Carolina Art Crush: April Marten

We’re thrilled to introduce you to our latest Carolina Art Crush, April Marten. If you don’t know her already, you will! She’s an artist but recently took on the role of curator/organizer for the DADA art show at C3 Labs.  She’s one of the art community’s faithful supporters and collaborators. She’s also the co-founder of the Charlotte Arts Chat.

"Cherry Pickers," Performance Art, Davidson College Art Galleries, 2015; Image credit: Lynn Griffin-Roberts

“Cherry Pickers,” Performance Art, Davidson College Art Galleries, 2015; Image credit: Lynn Griffin-Roberts

HappeningsCLT: Describe yourself in three words?
April Marten: Creative, Curious, Caring

"Foreigners," Collage, 2016

“Foreigners,” Collage, 2016

HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
AM: People. The beauty and chaos of nature. I’ve moved and traveled quite a bit. I am inspired by all the people I meet along the way and their stories. My predominant interest as an artist is discovering how to use the universal threads in our varied human experiences to communicate questions that trigger critical thinking. I move through the world as an active observer, moving between a macroscopic and microscopic lens, excited about pushing myself and others to do better as communal, thoughtful, creative creatures.

"Lifecycle of an Artist," Collage, 2016

“Lifecycle of an Artist,” Collage, 2016

HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
AM: Probably before I understood the word. I made things from a very young age, I am a maker. My elementary school teachers told me I was an artist and my parents promptly undermined that notion. I began to understand and believe I could be a creative, producer in my twenties and I’m still figuring out what that truly means.

"Southern Hospitality," Altered Book, 2009, Private Collection

“Southern Hospitality,” Altered Book, 2009, Private Collection

HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
AM: My current work explores identity as it is formed under the influences of and in reaction to the world’s religions and their cultic offshoots. I’m curious about how the formed identity situates individuals socially as oppressor or oppressed. Code of Torturers has developed over the course of a few years and is expressed in multiple mediums including performance art, video, collage, book arts and mixed media works. This series drove me to explore four dimensional (4D), time-based artistic approaches. It’s like one big research project expressed in visual art forms. The nature of the work in my current series also opened me up to blending visual art with social practice. I’ll be presenting this work in Bordeaux, France next summer at the International Cultic Studies Association’s annual conference.

"Code of Torturers," Installation & Video, Winthrop University, 2014

“Code of Torturers,” Installation & Video, Winthrop University, 2014

HCLT: Where can we see your work?
AM: Work from my ongoing series, Code of Torturers, is showing as part of the Paying It Forward exhibition at the Zuckerman Museum of Art’s Joe Mack Wilson Fine Arts Gallery, Kennesaw State University in Greater Atlanta, Georgia, September 24 – October 16, 2016. I will also show new work in Charlotte, NC at Intersection: The Artists of C3lab, opening November 4, 2016.

"Return to Sender," Altered Book, 2015

“Return to Sender,” Altered Book, 2015

HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas?
AM: Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNCG in Greensboro, NC, the New Frequencies Experimental Film events at the McColl Center in Charlotte, NC and the visual arts programming at Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, Davidson, NC.

"Women in Cloth Bags," Collage, 2016

“Women in Cloth Bags,” Collage, 2016

HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
AM: Rarely do I have one book. Currently, it’s a stack: Seven Brief Lesson on Physics, The Geometry of Art and Life, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Visual Thinking and Women’s Images of Men

"She Rejects the Fruit and Keeps us out of a JAM," Mixed Media, 2010, Collection of Kennesaw State University English Department

“She Rejects the Fruit and Keeps us out of a JAM,” Mixed Media, 2010, Collection of Kennesaw State University English Department

HCLT: Best meal in the Charlotte?
AM: I have a list, so I’ll narrow it down to my current obsession, Futo Buta in South End. I love the Rice Crispy Squares with Spicy Tuna and the Brussel Sprouts. Now, I’m hungry!

"Altar Book I," Altered Book, 2015, Private Collection

“Altar Book I,” Altered Book, 2015, Private Collection

HCLT: What is up next?
AM: I’ll be hiding in the studio for the next couple of months, making work, reading books, traveling by train and writing. I’ve been super busy here in Charlotte and I’m ready to retreat for a bit while I recharge.

"Patriarchy," Collage, 2016

“Patriarchy,” Collage, 2016

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