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A LETTER from President + CEO


where art, artists, and the community connect and converge. Each year, countless talented local and visiting artists come together to learn, collaborate, and experiment through residencies, studio spaces, labs, and workshops. Exhibitions invite people from all walks of life to have thoughtful conversations about an artist’s viewpoints and experiences. Youth programs inspire the next generation of artists and shape their creative aspirations. McColl Center unites us in support of the transformative power of art.

As I think of convergence, I reflect on two meanings: the artistic definition where lines and elements grow closer, leading your eye to a focal point; and the concept of people and ideas coming together. It is in this spirit, that I invite you to join me in exploring the first issue of @721, McColl Center’s Journal for Creativity + Art. The title references McColl Center’s address where extraordinary creativity lives. The magazine will serve as a platform to share stories beyond the walls of our building.

In the pages of @721, we will examine ideas about creativity, reveal the infinite mediums of artistic expression, and offer opportunities for discovery. We will challenge ideas and explore works together through interviews with artists, essays and poems, special creative content, and even music. Each issue will have a theme highlighting what we’re

thinking about in the moment. The theme of this first issue of @721 is collaboration, which is deeply rooted in McColl Center. Collaboration is intrinsic to our founding and is tied to how we exist in the world today. It is also what makes “art thrives when artists do” a reality.

I am thrilled to invite you to connect and converge with McColl Center in a new way. Special thanks go to Atrium Health for their partnership, the contributors and featured artists—Chakaia Booker, DJ Bird, Jonell Logan, Monique Moss, Tadeo Muleiro, and Phil Sanders—and to you for supporting McColl Center.

Yours in creativity,

The inaugural issue of @721 is generously supported by Atrium Health


Chine collé

Chine collé is the aesthetic inspiration for the first issue of @721. As a printmaking practice that uses adhesive and pressure to join disparate materials into a single work of art, it embodies the concept of collaboration perfectly.

Embracing chine collé also tapped into much of the creative practice we experienced at McColl Center during the Fall 2022 residency. Printmaker Phil Sanders developed a unique chine collé method for sculptor Chakaia Booker. Their collaborative process is the feature interview for this issue focusing on collaboration. Artist-in-Residence Myles Calvert simultaneously pushed the boundaries of printmaking by marrying a hundreds-of-years-old process with contemporary technology, making prints that are both reserved and traditional, but also decadent and experimental.

Throughout these pages, you will see visual references that allude to this printmaking process; the lines of a woodblock, a layering of paper, and the development of new forms and colors where these elements converge. It is a perfect representation of what collaboration yields at McColl Center; varied ideas, artist styles, and creative energies coming together to create new artwork and an invigorated arts space in Charlotte.

6 Fall 2022
Artist-In-Residence Myles Calvert using the chine collé technique

Chakaia Booker and Phil SANDERS



Artists working together and doing so on their own terms is built into the foundation of McColl Center’s Artist-in-Residence program. Video artists collaborate with performers, painters learn to print from their peers, and new bodies of work that would have never been created, save the random “let’s try this!” conversations, are born.

When the opportunity to invite sculptor Chakaia Booker and printmaker Phil Sanders to participate in McColl Center’s Artist-in-Residence program, we jumped. Each are skilled in their individual crafts, and they have been collaborators for decades. Chakaia and Phil spent almost three weeks developing new work at McColl Center. We sat down one morning to talk about their meetings, collaborative process, and why their relationship works.

with Vice President + Creative Director Jonell Logan 2022 Catalyst Artist-In-Residence Chakaia Booker + Phil Sanders

JONELL: What is it like working together?


Well, I guess relationships with the artists are just built over time.


I think it’s difficult for any artist to let someone in to help them work.

When we switch to a medium that she’s maybe less familiar with it’s helpful to have someone who has those technical skills.

JONELL: Chakaia, you’re a sculptor and Phil, you work in two dimensions. How did you develop a process that married 2D and 3D thinking?


Basically, it started with more 3D sculptural prints. And yes, the idea we both agreed [on] was to make sure we did something that was completely flat.

We had paper, we had fabric, and also wood blocks.

JONELL: What does your collaborative process look like?


It starts essentially with Chakaia’s hands, so it’s either power tools carving blocks, or brushes painting films to shoot screens, and then she hands that stuff over to me and I print those onto materials.

So I print her carved wood blocks onto fabric or paper and same for the screens for screen printing. And we’re printing front and back, so that sometimes you see things coming through and how it affects and builds it-- we’re building surface essentially-- and then I hand all that material back to Chakaia.


Once the materials are presented to me then I begin to deconstruct; take it all apart, find the images that have the texture, the movement. And so this way as I’m going through the material when I find images that are interesting, I’ll place them in different places in order for me

to be able to go back to them and to be able to understand what’s additionally needed in order to make a completed piece.


That can take a really long time. You’ve worked on some pieces for several years. It’s been on a board, some things being moved around, maybe a new mark gets brought into the studio and that then influences something that’s happening and so what we’re working on here is really the beginning of a much longer arc of a body of work.

JONELL: Why do you think this relationship works?


I think we both have a very similar work ethic and philosophy towards making things and a level of quality that it needs to be right and that’s when it’s done.


Whatever the energy is and whatever is happening just hasn’t had its ending as long as we get up and we continue to keep breathing--

PHIL: Keep working CHAKAIA: --then we’ll keep working. This is what we do all the time, you know, so it’s not something that’s unusual or sort of new, it’s just that kind of expectation that “okay you’re going to go into into this particular environment so, you know, hit it.”

SCAN ME to watch the video interview youtube.com/watch?v=krxpvVe-NbQ



beholden to the Santero/Santera in Santeria, the Houngan/Mambo in Haitian Vodou, or the Babalawo/ Iyalawo of Ifa, the primary operative of the interdisciplinary Artist turned cultural practitioner is the activation of Ache, Ase, or Ashe. Defined in humble terms as the power to make things happen, the power to cause change, if you have it, you have it, irrespective of title or choice. The practice and work produced by those in the Art world who hear and heed to the call of Ancestors as a guiding intention, may be categorized within the genre of Abstract Art, and consumed as a form of creative expression that functions within a certain realm of contemporary mediumship; the capacity for communication of certain unknowns. We create works that deconstruct and reconstruct meaning from the microcosmic historiographies of our people in order to gain greater access to the ancient wisdom of the cosmos. Like the generations before us, charged with the will to survive and maintain the systems that sustained their Souls, we employ syncretism and abstraction to resuscitate, “rituals that had to go unnoticed, internalized, invisible, shadow like gestures, movements, veiled in rhythms and memwa, transformed, encoded into music, carnival… public performances (cordova),” visual art, literature, and many other transcendental expressions of the oppressed.


As Artistic Director and Choreographer of Third Eye Theatre Interdisciplinary and Improvisational Performance Company in New Orleans, Louisiana, I have collaborated with william cordova on works that have challenged the moral and ethical compass of Ivy League institutions in possession of ‘appropriated’ Peruvian artifacts or in possession of a publically displayed, wallsized painting depicting metal-clad invaders massacring indigenous peoples; on work that has challenged the monumental system of white supremacy through the arrangement of a duel, a stand-off, between an emboldened statue of confederate soldier Robert E. Lee at the center of a city circle and the potent vibrations of resistance from the Soul Rebels Band on a rooftop; and on work that has channeled the celestial energy of an Andean portal constructed in the middle of an open field receptive to lightening strikes and comet sightings. Our collaborations unfold like weaving gold threads to bond the essences of guerilla warfare, the parable of David and Goliath, and the mysticism of Gurus and Saints. Operating from infective levels of integrity and philosophical aptitude, his ‘poetic gestures (cordova),’ which in reality function as poetic activism, crystallizes memory of mantras that illuminate the power of mind over matter and might. His work aligns succinctly with folk-


loric practices of ritual activation associated with charged geographic landscapes, cosmic geometries, altar building, and accessing portals. And kindred Spirits recognize one another.


Drawing on his knowledge of native, Andean zigzag geometries as representations of infinity, and fractals as building blocks of the continuity of time and space, for example, cordova’s work insists that the viewer “slow down, recontextualize, connect the dots, and reconsider what we see (cordova).” We are subconsciously reminded that observation is part of the scientific method. He taps into vestiges of the unknown through a contemporary creative process akin to the intimacy of a spiritual practice. The meticulous intersectionality of multi-dimensionality and third cinema strategies in his interdisciplinary cultural practice of poetic activism commands attention, contemplation, and deliberation on the ideals of Truths-seeking for the purpose of liberation from all that oppresses. He counterpunches against the constructed narrative of white, male superiority and its pervasive representations of the oppressed as subjects in the third person, as alienated aliens (the enslaved, the immigrant, the illiterate, the criminal, or the dysfunctional, supporting actor most often killed first in propagandized media). Viewed as militant within the collective colonial consciousness, people of color, in the pervasive struggle against virulent assimilation, conformity, and distorted, malignant representation, find solace in movements for civil rights, social justice, and cultural affirmation, which cordova researches in depth and centralizes in his work. He prods identity politics with his consistent avocation for the rights of the collective to self-determination and self-representation, ultimately, activating a formidable defense for self-liberation of the proletariat.


Cultural Dissonance is not an experience of disjunction suffered uniquely by so-called third world peoples in a so-called first world, which cordova grasps as a Peruvian living in America. Cultural dissonance is a two-way experience irrespective of class. It is rooted in cultural

incongruence and incompatibility and has the potential of manifesting as zones of discomfort with the unconventional (one’s own history and culture), or with that, which is beyond one’s experiential or intellectual conception and comprehension. For me, one of the great questions of our time is, what universal Truths can we discern from a world constructed on (oftentimes intentional) historical-cultural misrepresentation? Cultural Dissonance greatly impacts potential connection to expressions in abstract form, as understanding the history and culture of an abstractionist is like understanding idiomatic phrases in all of the languages the abstractionist may speak. Content, context, form, and function create integral frames of reference for unlocking the perceived mysteries associated with Abstract Art. Without fundamental frames of reference, such as understanding the literal versus the vernacular use and function of materials, the biochemistry of natural phenomena, or the correlation between socio-political dynamics and economics within stratified communities globally, one could only expect to engage with dense Abstract Art at the Pavlovian level. A historical-cultural knowledge base is essential in any effort to decode non-linear, mélanges or sequences of objects, symbols, colors, shapes, movements, and sounds. Deficiencies in this knowledge manifest as skewed vision and result in banal interpretation of the unknown, the foreign, the unconventional, the abstract, and consequently, promote sensationalism, exoticism, otherism, stereotype, caricature, conformity, and outright misrepresentation.


Cordova’s holistic approach of using plurality of perspective and aesthetic to reach a wider, diverse audience resonates through his craft of material object juxtaposition. He employs abstraction as a proverbial, prophetic language by constructing works layered with impressions of reflection, inversion, parallelism, and preColumbian or ancient geometries. These fundamental modalities of interdisciplinary cultural practice awaken collective ancestral consciousness and expand perception. In Abstract Dance, just as in any artistic form, effective abstraction can function as a cathartic catalyst for both the producer and the consumer by triggering

Inaugural Catalyst Artist-In-Residence William Cordova

heightened sensibilities and deep introspection in the quest to find meaning. It draws concentration within, to evoke feeling, connection, and relational inquiry, through the assemblage of ‘rasa,’ a Sanskrit term referring to ‘the essence’ of a thing. Abstract forms interrupt habitual, programmed motor responses and hierarchal, prejudicial, thinking patterns, and allow the mind and body to process meaning from multiple perspectives, or dimensions, simultaneously. Perspective is a tool in the construction of perception, and perception is a tool in the construction of reality, which becomes one’s Truth. cordova offers the words of “critical and public disruption modern dancer, choreographer (cordova),” Rudy Perez, “Stillness is not so much the temporal absence of movement, but is the charged potential for it (Rudy Perez).” In my practice of Abstract Dance, I identify this creative process as Thirteenth World Theatre, which I define using the formula 1 + 3 = 13. Indeed, algorithms drive human consciousness. And kindred Spirits recognize one another.


As knowledge of the Gate of the Sun and the Gate of the Moon rise within the memory of chosen sons and daughters of the real illuminati, modern belief systems and biased narratives crash and burn in their presence. Like the Santero/Santera in Santeria, the Houngan/Mambo in Haitian Vodou, or the Babalawo/Iyalawo of Ifa, through concentration, the Interdisciplinary Cultural Practitioner develops the ability to transform the physical body into a receptive vessel. Like a water-based antenna, the cells and sensory organs of the body activate to receive sacred information and wisdom traveling through ether as electromagnetic vibrations and impulses. The being becomes an active portal, which creates portals. Like the priest or priestess, the abstractionist or Interdisciplinary Cultural Practitioner, serves as a human portal to conduct rituals that are object, movement, sound, site and psyche specific. Abstraction is a language of Algorithms, which corroborates cordova’s affirmation that his “works are in constant communication with one another (cordova).”


Encoded with history, culture, cosmology and

iconography that uplift resistance and liberation movements against neocolonialism and white supremacy, william cordova creates work through ancient eyes. Recurring cultural symbols and references in his work that are indicative of commonalities in the sociopolitical experiences of peoples native to lands separated by oceanic distances, reflect the depth of his ethnographic research and subsequent ability to make universal connections. Encrypted word use in the proverbial titles of his work functions as an added key in deciphering projections of the human condition. The greater revelation illuminated by his work, however, rests in his masterful selection and juxtaposition of mundane objects and text to elucidate, comment on the universal and the cosmic. For some, abstraction is akin to spiritual practice. Being epic, however, requires knowledge of phenomena like the celestial light that radiates through the Portal of the Sun and Portal of the Moon.

The mission of Third Eye Theatre Interdisciplinary and Improvisational Performance Company is to use the Arts to achieve metaphysical and spiritual Liberation through Crossroads Collaboration, Trauma-Healing Channeling and Psyche-Site-Specific Performances. TET seeks (1) to open cognitive space for ephemeral, yet strikingly cathartic experiences during live performance; (2) to facilitate the discovery of innovative movement through Improvisation and Experimentation; (3) to create choreography based simultaneously on historic and ethnographic research and on introspective, experiential exploration; (4) to use a multimedia and multi-dimensional approach through collaborations with Artists in various Arts disciplines; (5) to directly connect real-life experiences of performers through the embodiment of abstract, contemporary, experimental movement with conceptual content derived from research and foundational traditions of folkloric techniques and African-based aesthetics; (6) to simultaneously employ traditional and contemporary movement forms and aesthetics; and (7) to activate metaphysical experiences through processes of revelation and healing through the Arts.


TadEo Muleiro


Generously supported by Windgate Foundation

LOS MITOS son relatos que han sido construidos en forma colectiva, han contado a lo largo de la historia los orígenes de la humanidad y en ellos han sido representados arquetipos y seres fantásticos que han corporizado deseos, miedos y anhelos. En estos tiempos de individualismo y sociedades fragmentadas me resultar vital repensar mi obra como una acción colectiva y colaborativa que funcione como una red, una trama que una las historias individuales.

A los largo de estos años, puedo describir mi trabajo como el resultado del entrecruzamiento formal de ciertas culturas nativas ancestrales y las necesidades conceptuales que demanda el arte contemporáneo. En mi obra he escenificado seres que han creado una nueva mitología, dan curso a su mundo y lo transforman. A través de esculturas blandas, vestuario, video y performance he construido formas que entrelazan imágenes arquetípicas y sagradas de culturas antiguas con situaciones y vivencias personales. Utilizando el legado ancestral, he desarrollado una cosmogonía íntima que ha tomado la forma de un drama doméstico creando una historia en las que entidades cosmológicas se han cruzado con momentos específicos de mi vida privada. A su vez, cada obra ha ahondado en ceremonias y leyendas creando una narrativa mítica que reúne libremente elementos de diferentes fábulas y rituales locales.

Durante mi estadía en el McColl Center voy a desarrollar un conjunto de esculturas textiles que se presenten como un lienzo en blanco a intervenir. La comunidad de Charlotte podrá pintar, escribir, dejar su huella en las piezas utilizando materiales diversos dando forma a una obra participativa atravesada por los conceptos de identidad, cuerpo y comunidad. Concibo a este grupo escultórico como tótems colectivos, una invitación a construir entre todos una mitología de seres de nuestro tiempo que den forma y contenido a nuestro mundo.

MYTHS are stories that have been built collectively, they have told throughout history the origins of humanity, and, in them, archetypes and fantastic beings have been represented that have embodied fears and desires. In these times of individualism and fragmented societies, it is vital for me to rethink my work as a collective and collaborative action that works as a net, a weft that unites individual stories.

Throughout these years, I can describe my work as the result of the formal interweaving of certain ancestral native cultures and the conceptual needs demanded by contemporary art. In my work I have staged beings that have created a new mythology, give course to their world, and transform it. Through soft sculptures, costumes, video and performance, I built forms that intertwine archetypal and sacred images of ancient cultures with personal situations and experiences.

Using the ancestral legacy, I have developed an intimate cosmogony that has taken the form of a domestic drama, creating a story in which cosmological entities have intersected with specific moments in my private life. In turn, each work has delved into ceremonies and legends, creating a mythical narrative that freely brings together elements of different fables and local rituals.

During my stay at the McColl Center I am going to develop a set of textile sculptures that are presented as a blank canvas to be intervened on. The Charlotte community will be able to paint, write, and leave their mark on the pieces using various materials, giving shape to a participatory work crossed by the concepts of identity, body and community. I conceive this sculptural group as collective totems, an invitation to build together a mythology of beings of our time that give shape and content to our world.

Tierra, Semilla, Carne, Huseo, Espiritu, 2020 Quimera, 2020 Sueño Sombra, 2022


VISIT SPOTIFY.COM and search “Chine Collé” to hear a sonic exploration curated by DJ See Bird Go! The playlist is inspired by concept of layering, transparency, and cohesiveness, in collaboration with McColl Center.

City-wide Collaborations


IN OCTOBER 2022, Atrium Health and McColl Center worked collaboratively to bring art to the main lobby of the Rush S. Dickson Tower at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center. Unified around the idea that community is critical, and art can heal, we partnered to identify and install four new murals created by Charlotte-area artists Josh Allan Ball, Josh Henderson, Rebecca Lipps, and Nadia Ogunfowora. Designed to inspire hope and joy, each of the four murals represent a unique interpretation of Atrium Health’s mission to “improve health, elevate hope, and advance healing – for all.”

The murals are one of the most recent ways that Atrium Health and McColl Center have collaborated to bring artists together with care providers, patients, their families, and staff since 1999. These four works, and our ongoing Artist-in-Residence Progam in partnership with Atrium Health, reflect the enduring truth that health care, well-being,

art and creativity are connected and are fundamental dimensions of humanity and community.

“When Atrium Health decided to bring vibrant new energy into the entrance of our flagship hospital, we collaborated with McColl Center because we knew this partnership would strengthen our connection with the Charlotte community. With McColl Center, we were able to discover and place amazing, thoughtful, and diverse works from local artists on the walls of the entrance. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to more collaborations with McColl Center and the local artist community as we continue to grow and evolve in the years ahead.” – Brian Stepien, Senior Project Manager, Atrium Health.




EVERY TUESDAY IN JANUARY + FEBRUARY | 6:00-9:00PM | $15 PER SESSION McColl Center is hosting weekly drop-in figure drawing studio sessions every Tuesday evening! This is a friendly and casual atmosphere with professional nude models. Bring your own supplies and get ready to challenge your skills with Charlotte artists Felicia van Bork and Chalice Meikle!


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2023 | 6:00 PM | FREE Join our Winter/Spring 2023 Artists-in-Residence Zuzanna Dyrda, Shanequa Gay, Will Jenkins and Tadeo Muleiro for a discussion around material, practice and the impacts of narrative and story in society and contemporary art. The conversation will be moderated by Jonell Logan, Vice President + Creative Director at McColl Center.



FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 —SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2023 | 10:00 AM —5:00 PM | $650 This three-day intensive will cover the unique process of screenprinting pigment sticks, tinted gesso, and screenprinting inks below, into and onto encaustic and acrylic surfaces. A simplified approach towards screenprinting makes this process easy to grasp and unites graphic print elements with painting surfaces and motifs.



SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 + SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2023 | 10:00 AM —2:00 PM | $295 Get an introduction to woodworking or build on your skills. Artists in this eight-hour workshop will learn proper studio practices while safely using all the equipment and tools in the woodworking lab, a prerequisite for more advanced woodworking.

721 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202