Local Students and Volunteers Work with Famed Artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner to Create a Mural for the West End Beatties Ford Corridor at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, NC

The Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Association (LHNA) and Northwest School of the Arts partnered with award winning Charlotte artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner to write a grant that was awarded by the City of Charlotte to create a mural on Beatties Ford Road. LHNA wants the neighborhood to be seen as an artistic, creative space, and had the artist incorporate the neighborhood’s cultural identity into the mural. According to Torres-Weiner, “We believe that NWSA is building the future generations of artists who will challenge, enrich and inspire our world, and having this on the Beatties Ford Road Corridor at NWSA highlights the rich artistic history of the area and the value of NWSA to the region.”

Rosalia Torres-Weiner immigrated to Charlotte with her family in 1996. In 2011, she redirected her art from commercial art to activism and telling the stories of Charlotte’s Communities. She combines her creative process with community engagement and action in a practice she calls “Artivism.” Through initiatives like the Papalote Project, The Magic Kite, Day of the Dead Charlotte, and the Red Calaca Mobile Art Studio, she works to harness the power of stories in service of the Charlotte’s underrepresented communities. Her public murals celebrate Charlotte’s diverse population and unique and changing style.

The process involved community input in which community members were invited to brainstorm concepts for the mural. In this way, the project engaged the organization and its community in the collaborative artistic process, and the mural volunteers were then able to work together to condense the ideas into a cohesive mural concept. All involved became a part of the design process and contributed their drawings, research, and opinions to the project. NWSA students were given direction, taught basic painting techniques, encouraged to share their strengths and styles, and were often paired with the artist for additional support.

Northwest School of the Arts is recognized internationally and is the only public arts magnet school serving Mecklenburg County students in grades 6 through 12. The school’s unique educational approach combines elements of creativity, art, and technical prowess with a strong academic foundation. The history and prestige that comes with Visual & Performing Arts means something different to everyone – that’s why our students have multiple ways to launch into a professional career down the path they choose in Band, Chorus, Costume Design, Dance, Musical Theatre, Orchestra, Piano, Theatre, Technical Theatre, and Visual Arts.

For further info call Donald Nagel at 980/343-5500 or e-mail to (Donald1.nagel@cms.k12.nc.us).

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