Art + Culture

A chance encounter convinced aspiring artist to quit his job and invest in himself


A chance meeting with the executive director of the Charlotte Art League late last year prompted Francesko Art to change his life. PHOTO: Francesko Art

Read More

New exhibit explores how art can contribute to justice and social equity


The “Justice & Beauty” juried exhibit is from SouthEnd ARTS, an art education nonprofit that focuses on building a community committed to social justice through the arts. The exhibit will be available for viewing March 4-5 at Studio 229 on Brevard in The Brooklyn Collective in uptown Charlotte. PHOTO: Gail Baillergaron

Read More

‘Art saved me.’ Charlotte artist urges people to talk openly about mental health


Arelys Ripoll noticed the tantrums and fluctuating feelings when she was 9 years old growing up in Kissimmee, Florida. She only knew how to show her anger by hitting walls and tree trunks.

PHOTO: Arelys Ripoll

Read More



Charlotte music therapy patients connect with feelings through songs and instruments


It isn’t unusual for Joan Kleinmann to ask group members in her music therapy sessions to rewrite lyrics or share a meaningful song. She’s a board certified music therapist with HopeWay, a nonprofit mental health treatment facility in Charlotte.

Read More

Painting pages


Cynthia Flaxman Frank ate lemons when she was a young girl to see what kind of response she could get from the people around her. It was a source of pride to do something no one else could do. PHOTO: Tracy S. Watts

Read More

Charlotte photographer uses walking tours to foster community at The Light Factory


Charlotte native Carey King uses photography as a form of therapy. When faced with adversity, he’s turned to photographing everyday things.

PHOTO: Sir Will

Read More



An Army vet’s passion for painting tells a deeper story about women in the military


Charlotte-area artist Ida Mae Irby graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in art and $25,000 in debt. She joined the Army because there were few job opportunities available for her that paid more than minimum wage. PHOTO: Ida Mae Irby

Read More

After key parts in ‘Watchmen’ and ‘Black Panther’, NC actress lands her biggest role


When Alexis Louder reflects on taking the stage at E. E. Waddell in high school as one of the leads in a production of “Fences,” she recalls shaking and stuttering. But now she recognizes how the experience changed her life. PHOTO: Daniel Cutts

Read More

Charlotte artist’s mixed media work lets her connect with the community over loss


Monique Luck, a contemporary mixed media artist, was able to find common ground with folks in Charlotte while leading community workshops based on her own experience with loss. PHOTO: Bob Leverone.

Read More



‘Not ready... for a rocking chair yet.’ At age 70, she took up drums during COVID-19


When Alvesta Cody started drum lessons at the age of 70, her family and friends weren’t surprised. They’d always called her bold.

PHOTO: Joshua Komer

Read More

Mint Museum exhibit examines complexities of border walls around the world


Fences and borders are not a national phenomenon.

“(They’re) a human response to anxiety and perceived threats,” said Jen Sudul Edwards, the chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the Mint Museum in Charlotte. PHOTO: SHAN Wallace

Read More

Have you heard the one about a Charlotte comedian who bombed, then came out ahead?


Comedian Lauren Ansley bombed the first time she attempted an open mic night in Charlotte. The humiliating experience jolted her into reality: She wouldn’t become a star overnight. Then, she quit comedy for three years. PHOTO: Bobby Kerns Photography

Read More



This Charlotte artist wants to foster inclusive dialogue through Levine Museum murals


Two years ago, a pair of Davidson College students were accused of posting racist and anti-Semitic comments, which led to calls for change from the campus community. PHOTO: Stevvani Melton

Read More

Magical movement


When Stacie Zambas Peroulas moved to Charlotte 15 years ago, she looked for a Greek dance program like the one she attended growing up in Newport News, Va. She wanted her children to have the same connection to dance she had. PHOTO: Michael Sellas Photography

Read More

Charlotte filmmaker turned his childhood movie-making dreams into reality


Asa Kryst’s interest in telling stories began at a young age in Charlotte. Before anyone opened presents on Christmas day, his parents required Kryst and his five siblings to present the story of the birth of Jesus through a play or song. PHOTO: Emil Popa

Read More



Guerilla Poets founder uses art and poetry to help at-risk teens heal from trauma


It was 2012, and poet Shane Manier was reading one of her poems aloud in a Lincolnton coffee shop. The title: “Sitting Beside Death on the Fence with a Pack of Cigarettes.”

PHOTO: Brookhill Community Resource Center

Read More

UNCC professor transforms ‘Julius Caesar’ into a podcast set during the pandemic


On the day of the deadly shooting at UNC Charlotte in 2019, theater department professor Andrew Hartley hid with students in a dressing room, waiting for police to tell them it was safe to come out.

Read More

Being a good steward


Dr. Larry Brady started collecting art 30 years ago. His eclectic collection, which includes artwork from Ruth Ava Lyons, Herb Jackson and Paul Sires, has grown to more than 500 pieces of two- and three-

dimensional works. He attributes his initial interest in handmade objects to growing up in Asheville and being exposed to art festivals.

Read More



He wrote his first love song in third grade. Now 25, he’s teaching others to love singing.


Vocal performer Jonathan “Jay” Smith wrote his first song, “Only Once,” when he was in the third grade. It was heavily influenced by singer-songwriter Ray J’s “One Wish.”

PHOTO: Daniel Coston

Read More

Small Charlotte arts groups get creative in tackling coronavirus challenges


Like other arts groups at the start of the novel coronavirus crisis, Brand New Sheriff Productions stopped rehearsals for “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf” in March because of COVID-19...

PHOTO: Peter Zay

Read More

Charlotte theaters find flexibility is key during COVID-19 as they eye the future


What Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s Adam Burke misses hearing is 550 first-graders screaming in delight at something they’ve seen on stage.

PHOTO: 

Read More



de’Angelo Dia says his art is like a sermon. He wants you to get something out of it.


Artist and teacher de’Angelo Dia carved creatures into desks and wrote poetry on walls as a kid. His favorite illustrators, Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein, unwittingly gave him his first opportunity to discover art. PHOTO: Mitchell Kearney, ARMOR: Betsy Birkner

Read More

Teaching culture through costumes. Meet the women who make the Greek Fest wardrobe


Ten years ago, Elaine Mahairas stopped by her church to return the costumes her three children borrowed for a dance performance at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s annual Yiasou Greek Festival. The mundane errand led to an opportunity. PHOTO: Michael Sellas Photography

Read More

Ludwig Drums’ striking craftsmanship


Seven years ago, before Anderson Hall became plant supervisor, he stepped into Ludwig Drums in Monroe for a job interview, expecting to see robots producing the legendary instruments. He couldn’t imagine they were handcrafted and finished by men and women, some with more than 30 years of experience at the business.​

Read More



Entrepreneur, musician Dae-Lee strives to make Charlotte’s music scene more inclusive


David “Dae-Lee” Arrington doesn’t fit into any one box: He’s a creative entrepreneur who owns two businesses, co-founded a nonprofit, and writes, produces and performs original music. Photo: RYAN BARNETT

Read More

After helping run the Children’s Theatre for years, she leaves a legacy of kindness


Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s managing director, Linda Reynolds, admits she’s partial to musicals like CTC’s “Beauty and the Beast.” And she remembers the first time someone flew across the stage for “Peter Pan.”

Read More

This Charlotte artist paints to let people know ‘they are seen and valued’


Charlotte artist Eva Crawford finds beauty in faces. She’s created two series: “Seen” and “See of Humanity” using images of family, friends and strangers.

A year ago, Crawford started painting portraits over collaged elements – pages from the Bible, an encyclopedia. 

Read More



This emerging Charlotte artist faced her sadness and fears to pursue art full time


Every life has turning points. For Rosa Renteria Jimenez it was her grandfather’s death. 

Read More

Mind the gaps


Ordinary Folks Are Helping Those Who Fall Through the Cracks of Charlotte's Mental Health System

Read More

Addicted to acting


Lindsey Whitus is not your typical high school sophomore. At 15 years old, she is kicking ass and winning awards for it.

Read More



Announcing CLT After Dark, a live show with COVID-19 dance parties — and Luke Kuechly


Would you tune into Luke Kuechly making popcorn at home on a 1970s style variety show? Charlotte Center City Partners is betting on it.

Read More

View local art and meet the Charlotte artists from the comfort of your couch


Jim Dukes with the Charlotte Art League, gave credit to COVID-19 for the organization’s first virtual exhibit “Ab’strakt”...

Art @umayalart

Read More

Water works


Artist Carmella Jarvi went through a rebellious period when she was a sophomore in high school. She dropped out of West Charlotte and ran away from home to live in a tent behind Mint Museum Randolph. After 40 days, her grandmother left her a note reading, “You better call me.”

Read More



How veterans around Charlotte found hope, inner peace and community through art


As he was leaving the Charlotte veterans’ clinic one day in 2014, U.S. Army veteran Lewis Patterson noticed a flyer about an art class for veterans. The class changed his life.

Read More

CPCC drama department leader takes final bow after 37 years and thousands of students


Central Piedmont Community College’s Tom Hollis hasn’t had a summer vacation in 37 years. He’s been directing and producing the college’s Summer Theatre program since...

Read More



Breaking barriers


For local entrepreneur Nesha Pai, writing down the details of her journey to adulthood healed her childhood wounds, giving her the tools to visualize a path to building confidence and identity. Her first book, Overcoming Ordinary Obstacles, a guide for personal growth and success, was released at the end of 2019. 

Read More

Update: Community responds with donations after Charlotte’s ArtPop threatens to close


In 2002, billboard industry insider Wendy Hickey came up with an idea. Rather than leave unused signs sitting boring and plain, she wanted to use them to display local art.

Read More

This quarantine family band in Charlotte is ‘Livin’ La Vida COVID’ with music videos


Charlotte musician Tony Arreaza had long dreamed of forming a family band with his wife, Ailen, and their two sons, Lucas and Paulo. Quarantine during COVID-19 became his best opportunity to make it happen.

Read More



This artist has much to say about gender roles. You can see it in her latest paintings


Irisol Gonzalez never really liked her financial services career. Shortly after spending five hours on an art-themed team building assignment in 2015, she quit and became an artist.

Read More

Why is this Charlotte artist ‘Airing Out the Dirty Laundry’? To tell stories.


Women gather in Andrea Downs’ living room for “Laundry Day.” But it’s not what you think – no one is washing or folding clothes. Photo Heather Liebler

Read More

Arko and Owl are two Charlotte artists who keep their identities secret for a reason


Artists Arko and Owl met at a wedding in 2009. Owl had been invited to play the violin and Arko was there with his family.

Photo: Brian Twitty

Read More



Mental health and coronavirus: How to cope with the new norm in Charlotte


My three years of training as a resident advisor (R.A.) at UNC Charlotte prepared me for many things. Photo: Clare Miller

Read More

Strictly sticks


With names like Fancy Free, Whiplash and Wingding, Patrick Dougherty’s works of art evoke thoughts of whimsy and escape. It’s not hard to imagine a hobbit or fairy slipping through a door or window of one of the sculptor’s larger-than-life pieces.

Read More

Children’s Theatre resident teaching artist travels the city to make a difference


Years ago, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools teacher Marie Steele applied for a grant that would provide funding for...

Read More



This Charlotte artist’s work is inspired by his storytelling roots in Colombia


One night in 2011, artist Nico Amortegui woke up and started painting in watercolor. He hadn’t painted in almost 20 years.

Read More

You can learn about Catawba Indian pottery traditions at this Levine Museum event


Years ago a colleague sent professor Stephen Criswell a clip of Today Show’s Meredith Vieira interviewing President Barack Obama. Criswell, who...

Read More

Heading to the opera? Legion has got a beer for that.


Opera Carolina’s 2019-2020 season opens this week with “Macbeth” and a specially brewed beer called, Opera Party! It’s the fourth opera season tied to a featured beer.

Read More



KNOW: At reopening Mint, ‘I like to call myself a “type A” artist’

CTO

Is there a specific career moment that makes you proud? I recall creating my first site-based work, when I was about 20. I was very shy about sharing my work and almost didn’t go through with it but entered the piece in an all-student show.

Read More

She’s used a special tool for decades to lift her students: It’s a farm.

CEO

The sound of the brass meditation singing bowl is the signal for 18 students and five staffers to gather for meditation at the morning’s writing circle at Airy Knoll Farm Art Class.

Read More


What’s improv comedy doing in Charlotte? We test-drive five troupes: Take a look

Senior Architect

If you haven’t dug into Charlotte’s improv comedy scene yet, now’s a great time to do it.

Read More



A new Mint exhibit uses light and technology to explore links between man and nature


Art and tech collide in the latest exhibit at the Mint Museum Uptown and it may change your mind about experimental art.

Read More

A banker turned his passion for Latin American art into an NC ‘cultural institution’


LaCa Projects owner Walter Dolhare still has the Wassily Kandinsky and Joan Miró posters he purchased for $8 each in 1986.

Read More

This Charlotte artist is about to head to the Arctic. ‘My life is going to be changed’


For almost a month now Charlotte artist Ruth Ava Lyons has been taking cold showers to prepare for her trip to the Arctic.

Read More



Art House


Last year, Nick Stout challenged his parents with a question: “Do you want to live in a piece of art or in a regular house?” His query came during Gray Stout and Heather St. Aubin-Stout’s search for a new home.

Read More

She helps artists by putting their work on billboards and signs around Charlotte


Wendy Hickey wants to eradicate the phrase “starving artist” from our vocabulary.

Photo by Matt Henesy

Read More



This Charlotte artist saw a lack of black superheroes. So he did something about it.


Wolly McNair grew up in Lumberton, in a neighborhood where drawing cartoon stick figures could get him beat up or, at least, bullied.

Read More

Full Circle


When Charlotte artist Orr Ambrose was just 15, she started making annual or biannual trips to tiny Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. The picturesque island, totaling 1 square mile and accessible only by boat, has long been...

Read More

Chris Clamp paints objects from his past hoping to tell you a story or spark a memory


Chris Clamp chooses everyday objects to paint. The details in his oil paintings of vintage toys or tools tell a story about...

Read More



‘Everyone needs an outlet to express themselves.’ Their art studio is just the start.


David Galloway finds it hilarious that his son, Dion Galloway, and daughter, Davita Galloway, named their creative studio, dupp&swat, after the random nicknames he gave them as...

Read More

To expand on his studio work, this artist picked up spray paint and stepped outside


Public artist Ivan Depeña expected a hyper-competitive environment at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. But the community of artists surprised him: “It felt like...

Read More

Find out the stories behind three treasured works in the latest exhibit at the Gantt


“A Woman’s Work” is a selection of 25 pieces by 11 artists from the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African American Art, donated to the Gantt Center in 1998 by Bank of America.

Read More



Mint Museum Randolph: Behind the Exhibition


Tony DiTerlizzi drew monsters and dragons as a kid. He still does. DiTerlizzi, 49, is a New York Times-bestselling author and illustrator. He’s known for his...

Read More

The Levine Museum historian shares one of Charlotte’s best kept historical secrets


When he shared material from his master’s thesis on the origins of Charlotte’s thriving civil rights movement, Willie...

Read More

This sculptor from the Charlotte area makes works of whimsy that are gaining attention


For the first time in 13 years, Debbie Whitsett answered a gallery’s call for artwork. Her sculpture, “The Dinner Guest,”...

Read More



10 Must-see local theater productions — and the scoop on the female Sherlock

CTO

PaperHouse Theatre’s performances at the Frock Shop on Central Avenue are an intimate affair. Actors are inches away; the audience, although not exactly part of the production, is an integral part...

Read More

How do you define ‘American’? Watch these and that may change

CEO

Moises Serrano says the first thing people tell him, after watching the film about his journey, is always the same: “I didn’t know.” Serrano, raised in Yadkin County, tells his story in “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America.”

Read More


Festival Fun

Senior Architect

Cities & towns in the Carolinas celebrate history & honor traditions with varied and unique festivals. These local tributes are community-driven and mark the importance of the area’s industry, foods and people. Summer is the perfect time to take in a few of them! 

Read More

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (631) 708-7274

0