CHARLOTTE — Artistic ecology will be part of the Brightwalk neighborhood thanks to a $400,000 grant.
The money has been given to the McColl Center for Visual Art to work with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to bring environmental artists from around the world to build installations in the community. It is a donation from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of foundations, banks and federal agencies “committed to accelerating creative placemaking,” said McColl spokesman Susan Jedrzejewski.
Brightwalk, located between Statesville Avenue and the Bill Lee Freeway, just one mile from Charlotte’s Center City, is a $125 million project of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and collaborating developers. The Housing Partnership oversees all land and amenity development in conjunction with development partners, of which Standard Pacific Homes is the first.
Within its 98 acres will be 800 residential units, including apartments, townhouses and homes; parks and trails; roads; and retail sites.
The grant will bring eight artists to Charlotte. During their stays, the artists will work closely with residents of the mixed-income community to design and install original works of art that address an identified environmental challenge in the community and provide safe, inviting outdoor gathering spaces, Jedrzejewski said.
Founding funder of ArtPlace is the Miami-based Knight Foundation, which fosters art for neighborhood cohesion.
“The McColl Center project embeds art firmly into the community by creating a meeting place for artists and residents to discuss the impact of culture and arts on local progress,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation vice president for arts, in a press release. “Through this dialogue residents can develop a long-term stake in their communities and foster collaboration toward a more vibrant future.”
The McColl Center, located in uptown Charlotte, focuses on connecting art and resident artists with the community. The center houses nine studios for resident artists and more than 5,000 square feet of gallery space. Artists selected for the Brightwalk project will also mentor students from local universities who are interested in pursuing careers in art, ecology, engineering or design, Jedrzejewski said.