Carolina Art Crush: Carolyn DeMeritt

Charlotte-native Carolyn DeMeritt, originally a self-taught photographer and videographer, has been working on her craft for more than 30 years.  Her work has been widely exhibited and is included in many important collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, and the Bank of America collection to name a few. Upcoming, Carolyn will be one of four local artists featured in Kindred at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte.

Carolyn DeMeritt, "Angel and Grandmother"

Carolyn DeMeritt, “Angel and Grandmother”

Happenings CLT: Describe yourself in three words?
Carolyn DeMeritt: Stubborn, Liberal, Down to earth.

Carolyn DeMeritt, "Panteón de Xoxo"

Carolyn DeMeritt, “Panteón de Xoxo”

HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
CD: The southern landscape, with its poignant reminders of the South, of my childhood, Mexico, so full of exuberance and hard beauty, people, my family, oddities, rust, broken dolls, and spending time with my creative friends.

Carolyn DeMeritt, "My Mother The Year of Her Death"

Carolyn DeMeritt, “My Mother, The Year of Her Death”

HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
CD: Haven’t yet!

Carolyn DeMeritt, "Tucker's Grove Church, Camp, NC"

Carolyn DeMeritt, “Tucker’s Grove Church, Camp, NC”

HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
CD: I’m usually working on several series at once. The Broken Doll Series, Undefeated, and Family Reunion all use “well loved” and broken dolls to reflect the survival of the spirit through life’s joys and challenges. Traveling South and Embodiment are always ongoing.

Carolyn DeMeritt, "#300-31"

Carolyn DeMeritt, “#300-31”

HCLT: Where can we see your work?
CD: I’ll have work in Kindred: Photographers Focus on Family, curated by Brad Thomas, at SOCO in Charlotte from February 3 – April 2 and about 15 pieces from both my Undefeated and Family Reunion series in Convergence, from January 19 – March 12, at the Cabarrus Arts Council, Concord, NC. My work can always be seen on my website, carolyndemeritt.com and by appointment at Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy in Charlotte.

Carolyn DeMerrit, "Deborah"

Carolyn DeMerrit, “Deborah”

HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas?
CD: My own most valuable art experience has been my long association with The Light Factory – classes, workshops, lectures, and darkroom access when I was just beginning, exposure to some of the best national and international photography through exhibits, and especially the support of the community of artists and photographers I’ve become friends with through the organization.

Carolyn DeMeritt, "Erin"

Carolyn DeMeritt, “Erin, Pregnant”

HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
CD: My favorite Christmas gift, Hold Still, by Sally Mann. Thank you, Rebecca Turner!

Carolyn DeMerrit, "En la Casa"

Carolyn DeMerrit, “En la Casa”

HCLT: Best meal in Charlotte?
CD: Any meal I don’t have to cook.

Carolyn DeMeritt, “Panteón de Xoxo”

HCLT: What is your number one art piece/place/event in NC?
CD: At the moment, Constance Thalken’s wonderful exhibit, Eyes Open Slowly at The Light Factory. In general, The Light Factory’s Annual Photography Auction, an exciting event that, over the years, has helped me to build my own cherished photography collection.

Carolyn DeMeritt, “Doll #90”

HCLT: What’s up next?
CD: I have several things in mind. I’m confident the next project will soon reveal itself. I can’t wait to find out!

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