We have followed Natalie Abrams‘ work for awhile now. From residencies at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Golden Foundation, and Redux Contemporary Art Center, to exhibitions around the southeast, as well as in Missouri, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, and more, Natalie has developed quite a fan base, including the HappeningsCLT team. If you are interested in seeing more of her work – or making a purchase – we suggest getting a ticket to the McColl Center’s Studio Party 16 taking place on April 16.
HappeningsCLT: Describe yourself in three words?
Natalie Abrams: Ardent, empathetic, imaginative
HCLT: Why participate in an event like Studio Party?
NA: It’s a great opportunity to support a wonderful organization that brings so much to artists and the Charlotte community. It’s also a really fun event!
HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
NA: Nature, the living world, is my main source of inspiration. To see people, culture and community positively engaged with each other and their environment is my primary motivation.
HCLT: Where can we see your work?
NA: Other than Studio Party, I only have pieces installed at Skyhouse Apartments on 1oth and Church St at the moment.
HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
NA: Right now I’m working on two new bodies of work, both big departures from what I’ve done in the past. The first I’m calling the Slide Series. They are freestanding sculptures of mixed media such as acrylic, plastic and wax mounted in a clear polycarbonate framework. They look like large microscope slides.
The second body will be suspended sculptures comprised of shredded plastic and acrylic resembling a cross between birds of paradise and enormous hand tied fishing lures. Each piece is formed from images of landscapes and environmental impact reports detailing the degradation of a particular ecosystem.
HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas?
NA: While I think institutions like the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, the museums and galleries around town have a tremendous amount to offer, I feel the relationships which are developing between cross disciplinary creatives are what is most interesting and beneficial in Charlotte. Dance performances which incorporate backdrops created by visual artists, incorporating light installations and digital media, theater and dance, etc. The pop up residency at Skyline. All these amazing collaborations and infusions of art in a variety of forms make it a constantly evolving, engaging, dynamic experience.
HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
NA: Aside from the terribly embarrassing science fiction? Rain, A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert and The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science by Armand Marie Leroi.
HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
NA: In my late 30’s when I stopped trying to be everything but.
HCLT: Best meal in the Carolinas?
NA: This is really hard! Can there only be one? BLT with fried green tomatoes at Harvest Moon Grill, so many good things at Earl’s Grocery and Bistro la Bon, Lotus Rootlets Salad at Lang Van.
HCLT: What is up next?
NA: Well, so hard to say. Everything is currently up in the air. I have applications I’m waiting to hear back from for MFA programs. I will also be a resident at Jentel Arts in Wyoming in the fall. I’m also developing a webinar series on investing for creatives.