McColl-UMAR partnership adds art to nature on Charlotte Rail Trail
“Everyone has the ability to hide something,” Mary Matthews, McColl Center for Art + Innovation Rasumson Artist-in-Residence, said. “You just have to have the ability to find it.”
Using this hide-and-seek concept, Matthews collaborated with UMAR artists to create a natural art installation along the Rail Trail between East Park Avenue and East Boulevard in Charlotte. In preparation, she rode her bike twice each week to UMAR Arts’ North Davidson locations and worked with artists as they created floral and leaf dresses, crafted miniature mud pies and decorated doll house furniture.
“It was pretty neat,” Amy Smith, an UMAR artist said of her experience with Matthews. Smith enjoyed her time with Matthews so much that she helped install the dress and furniture.
“Where can we hide it?” she asked her fellow artists as they scanned the bushes and flower beds.
Beginning October 15 Rail Trail visitors can search for these hidden treasures, Matthews said. “I hope that it will make people look harder and the world around them,” she added.
Matthews’ residency in Charlotte ends this month, but artists will always remember their time with her, Alex Cruz, manager of UMAR’s Charlotte Arts Center, said.
“Working with artists like Mary Matthews, our artists learned how to solve problems creatively and learned more about themselves—their likes and dislikes,” she explained. “I can’t say enough how very thankful we are for our partnership with the McColl Center, and how they welcome UMAR artists, allowing them to grow as a person and an artist.”
To view the installation, visit Charlotte’s South End and walk the Rail Trail between East Park Avenue and East Boulevard. Art lovers can also view and purchase UMAR art this weekend at the NoDa Eclectic Marketplace, 514 E 36th St., Charlotte, next to the Smelly Cat Coffeehouse. For more information on the program visit umarinfo.com/art-and-day-programs.