Creating Community Through Public Art

May 26, 2017 6:34 am

When Glen and Maria Nocik created C3Lab in South End, their goal was to create a space that supported local artists.

“C3Lab is a creative hub that offers affordable space for creatives and artists,” says Glen Nocik. “It’s a place of community.”

When the Nociks heard about the the South End Placemaking Microgrants, an opportunity to receive funding and support for a project that improved the community, they knew they wanted to find a way to support Charlotte artists and inspire collaborations between artists. Glen and Maria proposed South End Verses, a public art project that would be installed on the side of C3Lab facing Remount Road.

The first South End Verses installation was implemented in November 2016. The artwork was switched out earlier this year and will be updated again in the beginning of July. To be a part of each proejct, artists apply by sharing some of their best work. For each installation, a committee selects an artist and a wordsmith who will collaborate on the project.

“We thought it was kind of a way to follow our mission,” says Nocik. “A project where we can put people together to work together.”

The current installation of South End Verses was created by artist Alejandro Ledzema and writer Lisa Zerkle. The collaboration shows what Ledzema and Zerkle want for their children and their fears of what may stand in the way.

While the artwork will change throughout the year, C3Lab plans to host an exhibit showing all of the installations toward the end of the year, giving people a chance to see all of the work that has been displayed.

Glen and Maria’s idea for supporting artists and creating community started with an idea and became a reality when they applied for a South End Placemaking Microgrant. This year, the microgrant program is back under a new name, South End Creative Lab, and applications are open now.

Previous recipient Glen Nocik offers up his advice to applications: “Just think big and as creative as possible. We need people to think that way to help make Charlotte a better place.”

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