Since opening in August, the new UNC Charlotte Center City Building Gallery has become a vibrant venue for creative action. In September, muralists Antoine Williams and John Hairston came to the gallery night after night with buckets of bright paint to create “Here’s Hoping It Rhymes for a Reason,” a mural 30 feet wide and 12 feet tall that the artists completed right before viewers’ eyes during the Center City Building Community Day on September 17.
In late October, UNC Charlotte faculty Maja Godlewska and Mary Tuma hung clouds and tricycles throughout the space to create “Playground,” a performative installation that on occasion becomes a stage for improvisational dance by Department of Dance professor E.E. Balcos. And in January, projectors installed inside the gallery will create a visual spectacle by international artist Anna von Gwinner that will only be seen from outside the building.
"My job is to present the perfect stage for meaningful art," says gallery director Crista Cammaroto, who adds that the gallery will feature "thought-provoking art from all over the world and around the corner to inspire Charlotte with a variety of ideas about what art and design can be."
Like the mission for the Center City building as a whole, the mission for the gallery includes a commitment to integrating the University into the Charlotte community in new and exciting ways.
– Crista Cammaroto,
"We will be making a footprint with a challenging freshness," Cammaroto says, “increasing pedestrian pathways to our City Center building and reaching out to other arts organizations regularly, working together to increase the value of art within our Charlotte and Southeastern locale.”
The highest profile exhibition comes this April, when 18 violins with histories related to the Holocaust make their North American debut at the gallery as the "Violins of Hope." This exhibition combines the arts, and history to explore themes of memory, redemption, and the resilience of humanity.
"The intellectual pursuit is at the heart of what we do," says Cammaroto.
Photo by Wade Bruton.