Carolina Art Crush: Renee Cloud

Hey there! We’re back with the Carolina Art Crush series!  We are really excited to share 5 new art crushes with you over the coming weeks and hopefully keep on finding more and more!  New talent and creativity is popping up all over Charlotte lately, and we want all you art lovers to be in the know… so let’s get started with Renee Cloud

Cloud is an artist working in a variety of media exploring social concepts. Her works are ones that will leave you pondering for days. Often involving text – both handwritten and in those commercial sign letters that are simultaneously bold and almost nostalgic in this digital age. (find more of her work here). She is brave in tackling challenging subjects and bringing to the forefront in what is still a fairly young arts community.  We love a risk taker and an advocate for a cause, and are impressed by her dedication to her work.

We’ve been following her progress in her work since she completed a residency at Goodyear Art’s second space last year.  Take a gander into her world in the photos and interview below and be sure to keep a watch out for the new things she’s doing. We hope we continue to see more from her popping up around town!

(Bonus cool fact about Renee – she also makes funky cool jewelry which you can find on Instagram @riseoverrunjewelry!)

HCLT: Describe yourself in three words?
RC: Restless, dedicated, and curious.

HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
RC: My artistic ancestors are Lorna Simpson, Glen Ligon, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jean Michel Basquiat. I’m mostly inspired by conversations, including conversations I have with myself. I like to listen to how people communicate with each other and the words they choose to express themselves. My work tends to focus on the serious and severe language we use, but I’m really inspired by the odd jokes we make and funny things we say. I’ve been collecting colloquialisms lately; I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with them yet.

HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
RC: I think around my sophomore year of high school, it kinda hit me. I remember seeing Rauschenberg’s piece “Bed” online and I instantly knew I wanted to make things like that. I wanted to pose questions that didn’t always have an immediate answer and I realized I could do that through art.

HCLT: Where can we see your work?
RC: The best place to find my work (and me) is at the Goodyear. I’m so appreciative of the work they do and the opportunities they provide me.

HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
RC: In my most recent project, I’m trying my hand at curating exhibitions. The project is called The Bb Gallery, I renovated a storage closet within the Goodyear’s main gallery and turned it into a 120 square foot exhibition space. The Bb Gallery has a jam-packed exhibition schedule of a new show every two weeks until the beginning of June. So far each show has been a great success and I am enjoying the work of an art administrator, but I will be excited to getting back to making my own work as well.

HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas?
RC: I cannot speak highly enough about the Goodyear Arts Program. The exhibitions they host in their main gallery are always challenging but accessible, and the poetry readings and other evening talks and programs are always top-notch.

HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
RC: I went to a poetry reading during CPCC’s Sensoria festival and picked up the latest collection of poems by A. Van Jordan, the Cineaste.  Learning about movies from the perspective of a poet is very fascinating.

HCLT: Best meal in the Charlotte?
RC: The Chicken Sandwich from Pure Pizza in the 7th Street Market. Make sure you get it with extra onions, it’s the best!

HCLT: What is up next?
RC: I have this series called “Black on Black” of which I’m still in the planning stages. The premise is making work with black pigments on black surfaces. The work will explore the collective black experience locally, nationally, and globally through text and language. It’s going to be a very complex body of work, but I think it’s important to use my platform as an artist to engage and validate the members of our community that look like me and remind them that they are important and they are valued.

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