Goodyear Arts will host first drive-thru visual and audio art experience in Charlotte

By Shirley Griffith

May 14, 2020

Goodyear Arts (GYA) is a non-profit, artist-led residency and multi-disciplinary collective that brings some of the most refreshing, avant-garde, and thoughtful artwork to the front of Charlotte’s burgeoning arts scene. Their mission is to provide local visual, performing, and literary artists with the space, time, and platforms to showcase their works. 

Goodyear Arts

But, due to the statewide stay-at-home order issued in late March, nearly all of our city’s artists have had to cancel performances, shows, and openings in hopes of quelling the rampant spread of Covid-19. Ever-progressive thinking fueled GYA co-founders and artists to push past digital experiences and find a way to satiate humans’ innate desires for connectivity and togetherness. This summer, the creative collective has found a way to present their newest charitable event to the public, while continuing to be mindful of social distancing during these uncertain times. 

Joy Davis and Eric Mullis performing Land of Nod for Joyride. Photo: Amy Herman

The pioneering June 6 event, “Joyride,” will be a completely reimagined way to view site-specific pieces by Charlotte artists. Instead of walking into the current GYA gallery location at 1776 Statesville Avenue, patrons will drive through the surrounding 76-acre compound of Camp North End on a pre-set path, guided by an audio experience on their smartphones. Viewers will stay in their cars for the length of the event, keeping themselves and the artists safe. The effort underlines GYA’s premiere focus of utilizing under-used spaces within Charlotte, bringing bay doors, empty lots, and massive bare walls to life with the beautiful buzz of art in its many different forms. 

We are really excited about this programming and we think that we’re treading new ground into what events might need to look like in 2020,” said GYA co-founder Amy Herman. 

Experimental jazz duo Ghost Trees

Artists participating in Joyride include JM Askew and Casey Malone, Joy Davis and Eric Mullis, de’Angelo Dia, Amy Bagwell, Renee Cloud, Ben Geller and Matt Steele, Ghost Trees, and a performance by experimental theatre company XOXO

“One of the most insidious things about this whole experience has been its effect on community. Staying isolated may be what we need to do to ‘flatten the curve’ but it isn’t natural and it isn’t healthy for folks to be isolated and alone,” said Artistic Director of XOXO, Matt Cosper. “Theatre is fundamentally about sharing space. Every audience is a temporary community held together by the act of witnessing. That’s why we (XOXO) are excited to be a part of Joyride: our working philosophy is centered around the value of shared experience.”

Will Rudolph, photo courtesy of XOXO

Greeting the unpredictable challenges of showing work outdoors and pivoting their work to be viewed from the inside of a vehicle, “Joyride” provides an opportunity for artists to present new and on-going pieces in a safe format while physically bringing the city together in a galvanizing way. 

There are two ways to secure your spot for “Joyride.” You can make a one-time donation of $25 or more, or become a monthly donor to GYA’s Patreon account, with monthly donations beginning as low as $2 a month. Registration information will be emailed to donors on June 1 with details about the self-guided tour on June 6. For more details on “Joyride” check out the official website and Facebook event page

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