Stimulus: Alternate Visions & Counter-Institutions

Thursday, October 10, 2019
6:30–8:00 p.m.
Free admission | Register here

This roundtable discussion brings together four Charlotte-based artists in an open dialogue about counter-institutions and alternate visions for the arts in Charlotte.

From art trucks to murals to residencies, McColl Center alumna artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner, Dammit Wesley, Janelle Dunlap, and Amy Herman will share their experiences at the intersections of art, activism, and community organizing. Facilitated by visiting curator Laura Ritchie, this community conversation will explore the unique characteristics of Charlotte’s independent arts scene, focusing on its values, challenges, and potential futures.

Ritchie is based in Durham, North Carolina, where she co-founded and led an independent gallery and performance space called The Carrack. The Carrack recently closed, after eight years of programming. “Alternate Visions & Counter-Institutions” is the title of a panel discussion co-organized by Ritchie, Sinan Goknur, Quran Karriem, and Max Symuleski that took place at The Carrack in September 2019 as part of Open Engagement’s event series, Emergent Futures: State of the Field. It was one of The Carrack’s final events. This panel at McColl Center will extend that conversation to Charlotte.


The Stimulus series offers you deeper insight into the work and ideas of contemporary artists. These sessions aim to make connections between the McColl Center and our constantly evolving local arts community.


Rosalia Torres-Weiner
Rosalia Torres-Weiner is an artist, activist, and community leader in Charlotte. Her art captures the themes, colors, and rich symbolism of her native home of Mexico. In 2010, Torres-Weiner shifted the focus of her work from commercial art to art activism, after witnessing the repeated injustices and dysfunction of our immigration system. She also uses her art to document social conditions, and to raise awareness about issues that are affecting immigrant communities such as family separation, access to public education, racism, and moving beyond common stereotypes.

Dammit Wesley
Dammit Wesley is a dynamic multi-disciplinary artist who uses his work and platform to provide context and commentary on the black experience through the lens of pop culture. He has played a very active role in the southeast arts community for the past decade as the founder and director of BLK MRKT CLT, developing monthly minority-based art exhibitions and showcases, instructing hip hop-themed figure painting classes, and working as a teaching artist for local institutions.

Janelle Dunlap
Janelle Dunlap is a mixed media artist and organizer dedicated to building ethical relationships between institutions and the communities that surround them. This practice ranges from curating public space, state policy, and organizational restructuring. This fall, Dunlap is working as a Community Arts Curatorial Fellow under Emc Arts, facilitating the Resident Residency program, a pilot project that seeks to support Charlotte-based social practice artists here at McColl Center. 

Amy Herman
Amy Herman is an artist based in Charlotte. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, and her BFA in Fine Art from Michigan State University. Her photographs have been shown on the international level and are included in the permanent collections of the Kiyosota Museum of Photography, Cassilhaus, and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She teaches photography at Central Piedmont Community College and co-directs Goodyear Arts.