Innovation Institute at McColl Center for Visual Art has flourished in the Center's facility, surrounded by art, artists, and creativity, since it was founded in 2005 by Suzanne Fetscher, President and CEO of McColl Center for Visual Art. As the Center and the Institutes programs evolved and multiplied, space for programming became tight, and the Institute found itself outgrowing the building where it was created.
Through the generosity of the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the Center was granted funding to lease a new building that could house all of the Innovation Institute’s programs and events. And luckily, the staff didn’t have to look too far! Just across 11th Street, in what used to be known as the “Heels.com” building, was the perfect renovated warehouse with plenty of space, hardwood floors, and beautiful brick wall interior. The Innovation Institute quickly moved in, admiring the space that is reminiscent in character of its former workspace at McColl Center for Visual Art. In addition to the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Innovation Institute alumni provided much-appreciated support in the form of their expertise, hard work, and resources to help up-fit of Innovation Institute’s new home.
The close physical proximity to McColl Center for Visual Art means that participants in the Institute can still benefit the Center’s core residency program and from the talent of its artists. Jackie Chang, a mixed media and public artist that was recently in residence at the Center, produced a piece that is now displayed on the front windows of the Innovation Institute building, visible from Tryon Street. In this piece, Jackie was inspired by the notion of “innovation” and Innovation Institute’s mission to use the creative process as a tool for personal and collective growth. This bold orange piece depicting the journey of change from “(k)new” to “(k)now” and an empty glass to a glass half full grabs the attention of passersby.
While there are still many changes and renovations that are needed with the new Innovation Institute building (including patching up a few holes to keep birds from getting in and triggering the alarm), the staff is thrilled with the support they have received to make the new building a reality and to ponder the limitless programming possibilities it presents.