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New collaborative art series will showcase diverse group of talented Charlotte artists

 By Lindsay Kosma 

Cover image: ‘Transmission’ by Osiris Rain 

March 31, 2018

The city of Charlotte is growing rapidly and the art scene is no exception to the trend. Local artists, purveyors of art, and even those who appreciate art are contributing to the growing scene. A good art show is a special showcase for expression when people converge in one place, bringing distinct perspectives and unique experiences. If you take a drive around the city, you begin to see more and more of that expression of collaborative creativity peeking out from around corners and through windows. You’d see the blossoming soul of the city.

As more art is created the question becomes, how can people access it? “The Smart Series” collaborative art exhibition, the brainchild of Stewart Millsaps, Osiris Rain, and Logan Bennett, is an initiative responding to that question. On April 7, the one-night-only, inaugural show Zenith Nadir will showcase work from eleven Charlotte artists in a vacant, industrial space located in South End.

Stewart Millsaps

“Charlotte traditionally has a very clean, corporate, modern/abstract type of style and people assume that you need a specific education to understand the work so it feels inaccessible. When you go to exhibits in galleries, there are certain works that don’t make the cut. We’d like to break down those barriers to be inclusive and immersive,” said Osiris Rain.

The variety of work on view will be incredibly diverse. There are established artists, on-the-rise street artists, woodworkers, painters and muralists.

Artist Osiris Rain

Artist John Love, 2017 Guggenheim Fellow for fine art, will show his tantalizing work which is part literary performance, part visual art, and wholly immersive. Other artists include photographer Eric Pickersgill, who has shown at The North Carolina Museum of Art and Pantheon-Sorbonne University; painter and muralist, Sharon Dowell; and mixed media artist, Addison Wahler; sculptor and furniture designer, Paul Veto; abstract and figurative painter Arthur Brouthers; and illustrator Robert Childers. Street muralist Owl and Arko83 will also exhibit work. Arko83 has a particularly unique approach to making art accessible by leaving small works made from recycled materials throughout the city of Charlotte. 

Additionally, Rain, whose work is a part of the permanent collection in the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, Spain, and visual artist Stewart Millsaps, founders of the event, will showcase their talents.

“We want to leave the concept of the show abstract, but the words Zenith and Nadir speak to the highest and lowest point that a celestial being can reach. It is all meant to be open to interpretation,” said Logan Bennett.

Art by arko83art

Lenny Boy Brewing, located next door, will be celebrating their 7th anniversary the same day and will sponsor the showcase by offering several of their beer options on draft. Pasta la Vista, a food truck owned by former Executive Chef of Aria Tuscan Grill, Chris Bateman will be offering their restaurant quality pasta dishes. There will also be an hour long meditation at 3:30 p.m. prior to the show opening.

“It’s like a house party… artists getting together and doing what they want to do… we’re going to have a DJ [DJ Ray].. it’s going to be very communal. If people have questions– ask or just enjoy a work of art out of context. We are leaving it undefined,” said Stewart Millsaps.

Street muralist Owl

Show hours are from 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 until… and it is absolutely free and family friendly. Check out more info and updates on the facebook event page and follow The Smart Series on Instagram.

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