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"Aside from being a positive diversion, art gives the community a time to be expressive and a platform to say, 'This is how I'm feeling, and this is how I express it'," explains Jim Dukes, CAL's Community Director. "Artists have always been documentarians of the things that go on in the world. We want to preserve their ability to document these events through visual art, the spoken word and the written word."
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As Dukes notes, CAL is providing those opportunities by keeping artists engaged in their creative processes – and inviting the public to come along for the journey. CAL's April exhibit, A'bstrakt, has been transformed into a virtual exhibit where pieces can be viewed (and purchased) via an online gallery. On social media, CAL is encouraging artists to share their artistic processes and experiences during this crisis with their followers. A new communication area on CAL's website distributes information and resources to both members and members of the community.
CAL artist Wil Bosbyshell, who has participated in virtual exhibits through Southern Arts Society, Inc. and Fine Arts League of Cary, understands the value in making inspirational pieces available to the public in these challenging times. "I personally have increased my social media sharing of art as inspiration as opposed to sharing it for marketing purposes," he notes. "I hope my art is a little bit of inspiration, a moment of positivity in these times." Bosbyshell is using this time to focus on a new drawing series - close-ups of heavily textural trees that in the future, he hopes to use to bring attention to climate change.
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Other ways Dukes notes that CAL is keeping artists engaged in the community include establishing a web page that lists all members' social media links, establishing a Meet the Artists web page that provides a deeper look at how and why they create art, expanding their online gallery, and attending weekly meetings with the Arts and Science Council and other Charlotte area arts organizations to collaborate.
About Charlotte Art League: Founded in 1965, Charlotte Art League has served as an accessible gateway to the arts experience for art lovers of all ages and backgrounds. More info: https://www.charlotteartleague.org
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