Local artists Arko and Luvly Moon have kicked off 2023 together at Flux Galleries in Optimist Park for a collaborative exhibit called ARKO & the MOON, in which the two titular artists created murals, sculptures and projections using upcycled materials to combine their unique worlds and transform Flux into a vivid wonderland of colors, textures and smells.
According to Moon, the exhibit was borne of a simple inquiry: What would it look like to step into an artist’s brain?
“Thanks to the right timing, funding, and space, Arko and I were able to construct a world based on this inquiry,” Moon said. “The world features our similar color ways, but a blending of our two individual worlds.”
The two also enlisted the help of fellow local artists like Rebecca Lipps, who helped with creating projections for the exhibit, as described in the video below, shot by Grant Baldwin.
Guests are invited to engage their senses by removing their shoes for a fully immersive experience. The installation is family-friendly, with kids admitted free of charge. General admission tickets for adults are going for $20 each.
Flux Galleries began as a pop-up before moving into its current space in the communal building commonly known as Area 15 in Optimist Park. Flux Galleries owner Tim O’Neill aims to make art more accessible and inviting by incorporating food, music, performance, wellness and other mediums into their events.
There are two events scheduled for next week that are connected with ARKO & the MOON, both offering time to experience the exhibit. Meditation with Moon, a 30-minute guided meditation with Luvly Moon, is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.; while Writer’s Roost with Andy Smith, which features Charlotte Magazine publisher and arts aficionado Andy Smith, will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 7-9 p.m. Each event allows time for attendees to roam the exhibit afterwards.
Arko and Luvly Moon regularly curate art shows and local events to amplify the work and voices of local creatives, according to Flux Galleries’ Instagram, where they’ve posted a sneak preview of the current exhibit. The artists’ collaborative works along the South End Rail Trail and Mint Museum Uptown are just part of several public installations they’ve partnered on in Charlotte.
“Most of the work we create comes from discarded scraps and things we pick up on the side of the road,” said Arko, who was one of four artists to appear on Queen City Nerve’s Nooze Hounds podcast in October 2021. “That’s part of the fun of it, transforming it into treasured pieces of art that make people smile.”
The exhibit will be open Tuesday-Friday from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from noon-9 p.m. through Jan. 29.