Imagine what is possible once we stop building borders and start building bridges.
During this year’s BOOM Festival, April 20th-22nd, 2018, visit one local Charlottean’s reimagination of Vasconcelos’ concepts of unity, community and progress, almost 100 years later. La Raza Cósmica, demonstrates how we can use art to evolve beyond issues of injustices, exclusion and discrimination.
Organized by Jessica Gaynelle Moss, this all-inclusive, multidisciplinary exhibition builds bridges between Plaza Midwood community members, small businesses and a diverse group of local artists who are using their art to push our creative culture forward. Join the movement!
Jessica Moss website »
Jessica Gaynelle Moss is a life-long student, artist and entrepreneur. She received a BFA in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and a MA in Arts Administration, Policy and Management from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Most recently, her research at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Law is focused on the intersection of fine art and sustainable community redevelopment.
Jessica brings a broad range of professional experience in advocacy, education and the arts in both the public and private sector. Her commitment to community is exemplified through the number of collaborative projects she has participated in including artist and urban planner Theaster Gates’ Retreat for Black Artists, the nationally-archived StoryCorps Story Share Booth project, and conceptual and visual artist Mel Chin's national FUNDRED Dollar Bill Project.
Jessica has worked for a diverse group of organizations including The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, Dreamworks Animation in Glendale CA, Rebuild Foundation in Chicago, IL and The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, NC. Her interests in innovation, activism, and collaboration continue to influence her projects today.
Bryan Wilson grew up between New Jersey and Georgia. It was in Georgia, at the age of 16, that he began his artistic career. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Studio Art with a Minor in Graphic Design from Morris Brown College.
After graduating college, he became an in-house graphic designer for the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA. After a couple years, and getting married, he and his wife relocated to Charlotte, NC, where he began teaching art at a public school and obtained his teaching credentials at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
It was in 2012 that Bryan decided to take his painting and picture making ability to another level by pursuing his MFA in Drawing/Painting at the Academy of Art University where he graduated in 2015. He is now exhibiting throughout the Southeast alongside other distinguished artists and professors.
Bryan is currently showing work at Foster's Frame and Art in Huntersville, NC and Coffey and Thompson Gallery in Charlotte, NC.
Trap on Twitter »
PRODUCT OF MY ENVIRONMENT.
LaDara McKinnon is a published multimedia artist focusing in Ceramics and Painting in Charlotte, NC. She grew up in Japan and Hawaii, where her love for art began. LaDara uses abstract, texture, and mark-making as tools, with purpose and meaning, in her paintings and clay forms. Most recently, her adventure of studying abroad at Burren School of Art in Clare, Ireland, has enriched her pottery and painting perspective and aesthetics.
She graduated with a BA in Fine Arts with minors in Psychology and Women & Gender studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Fall 2017. LaDara’s work has been published in the 2016 and 2018 issues of Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine and invitational exhibited at The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts Museum in Charlotte, NC. Her work has been exhibited numerous times around Charlotte, NC, and in Atlanta, GA. She is a Professional Artist, Assistant Fine Art Instructor at Holt School of Fine Art and Community Impact Instructor and Studio Assistant at Clayworks.
WDSTK (pronounced Woodstock)
WDSTK website »
WDSTK is a Charlotte based fine and visual artist originally from Greenville, SC.
Christine Williams on Twitter »
Born and raised in Charlotte, 29 years of age. Lover of animals, plants and music.
Columbia, South Carolina native, Fart.PDF/ Farticus is a self taught, freelance graphic designer, creative director and mixed media visual artist. Pulling inspiration from urban culture, fashion, mutli-genre music and everyday objects (pictograms, ads, product placements, etc.) Farticus experiments using collage, conceptual campaign ads, photography, watercolor, you name it. His work is primarily shared via Instagram and has been featured in both the 2016 and 2017 Palmetto Curatorial Exchange at the SCETV Columbia location as well as Tapp's Art Center in Downtown Columbia.
JaySquid on Instagram »
Jay Squid is a self-taught visual artist based out of Greensboro NC. She is inspired by oceans, nasty feelings, things that grow while we are sleeping, creepy faces, tribal markings, colors, love, death and of course… squids.
Going beyond the traditional roots of fashion, DRC ApeParel is a "Cool & Conscious" way of life for street culture enthusiasts, inspired by the global community, who are brave enough to consciously seek apparel that appeals to more than just a sense of style. Our focus is to go beyond the garment. We are cut from a different cloth. The DRC ApeParel Brand activates the fashion, art and cultural aesthetics of Gorilla Street Movements around the globe to increase cross-cultural awareness, and unite the Global Citizens we call “Guerrillas” everywhere, to reach their maximum potential; through our AfroFuturistic creative commentary.
Our inspiration is sourced from the dynamic street cultures, that continue to recreate themselves throughout the African Diaspora. From the brazen Kings (Leopards) of the Kongo, Brazzaville & Kinshasa Le Sape movement, to the colorful graffiti in Brazil's favelas, to the high-fashion Moorish influences in European culture, to the indigenous Afro-Asiatic communities in the South Pacific and far East: these are the “Guerrillas”, the people, places and stories that creatively direct DRC's “Global.Street.Conscious” StreetWear and LifeStyle Brand.
We are the high fashion counterculture Gorillas with a purpose. "We are The Cool & The Conscious!"
Jamila Brown on Instagram »
Jamila Brown is an artist and a student at UNC Charlotte. She is pursuing a BFA in Photography with a Double Minor in Art History and Journalism. Her work involves a variety of mediums, ranging from alternative processes such as cyanotype, along with collage pieces, digital and analog work. She often works with self-portraiture, printing on fabric, and assemblage pieces. She is an artist who strives to speak through her work, by conceptually working with diasporic feelings, identity, and a constant inquiring of herself and the world she lives in.
Holly Keogh is best known for her figurative work in bright oil paint. Keogh appropriates family photographs to create paintings that expose the ambivalence of any archival process. Raised in Charlotte, North Carolina to parents from the U.K. she spent parts of her childhood with family in England and Scotland. These trips to Europe exposed her to artists such as David Hockney and Ben Nicholson and influenced her to pursue a degree in fine art. She studied at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and spent one year studying painting at Cape Town University in South Africa. After graduating Keogh began exhibiting work in Charlotte and was invited to be a Goodyear Artist in Residence. Keogh currently lives and works in Charlotte.
The creation of my paintings is a form of meditation for me. I think that is why abstract art in general appeals to me so much, because it is so open to personal interpretation once completed, and also open to outcome during the creative process. Painting is one of the only times I am easily able to experience non-attachment, and exercising that ability hopefully transfers to other parts of life as well. When I begin a painting, I never have a plan. I may have an idea of a color scheme, but that’s about as far as it goes until my brush hits the surface and I just start moving.
I am moved by the colors, textures, and intricate patterns that appear in the details of nature. Much of my inspiration comes from cloud watching, mineral and rock formations, tree lines, ocean waves, the texture of sand, the cosmos…all are mesmerizing to me as they show proof of the interconnectivity between all living beings. I hope that same hypnotic effect is evident in my work. If my paintings can evoke a similar feeling of openness and connection when I transfer paint and other materials to any given surface, then I have expressed what is within me. I hope it creates an emotion in others.
Amanda is a Charlotte native and works out of her home studio in Weddington.
Ben Shropshire website »
Life long expressionist. Born in Charleston, WV and migrated to Charlotte 10 years ago. I work Primarily with ink and oil pastel today and try to tap into the subconscious images of humanity.
Mike Wirth is a Charlotte based visual artist, graphic designer and educator. Over the past 15 years, Mike's fine art, public art, commercial design, information graphics, illustrations and interactive museum exhibits have had a notable presence in Charlotte and beyond. Currently, Mike is director of the department of art & design at Queens University of Charlotte and is a tenured associate professor of new media design. He holds an MFA from Parsons School of Design in Design and Technology and a BFA from Long Island University in Digital Art and Design. Mike is originally from Long Island, NY and has lived in Charlotte area with his family since 2005.
Special Thanks to all the the participating artists, businesses and community residents. Many thanks to the Blk Mrkt Studio for their exhibition design and installation. And finally, thank you to the Plaza Midwood neighborhood for hosting us at BOOM festival for a 3rd year. Thank you to all involved!