April 10, 2018
Charlotte Douglas International Airport will be home to original artworks created by five Charlotte artists representing a diverse mix of backgrounds with variety of media.
The Arts & Science Council, as part of Charlotte’s ongoing terminal improvement program, will commission five artists to create original artworks that will be digitally reproduced and installed on select walls on CLT Concourses A and B.
This is just one part of the renovations happening at Charlotte Douglas Airport. Digital media artist Refik Anadol will also be transforming hidden troves of airport operations data into a choreographed panorama of light and flowing digital patterns driven by visualization software slated for completion in the summer of 2018.
“We wanted to give our local artists an opportunity to showcase their talents within the renovated terminals. The airport serves as Charlotte’s front door, and these murals will be highly visible as thousands of travelers wait to board their planes,” said Vice President of Public Art, Carla Hanzal.
The Public Art Commission will shortlist a selection of no fewer than five new artists drawn from the same pool for assigned locations on Concourses C and D before the end of the 2018. Renovations on Concourses A and B are currently scheduled for completion by winter of 2018/2019.
Here is a look at the five artists (Bios provided by ASC):
Nellie Ashford describes herself as a “self-taught folk artist” whose work is rooted in memories of life as experienced by Charlotte’s African-American community during the era of “Jim Crow” racial segregation in the American South. Ashford’s work incorporates a mix of materials that often depict actual real-life events and remembrances, individuals and communities with vibrant detail and emotion. Ashford has exhibited at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Queens University of Charlotte Gallery.
Ráed Al-Rawi began his artistic career as an illustrator and political cartoonist. The highly symbolic and surreal imagery of his artwork is informed by his Iraqi-American heritage, and infused by the synergy/tension between ancient tradition and contemporary life. Al-Rawi has exhibited work in numerous group shows throughout North Carolina, became an affiliate artist at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in 2002 and 2006, and currently teaches at CPCC in Charlotte, N.C.
Nico Amortegui was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and has worked in the United States since the 1990s. His current artistic focus is large-scale paintings on canvas or wood panels and sculpting and wood-working with found objects. Amortegui has taken pursuit of the “American Dream” as a central focus of his artwork, creating “snapshots” of individuals and communities striving to realize their dreams. He now resides in Charlotte with his wife and two daughters.
Jonathan Grauel is an artist and web developer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. He creates semi-representational narratives portraying travel destinations as landscapes seen or remembered through a psychologically, emotionally and spiritually charged lens. Professional artist Bob Rankin played a formative role in Grauel’s creative self-discovery and artistic development. Grauel has created public artwork for the Levine Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit and several Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branches through ASC’s ‘Culture Blocks’ program.
Ben Premeaux is an artist and educator with a passion for photography and video. His recent work experiments with optical illusions and “impossible” perspectival views to provoke a childlike sense of wonder and questioning of the world in which we live. Premeaux earned a BS in Art Education from Appalachian State University and an MIS in Computer Graphics and Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. He taught Art & Photography in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for 12 years and was an Artist-in-Residence the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in 2011.
Learn more about the Arts & Science Council.