by Sharon Smith
Accessible art for everyone. That’s the driving mission behind ArtPop Street Gallery, and we do mean driving. You may have seen ArtPop works on billboards and digital displays where pedestrians and motorists can enjoy the view.
With the new year comes new artwork. Works by ArtPop’s 2022 class will start appearing in the Charlotte region on donated billboard space starting in February. Wendy Hickey, who founded the nonprofit nine years ago, says nearly 200 artists — a record number of applicants — competed for 20 spots.
Beyond creating public art space, ArtPop Street Gallery helps artists build name recognition and sustainable careers through paid projects. Last year, Hickey says ArtPop artists earned $224,000 through corporate partnerships and commissions.
“I truly believe I’ve been put here on Earth to help artists. It’s about them being successful,” Hickey says. While not an artist herself, Hickey always wanted to serve that community. She was 20 years into a successful billboard advertising career when she got the idea to combine her talents in marketing with her passion for art.
So look up and enjoy the view. In SouthPark, you’ll find an ArtPop installation at Apex SouthPark, where local art is on rotation via a digital billboard. To learn more, visit artpopstreetgallery.com. SP