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June 21, 2013

Grant will bring environmental art to Charlotte

The McColl Center for Visual Art and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership have received a $400,000 grant to create an art and ecology campus in the Brightwalk neighborhood.

Environmental artists are finding a home in a new Charlotte housing development.

The McColl Center for Visual Art and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership have received a $400,000 grant to create an art and ecology campus in the Brightwalk neighborhood.

The money is being used to bring in up to 11 environmental artists from around the world to build installations in the community.

“It’s about advancing artists, it’s about advancing community, and this is just another way we do it,” said Lisa Hoffman, the McColl center’s director of environmental art and community engagement.

Function is a big part of environmental art, she said.

“Environmental art doesn’t present the same way that traditional public art does. The idea is that it will mitigate an environmental problem that is happening at a particular site,” Hoffman said.

That could result in a project in alternative energy, habitat or stream restoration or structures to prevent pollution.

“It can really span the gamut. And that’s the interesting thing that each artist brings – they have an innovative approach to solving an environmental problem that probably wasn’t conceived of in this way before by a developer or landscape architect,” she said.

The project is one of 54 to receive money this year from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of foundations, banks and agencies supporting “creative placemaking.”

Artists will be chosen or commissioned for a three-month term.

An art and ecology campus is just the latest effort in the Brightwalk neighborhood, where 800 apartments, townhouses and homes are being built in a $125 million project

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