Explore the many art installations and pop-up performances of Charlotte International Arts Festival

By CLTure

September 20, 2022

A message from Charlotte International Arts Festival (updated on Wednesday 9/28 at 2:50 p.m.)

“We are monitoring the forecast regarding Hurricane Ian and the potential impact to the Charlotte International Arts Festival.

All indoor events are continuing as planned. Some outdoor events may be moved indoors or rescheduled. Continue checking back on Charlotte International Arts Festival’s social accounts for updated information.”

See the updated schedule of events for Charlotte International Arts Festival.

With over 200 attractions (many of them free), Charlotte International Arts Festival is taking over the city with events, art installations, pop-up performances, and activities. The new annual event spans 17 days showcasing the arts in its many forms from around the world, celebrating diversity and culture. 

From aerial dancers to scavenger hunts to inflatable camera domes, there’s an assortment of visually and mentally stimulating installations and live performances taking place in Uptown and Ballantyne’s Backyard, the 100-acre community park in South Charlotte. 


September 16-18, September 22-25
Ballantyne’s Backyard

A truly unique kind of theatre performed on aerial stages by eVenti Verticali, a cultural arts organization aiming to promote rare forms of entertainment. Inspired by comics and video games of the ‘80s, the two aerial performers are tossed around between spy story scenes to acrobatic combats from Pac Man to Super Mario to Mission: Impossible


September 16 – 28 at Ballantyne’s Backyard
Sept. 29-30, Oct. 1-2 at Romare Bearden Park
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 at the Government Center

Illuminated larger-than-life bird puppets roam the streets for these pop-up performances produced by Close-Act Theatre, an interactive street theatre company from the Netherlands. 

Check out the showtimes.

Bloom! (Nature-Themed Acrobatic Sway Pole Artists)

September 16 – October 2 at Romare Bearden Park 

A colorful aerial spectacle performed atop 15-foot sway poles inspired by flowers of the Smoky Mountains. Three highly skilled performers explore themes of individuality, diversity, transformation, and community in the 20-minute show. 

Check out the showtimes.

Pneuhaus’ Compound Camera (An Inflatable Camera Dome)

September 17 – October 2 at Two Wells Fargo Plaza

The Compound Camera is an immersive dome made of 109 inflatable pinhole cameras that collectively cast a live projection of the surrounding environment to create a stunning panorama. Visitors are encouraged to touch the textile walls to adjust the focal range of the image.

Pneuhaus’ Compound Camera located at Two Wells Fargo Plaza

The Tree of Life

September 17 – October 2  at Romare Bearden Park

A collaboration project by Upcycle Arts Charlotte, Doyle Bussey and TuxedoKat, the “Tree of Life” is constructed out of mostly recycled materials, boasting a complex root system that is opaque during the day and illuminated with multiple colors at night.

Mazing Shadows

September 17 – October 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard

Take an adventure with your friends and family through the many twists and turns in a labyrinth constructed out of shadows. Navigate a mind-bending display of shadow-based art and get lost by local artist Oliver Hopkins. 

100 Tiny Things

September 17 – October 2  (Exact location to be revealed soon) 

100 Tiny Things is a surprise scavenger hunt for those walking through uptown between Belk Theater and Knight Theater. Playful, curious and delightfully disruptive installations that are a joy to stumble upon.

Lotty by Moradavaga (Interactive Squid Sculpture) 

September 17 – October 2 at Romare Bearden Park

Inspired by the 2017 Taipei Public Arts Festival theme, “Story of a River,” Moradavaga, an art collective born from architects Manfred Eccli and Pedro Cavaco Leitão, devised an interactive acoustic installation with a strong visual impact in “Lotty,” the interactive squid sculpture.

Luminarium – Architects of Air by Alan Parkinson

September 17 – October 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard
9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5.00

A sensory experience of light, color, and sound from the interactive walk-in sculptures of Architects of Air, designed by Alan Parkinson. From the Guggenheim in Spain to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, these structures have astounded audiences across the globe. 

Levine Avenue Projection Artists

September 17 – October 2 (Projected on the Mint Museum) 

Curated by Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Director of Artistic Experiences, Bree Stallings, the Levine Avenue Projection Artists is a rotating loop of the works of Charlotte digital artists projected onto the side of the Mint Museum, visible from Levine Avenue.

Featured Artists: The People’s History of Charlotte (a Blumenthal Fellows project), Marcus Kiser, Mike Wirth, Will Jenkins, Karla Sosa (Mexico City, Mexico), ArtPop Street Gallery, Eric Mullis, HNin Nie, Taylor Lee Nicholson, Naji Al-Ali (Amman, Jordan), Jalen Weddington, Rebecca Lipps, Maleek Loyd of Loyd Visuals, and Gloria Zavalet

Levine Avenue Projection Artists

Man by Amanda Parer (Monumental Inflatable Statue) 

September 17 – October 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard 

Often used as an image to represent man’s pursuit of intellectual thought, Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker,” “Man” is a massive contemporary evolution of the statue created by Parer Studio. Charlotte-based composer and sound designer Jason Hausman creates the musical soundscape for Amanda Parer’s thought-provoking installation. 

Mentalgassi Urban Street Artists

September 17 – October 2 at Ballantyne’s Backyard

Mentalgassi, a trio of German artists, have created large-scale photographs on outdoor objects. Combining photography, sculpture, image manipulation, and street art, they transform ordinary objects into wondrous works. 

CIAF ArtWalks + Artist 

September 25 (3:30 p.m.) and September 28 (5:30 p.m.) at Mint Museum Plaza

Elizabeth Palmisano, Rebecca Lipps and ArtWalksCLT guide you in exploring the interactive installations created for Charlotte International Arts Festival, and existing murals by talented Charlotte artists. Starting at the Mint Museum Plaza (500 S. Tryon Street) and ending at Romare Bearden Park, you can also venture through the 100 Tiny Things scavenger hunt. 

This event is free, but sign-up is required.  

CIAF ArtWalks + Artist

Reclamation by Jason Hackenwerth (Sculptural Balloon Installations)

September 17 – October 2 at Knight Theater (Lobby)

A massive balloon sculpture on display by multidisciplinary artist Jason Hackenwerth in the lobby of Knight Theater through October 2.

Projection of The People’s History of Charlotte

September 17 – October 2 (Projected on the Mint Museum)

A People’s History of Charlotte is a 3D projection-mapped video using still images, video, and music, to tell the story of Charlotte-Mecklenburg through the eyes of the people. Projected on the facade of the Mint Museum and scored by Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the short film will be projected from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily through October 2.

Projection of The People’s History of Charlotte

Blue Lapis Light (Urban Aerial Performers) 

September 30, October 1-2 at the Government Center 

Using aerial techniques informed by classical, interpretive and modern dance, Blue Lapis Light challenges physical limitations, inspiring audiences with a sense of wonder. The company’s dancers have extensive training in many forms of dance, which they incorporate when working on structures. Both aerial and ballet dance techniques showcase graceful athleticism, suspended at great heights.

September 30
12:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

October 1
7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

October 2
7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Blue Lapis Light (Urban Aerial Performers)

Check out the complete list of events and activations for Charlotte International Arts Festival.

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