by: Ellen Gurley
Having followed in the footsteps of her mother (a painter) and her maternal grandfather (a potter), Bree Stallings has been exploring her creativity since she was a child. She remembers sitting with her mom and “always being encouraged to paint and draw”. It was always quite evident that she would be an artist, too.
Calligraphy and her (gorgeous) penmanship have always been good to her in that they bring her a lot of business. (She gets hired to do the envelopes, signage, and invitations for quite a few weddings.) While she finds it to be a nice break from the norm and quite meditative, she really enjoys focusing on continuing to push herself as an artist. While balancing non-profit work, teaching (i.e. animation, mixed media, portrait drawing, art therapy), and commissions, Stallings wants to one day dedicate the bulk of her time to local murals. “Charlotte doesn’t have a lot of uptown art. We are (kind of) an adolescent city in that regard. There’s a trend we should embrace. You can see in larger cities wherein artists become a part of the financial landscape and everyone flourishes.”
Her current space is within C3 Lab on Distribution Street. This creative hub in Southend houses dozens of local artists. One of which is Sharon Dowell. Stallings is grateful for the relationship she has formed with Dowell and cites her as one of the people who have taught her about everything from artistic branding and self-promotion to properly filing your taxes.
The uptown piece Stallings recently completed, that was commissioned by the Blumenthal, has gotten her a lot of attention. A sonotube was wrapped around a column in the Knight Theatre and she put a painting upon it depicting Queen Charlotte’s response to the social injustice Stallings believes to be ever present. Expect more from this local artist by way of thought provoking art. We are lucky to have her in our city.
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