One of the biggest stories on the local visual arts scene is the Oct. 24 grand opening of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the second venue to open in the glittering South Tryon arts complex. If you want an even earlier glimpse of the place, however, you can attend A Smarter Charlotte: Enhancing Our Community Intelligence for the 21st Century, sponsored by Charlotte Viewpoint magazine and Civic By Design Forum. This Oct. 15 event will address numerous issues impacting Charlottes future, including whether or not insufficient creativity is impacting the citys quality of life.
While Charlotteans are busy discussing how to bring the city out of its interminable cultural adolescence, down the road, sprightly little Rock Hill continues to offer surprises.
This week, you can meet two accomplished area artists who are currently exhibiting at venues on Rock Hills charming Main Street. Receptions honoring Michael Gayk at Gallery Up and Petra Carroll at the Center for Arts will take place Oct. 15, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The multitalented Gayk, who is currently an instructional developer at 3D Systems University at York Tech., uses rapid manufacturing and computer aided design technologies to create sleek, sensuous jewelry that challenges traditional notions of craft. Carroll, who received her MFA from Winthrop University, but who also has a strong academic grounding in math and physics, does obsessive yet contemplative work utilizing common objects such as paper bags and envelopes.
On Oct. 23, Shepard Fairey (yes, that Shepard Fairey) will make an appearance at a festive event benefiting Historic Rock Hill. Turns out that this Columbia native has deep roots in Rock Hill, including his maternal grandfather, Charles Shepard Davis, who was president of Winthrop University from 1959-1973. Fairey will unveil his painting of the imperiled rocky shoals spider lily, prints of which will be given to major donors to Historic Rock Hill, of which Faireys uncle, Ward Fairey, is executive director. A limited number of $50 tickets are available for this event, and attendees can buy raffle tickets for a chance to obtain a print. Details are available at 803-329-1020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.