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Mixed-media artist Monique Luck makes most of residency
McColl Center artist-in-residence envisions pop-up gallery
Published Thursday, June 28, 2018 12:17 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Monique Luck, an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, center, is working with homeless to help them tell their stories through art.

Editor’s note: First in a series of articles on artists-in-residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.

Monique Luck was destined for the McColl Center.

As one of seven artists-in-residence, she will participate in their summer residency program, which began at the end of May and runs through mid-August.
“From the moment I moved to Charlotte, I was very interested in the McColl Center,” Luck said. “I felt like their programing and their opportunities were amazing. I had this vision of me, one day, getting to be an artist-in-residence there.”

Luck, a mixed media artist, intends to use her time at the McColl to work in tandem with “A Tale of Two Cities” by Antoine Williams (who is also a McColl artist-in-residence) and Marcus Kiser.  Their project recreated the garden space at Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center on North College Street.

“When I started researching their project, and what they were doing for the homeless, it really touched something [in me], and I was very intrigued by that,” Luck said. “How could I create something that would highlight the voice of the homeless?”

Her proposed project would create temporary images in a pop-up gallery throughout the city with chalk.

“I’m working with some of the McColl partners who are engaging with the homeless to do a series of workshops where we can talk a little bit about their stories, and teach them a little bit about collage and kind of have a really interesting dialogue,” Luck said. “From there, if they would like to share their stories with me, I would like to incorporate that into those pop-up designs that symbolize their footprint. It’s not necessarily going to be a literal footprint, but it will be an idea of here are people amongst us who don’t have a home, but they do have a great story. I would like to talk about that visually in a pop-up gallery kind of way. You’ll start to see these chalk stories popping up on the sidewalk, and it’s temporary. It kind of symbolizes that they might be here for a minute, and then they are somewhere else. Hopefully people will take a few moments to notice that there is something there.”

Luck, who moved to Charlotte in 2009, previously called Los Angeles and Pittsburgh home.

“My background as an artist kind of started in Pittsburgh,” Luck said. “I was doing a lot of public art of the Sprout Fund [a micro-grant nonprofit] doing public murals.”
Luck was a teaching artist in Pittsburgh, which inspired her transition from painting to mixed media.

“It was really amazing, because I was teaching these kids this fabulous creation, and they were doing an installation for the school they were in, and I was excited, and I was painting this huge mural,” she said. “Finally I was like, ‘I want to do my own collage too,’ because I was teaching them a collage workshop. I had gotten kind of tired of painting, and I fell in love with collage. Since then I’ve been using paint and collage techniques in the work that I do.”

Luck’s work in Charlotte has included the inaugural ArtPop Street Gallery group of artists whose artwork went on display on billboards throughout the city, as well as being a member of the current class, as well as cultural institutions, such as the Harvey B. Gantt Center and the Mint Museum.

“I was part of the first group of artists who got to have that experience of having an ArtPop billboard,” she said. “That was an amazing experience. You can’t really envision it until you actually see it up there, and then you’re like, ‘wow. This is huge.’ ArtPop kind of helped people know that I was here in town, even though I was still doing things outside of Charlotte.”


Great article and amazing art. Congratulations Monique!
Posted on June 29, 2018

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