2020 was the 2nd annual semester of META and it looked a little different this year. We had online classes, practiced social distancing & dived right into social activism through public art. 2020 was a year of changes & challenges, of reaction & response and finding new ways to communicate with one another.
Our killer artist line up was selected for their unique styles & disciplines, range of creations & the voices we could hear through their work.
In their group community project, 2020’s META residents were tasked with bringing a wall directly to the community instead of inviting the community to a wall. Specifically a wall in at in the Untitled Street Series in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. Their collective vision saw that though style, language, symbols and history may vary, we all seek safe space and time to exist, communicate & connect. This mural, its community creation process and the artists behind it, worked together to express that story. By asking us all a simple question, we pose again today: What do you need right now? Community members were asked to write responses on strips of paper that were then laid into the final piece.
Their individual keystone murals all confronted relevant, current topics from the artist's personal perspective with bright colors in three Charlotte neighborhoods.
The META class of 2020 brought 4 new murals, 2 mobile panels, supported 14 professional artists and introduced 5 new muralists to our city. Who's ready for 2021?
“My mural is a reflection of home, to give people the visual sense and feeling of being home. Many people, including myself, couldn’t travel back home in 2020. The windows I painted feature objects from my family, friends, and local neighbors who live near the wall, to give passerbyers a home away from home and a reminder of belonging.”
CLT Urban Design Center
1507 Camden Rd, 28203
"My Jay Street mural, “Billow” was created in honor of the vision and mission of the nonprofits of Innovation Alley. A billow is defined as a large undulating mass of something, typically clouds. As the clouds rise, so do my hopes and well wishes for the beautiful vision of Innovation Alley. May your collective vision come to fruition as you work toward empowering often underserved, and invisible community members."
Location: She Built This City
1026 Jay St, 28208
""What’s Happenin” is a play off of Marvin Gaye and his album What’s Going On. The image of him is from Marvin’s cover art with a twist. The work includes my Charlotte themed characters surrounding him. This piece is a parallel of the times from Marvins’ perspective and present day issues. Between police brutality, Covid 19 cases, job scarcity and other issues, the times are not too far off from each other."
"Remember & Affirm"
This portrait of my 3 nieces, holds a dear space in my heart. The background, inspired by my high school notebook art, is designed to transport adult viewers back to their youth. However it also invites them to imagine the weight children are bearing today in contrast to the idyllic innocence of childhood. Specifically Black, Brown & Indigenous youth are disproportionately affected by the systemic issues of racism, ignorance & oppression still present. This illustrates the stark contrast of dreams vs. reality or expectations vs. truth, but it is also designed with color, symbols & shapes to evoke a feeling of comfort, hope & joy for what our future holds. Despite the heaviness experienced by today’s youth, the beauty is in the purity & innocence in the imagination of children and we, the elders, adults, & guides are here to elevate & amplify the voices of our youth & learn from them.
check out these badasses >
Partner, Program Director: SAM GUZZIE | @samguzzie
Partner, Director of Curation:
HANNAH FAIRWEATHER | @hannahmfairweather
Production Support: OWL | @owl.clt
DREW NEWPHER | @anewpher89
Photographer: GLORIA ZAVALETA | @gloria.c.zavaleta
Who help make this possible.