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The College of Arts + Architecture and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute present the third year of the KEEPING WATCH initiative with a focus on local air quality and the role that Charlotte’s tree canopy plays in a healthy environment. Programming throughout the spring will include exhibitions, panel discussions, public art, film screenings, and community activities.
The opening reception on March 18, which coincides with NC Arbor Day, will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
The Projective Eye Gallery will present works from five artists: Jed Berk (California), Charlie Brouwer (Virginia), Linda Foard Roberts (Charlotte), Berndnaut Smilde (The Netherlands), and Robert Wiens (Canada). The exhibition runs March 18 through May 28.
Floating throughout the gallery, Jed Berk’s interactive “Blubber Bots” become a tangible metaphor for the air that surrounds us, suggesting the mystery of what is in air and how we both react to it and affect it. Berndnaut Smilde’s wall-sized photographic image of an ‘indoor cloud’ from his Nimbus series will prompt a discussion of the need for healthy air inside buildings as well as outside.
The issues of mature tree canopy and clear-cutting will be addressed with the help of a life-size tree constructed in the gallery by Charlie Brouward. Likewise, Robert Wiens’s large watercolors of tree segments will highlight issues of tree and forest conservation. Not unlike historical botanical illustrations, these detailed watercolors bring attention to the individuality of each tree. Linda Foard Roberts’s newly created image of a grand, mature tree will evoke the emotional attachments many people have to trees. Upright and healthy, the tree reminds us of the longevity of immense canopy trees and their many contributions to a community’s well-being.
In partnership with the gallery and KEEPING WATCH on AIR, Clean Air Carolina will present Particle Falls, a public art installation projected on the side of the UNC Charlotte Center City building from March 4 through April 25. Artist Andrea Polli’s animation of real-time air quality data makes visible to the public the invisible particulate matter in air pollution.
The College of Arts + Architecture is grateful to media sponsor WFAE 90.7fm for support of KEEPING WATCH.