EDITORIAL: ArtPop Needs Your Help to Keep Poppin’

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Wendy Hickey is the founder of ArtPop Street Gallery. In this editorial, she shares her thoughts about the importance of her organization to the artists she serves and to the Charlotte community, as well as the importance of donations to make sure ArtPop keeps poppin’ for years to come. 


I am Wendy Hickey, Founder of ArtPop Street Gallery.  I reside in Plaza Midwood.

Our program was founded in 2014 in Charlotte and I am so proud to serve the local artists of the greater twelve County Charlotte Region. The last 7 years have been pure joy! It has been my honor and pleasure to promote, serve and get to know all the 130 artists who have been juried into our program.

We have built a community of artists that have collaborated together and had so much recognition and success.  When we say “ArtPop Family,” we mean it. I don’t have children of my own, but feel like a proud Momma watching all of these artists and their success.

Local artists mean everything to me and I truly have the best job in the world.  The day I was able to go to work full-time with ArtPop had to be the best day of my life on May 1, 2018.  To be able to fully focus on our artists futures has been incredible. We have added education and scholarships, pop up shows and reveal events. So many artists benefit outside of the core “artvertising.” We offer our juried in artists each year.

We also promote one Sr. High student artists out of our 20 artists each year and provide a modest scholarship.  Just amazing.

ArtPop CLT Class of 2020

Not familiar with ArtPop?

We provide 20 juried in artists each year a 3 million dollar advertising campaign. Local artists are featured for an entire year on billboards, newsstands, mixed-use development displays and the CLT airport for an entire year!

This promotion is impacting the artists’ ability to be seen, receive commissions and become successful full-time artists. It is so important that local artists are seen and known, most artists could not afford an advertising campaign of this caliber.  I could not be more proud of the impact the program has had, especially right now when most traditional gallery spaces are closed, our gallery is always open.

What’s happened to create challenges for us?

The grants we were awarded in 2018 & 2019 ended on 12/31/2019.  Pre-COVID, all other grant applications have been rejected and we now need new sponsors or local donors help. Our annual June auction has also been postponed at this time.

Our services are vital for our artists. Artist surveys show that 89% saw growth in their digital audience, 85% grew connections in the art community and 59% growth in sales.  100% of our artists have recommended ArtPop to other artists.

If we don’t raise the needed funds to return in 2021, your walks, bike rides, commuting on the roadways and airports, will no longer feature art on billboard, newsboxes and more.

No more art.

No more pop-up shows. No 2-day business class. No Sr. High student scholarship.

Our city will look very different without 72 displays of public art.  We make art accessible to EVERYONE. Our artists may go unseen in our community, it would be devastating to local artists.

What does it take to promote 20 artists each year?  $95,000.

Thanks to our incredible media partners, we have very low operational costs at ArtPop, we run a small but MIGHTY machine, that is extremely fiscally responsible.

Right now we are raising $30,000 to cover our remaining 2020 expenses. We are almost there, thanks to the generosity of our local and national communities’ support.  We are so grateful. [EDITOR’S NOTE: At the time of this publishing, Art Pop is just over halfway to their goal.]

If 9,500 folks of our area donate $10, we can return in 2021.

You could also, win a $12,000 piece of art with a $20 raffle ticket purchase.  2019 #ArtPopCLT artist, Lori Love has graciously donated her portrait and mixed media piece of Prince.

Thank You.
Wendy Hickey



Listen to Wendy on the Biscuit CLT Podcast


We interviewed Wendy last year as she was working toward the current class of ArtPop CLT. She shares the origin story of the organization and the challenges that lay ahead in the future.