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April 2006 - Margins and Spaces

In our last two sessions, we were looking at Charlotte and its future potential mainly through the developers and their visions. This time we will look at it form a totally different perspective: that of those individuals who exist at the fringes of our city and our consciousness. Artists Frances Hawthorne and Jennie Ann Cole, who have been working with the homeless people of the city for many years, will be leading the session “Margins and Spaces” Frances, art faculty at UNCC, has been involved in the Artworks program at the Urban Ministry Center for over the last five years. Jennie Ann is the Director of Development at the Ministry Center.

A rough outline:
This session is in conjunction with a project that Frances and Jennie Ann are working on, called “the Social Construction of Homelessness” on a grant from the Sociological Initiative Foundation, which includes the mapping of the paths and realms used by homeless people in Charlotte.

The presentation will start with a brief background on the work the artists have done together (incl. the Mosaic wall at Urban Ministries and one or two other projects), and then look at examples of other artists – like Merle Ukeles, Mel Chin, Sam Mockbee, Marjetica Potrc etc. – who work with communities in similar ways. Then they will explain their current project and the purpose for it, and why art is important to the research and the end results. This area will cover some facts about the relationship between those in margins and those who are housed, and raise questions about the relationship of people to space as they move through it with a sense of ownership and without. The open discussion part will include invitation for help, thoughts, ideas, input on possible obstacles, possible strong points. We will also discuss possible end products—-what all can you create from all the data, info and insights that we collect? What are the possibilities?

When: April 17th Monday at 6:00pm Where: The Charlotte Museum of History