Brand the Moth – It Takes a Village
On view November 17-January 2, 2022
Level 5, Mint Museum Uptown
A collective venture by 44 local artists, Labyrinth is an experiment in collaborating with a large group of artists while still offering individual ownership and creative freedom within a controlled space, to express a collective environmental mood.
LoveBolt is the generous presenting sponsor of It Takes a Village: Charlotte’s Artist Collective Take-Over, and extension of the exhibition It Takes a Village. LoveBolt is an organization devoted to dismantling systemic racism in the U.S. in one generation through awareness-building and education.
From the Artists
Welcome to the Labyrinth. One of our making but open for your own perception.
Over the past year we’ve experienced a resounding theme of transition in our environment, our discussions and our emotions. In our lives and those closest to us, it has become a topic in daily conversation; a new focus, a divergent path, an uphill battle, a silent victory. Through this exhibit we have collectively ventured into what the process of going through it all physically feels like and what the patterns are we start to recognize, knowing the process itself looks different for everyone.
The Labyrinth at its core is an acknowledgment of the valid and often contradicting parts within ourselves, with the understanding that each person who crosses into the Labyrinth will experience it completely differently. It is not about the narrative of each individual piece, though highly valued and appreciated, but more a narrative of the journey through self-discovery expressed by all the works collectively. We explore not only our perspective differences but more importantly our similarities to each other that ties us into the common thread of being human. Together, with the works of 44 local artists, we’ve sought to create a tangible feeling in each unique space within this show that we hope sparks a different frequency within your individual experience.
How to use the Labyrinth
Enter on the left and walk straight ahead to start the Labyrinth.
- Keep to your left, and pass on your right, follow the flow, but there is no wrong way to experience the space.
- Please enter the space at an open level without expectations and see where the moments of sensations within the Labyrinth take you.
- Use this as a space to open yourself to the feeling each space evokes. Ask yourself how each area within the labyrinth feels to you.
- Take as much time as you need to experience and process, while being mindful that others are doing the same around you.
- You will be directed to engage and touch certain aspects through signage, if it is not labeled as so, please do not touch.
- Most importantly, this is your time, your experience, and your response. And it is ALL valid. Allow yourself to feel what you need and to also leave a bit of the weight here. We’ll help carry it.
It Takes a Village is a celebration of the vibrant, grassroots art happening throughout Charlotte. For this exhibition The Mint Museum is collaborating with three of Charlotte’s innovative art collectives: BlkMrktClt, Brand the Moth, and Goodyear Arts. The works of art in the exhibition are done by more than 25 collective members and recognizes local artistic talent across a broad cross section of demographics—economic, racial, ethnic, age, and education.
About Brand the Moth
Brand the Moth is a 501(c)3 nonprofit run by artists for artists in Charlotte, working to support and fuel our unique art community, while inviting the public into the process. We use public art programs as a vehicle to spark creativity and connection, to provide a trusting space for artists to grow, to offer educational opportunities for professionals, and to produce projects which reflect and empower the community around them. This creates powerful, resonating art installations while building a foundation for the critical need for accessible and sustainable public art in our city.
As a collective, we have a spectrum of visual range and technical discipline; however, our work is threaded together by influences from our surroundings, attention to detail, and a passion for public art. Individually and collectively, Brand the Moth uses our public platforms to further the conversation art allows and to create a unique environment where others are encouraged to engage and explore. By partnering with artists with trust and empowerment of their voices, critical discussion happens organically, and authentic creations are amplified.
It is Brand the Moth’s philosophy that the arts are essential to building stronger communities by establishing healthy expression and cross-community dialogue while developing our unique culture, civic design and city landscape. As “our village” of Charlotte is rapidly growing, it is important now to support public art in our community: art crosses expected and unforeseen boundaries. Public art has the power to showcase our history and identity, uplift marginalized groups and stimulate economic growth. It is with this holistic mindset and approach that all Brand the Moth programs are designed, working towards the betterment of our city as a whole and establishing precedent for a sustainable future for the arts and our local artist community.
-Brand the Moth
Brand the Moth artists included in It Takes A Village
Arko is a Charlotte-based artist and muralist who works primarily with recycled materials to create bright energetic illustration-based sculpture promoting a positive mental attitude. He is known for his free art project which aims to provide the community with art outside the confines of institutions and judgement by creating a scavenger hunt style activity that gives people a chance to interact not only with street art but with their surroundings in a different way. Arko has also worked with several art collectives in the city and constantly works to promote an understanding and acceptance of street art, murals and graffiti here in the city. He has painted in and outside the United States and thinks of Charlotte as home base for all his explorations.
Hannah Fairweather is a local mixed-media artist and the Director of Curation for Brand the Moth. Her work explores surreal balances in nature, creating unexpected ecosystems within layers of colored pencil, metallic paint and fabric. Drawn to natural textures and color palettes from a young age, her naturalistic landscapes are influenced by the daily changes in her garden and its creatures. She also holds a BFA in design and is a producer at a local advertising agency. Through the projects she drives, from art trades to curating exhibitions, her focus always remains on balance and connection to each other.
Photo credit: @adam_loves_eve_photo
Sam Guzzie is a multimedia artist, muralist and maker of creative space based in Charlotte. With 15 years of mural and community arts experience from Philadelphia to Charlotte, Guzzie founded the nonprofit Brand the Moth in 2016. Serving as the organization’s program director, she has been an leader in Charlotte’s grassroots mural arts scene, aiding production of over 80 murals in under five years, designing and directing programs and events including the META Mural Residency and Talking Walls Mural Festival. Sam holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art with a minor in art history from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
Owl was born in Bogota, Colombia where she spent a lot of her time in the family’s printing warehouse. She immigrated to the United States in 2001 and spent time working in her parents’ print shop through her teens. This constant exposure led to her current interest in printmaking and abstraction. She began developing the complexity of her ecosystems and currently applies her love for abstraction to her drawings, body painting, murals, installations and screen-printing projects. Owl has been a member of several artist collectives in Charlotte working to curate and create hand-crafted, original art—screen-printing, design, installations, murals and more—to breathe life into bare spaces in the heart of the city.
Jay Robert Watson
Jay Robert Watson is a Complete Environment Artist (CEA) based out of Charlotte. As a CEA, Watson can curate an entire space, from paintings, to custom furniture, to lighting and sculptures. Watson’s work can be found internationally and throughout the Southeast in private collections, dimly lit bars, award winning restaurants, luxury apartment lobbies, hotel walls and galleries. With roots in Boston and Hilton Head, and years in Atlanta and Miami, his craft stems from a dream state of untouched urban landscapes while still highlighting the sights, sounds, and smells of cities from around the world.