ArtPop Street Gallery has announced its Class of 2021, welcoming 20 winning artists to join the organization’s ranks, including three returning ArtPop Street Gallery artists from the Class of 2017 — Joanna Henry, Caroline Rust and Kenny Nguyen — and Gaston Day School senior Katherine Heilig, giving her the opportunity to display her work across the city and receive a modest scholarship to pursue an arts degree in college.
As in past years, the Charlotte-area artists’ work will be plastered on billboards across the greater Charlotte area as well as on Uptown newspaper boxes and airport displays, totaling around $3 million in advertising space for the local artists. As with last year, this year’s winning artists will also have the chance to participate in a two-day art business class from Artists U.
“We are thrilled to welcome another incredibly talented class into the #ArtPopCLT program,” said Wendy Hickey, founder and executive director of ArtPop Street Gallery, in a release on Monday. “Now, more than ever, people are turning to the arts during these unprecedented times and we are honored to continue coloring the city with local artwork. None of this would be possible without the generous support of the community, donors and our partners.”
Since its founding, ArtPop Street Gallery’s Charlotte program has promoted 147 artists on millions of dollars of advertising space, donated from partners including Adams Outdoor Advertising, Charlotte Center City Partners, Awedience Media, Northlake Mall and the anonymous donor that funds the displays at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
This year’s announcement comes after a period in which Hickey was nearly forced to shut Charlotte’s ArtPop program down entirely as funding dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are each of the artworks from the ArtPop Class of 2021 that will be popping up on billboards across the city next year, with links to where you can see more of their work, the medium used for the piece and the town or city each artist lives in. Installations are set to begin on Jan. 11, 2021.