Dancing Inflatable Bears? That’s PDA The Creative Way
Tempted to Touch
A Creative’s Push for PDA During a Pandemic
“To hold the hand of a friend, relative or stranger and dance through a crowd is normal to me. The dances I grew up with provide an unspoken language that is felt between two people and can sometimes even be seen by those observing.” – Julio Gonzales
After over a year of maintaining our distance (aside from the occasional masked and awkward side hug), we are beginning to interact with each other as we once did, pre-pandemic.
Although some of us enjoyed the solitude of quarantine, for others, the absence of in-person human contact and physical touch for days on end became increasingly difficult. However, for one Charlotte creative, social distancing served as the backdrop of an investigation into the good a little groping — with permission — can do.
Four AAPI Creatives to Follow
In each batch of The Biscuit this month, we shared profiles of four creatives doing amazing work in Charlotte to celebrate Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This week, we’ve got four more for you:
- Angela Kollmer, Upcycle Arts
- Billy Leng a.k.a. DJ ThrillBill
- Jenn Lin, Profound Sass
- Kenny Nguyen, Visual Artist
GUEST EDITORIAL: Building Bridges with Food and Photography
No exploration of Charlotte’s AAPI creative community would be complete without featuring Kenty Chung, one of Charlotte’s most popular food photographers. Born and raised in Charlotte, Chung moved to California for six years … but he came back hungry to take a big, creative bite out of the Queen City.
In addition to sharing some of his beautiful — and tempting — photography, we asked Chung to share more about his creative journey with us.
ADD ANOTHER BEAT: In line with Chung’s essay above, we recommend listening to Joni Deutsch’s recent interview with Korean-American drummer, David “DK” Kim, on WFAE’s Amplifier podcast. Kim has played drums in Charlotte with Temperance League for over 30 years. Listen here.
Stephanie Mills Shoots New Video in Charlotte
“I think it’s really important that this kind of work is happening here. There’s a lot of opportunity in Charlotte, a lot of artistry that doesn’t really get recognized, and it’s really wonderful to have a team in this city … coming together to collaborate. It’s clear evidence there is a lot of opportunity to create here.” – Derrick Bills
Legendary musician Stephanie Mills was in town last weekend to shoot a new music video at the historic Grace AME Zion Church on Brevard Street. The video was directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, actor, playwright, director, a native of York, South Carolina and executive producer of Delilah, the OWN show set and filmed in Charlotte.
City Council member Braxton Winston, a videographer by trade, was part of the production team. The shoot also featured local visual artist Makayla Binter (shown painting in the image above) and a street mural by Abel Jackson.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matthew Tyndall of Priceless Misc
So much news, so little space. Below are links to five stories and resources we think you’ll like.
ONE: The Bunnies Will Be Back … and Bigger Than Ever
Charlotte will once again be “invaded” by giant inflatable bunnies at Charlotte SHOUT! (Sept. 17 to Oct. 3). SHOUT! will be the North American premiere of “Intrude XXL,” the largest bunny ever created by Parer Studios. See more.
TWO: Charlotte’s Voice Heard on Anniversary of George Floyd’s Murder
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, the National Association of Black Journalists released a video featuring a spoken word piece by award-winning Charlotte artist, Jay Ward. Watch here.
THREE: The Future of Social Good
Last week, Next Stage released Social Good Report: Profit & Purpose, the results of a survey about the intersection of Charlotte’s nonprofit and private sectors. Based on interviews with more than 80 business and community leaders, the report provides insights on how “doing good” drives the bottom line of the private sector. Read more here.
FOUR: Charlotte Ledger Honors 40 Over 40
Friend of The Biscuit, The Charlotte Ledger, named its second class of 40 notable Charlotteans over the age of 40, including Matt Olin and Tim Miner, co-founders of Charlotte Is Creative. Read more here.
FIVE: Last year, we ACTed. Now, Let’s [re]Create.
Last year, BOOM Charlotte invited artists to react to George Floyd’s death through their art in a three-part series of online events called ACT: NOW. (Watch them here.) To share where creatives are now, BOOM has re-engaged with 2020 partners, BLKMRKTCLT, The Roll-Up and Charlotte Is Creative, for another online series — [re]Create: Where Do We Stand Now? Creatives of all disciplines are encouraged to submit work for consideration by June 25. Learn more here.
If you blinked, you may have missed the brilliance.
Last weekend, the amazing team from Iris Blossom created a “flower bomb” near Bland Street Station along the Rail Trail as part of South End Blooms — a six-week series of weekend pop-up art experiences (or “blooms”) in the South End area through mid-June.
Built between 5 and 8 a.m., the flower bomb was as beautiful as it was fleeting. Using flowers that were nearing the end of their lifespan, Iris Blossom returned to remove the installation just 12 hours later. [PRO TIP: Keep your eyes on #SouthEndBlooms. There may just be another flower bomb planned for the future.]
This weekend, South End Blooms features chalk art, live music, live sketching and more. Future weeks will bring more creative surprises. Read about them here.
South End Blooms is sponsored by Charlotte Center City Partners with assistance from Charlotte Is Creative.
Photo Credit (Above): Iris Blossom
Don’t go ’round hungry. If you missed the last batch of The Biscuit, don’t worry. We’ve kept it warm for you. This batch featured:
- A peek into a few Charlotte artists’ sketchbooks for Notebook Day
- An introduction to SOCO Gallery’s newest exhibition — The Round Chaos — and the artists involved
Click here to dig in, y‘all.
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