Carl Childs: Charlotte Art League Spotlight


Thinking of chocolate, one usually imagines the creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture and satisfying deliciousness. But if you have the pleasure of meeting Carl Childs, one of Charlotte Art League’s finest artists, you may have another picture of chocolate—as an art medium.

You see, Childs is both a Master Leather Craftsman and a fine artist who uses traditional and non-traditional materials (did I mention chocolate?!) to create his unique award-winning artwork. Childs works not only in the usual mediums like acrylic, ink, and watercolor, but also works with mixed media and printmaking as well as exotic leather, metal, stone, wood, and clay.

A 2012 graduate of Gaston College, Childs earned both an Associate in Fine Arts and an Associate in Arts Degree and was a three-time recipient of the Jeanne Rauch Art Scholarship. He had internships at the Schiele Museum of Natural History and Arts on Main. Childs was also Gamma Beta Phi President.

Childs said, “I want to spread my artistic message globally, bridge cultural barriers, promote healing, and encourage artists.” This is evident as Childs shares his positive spirit through his work as a teacher, solo exhibitionist, and participant in numerous events throughout the community. Childs is also the Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Gaston College Legacy Scholarship Dinner. “It is a blessing and an honor to be able to thank all the donors and encourage the scholarship winners to graduate,” said Childs.

Childs has been an active member of the Charlotte Art League since 2014 and currently serves on the display committee at the League’s new location in North NoDa at 4100 Raleigh Street. “Charlotte Art League is a positive and nurturing environment for an artist to grow, develop new skill levels, and be recognized,” said Childs. “It has provided me the opportunity to display work at Spirit Square in Uptown Charlotte, take in work for monthly exhibitions, and curate shows.”

Notably, last month, at the Charlotte Art League’s Depth & Dimension Exhibition, Childs won the 3rd Place People’s Choice Award for his work entitled “Legion Commander’s Gauntlet.” This three-dimensional, long-armored glove is modern, yet reminiscent of medieval times. It is finely crafted of leather and metal and features intriguing tactile dragonscale textures and finishes on its surface.

Childs currently has award-winning work at the Jeanne Rauch Gallery at Gaston College Dallas Campus and at the Gaston County Main Library (across from the Schiele Museum), where he has a 61-day solo exhibition entitled “Beauty & Fire of Art.” This distinctive exhibit features 4D work, pyrography, and a Quick Response code system to create a personalized experience of each work. “The QR code connects to video recordings made for each work allowing me to have a 24-hour presence to share information about each work,” said Childs. “Anyone can scan the code and take a seat and watch and listen, thus a blind or visually impaired person can enjoy this show.”

You can also catch Childs’ latest work right here in NoDa at Charlotte Art League’s November show entitled “Member’s Best,” which features, well you guessed it, the artists’ bests! The exhibit is available for viewing from November 1 through November 29 during our regular operating hours. And if you stop by on one of the League’s First Friday Opening Reception Gallery Crawls from 6 to 9 pm you might just get to meet Childs and be able to ask him in person exactly how does he create with chocolate and what’s his favorite kind to work with, but also importantly, what’s his favorite kind to eat?!

However, if you prefer to enjoy artwork from the comfort of your own home, check out his website which has over 409,859 visits from 171 countries in less than three years. And while you’re surfing the net, don’t forget to visit your friendly neighborhood art league to find out all the cool happenings in NoDa every month.

Photo: MTC Art World Photographer Charlie Childs, Jr.