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Jonell Logan puts creative curation into coworking space
Advent Coworking initiative takes on visual art
Published Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:19 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Advent Coworking is cultivating a creative space with visual stimulation instead of offset ornamentation.

With plenty of creative and coworking hubs throughout the city, Advent differentiated itself by hiring a curator. Jonell Logan’s TEDxCharlotte talk in 2016 did more than illuminate a need for diversity within Charlotte’s arts scene. It exemplified her work as the founder of the 300 Arts Project, an arts management and consulting company. At Advent, she has the opportunity to add another dimension to the conversation.

“When we decided to do this it really was kind of a conversation between Kevin [Giriunas, Advent’s founder],” Logan said.  “The position did not exist. I think, because of his commitment to this idea of being creative, and cultivating a creative space, it was a natural fit.”

Logan’s responsibilities at Advent include curating the space three to four times a year. Their first instillation included the works of Antoine Williams, who is currently an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center, and Dammit Wesley, who is based at Camp North End. From July-September, 10 large works were on view at Advent.

“They both in some ways make reference to pop culture in their work, but with different aesthetics,” Logan said. “Wesley, I would say he is more of a traditional painter. While he is taking references, it is more of a painterly process. Antoine paints and does printmaking and transfers and draws—his work visually was different, but they complimented each other very well.”

Eleven works by Adrian Rhodes and Cliff Elliott comprise the second exhibition, which remains on view through November. Neither Rhodes, a mixed media print maker from Hartsville, South Carolina, nor Elliot, a digital work specialist in Raleigh, are based in Charlotte, an intentional element of Logan’s curatorial goals.

“That was important, because as artists when we have creative conversations, they tend not to be limited to one space,” Logan said. “This idea of bringing in creativity, and fostering conversations, both visually and orally around art and inspiration and the connections that people make between ideas was something that was really exciting. If you think about co-working spaces it’s about people who are really kind of doing different things, but you come together to build this culture that is unique to this space.”

Museums, galleries and cultural institutions may not draw the same kind of person who would be inclined to utilize a co-working space. As such, Logan feels this gives her the opportunity to reach perhaps a different, if not larger audience.

“For people who go to museums and galleries, there has to be a level of intention,” Logan said. “It, in some ways, can be separate from the things you do every day. It’s not a part of your everyday work, necessarily. When you are surrounded by art, and when it’s in your living space, it builds a different relationship and a different connection. It allows for a different understanding or consideration of the work, and your relationship to art, but then at the same time, in that difference, it helps people really think about, ‘how can I live with artwork,’ because in a gallery or in a museum it is something that is separate, but here it is a part of an everyday existence.”

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