Helms Jarrell, Hoan Rahlan, Bunny Gregory, and Katrina Cherry, otherwise known as the “West Side Creatives” (WSC) are exploring collective art making and cooperative economics in an innovative way. Quarterly for one year, each WSC artist will take a turn facilitating the others by teaching their individual process and media. The pieces will be displayed, quarterly, at a local brewery. As a practice of cooperative economics, the artists will split the sales or the pieces evenly among all four artists.
The West Side Creatives birthed out of QC Family Tree’s Culture Bearer Residency Program, an 11 week community engaged artist in residence program in Charlotte’s West Side neighborhood, Enderly Park. This program, directed by ROOTS member Helms Jarrell, provides studio space and artistic support to local Charlotte artists.
The program is meant to: build community by connecting individuals across points of difference; build community by nurturing, celebrating, and supporting authentic cultures and creative expression; increase relevance by using arts, science and history to address complex community issues; and increasing innovation by supporting the creation of new and groundbreaking work.
Katrina Cherry, Bunny Gregory, and Hoan Rahlan are resident alumni who continue to conspire with QC Family Tree and with Helms after their residency term. The four of them, along with other local artists, are a part of an emerging Rhizome Coalition
In partnership with Midnight Mulligan Brewing (MM), WSC will rotate fresh artwork- 7 24”x36” pieces- into the brewery space once a quarter for a full year, beginning October 2022. The artwork will continue to hang at MM until new work is cycled in. The proceeds from sales will be split evenly between all artists of WSC.
To find out more about purchasing the Moth paintings, click here.
WSC is also in partnership with Wonderworld West End Studios to install quarterly artworks into The Arts Factory Building on W. Trade. Read more about the first show, which opened in September 2022 here.
The West Side Creatives collaboration with Midnight Mulligan and The Arts Factory shows the strength and impact of the Culture Bearer Residency program, after the official residency is over. It highlights the strong role that artists and culture bearers play as leaders in civic engagement and social change and it demonstrates how dynamic social change work incorporates arts and culture into efforts to positively shape the community.