Every person has a story to tell. Artist Kevin Cole shares his story and life experiences through mixed-media sculptures. Among his most famous works are intricate, wood-based sculptures made to look like neck-ties and blankets. “When I turned eighteen years old, my grandfather stressed the importance of voting by taking me to a tree where he was told that African-Americans were lynched by their neckties on their way to vote. The experience left a profound impression in my mind." – Artist Kevin Cole.

Gantt Center teaching artist, Dulce Tavares, will lead students in creating their own hands-on mixed-media sculpted banner inspired by the art of Kevin Cole.

About The Artist

As a child growing up in Brazil, Dulce Tavares drew and molded clay, but set aside art to pursue science. She forged a career as a professor of microbiology and immunology, until she and her family moved to the United States 18 years ago. When her academic credentials failed to transfer to American academia, Tavares reinvented herself – a knack she has turned into a full-time job in art. Knowing what appeals to children and sparks their imagination is second nature to Tavares. She started teaching classes at the Matthews Community Center seven years ago. Her first success was a puppetry summer camp, for which she made a proscenium from a big cardboard box, curtains and rope.

About Kevin Cole

Since 1992, Kevin Coles work has evolved from the use of the necktie as an icon, motif, and symbol of power. The works incorporate patterns and textures from traditional African cloths such as the Kente and Adinkra cloths, cloths that speak to human conditions and behaviors.

Throughout all of Coles work, he continues to investigate the existence of polyrhythmic space and overlapping planes, the raw emotional power of color and texture. In these recent works he has included scarf shapes that represent the struggles of women. These shapes weave and intertwine around linear painted rods. The rods symbolize strength. After September 11, 2001 Cole started working on aluminum and (tar) roofing paper as a protest against this American tragedy.

In some of the recent small works Cole utilizes the ends of the ties and scarf shapes intergraded with abstract pattern and various kinds of textures. Some critics say these pieces remind them of picket fences which are prevalent in the south with a strong connection to southern plantations.

Family First is presented by Novant Health

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