Celebrating Women Artists at the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art

PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY
“Joy” conservation consultant Carla Aaron-Lopez.

The Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art’s current programming celebrates women.

“Joy” and “Who are your people? »Present five women artists. The first features Elder Gallery curatorial consultant Carla Aaron-Lopez, as well as Erin Comerford Miller, Lo’Vonia Parks and Windy O’Connor. It is a celebration of collaboration between artists, especially women.

“Who are your people? Is Makayla Binter’s first solo exhibition at the Elder Gallery, where she signed earlier this year. It questions how physical appearance plays the dominant role in how people are viewed by society.

“As we walk in spaces, we are often preceded by our bodies instead of who we are as individuals,” Binter said. “Every intersectional identity that we have is often put aside. This show is exactly what would happen if all of these things were visible at the same time – our race, our gender, our sexuality, our ethnicity – all those mirror-like shadows that not everyone sees all the time. ”

Both exhibitions run until December 4. An exhibition experience with the artists is scheduled for September 25 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

‘Joy’
The creative connection brings joy to Aaron-Lopez.

“When we choose to support others, we choose to see their value, and every woman on this show sees the value of working with and developing people,” said Aaron-Lopez.

The North Mecklenburg High School graduate left Charlotte to pursue a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Central North Carolina University in 2001, followed by a master’s degree in photography and a master’s degree in printmaking from Savannah College of Art & Design. in Georgia. In addition to the Elder Gallery, her work has been exhibited at the Mint Museum and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, in addition to BLKMRKTCLT, a local artist collective in which she is anchored.

Aaron-Lopez’s work can also be found in community art across town, such as the West End mural on Beatties Ford Road. Yet she is more than a star artist. It brings people together. Aaron-Lopez secured a Cultural Vision grant from the Arts and Science Council to produce “LOCAL / STREET,” which features more than 40 Allied artists of color and white at the Mint Museum Randolph earlier this year.

“Joy” is the latest wave of his collaborative spirit.

“I wanted to celebrate the joy of collaborating with people because it has become the most important and most successful thing for me from 2020 to 2021,” she said. “Everyone has a completely different style from the others, but what you don’t know is that in the background, throughout these discussions, we support each other in very difficult times, because it is. difficult to produce works of art. . It’s hard to work with others. It’s hard to lean in and see yourself as worth. With “Joy” this is my hope, and I hope the same goes for artists, when you talk to them you feel the joy of working with someone who is completely different from you. “

PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY
“Who are your people” by Makayla Binter is exhibited at Elder Gallery.

“Who are your people? “
Binter started running in 2020 when she graduated from Davidson College, where she was a track athlete with a degree in biology and in the studio. Binter used his craft to ask tough questions and inspire conversation while signing up with Davidson.

She created the Mural Panel Project to respond to anti-Semitic tweets from two Davidson students who supported the Ku Klux Klan in 2018. Two years later, the Mural Panel Project landed on the steps of the Levine Museum of the New South in response to the Black Movement of the matter of lives.

Binter’s work expanded to include murals across the city, earning her Emerging Cities Champion status in 880 cities and the Knight Foundation to establish a mentorship program through art along from the Beatties Ford Road corridor. She is also a Charlotte Equity Fellow, who also uses art to engage the community in the historic West End.

“My show is dialogue,” Binter said. “What happens when all these different entities, our identities, our past experiences, our love, our fears, our passions, what happens when all these things overlap? ”

The owner and director of the Elder Gallery, Sonya Pfeiffer, said in a statement: “I am also delighted, almost beyond expression, to mount the first exhibition for Makayla Binter. He is a dynamo, whose passion, purpose and talent remind me that we have to trust the younger generation. ”

Binter is pursuing a master’s degree in urban design from UNC Charlotte and will graduate next fall. She works on a 485-foot street mural in Matthews, as well as painting a basketball court with her class.

“I feel like I’m missing other projects, but that’s all I can think of right now,” Binter said with a laugh.

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