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  • Helms Jarrell

Artist Residency Show

Highlights from the show, written by Janelle Dunlap:

Through various creative disciplines the works of @iamhelmsie @myloandinh @marlon.morrison @dammit_wesley and @hninstagram came together on January 10th for ‘Tarmac’, as a visual representation of the culture society perpetuates when human value is diminished for economic and political gain. ‘Tarmac’ represents the power that social practice art builds for communities who’s histories, stories and existence are undervalued. Curated by @denise_thugstable


Helms Jarrell @iamhelmsie is a West Charlotte based mixed media contemporary folk artist, who incorporates guiding principles of her faith and community organizing to visually capture the value of place, home and kinship. Co-founder of @qcfamilytree and @westside_clt social practice is embedded in her work as she seeks to build platforms for those who often go unseen and unheard


The work created by the inaugural Resident Residency artists-in-residence at McColl Center for Art + Innovation is a visual collection of societal wounds through the expression of social practice art. Author Nate Thompson refers to social practice art as "an art of actions. It was an art that involved people, expression of healing driven by the power of action and people, elevating the artists and the messages behind their artwork.

MyLoan Dinh takes the personal and collective histories that bind and draw us into ourselves to reflect on our position in cultural identity and Charlotte's microcosmic position in the American Zeitgeist. The Post=Racial Feels collaborative series by Hnin Nie and Dammit Wesley uses the context of both collective and individual histories to illustrate the realities society creates when we commodify people and culture for profit. Helms Jarrell pairs the practice of community organizing with visual engagement to reposition those affected by displacement with honor and communal reverence. The contest in which we place value on people shifts meaning with the work of Marlon Morrison. ONe704 reflects his internal dialogue upon learning his own potential part in Charlotte's human trafficking crisis.

If art informs culture and culture consequently influences society, the role of the artist is the center of culture. As a rapidly expanding city, grappling with defining its own identity, we in Charlotte are witnessing the changing society walk into a new age of its existence. Tarmac is a pathway created by artists for people who are building the power in their communities to resist erasure and reimagine our collective identity in periods of rapid change.

~ Janelle Dunlap- Community Curatorial Fellow and Visiting curator of Resident Residency: Tarmac for McColl Center for Arts + Innovation


Photos taken by various folks, but especially by Mady McColm and Carey J. King (@mrcareyjking)








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