For 2017, KEEPING WATCH highlights habitats

Art from Jennifer Angus uses insects to create intricate circular designs. Photo: Mary Newsom

The KEEPING WATCH initiative enters its fourth year with a focus on wildlife habitat in the urban ecosystem. Beginning with an opening reception Feb. 24 at UNC Charlotte Center City, KEEPING WATCH on HABITAT will offer two months of programming through April 27.

Organized in 2013 by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture, with Lambla artWORKS, KEEPING WATCH is a multiyear initiative designed to foster collaboration across disciplines and interest groups as a way to engage the public in local environmental issues.

Through the work of artists, writers, environmental experts and scientists, KEEPING WATCH has connected community partners and projects to raise awareness and inspire action around four concerns: plastic waste and recycling (2014), water quality and urban streams (2015), air quality and tree canopy (2016) and wildlife habitat in the urban ecosystem (2017).

Integrating the previous years’ investigations, KEEPING WATCH on HABITAT explores the fragile coexistence of nature and humanity within the built environment. Loss of habitat, often as a result of human action, is the greatest threat to wildlife in the United States. Recognizing that biodiversity is crucial to human well-being, KEEPING WATCH on HABITAT seeks to connect us to the natural world, offering new ways of seeing and experiencing the miraculous diversity of life on Earth.

Programming is anchored by an exhibition in the Projective Eye Gallery at UNC Charlotte Center City, curated by Director of Galleries Crista Cammaroto. Other events include discussions and a film screening. Articles produced by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and its online publication, PlanCharlotte.org, will address habitat issues of local concern. Learn more at keepingwatch.org.

The KEEPING WATCH Alliance is a broad coalition of more than a dozen partners representing city and county government, the nonprofit cultural sector, environmental groups, and UNC Charlotte. Community partners for KEEPING WATCH on HABITAT are:

  •   Anne Springs Close Greenway
  •   Arts & Science Council
  •   Carolina Raptor Center
  •   Charlotte Area Science Network
  •   Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  •   City of Charlotte
  •   Clean Air Carolina
  •   Community Alliance for Wildlife
  •   CROWN
  •   Green Teacher Network
  •   McColl Center for Art + Innovation
  •   Mecklenburg Audubon Society
  •   Mecklenburg County
  •   Nevins Center
  •   North Carolina Native Plant Society
  •   North Carolina Wildlife Federation
Artist Jennifer Angus' work reminds viewers that smaller creatures like insects play an important role in the ecosystem. Her insect installations will be wrapped around the entrance to the Projective Eye Gallery at UNC Charlotte Center City. The work above was shown in an exhibit, "Wonder," at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.