Meredith Connelly’s Creative Path in the Queen City
My Art Journey in Charlotte
By Meredith Connelly
Since baking our first Biscuit in 2019, we’ve shared information and stories about Charlotte artist Meredith Connelly many times. Just last week, we reported on her first permanent installation, Fairy Ring on our Instagram feed and on WBTV’s QC Life. But, we’ve never given her the chance to tell the story of her creative journey in her own words. Until now …
Connelly is doing incredible work across the Charlotte region, but it didn’t happen overnight. Her journey, which ultimately led to her loving the creative community here, had challenges and low points that mirror those we’ve heard from others. You may just find yourself in her story. Here’s a taste:
“Moving to Charlotte – taking the next step and leaving a comfortable space – was hard. But moving here was a necessary leap. It was a ‘rip the Band-Aid’ moment in my life …
“ It took some time to adjust to the area and, at first glance, the arts community at large was very different from where I had been living.
“My first impressions were that the Charlotte art scene was impenetrable, that you had to know someone or have a large bank account to be successful. I had neither. At times I felt like my work and skills were invisible.”
We promise this story has a happy ending, but you need to read on and take the journey with Connelly to get there. We promise, it’s worth it.
Eight Quick Tips on Engaging Virtual Audiences
By Interact Studio
We’re hoping COVID is on the way out, but, let’s face it, virtual meetings are here to stay.
It’s important to make the most of them and find ways to impact your online audiences in ways that are different, but still meaningful. Our friends from Interact Studio have eight strategies they use to keep their virtual audience engaged and enthralled – and they’re sharing them with us.
- Thinking of your meeting like a TV show
- Having a “meeting producer” on your team
- Creating a safe space
- Being spontaneous and genuine
- Using interactive tools to drive engagement
- Addressing individuals directly in the meeting
- Telling stories
- Applying “in-person meeting wisdom”
Bullets are great, but there’s wisdom and strategy behind what’s above. Click here to read more about how to apply these strategies, as well as other suggestions from Interact Studio.
Valentine’s Day is Done; but HUGs Are in the Air
Each month, Charlotte is Creative (CIC), publishers of The Biscuit, give $250 HUG micro-grants (Helpful Unfettered Gifts) to Charlotte-area creatives whose ideas, projects and businesses need encouragement and a financial nudge forward. Often that nudge is all that’s needed to remove an obstacle to success.
To kickstart 2022, CIC has awarded HUG micro-grants to nine local creatives.
- Brenton Bent used his HUG toward the rental of camera mounts for a new movie he’s making.
- Michelle “Bunny” Gregory used her HUG to help pay for repairs to her UNDERGROUND Mobile Art Studio.
- Katrina Cherry’s HUG funded an art therapy practitioner course she took.
- Jen Duvall applied her HUG to printing portfolios, postcards and actual samples of the pattern designs she uses.
- Ashley Jane McIntire’s HUG will fuel printing, promotional and supply needs for her CRAFT Fest event at Sleepy Poet Stuff March 26-27.
- Kathleen Finch’s HUG will be used to pay artists involved with CLT Street Art Fest 2022 at the new Charlotte Art League grounds on June 11.
- James Coulson of the Charlotte Concert is using his HUG to purchase music and fund marketing efforts to reach a broader audience in the Charlotte region.
- Ken Knudtsen’s HUG will assist with start-up costs for a new 88-page comic book series he’s creating with Paul Maybury.
- Minerva Ramirez is enhancing her creative skills by taking a class with an Italian mosaic artist.
With the help of individual donors and corporate sponsors like NoDa Brewing, Google Fiber and The Lending Tree Foundation, Charlotte Is Creative has awarded nearly 350 creatives with a $250 micro-grant since 2017. To donate to a HUG or apply for one, click here.
I Heart Rail Trail Beats Again
March 4-20, 2022
Last week, we shared information about Fairy Ring: LIGHTS, a permanent installation of illuminated mushrooms by Meredith Connelly (featured above today) at Atheron in South End. The original Fairy Lights circle created by Connelly was a temporary installation with I Heart Rail Trail last year.
This week, we’re able to report that more I Heart Rail Trail: Lights is returning for a third year March 4-20. The festival will be free and open to the public, featuring five new works that will light up each night at dusk from artists:
- Oliver Lewis
- Meredith Dallas
- KiiK Create
- Arko and Luvly Moon
- Kat Sanchez Standfield and Caleb Roenigk
The event is sponsored by Charlotte Center City Partners, U.S. Bank and the Charlotte Rail Trail. READ MORE HERE.
PHOTO CREDIT: Creos
By now, we hope you’ve heard that Charlotte SHOUT!, a 17-day exploration of art, music, food and ideas, is returning to the streets of Uptown starting April 1.
One of the most anticipated installations last year was Los Trompos, a field of giant, colorful spinning tops you can ride, created by artists Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. While they may have had to stay still in 2021, they’re ready for take-off this April. We’ll share more information about Los Trompos, and other SHOUT! activities, here in The Biscuit and on our social feed each week through the end of the event. READ MORE ABOUT SHOUT! 2022.
This story was sponsored by Charlotte SHOUT!
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