The Arts


The church as a whole has for a long time abandoned the arts, and we want to include expression of them in our community. We desire to foster creativity among our congregation and to reach out to the greater community through the arts.

As an authentic community of Christ followers who are bringing gospel hope and renewal to our city and world, we see the arts as a way to fulfill our mission. Truth-centered art can present a perspective on the truths of Scripture that opens our eyes to new ways of looking at familiar texts. Art is often better at asking questions than answering them; as we struggle well with life, we see the arts as a place to wrestle with living out our faith on a daily basis. As our arts ministry serves the other ministries of our church and reaches out beyond our walls, we seek to bring hope and renewal to both those who want to use their artistic and creative gifts and those who love truth and beauty. If you have questions about Church at Charlotte’s arts ministry, please feel free to email us at arts@churchatcharlotte.org.

Art Gallery

Church at Charlotte’s SouthPark Art Gallery opened in April 2015. The Matthews campus Gallery opened in September 2015.

The gallery space at the Matthews campus is part of our sanctuary space, so it is open during services on Sundays and on weekdays by appointment.

Sundays – Before and after services at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
WeekdaysEmail Campus Pastor Ryan Falls to arrange a visit at a time when a staff member is on campus.

The Gallery is open to the public when the Church Office is open during the week and on Sunday mornings before and after services. During the weekday hours, those wishing to visit the Gallery should go to the Church Office and a staff member will open the Gallery space for them. Food and drink are not allowed in the Gallery and parents are asked to accompany their children.

Monday-Thursday – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fridays – 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Weekends – Sunday mornings from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

SouthPark – Eric Peters

An artist can be identified in part by the materials with which he or she chooses to work. The work of Eric Peters has given way to a fascination for found objects for quite some time, revealing much about the heart and mind, the passion and the perspective of the artist himself.

Eric’s affection for found objects is clearly seen within his artwork. They’re beautifully displayed in his mixed media creations and compositions, random parts and spare thingamajigs positioned lovingly and carefully within a certain section of the color wheel that reveal a surprising and moving storyboard. Bits from a backyard. Remnants in a forgotten jacket pocket. Debris at the bottom of an old toolbox. Where the object originates is inconsequential; its crowning within a new creation is all that matters now.

Themes of lost and found, of self-worth, of identity are common fodder for Eric’s music as well. Brilliant albums like ScarceChrome and Birds of Relocation all hold songs that wrestle with these ideas, and his latest album, Far Side of the Sea, is no different. We are thrilled to host Eric’s artwork in our SouthPark campus gallery.

Matthews – His Story, Our Canvas

Now on display at the Matthews campus for the first time, His Story, Our Canvas began as an idea—one we weren’t quite certain would work. 66 artists, 66 canvases, 66 books of the Bible. 1 Story. The project grew out of the two years and 84 sermons the teaching team at Church at Charlotte spent on the H1S STORY, OUR STORY sermon series. Along the way, the Church at Charlotte community learned the one, unified narrative that the Bible tells, and explored our part in the story.

As we considered how to respond to this journey through the Scriptures, we thought that perhaps we could do so using the visual arts. The sermon series began with a painting, after all, so paintings seemed like an appropriate response. We found 66 artists in the Church at Charlotte community; some who didn’t even think they deserved the title, but all with a willingness to try and a heart that wanted to serve in this way.

We assigned each artist a book of the Bible, trusting that God knew which book each artist needed to spend time in. We handed each artist a 12” x 12” canvas. And we asked each one to visually represent their book on the canvas, using whatever medium they chose.

The result is a little bit overwhelming—66 stories of how God spoke to people through His Word and empowered them to present the pieces of His Story using the visual arts. And 66 canvases that now line our hallways here at Church at Charlotte, telling the whole story of Scripture in color and texture and light.

Eva Crawford: Saying Grace

March-May 2017 (Matthews)
Local Artist Eva Crawford

Eva Crawford works in a variety of media and the eclectic nature of her work is on display in this exhibit, titled Saying Grace. Jazz artist John Coltrane said this about his masterpiece A Love Supreme, “this album is a humble offering to Him. An attempt to say ‘Thank you God’ through our work, even as we do in our hearts and with our tongues.” This collection of art, Saying Grace, is Eva’s “humble offering” to God, and like jazz improvisation, expresses varied conversational artistic styles while maintaining an over all framework of worship. Teaching high school art  has fueled the variety of creative approaches and media reflecting her ultimate purpose in making art.

Lent & Beauty

March-May 2017 (SouthPark)
Local Artists Molly Cain and Leslie Poteet Busker

In Lent & Beauty, Church at Charlotte artists Molly Cain and Leslie Poteet Busker reflected on two seasons of the Church year, Lent and Easter.

The first, Lent, is a period that begins with Ash Wednesday and goes on for the 40 days leading up to Easter. The Lenten season is traditionally a time for Christians to remind themselves of the value of repentance. While often Lent is practiced through fasting of some kind, the focus of the season is repentance of sin and consecration to God. In her paintings, instead of showing the events leading up to Easter, artist Molly Cain centered her focus around the posture of our hearts and what Jesus invites us into during Lent. Learn more about Molly’s paintings in these blog posts.

Leslie Poteet Busker’s Beauty series highlighted the Easter season—the period in the Church year from Easter Sunday until Pentecost. Her paintings  focused on the beauty of the reality of life in light of the resurrection of Christ. In our exhibit, these paintings were veiled in black until Easter, as we walked through the season of Lent in anticipation of the new beginning that came when Christ defeated death. Learn more about Leslie’s paintings in these blog posts.

Witness to Faith: The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe

December 2016-March 2017 (SouthPark)
Traveling exhibit from the Bowden Collections

Witness to Faith: The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe, is an exhibit of paintings by Japan’s foremost Christian artist, Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996). Watanabe converted from Buddhism to Christianity at 17 years old. He soon combined his new faith with an interest in preserving the traditional Japanese folk art of stencil dying, or katazome, by creating colorful representation of biblical scenes that he hoped would speak to his people. He said, ‘My task is to stand within the artistic tradition of Japan…Theology will not take deep root in Japanese soil if it is merely an import.”

Within the framework of his Christian faith he was able to translate the biblical narratives into Japanese settings, thereby giving them broad resonance. Each hand cut print has been created using a complicated traditional stencil art form formally used for dying kimonos. He clothed all the biblical characters in the Japanese dress of kimonos. Noah’s Ark looks like a Japanese cricket cage filled with a menagerie of animals. He depicted the Last Supper with a spread of fish and sake, and the Wedding at Cana with a declawed lobster—all familiar traditional foods of his people. Watanabe was less concerned with representing visual reality than with finding ways to communicate his Christian beliefs to other Japanese.

Through Our Eyes: The Four-Chapter Story

July-December 2016 (Matthews)
Gladedale and Church at Charlotte Students

Our Matthews campus exhibit, Through Our Eyes: The Four-Chapter Story, was an exhibit of photography by a group of teens from among the Church at Charlotte congregation and the Gladedale community. The group spent a week together in June for a photography camp led by Silent Images. After learning the basics of photo composition, they went on field trips exploring the four chapters of the story of Scripture: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.

Gratitude

October-December 2016 (SouthPark)
Church at Charlotte Artists

Our SouthPark campus exhibit, gratitude, was an exhibit of paintings and photography by Church at Charlotte artists exploring the idea of gratitude, defined as a feeling of appreciation or thanks. A. W. Tozer writes, “Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” Throughout Scripture, we are commanded to respond with thanksgiving to God who made us, sustains us, and provides for us. In all things, we can give thanks. And yet, so often we lose sight of that simple practice. The artists in this exhibit shared their understanding of gratitude and things they are grateful for. May you be encouraged in your daily life to respond to all things with gratitude to God.

Eva Crawford

July-October 2016 (SouthPark)
Local Artist Eva Crawford

Eva Crawford works in a variety of media and the eclectic nature of her work is on display in this exhibit, titled Saying Grace. Jazz artist John Coltrane said this about his masterpiece A Love Supreme, “this album is a humble offering to Him. An attempt to say ‘Thank you God’ through our work, even as we do in our hearts and with our tongues.” This collection of art, Saying Grace, is Eva’s “humble offering” to God, and like jazz improvisation, expresses varied conversational artistic styles while maintaining an over all framework of worship. Teaching high school art  has fueled the variety of creative approaches and media reflecting her ultimate purpose in making art.

Come to the Table

June-July 2016 (Matthews & SouthPark)
Traveling exhibit from Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA)

Come to the Table features thirty-five carefully selected works including everything from historical pieces by Albrecht Durer, to modernist work by Jasper Johns and Sadao Watanabe, to fresh contemporary pieces created by CIVA-member artists. This work, executed in a variety of media, celebrates both the rich community gathered at the Table of Fellowship and the privilege of meeting with God at his Table of Communion. From Abraham entertaining angels, to the Christ’s Last Supper with his disciples, to the great Marriage Feast of the Lamb at the end of time, the table is a rich biblical metaphor. Indeed, the promise of Revelation 19 is that human history will culminate around a table where the people of God are all present. God’s Table is a place of welcome, justice, abundance, and worship.

Leigh B. Williams

April-June 2016 (SouthPark)
Local Artist Leigh B. Williams

Williams works in acrylics and alcohol inks, and both are represented in the series on display: “Out of the Darkness” and “Majestic Beauty.” Leigh B. Williams specializes in paintings and mixed media work and has a BA in Fine Arts from the College of William and Mary. She currently exhibits and sells her work primarily in the Southeast and her work can be seen at Ciel Gallery in Charlotte, NC. She is an active member of several art organizations, including ArtsCharlotte, and conducts workshops and demonstrations for both adults and children.

Out of the Depths

March-April 2016 (Matthews & SouthPark)
Church at Charlotte Artists

Out of the Depths is a multi-faceted journey utilizing music, writing, and visual art to spiritually prepare the congregation for Easter Sunday and continue the celebration afterwards. The central theme of the project is a spiritual pilgrimage from darkness to light over the course of eight weeks. In the Gallery, eight original works of visual art created by Church at Charlotte artists, were complemented by the lyrics of the eight songs in the project. The songs, some original pieces and some retuned hymns, were all newly recorded by Church at Charlotte musicians and technical engineers and will be released over eight weeks. In addition to the visual art pieces and songs, eight Church at Charlotte writers wrote devotional pieces which were emailed out weekly and posted to the Church at Charlotte blog. Prints of the eight visual pieces were displayed at the Matthews campus.

Scribes of Hope II

January-February 2016 (Matthews & SouthPark)
Traveling exhibit from Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA)

Scribes of Hope II is a traveling exhibit from Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). All three Abrahamic faiths emphasize the importance of the written word. Following the work of its original authors, generations of scribes faithfully transcribed these words on parchment and paper and honored the text by illuminating it. For today’s calligraphers there exists a tension between traditional commitments to create work that is legible and a more contemporary view that emphasizes expressing the spirit of the text. Scribes of Hope II embraces this tension. This exhibit features 31 works across a wide range of approaches including: traditional lettering and illumination; artist books and letterpress work showcasing fresh directions in calligraphic design; and letters created by hand and then digitally scanned for further alteration. A few pieces from this exhibit are on display at our Matthews campus.

Advent: Yearning & Hope

November 2015-January 2016 (SouthPark)
Church at Charlotte Artists

In the liturgical church calendar, Advent begins on the Sunday four weeks before Christmas. During Christmas, the days from December 25 forward, our focus is on celebrating the Incarnation, on the joy of Salvation come.

But Advent’s focus is one of expectation, of hope, of yearning. During Advent, we remember the posture of the Jews yearning for the coming of the Messiah. And as we remember Christ’s first coming, the season directs our minds and hearts to await Christ’s Second Coming, when He will restore all things.

In Advent: Yearning and Hope various Church at Charlotte artists explored the complementary themes of yearning and hope. Yearning’s focus is on the longing—the desire for something more, something to come. Hope’s focus is on the expectation—we know the end result: that Christ came as a baby to be the Savior for all people. We know that He will come again to renew all things.

Through Our Eyes

July-October 2015 (Matthews & SouthPark)
Gladedale and Church at Charlotte Students

From July 27-31, a group of teens from our congregation and the Gladedale community spent a week together for photography camp led by Silent Images. After learning the basics of photo composition, they were sent on field trips throughout the week to put into practice what they had learned. Parts of their week were spent at Church at Charlotte’s SouthPark campus as well as in NoDa, Uptown Charlotte, and downtown Matthews. The photos displayed, which we have titled Through Our Eyes, are just some of the many fantastic photos that were taken.

Photography from Through Our Eyes was displayed at the Church at Charlotte Gallery at our SouthPark campus, as well as at our Matthews campus. Learn more about the photography camp in these posts at the Church at Charlotte Blog.

Touch, Anoint, and Heal: God With Us

June-July 2015 (SouthPark)
Traveling exhibit from Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA)

The exhibit seeks to bring the touch of God down from the lofty ceiling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and into day-to-day corporeal reality. This exhibit features original works of 2-D and 3-D art created in a variety of media by artists from around the globe. The artists displayed in this exhibit come from a broad spectrum of Christian traditions.

Artists Respond to Charleston

June 2015 (SouthPark)
Church at Charlotte Artists

On the weekend of June 20/21, Pastor Jim Kallam addressed in his sermon the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. He encouraged those in the congregation who are gifted artistically to help us respond to the tragedy of Charleston. “See, I think sometimes art, whether it’s in song or it’s in picture or whatever, can sometimes capture the lament that’s deep in our hearts that sometimes words just become blah-blah-blah, blah-blah. Maybe God puts it on your heart, those of you who are gifted in those ways, to do something with it to help us see and understand, and as God’s people, see the responsibility we have as image bearers to one another.” A small group of artists responded and a mini-gallery of visual and audio works was in place for a few weeks at the SouthPark campus.

Easter Artwork

April-May 2015 (SouthPark)
Church at Charlotte Artists

To launch Church at Charlotte’s Gallery, artists from among the congregation created works focused on on the death or the resurrection of Christ. Friday is the day of the torture, crucifixion, and death of Christ; Sunday is the day of His resurrection, of the empty tomb, and the joy of death defeated.  Paintings, mixed media works, sculpture, and sketches provided those who came with a chance to meditate on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Church Wide Projects

Weekly Art

In 2014, we began to feature artwork created by those in the Church at Charlotte community on our Weekly bulletins.

Weekly Art

Individuals create pieces based on the theme of our current sermon series. We are excited that members of our congregation can share their gifts in the visual arts in this way.

Learn More

His Story, Our Canvas

His Story, Our Canvas was a project we undertook in response to a sermon series focused on the one, unified narrative that the Bible tells and exploring our part in that story.

His Story, Our Canvas

We found 66 artists in the Church at Charlotte community; some who didn’t even think they deserved the title, but all with a willingness to try and a heart that wanted to serve in this way.

Learn More