Have you ever wanted to try something new, but you didn’t know where to start? To take that next step in your career or your passion, but the task ahead seemed too daunting?
Sometimes you just need a helping hand — whether you are a writer who wants to finally tackle that novel, an at-home baker who wants to open a pastry shop or, in this case, an artist who wants to paint the city’s next beautiful mural but doesn’t know how.
Brand the Moth, a nonprofit focused on public art in Charlotte that just won the coaches prize at #SEED20, is lending their support to three local artists who want to learn the craft of mural making through their new Meta Mural Residency.
“Emerging muralists first and foremost need encouragement and a place to start. It is a difficult industry to break into and most people simply do not know how,” says Brand the Moth founder, Sam Guzzie. “Murals (and muralists) can be intimidating at times, and it is hard to get a mural job when you have no murals on your resume. This program gives them their first job, along with the knowledge, equipment, materials and a stipend to do so.”
Perhaps, more importantly: “We want artists to know that they are valued here,” Sam says.
Taking those first brush strokes
Public art, especially murals due to their large physical size, can be difficult for artists to create for many reasons. Artists who are new to mural making often don’t know how to get funding, how to approach a business with a project or how to get the community to recognize the value of their work. Brand the Moth’s Meta Mural Residency aims to teach local artists how to address these difficulties and fix the disconnect between public artists, businesses and their communities.
The Meta Mural Residency is an 8-week hands-on program that will teach three first-time muralists the art of mural making. The program begins with 4 weeks of classes taught by professionals who will cover topics such as the history of street art, contract and proposal writing, problem-solving and painting techniques.
The three artists will design a community-based mural project where volunteers can participate in the art-making process and the artists will gain on-site experience in project management.
The program will culminate with each artist creating a mural in the Gold District/South End area.
The idea is simple: Artists get training, first-hand experience and a mural to add to their portfolio. The Charlotte community gets 4 beautiful new murals.
“Mural work is a constant learning process and majority of us have had to figure it out on our own,” says Sam. “Starting out, I very simply wish someone told me that my time and creative process was of value. That concept has been a main focus in designing this program.”
“Our main goal is to give working artists the confidence to pursue mural work and the tools to better protect themselves and value themselves appropriately to hopefully continue to stir the artist economy that is growing rapidly in Charlotte,” she says
Apply for the Meta Mural Residency
A lot is packed into eight weeks and each aspect is important to our city’s artists and our community members. And, it is open to working artists of all disciplines and stages of career to apply.
More about Brand the Moth
Below is a video made about Brand the Moth’s work during #SEED20 2019.
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