Siblings Davita and Dion Galloway hold a grand re-opening today of their creative studio, Dupp & Swat, in Plaza Midwood – and Friday, they’ll be part of an open house at the brand new Boileryard, just north of uptown at the redevelopment/reuse project called Camp North End.
That’s a lot of new in a short time.
When we’re talking about culture and creative expressions surviving here in Charlotte, we have to do it together.
Davita Galloway of Dupp & Swat
The pair moved their studio from NoDa to 2521 The Plaza. The idea, if you’d never been to that one, is a place local artists can display and sell artwork, clothing designs and other creative products. Artists can also come together for all sorts of events – photoshoots, rehearsals, auditions, book signings and parties.
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“It’s pretty much an open space that can be transformed to do whatever,” says Davita Galloway.
The grand opening lasts all day, with a formal event starting at 6 p.m. tonight, and serves as a fundraiser for the Galloway siblings’ nonprofit CrownKeepers. Its stated mission is “to provide hands-on training, as well as art and trade-based education to those lacking creative and entrepreneurial opportunities.” The group goes to Charlotte middle and high schools and hosts programs in which people can discuss and showcase their talent.
In what Davita Galloway calls their “concept location” at the Boileryard, they will collaborate with individual artists or nonprofits to redesign the venue with a different theme every six months. First up: The space will be made into an urban studio apartment, complete with TV, couch, wardrobe and refrigerator.
The Boileryard open house will be 5-9 p.m. July 28.
Davita Galloway says they chose the new studio location at The Plaza because it is right around the corner from NoDa, and they wanted to stay close to their fan base. However, she recognizes being in a growing location still runs risks. “We’re still in a place where gentrification is very real.”
Dupp & Swat typically showcases black art and designers, Davita Galloway says, but all artists need to push back together.
“A lot of the people who walk through our doors look like my brother and I. They’re of color,” Galloway says. “We love that we have a place for us and for us to feel comfortable. But ... when we’re talking about culture and creative expressions surviving here in Charlotte, we have to do it together. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity you are.”
She says Charlotte is a place with a lot of potential to grow in the arts – but if people do not appreciate it, the creativity that brings character to a city will fall away. “I see where the city uses artists to attract people to the city, yet they close our galleries,” says Galloway. “You need to support the culture, you need to support art, you need to support creative expression in Charlotte before another one bites the dust.”