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Artist answers call for reclamation of space with Afrofuturism
Janelle Dunlap expands horizons and public art
Published Thursday, October 25, 2018 10:44 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Janelle Dunlap organized a mural series with Georgia Nakima and Sloane Siobhan on West Trade Street as part of a theme of reclamation of space, time and resources.

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Janelle Dunlap isn’t done with reclamation.

Her upcoming project with the Levine Museum, Arts & Science Council and Johnson C. Smith University continues the exploration of Afrofuturism. Time Camp 002, which took place earlier this month at Goodyear Arts, marked the third and final part of her League of Creative Interventionists fellowship as far as her series covering the reclamation of resources, space and time are concerned, but the fellowship isn’t quite finished.

“I’m still going to be working on this theme of reclamation,” Dunlap said on The Creatives podcast produced by The Post. “Reclamation is a term, or an idea inspired by Judge Shirley Fulton. When I met with her at the time about my work focusing on gentrification and displacement, she said, ‘we really need to get in the mindset of reclamation, and transition away from this worry of displacement.’”

Dunlap saw Fulton’s advice as what she called “the ultimate form of manifestation, which is bringing things into existence.”

Dunlap’s time as a fellow featured the instillation of a bee farm at Smith’s Sustainability Village, addressing reclamation of resources, a mural series with Georgie Nakima and Sloane Siobhan on West Trade Street for reclamation of space, as well as exploring the perception of time through Time Camp 002. Now her work will transition into a museum and public art series titled “Reclaim 37,” which will focus on Historic West End.

“It’s a call to action, and 37 is the exit number for Beatties Ford Road off of Interstate 85,” Dunlap said. “It is kind of the gateway to the West Corridor.”

Dunlap’s work on the mural established the stage for “Reclaim 37,” which she describes as being rooted in Afrofuturism.

“The mural was to enact imagination,” Dunlap said. “I understood that just from trying to explain what Time Camp was that people needed to be introduced to Afrofuturism. The mural was the first point to activate that.”

It will feature a combination of public art components, as well as visual and sound art.

“A lot of people who represent Charlotte on a national and a local scale will be a part of this project,” Dunlap said. “Projected completion is early winter 2019. It’s a series that will continue throughout the summer, because it has that indoor and outdoor element. Not everyone is going to go to JCSU or Levine to see a museum exhibition, but if it just happens to be at your bus stop, you have no choice.”

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