Finding Space to Create, Connect and Collaborate
Glass artist Lauren Puckett’s lifelong love of learning
“I find my mind and body are most fulfilled when creating and making. I enjoy researching and creating the work in my mind, then being able to physically create the design with my hands.” – Lauren Puckett, glass artist
Glass artist Lauren Puckett is a current artist-in-residence at McColl Center. Her four-month residency is sponsored by Charlotte Is Creative. Creative space is at a premium in the Queen City right now. For example, space in the VAPA Center – just across Tryon Street from McColl – was completely leased in less than a week when released earlier this year (with a wait list that was capped at 200).
This granted space at McColl is allowing Puckett to move into larger works than she’s able to create at home.
She began her four-month residency at the McColl Center in February. Since then, she’s been making, studying and getting to know her fellow creatives who are all there to focus, distraction-free, on their artwork. Puckett took time out from her artmaking to talk to us about what she’s doing and how she got started.
PHOTO ABOVE: Lauren Puckett in her McColl studio.
The Inequality of Inflation [NOTE: This is the first of a four-part series in The Biscuit cultivated by local nonprofit, Common Wealth Charlotte, for April’s financial literacy month.]
It’s no secret. For the last two years, Americans have been faced with multiple interlocking and compounding crises. COVID-19 might have been the scariest, but it was far from the only threat.
The latest economic hurdle is inflation.
“The people who are hardest hit are those whose self-reported income is in the lowest income bracket,” said Tonia Frazier, certified financial social worker at Common Wealth Charlotte.
In short, people who were already living on a low income – including many members of Charlotte’s creative economy – are now spending a larger portion of their living expenses on necessities whose costs have increased exponentially.
Creating. Healing. Launching.
Art Therapist Uses HUG to Help Others
“Art is everywhere. And it is therapeutic – healing us all from within.” – Ingrid Butler, Space 212
Ingrid Butler is a Charlotte-based art therapist. She’s also the March 2022 recipient of a Bear HUG – a $1,000 microgrant from Charlotte Is Creative powered by the LendingTree Foundation.
Butler earned the grant for her work developing art therapy sessions for 30 college students. The Bear HUG has empowered Butler to purchase supplies for the art class she teaches every week at Space 212 (a multi-use arts facility in the University area where she is a part-owner). It will also partially pay a summer intern.
Butler served as a nurse for over 26 years. She noticed that drug-dependent moms would often have lots of fear, guilt and anxiety which would make them want to use more. She began researching the effects of art on stress, which eventually led her to become a Certified Therapeutic Art Coach.
“My work … allows (me) to guide those needing to release negative emotions through art with no negative side effects and begin a self-healing process,” said Butler.
CREATIVE RESOURCE: Charlotte Community ToolBank
To be successful in Charlotte’s creative community, you need great partners and resources. That’s why The Biscuit is committed to introducing you to people, organizations, venues and collaborators who can assist your creative work. This week, we’re highlighting the Charlotte Community ToolBank.
Putting together events and installations can be daunting and expensive. The costs of buying tools, finding trash cans, renting tables, chairs, tents and more can be the difference between a group making or losing money … or the event happening at all.
The Charlotte Community ToolBank has all those items and many, many more. (Check their inventory here.) All items they offer are new or gently used. You can buy many of them for 50% or more off retail. You can rent them for a fraction of that cost. As a real world example, we rented materials (including a pressure washer) for an event in December. The real-world costs were estimated at $3,000. Our bill from the ToolBank was just under $100.
The ToolBank staff will also consult with you (call them well in advance) on what materials you will likely need, what they have and where you might find the rest. The only hitch: You must be a charitable organization or doing work for a charitable organization to become a member (for free) and rent tools.
MISSION & VISION
To equip all communities with tools for change by providing tools, equipment and expertise to empower their most ambitious goals.
A WORD FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MAUREEN KRUEGER
“The ToolBank loves getting creative with our member agencies! Big ideas for big events, small technical projects, out-of-the-box dreams – we want to make these ideas possible by providing the tools and special event items at an amazing price!”
CONTRIBUTE TO THE TOOLBANK
The ToolBank is always looking to add inventory with donation of funds or actual tools (new or used, as long as they are still in usable condition).
JOIN TODAY FOR FREE
There is no cost for an eligible charitable organization to register to use the ToolBank. Apply here.
CONTACT THE TOOLBANK
WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM
We’re not sure how it happened, but it’s already time for the second weekend of Charlotte SHOUT! Last week had near perfect weather and drew thousands of Charlotteans to celebrate arts, music, food and ideas. This weekend, there’s even more on the menu, especially live music. And, there are three main venues to visit for SHOUT! activities:
- S. Tryon Street
- Victoria Yards (200 block of E. 7th St.)
- Gateway Village (900 block of W. Trade St.)
There’s a lot packed into today, tomorrow and Sunday, but here are four SHOUT! activations we’re particularly excited to experience this weekend. Click here for a downloadable map of SHOUT! venues.
ART: Spray Jam
Date: April 8 & 9
Venue: Victoria Yards
Love murals? Once you’ve witnessed creatives painting them in real time, you’ll love them even more. Over the course of two weekends, 12 artists (some of whom are participating in a public event for the first time) will transform Victoria Yards with their work.
MUSIC: Indie Fest
Date: April 8 starting at 3 p.m.
Venue: Gateway Village & Livestream
Headlined by Pluto Gang, the Indie Fest lineup presents an incredible collection of Charlotte’s favorite independent independent musical artists: Braxton Bateman, DJ Fannie Mae, Emmanuel Wynter, Natalie Carr and Swim in the Wild. This free, one-day event even features a curated light and laser show. As we’ve featured before, Queen City Jam Clash takes over for Indie Fest the next day, April 9.
IDEAS: Festival of Ideas
Date: April 8-10
Venue: Various locations
Presented by The Charlotte Center, the inaugural Festival of Ideas offers a cultivated selection of community conversations, talks from thought leaders, interactive events and performances. Some sessions require registration, but all are free.
FOOD: Food Trucks on Tryon
Date: All Weekend
Venue: Various Locations
In addition to the three-course, $40 pre-fixe menus at participating Dine SHOUT! restaurants, a collective of food trucks will be available on S. Tryon St. throughout the weekend. Looking ahead to next weekend, the Charlotte StrEATs Festival will transform Gateway Village into a culinary playground.
For a full calendar of events, visit CharlotteSHOUT.com
This article was sponsored by Charlotte SHOUT!
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