gets swept under the rug of education, overpowered by state-set curriculums and standardized testing. Lail believes that the ASC Digital & Media Literacy Camp bridges that gap. The freedom to be creative and think abstractly gives students a sense of ownership and pride in what they are doing, or learning.

“We really get to work outside the box,” Lail said. “We are not limited by a set curriculum, which allows us to engage students differently based on what they want to do.”

The camp is broken up into three two-week sessions, each with a different focus. Registration is open to all students in rising 1st-12th grade. Campers can sign up for individual sessions, or for all three.

Students will learn use digital cameras and other devices to create digital stories, music, and art. Through field experience, specialized instruction, as well as field trips and service projects in the community each session is designed to provide opportunity to be creative.

“All of our teachers are certified specialists in their field,” Lail said “We also have specialist come in to support us.”

This specialized instruction and exposure to experts in the field provides the best possible experience for students.

“We offer something no one else in Charlotte offers with the amount of opportunities the kids have to not only learn, but be creative and express themselves,” said Lail. “It is also a great chance for them to get exposed to diversity, as students from all over the community will learn and work together.”

Give your child a creatively empowering and educationally engaging experience this summer. Click here to register or learn more. If you have any questions, email camp director Crystal Lail at crystal.lail@artsandscience.org.

Your red-hot cultural guide to the summer

29 May

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

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Authentic North Carolina adventures are at your fingertips with the N.C. Arts Council’s arts tourism trails. Photo credit: blueridgemusicnc.com.

Bookmark this, print it, tweet it, share it on Facebook – whatever you have to do.

You’ll want to refer back to this throughout the summer.

Whether your plans include staying close to the local pool or traveling from Murphy to Manteo or anywhere in between, this will be a quick reference for how you can enjoy the arts, science, history and heritage experiences that makes North Carolina special.

Consider it your red-hot cultural guide to the summer.

No matter where you are in the state, there’s always something fun to do. Here are our tips for making the most of your summer vacation closer to home.

BE A CULTURAL TOURIST IN YOUR OWN STATE

The North Carolina Arts Council has developed North Carolina Arts Trails, web-based guides to authentic experiences from music, craft, literature and other traditions found in the Tar Heel state.

The seven trail guides featured are: the Blue Ridge Music Trail, the Cherokee Heritage Trails, Discover North Carolina Craft, Historic Happy Valley (a legendary home to the arts, storytelling and living traditions), HomegrownHandmade (focused on authentic folk artisans, farmers and creative entrepreneurs rooted in the state’s rural countryside), Literary Trails of North Carolina, and the African American Music Trail.

Each guide typically includes a calendar of upcoming events, fun facts and tidbits and interactive maps – the Literary Trails guide offers instructions for walking tours of uptown Charlotte, for example.

You can find all seven North Carolina Arts Trails at http://www.ncartstrails.org/.

FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION FOR OUR TROOPS

The fifth annual launch of Blue Star Museums will offer free admission to more than 2,000 museums across America to the nation’s service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families through Labor Day 2014.

Participating Blue Star Museums in Charlotte are:

The Blue Star Museums program is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense.

For a complete list of participating museums in the U.S., visit http://arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

ENJOY SOME COOL SUMMER POPS

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Pops series kicks off June 8 with “A Night on Broadway,” where the orchestra will play some of the most memorable music of Broadway, including selections from My Fair Lady, Chicago, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.

Series concerts take place at Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road (behind SouthPark Mall), Charlotte, with prelude performances at 7 p.m. and symphony performances at 8:15 p.m. If you go, get there early (gates open at 5 p.m.) and take a picnic.

This season’s Summer Pops schedule includes:

  • June 8: A Night on Broadway
  • June 15: Orchestra Americana
  • June 22: Instrumental Opera
  • June 29: That’s Amore
  • July 3: Celebrate America!

Tickets are Adults $10 and free for children younger than 18 for June performances and $15 adults and free for children for the July 3 performance. An adult summer pass to all five concerts is $40. For tickets or more information, visit charlottesymphony.org or call 704-972-2000.

ENJOY SOME MORE OUTDOOR SUMMER CONCERTS

One of the ways the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra provides greater access to symphonic music is by performing outdoor summer concerts throughout northern and southern Mecklenburg County. This year the symphony will also perform at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte.

Performances are from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The symphony’s outdoor summer concert schedule includes:

  • June 14: Music of the Movies, Romare Bearden Park, uptown Charlotte
  • June 20: Music of the Movies, Energy Explorium, Lake Norman
  • June 21: Music of the Movies, Stumptown Park, Matthews
  • June 28: Celebrate America!, Bailey Road Park, Cornelius
  • July 1: Celebrate America!, Belle Johnston Park, Pineville

The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is partnering with Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation to offer the Music Box Lunch Series in the Park. The series will feature live music from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays in late May and June at Romare Bearden Park.

  • May 30: Roy Daye
  • June 3: Tom Billotto
  • June 6: John Alexander
  • June 10: Caution! Blind Driver
  • June 13: John Franklin
  • June 17: Jeff Brown
  • June 20: Dave Haywood
  • June 24: Alan Barrington
  • June 27: Colby Dobbs

LET CHARLOTTECULTUREGUIDE.COM BE YOUR GUIDE

Whether you’re looking for something free to do with the kids, making last minute plans, looking for the perfect pre- or post-date activity or taking a break from the pool, CharlotteCultureGuide.com is your ultimate resource of everything cultural happening in and around Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

You can also sign up for CulturePicks!, a weekly email highlighting upcoming arts and cultural events in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

To stay up-to-date on all the events, festivals, concerts and things to do in the Charlotte region, just visit www.CharlotteCultureGuide.com.

Advocating for the Arts at ARTS Day

29 May

By Sara Simmons
Public Sector Liaison

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Nearly 30 Charlotte-Mecklenburg community leaders and students took the bus to Raleigh last month to advocate for the arts.

It was part of the annual ARTS Day, a two-day event where arts advocates come together to promote the arts. The event, held May 20-21 in Raleigh, allowed individuals to engage in arts-related seminars and performances and meet directly with state legislators to emphasize the importance of the arts.

Sharing their stories with legislators in Raleigh were representatives from the Arts & Science Council (ASC), Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Symphony, UNC Charlotte, UMAR, and Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works, as well as staff members and students from ASC’s Studio 345, the out-of-school youth development program for 9th through 12th grade students.

While in Raleigh, Charlotte-Mecklenburg community members divided into teams to meet with legislators about how the arts have affected their lives and community. Students that met with Sen. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg, went on a behind-the scenes tour of the Legislative Building.

Other students shared their personal stories with legislators, engaging elected officials in deep conversations about the impact the arts have had on their lives. Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg, was so impressed with the Studio 345 students he spoke with that he offered to write each of them a letter of recommendation to the college of their choice.

In addition to participating in legislative meetings, Bria Alexander, a 12-year-old Community School of the Arts student, sang on the portico of the legislative building with her dad, Fred Alexander, on keyboard. Bria wowed the crowd with her big voice, as onlookers were amazed with the young girl at the microphone. Several legislators even took the time to step out of their busy offices to enjoy her spectacular voice.

ASC staff, local students and Charlotte-Mecklenburg community members made a strong showing at this year’s Arts Day, said Studio 345 instructor Sean Beck.

“What a great, productive, awesome, super fun day with everyone!” Beck said. “I truly feel like we made an impact out there with our legislators.”

Arts Day provided an impactful experience for all involved and we hope to keep the momentum of our advocacy efforts going. To join our advocacy campaign, where you too can have your voice heard by your legislators, sign up for VoterVoice here: https://www.votervoice.net/charlottearts/register.

Music Box Lunch Series in the Park

29 May

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is partnering with Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation to offer the Music Box Lunch Series in the Park. The series will feature live music from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays through October at Romare Bearden Park.

Upcoming performances include:

  • May 30: Roy Daye
  • June 3: Tom Billotto
  • June 6: John Alexander
  • June 10: Caution! Blind Driver
  • June 13: John Franklin
  • June 17: Jeff Brown
  • June 20: Dave Haywood
  • June 24: Alan Barrington
  • June 27: Colby Dobbs

The series is a great way to enjoy the summer weather and some cool tunes during your lunch hour!

Public Art Walking Tour a Great Way to Experience the City

28 May

By David Fowler
Communication Intern

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Charlotte is a city that is rich in history, unique culture, civic pride, and diverse communities. There is no better way to experience this than the Public Art Walking Tour. To get started, simply download the self-guided walking tour podcast and map at ArtsandScience.org; go to the Programs & Services tab, choose Public Art and scroll over and down to Public Art Walking Tour. Each location on the map has one or more works of public art spread out across the city. Starting at the Carillon Building at the corner of Trade and 4th streets, you are free to take the tour at your own pace as you discover Charlotte in a whole new way.

Public art is a representation of not only the city and its history, but also its people and communities. It reminds us where we come from and livens up our city spaces. From sculptures and paintings to fountains and benches, Charlotte is fortunate to enjoy a vibrant, and still growing, collection of public art that tells its story. Raymond Kaskey’s Sculptures on the Square (1994) at the corner of Trade and Tryon is one of the most recognizable pieces of public art in Charlotte. This piece depicts the past, present, and future of the city represented by four sculpted pillars: Commerce, Industry, Transportation, and Future. Larry Kirkland’s The Writer’s Desk (2005) is a sculpture that pays homage to the city’s newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, and its former publisher Rolfe Niell, whose quotes adorn the piece. These sculptures are perfect examples of the cultural and historical relationship between the pieces and the city.

The Arts & Science Council recognizes the potential of art to create livable cities, enhance neighborhoods, educate people, and increase community pride among citizens. Thanks to Mecklenburg County ordinances that allot one percent of eligible project funds to public art, public works of cultural significance will continue to be a staple in the Charlotte area.

Whether you are new to the city, or have lived in the area long enough to call yourself a native, the walking tour of Uptown Charlotte will change the way you think about the city, particularly from a cultural standpoint.

10 @ two recap – Random Acts of Science?

19 May

Compiled by Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

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ASC President Robert Bush.

So what’s this about Random Acts of Science?

Arts & Science Council (ASC) President Robert Bush dropped a tidbit about this future programming in our recent 10 @ two Facebook Q&A series.

In the occasional series, ASC social media followers have asked Bush their questions about our cultural sector. Last week, Bush received questions about the Cultural Life Task Force, STEAM education and Random Acts of Culture, among other queries.

The next 10 @ two question-and-answer segment is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 4. ASC will make the initial post on its Facebook page and the first 10 cultural sector-related questions (one per person) received in the comments section of that post will be answered by Bush. The final 10 @ two date is June 25 (dates are subject to change).

Here is a recap of the questions and answers from the May 16 10 @ two session. All questions were answered by Robert Bush.

Q: Thanks for taking our questions! As an organization, in addition to the regional artist grant, how will you engage and support individual artists of the city, especially emerging ones? What part can the ASC serve in helping young artists establish themselves in the Charlotte market?

A: Thanks for the question Amy. Your question is very similar to one I had last week. Over the past several years, ASC has worked very hard to increase the services and support we have for individual artists. Now, beyond the Regional Artist Project Grant program that has been around since the 1980s, we have an series of workshops on topics specifically addressing issues that are of interest to individual artists (in fact last Saturday, ASC is hosted its first Spanish language workshop for artists in partnership with Creative Capital and supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the McColl Award, made every 3 years to support the creation of a new work is now open to individual artists and in fact our last recipient was John W. Love Jr. ; this year alone our new Community Supported Art program and ArtPop! Program are providing individual artists new opportunities to introduce their work. A strong community of individual artists is critical to the success of this cultural community and ASC is here to provide assistance not just to groups but to individual artists as well. Make sure you have signed up for our monthly e-newsletter WorkshOpportunities which provide information on workshops and training opportunities as well as funding opportunities.

Q: I’m from studio 345, and was wanting to know will studio 345 offer a program for early grads in the future?

A: Our hopes for Studio 345 is that it continues to grow and expand to meet the needs of young people not only in high school but as they move to new opportunities in higher education. We are also looking at opportunities for recent graduates to come back and work for Studio 345 during the summer as well as providing internships with designers, filmmakers, recording studios, etc. to help build resumes. Perhaps we should talk to Barbara Ann about how early grads could become mentors in the teaching artist faculty.

Q: Hi Robert. As a science organization we’ve heard a lot about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. We’re now hearing about STEAM — add Arts to the mix. What is the plan for ASC to support more STEAM initiatives in our community?

A: STEM and STEAM programs are already part of our efforts to support pre-K-12 education across the County. Our Education Provider Directory contains a number of exceptional programs – like those of the Raptor Center – that can bring STEM/STEAM curriculum to life in the classroom or through field trips. We hope to have the resources in the future to add the unique story of the Raptor Center’s work on environmental issues from very close to home – the Catawba River – as a required grade level field trip. But until then, we have to make sure that our school partners know what is available to them NOW so Dudley the Owl spends a lot of his time in schools! BTW – the Arts got added to STEM because the arts are critical to the creation of new thinking and ideas – and the arts and sciences have always been connected – remember the College of Arts & Sciences at colleges and universities across this country and some of our greatest scientists were also very involved in the arts – you know Einstein played a mean violin.

Q: Hi Robert. I heard the story on WFAE about the Cultural Life Task Force, which is preparing to release its final recommendations on funding of the local cultural sector. The co-chair said it has taken longer than expected because of the complexity of issues. What were the biggest challenges the task force had to grapple with?

A: The best language I’ve heard to explain the complexity issues is that “we thought we were looking at how to fix the “FORD/GM” dealership but what we were asked to do is fix the automotive industry – 2 very different tasks. There are over 200 arts, science and history non-profits in Mecklenburg County and each discipline or type of group has a different operating platform. The Task Force focused on the 24 largest groups but even there each organization had different operating efforts. So, it took a long time to understand these differences as well as understand the commonalities that might be address by joint efforts. I think that the Task Force has figured it out and have offered some bold ideas for future.

Q: Hi Robert! How have “Random Acts of Culture” been received? Do you see that program continuing or expanding?

A: How do we love Random Acts of Culture?…Let me count the ways! The public and the cultural community have embraced these efforts across Mecklenburg County from farmer’s markets to the airport and other public spaces. We were very lucky to have the support of the Knight Foundation to kick these off and again to support the Library Acts of Culture which were also very well received. We hope to continue to have funds available in our budget to produce more RACs but keep them spontaneous and unexpected. You never know when you’ll see them at IKEA (like last Saturday’s HAIR cast performances) but look for a number of them coming to Bearden Park in the future including our first Random Act of Science!

Q: As a visionary please tell us about the future of the Arts in Charlotte and do you think it could ever become possible for Charlotte to be an “Art” destination?

A: Thanks Wan. We’ll I don’t know if I am a visionary but I do have opinions….I think that the future of the arts in Charlotte is very bright and that we are already becoming an arts destination. In fact over 40% of our audience comes from outside Mecklenburg. We just had the 2013 data of ticket buyers and donors to our local cultural groups mapped and let me tell – people are coming to Charlotte from all over the US for our cultural product – the blue dots cover most of the eastern seaboard and who knew that we have a big following in Memphis and even from San Francisco. But all this requires continued efforts to provide the highest quality of programming and innovative work. Something for all us to work on.

Q: Hi Robert! What are your ideas for ways ASC and individual organizations can help raise awareness of the impact the cultural sector has on Charlotte and the region?

A: We need to make sure that we are all singing from the same book – we have great data, we don’t always share it like we should and ASC is making a focus moving into the new year (our year begins July 1st) of sharing more data and making sure our friends have the data to share as well. We all need to memorize the economic impact results – over $200 Million annual economic impact, supports over 6,200 FTEs (same size work force as Duke Energy locally) add in the for profit creative workers and it is over 14,000 (about the same as the Bank of America workforce locally)…but more importantly we have to tell the stories of how the great work all of the cultural groups here do in changing people’s, helping them see themselves through the eyes of others and the joy our programs bring.

Q: Hi Robert Bush, my Elizabeth neighborhood is the, very excited, recipient of one of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership public art projects. The site selection is required to be property of the City or maintained by the City. My question, is there future possibilities to broaden the site choices by including the County?

A: We are very excited about the potential of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership program and hope to continue to have funds to invest in this grassroots type of effort. The funding for this initial effort came from pooled public art funds for City Projects. We would be excited to see this expand to County locations but we are already working in neighborhoods across the County, especially in park facilities – each public art project requires community engagement and hopefully we will learn more about improving our efforts to engage citizens in every project. ASC Public Art staff works closely with County staff so it is possible that the County could become a partner in some of these great neighborhood efforts.

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10 @ two recap – ASC President Robert Bush answers to your questions

14 May

Compiled by Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

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“Angels in America,” arts education and Arts & Science Council (ASC) support of individual artists were some of the topics ASC President Robert Bush addressed last week in the our 10 @ two Facebook series.

In the series, ASC social media followers can ask Bush their questions about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg cultural sector, from what will be the next public art piece built in our community to what our cultural sector is missing and everything in between.

The next 10 @ two question-and-answer segment is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, May 16. ASC will make the initial post and the first 10 cultural sector-related questions (one per person) received will be answered by Bush. Other scheduled dates are June 4 and June 25 (dates are subject to change).

Here’s a review of the questions and answers from the May 9 10 @ two session. All questions were answered by Robert Bush.

Q: Hi Robert! With CAST’s current production of “Angels in America” being welcomed and heralded by local leaders, can we finally put that chapter of Charlotte’s history to rest? Or is there something to be gained by reflecting on how far we’ve come? (PS: tickets on sale now, runs through the end of the month!!)

A: I would hope so. However, it is an important chapter in the history of this community and I hope that we never forget the lessons we learned from that experience. We have come a long way but art will continue to challenge us, as it is supposed to do, in the future. It isn’t just about pretty pictures often it teaches us something about ourselves that we don’t want to confront. That is the lesson of Angels…

Q: I wanted to know how much of the funds of the ASC Grant for the schools is spend on performances/residencies/workshops. Is there any plans to give the schools incentives to use some of the funds in the classrooms doing residencies and workshops (not only for performances or field trips)?

A: Without having a lot of numbers pulled, it is hard to tell you exactly how much is used for performance, residencies or workshops. However, this year ASC has invested $568,000 public, charter and independent schools across Mecklenburg via grants to in-school programs and support of required field trips (we even pay for the yellow school buses). In-school programs come from our pre-screened and curriculum based artist provider directory and includes not just performance, but workshops and residencies. However, individual schools choose what program best meet there needs. That is why it is important that the providers in our directory participate in our annual Marketplace to showcase the programs and offerings to teachers, administrators, and parents.

Q: Can we get an update on the fundraising campaign?

A: We do our fund drive tally on Friday’s. As of last Friday, May 2nd, we were at $5.25 million or 77.2% of goal. However, we have had a number of important, and large, commitments come in this week and are very encouraged but won’t have a new total until early next week.

Q: We hear a lot about arts organizations and groups in the QC. What would you like individual artists to know about Arts & Science Council?

A: Over the past several years, ASC has worked very hard to increase the services and support we have for individual artists. Now, beyond the Regional Artist Project Grant program that has been around since the 1980s, we have an series of workshops on topics specifically addressing issues that are of interest to individual artists (in fact tomorrow, ASC is hosting its first Spanish language workshop for artists in partnership with Creative Capital and supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the McColl Award, made every 3 years to support the creation of a new work is now open to individual artists and in fact our last recipient was John W. Love Jr. ; this year alone our new Community Supported Art program and ArtPop! (p)rogram(s) are providing individual artists new opportunities to introduce their work. A strong community of individual artists is critical to the success of this cultural community and ASC is here to provide assistance not just to groups but to individual artists as well. Make sure you have signed up for our monthly e-newsletter (workshop opportunities) which provide information on workshops and training opportunities as well as funding opportunities.

Want to discover your inner Van Gogh?

13 May

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

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Art and science will collide this weekend in a family-friendly day celebrating the life and work of iconic artist Vincent Van Gogh.

The Van Gogh Family Workshop, presented by Community School of the Arts and Discovery Place, takes place Saturday, May 17, at Spirit Square.

The day will include seven different art experiences and allow participants of any experience level to paint self-portraits, sunflowers or landscapes in the style of Van Gogh. Older artists can try integrating themes and concepts popularized by Van Gogh in their works. Young creators can have fun exploring the vibrant colors Van Gogh used.

“It’s not about re-creating Van Gogh’s paintings,” said Community School of the Arts Visual Arts Coordinator Shane Agostinelli. “It’s about bringing their own experiences and creating art with Van Gogh’s themes as a backdrop.”

The event coincides with Discovery Place’s “Van Gogh Alive” exhibit, which opened in April and runs through June 1 at the science center. The multi-sensory experience immerses visitors in the artist’s unique style with more than 3,000 vibrant Van Gogh images synchronized to a classical score and displayed at enormous scale on giant screens, walls, columns, ceilings and the floor.

“This is a beautiful exhibition,” said Discovery Place Education Director Gábor Zsuppán. “We have some really interesting engagements that allow you to interact with Van Gogh’s artwork… the whole experience is just amazing.”

Family workshop participants will be able to visit the exhibit before or after they create their Van Gogh-inspired masterpieces.

While either way works, “my personal belief is to do the workshop first and then experience it,” Agostinelli said. “So often in museum education, you tour and then re-create what you saw. I think there is a richer experience to creating your own and then seeing your work in the context of Van Gogh.”

One point is for participants to see and understand the connection between Van Gogh’s work and the art they create, Zsuppán said. Another is to help folks understand the similarities between the artistic and scientific processes.

Like scientists, artists question the world around them. What are the things Van Gogh has done that can be built upon? How can art be used to make a difference in our world?

“Art relies on these conversations over time,” Zsuppán said. “This exhibition is less about giving people short answers and more about getting people open to engage in those questions.”

Just as important, the exhibit – and the family workshop – is intended to help us connect to our inner artists. And it’s never too early or too late to do that.

“Something I found very intriguing and approachable is that Van Gogh created his most famous works in the last few years of his life and he wasn’t well known until after his death,” Agostinelli said. “So there’s hope for us all to become famous artists.”

Van Gogh Family Workshop

Community School of the Arts and Discovery Place are collaborating to host a Van Gogh Family Workshop on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Participants can create art inspired by the prolific artist at the visual art workshop before or after experiencing the new Van Gogh Alive exhibit. Workshop times are scheduled in hour-and-a-half blocks between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Workshops take place at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St., Charlotte.

Cost is $70 per family (up to 6) and also includes also four admission tickets to Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St., Charlotte. To purchase additional admission tickets for Discovery Place for $12 per person (actual cost), call 704-377-4187.

For more information, visit http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event/detail/441826214/Van_Gogh_Family_Workshop.

Get your questions about Charlotte-Mecklenburg cultural community answered

4 May

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

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Have a question about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg arts community for Arts & Science (ASC) President Robert Bush?

He’s ready to answer it in an occasional series we’re calling “10 @ two.” At 2 p.m. on select dates in May and June, Bush will personally answer your questions about our cultural sector on Facebook.

From how best to fund the arts to supporting individual artists, and from the value of public art to how well our arts scene reflects the diversity found in our community, no question pertaining to our cultural sector is off-limits.

“I understand that there are only so many hours in the day and I really love to hear from people about their visions for this cultural community,” Bush said. “So I’m excited about the chance to have this sort of focused opportunity to hear from and listen to people from all over the community.”

Here’s how it works: ASC will make the initial post on its Facebook page, at 2 p.m. on the announced days, and the first 10 cultural sector-related questions (one per person) received will be answered by Bush.

The social media conversations were developed as a way to make Bush available to the broader arts community during his first 90 days as ASC president. Bush, who had served as interim president since July 2013, was named to the position in March by the ASC Board of Directors.

Upcoming Facebook question-and-answer sessions are scheduled for May 9, May 16, June 4 and June 25 (dates are subject to change).

“It’s a great way,” Bush said, “for me to be able to respond to a lot of people in a reasonable amount of time and clearly in a format that reaches the rapidly changing youthfulness of our community.”

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