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Viewing Sickle Cell Disease Through Jaundiced Eyesby Tim Miner on July 22, 2021
“When you say ‘leukemia,’ people get it, but when you say ‘sickle cell,’ people not only don’t get it, but they don’t understand how much it impacts your life and the lives of everyone around you.” – Eboné Lockett, founder of Harvesting Humanity
Earlier this year, Eboné Lockett was awarded four months’ free creative space in the new artist studios at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.
Lockett’s mini-residency is the first of a joint program between McColl Center and Charlotte Is Creative’s HUG (Helpful Unfettered Gift) Micro-Grant program. Three times a year, previous HUG recipients may apply for four months’ use of McColl Center’s new artist studios to execute a short-term lease. In addition to the studio space, the selected HUG grantee enjoys access to the creative community, tools and hardware at the Center.
Seeing the Unseen
Lockett has used her time at the McColl Center to launch Through Jaundiced Eyes, an interactive art campaign amplifying the stories of those impacted by sickle cell disease, a painful vascular condition that impacts people of color.
Lockett’s work was inspired by her children — daughter, Kai, who lives with sickle cell disease, and son, Ashantiwah Naphtali, who died from sickle cell when he was 11. [Read our interview with Lockett about her project in June 2021.]
Through Jaundiced Eyes combines imagery, filmmaking, storytelling and action to convey the realities of sickle cell anemia that Lockett says too few truly understand. For example, the word “jaundiced” references yellow eyes, an outward sign of sickle cell disease.
“Kai said one of the things about this condition that’s so heartbreaking is that she’s always having to explain what it is,” Lockett said.
After two months in her studio, Lockett is ready to launch her campaign on the front lawn of the McColl Center on July 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to engaging with Through Jaundiced Eyes, guests can engage with her work and donate blood, get a cholesterol screening and more at a OneBlood mobile giving unit.
The Reason for the Partnership
The McColl Center says projects like Lockett’s are why they joined forces with the HUG program.
“Artists need time and space to work out their ideas,” said Armando Bellmas, vice president of marketing + operations.
“Eboné is expanding the concept of what it means to be an artist,” he continued. “Through Jaundiced Eyes is an art project and an awareness and action campaign. We’re honored to help facilitate her creative and socially innovative work.”
Open Studio Saturday
Lockett’s launch is part of a larger event — Open Studio Saturday — a celebration of the creative process from noon to 4 p.m. at the McColl Center. Open Studio Saturday will feature:
- Intimate, hands-on creative workshops for individuals and families
- Interactive art performances on the lawn
- Music from DJ Minuche
- Ice cream from The Social Cow
The activities above are free, but require registration. To secure your participation in Open Studio Saturday workshops, click here.