The NoDa neighborhood in Charlotte has always been known for being artsy and a little weird. I remember in high school coming to NoDa for art crawls and concerts at Evening Muse and Neighborhood Theatre.
So when we moved back to Charlotte, I knew I wanted to live in NoDa to be near the vibe. Well, between high school and now, NoDa has changed. Gone are all of the galleries and in are all of the breweries (not that I am complaining. We all know I love beer.)
Which is why my interest was piqued when we discovered a building called The Art Hole in the middle of a neighborhood not too far from my house.
There wasn’t a lot of information about this mysterious building that looks dedicated to Pabst Blue Ribbon except for an Instagram account on the door.
It turns out, PBR opened a flagship pop-up art gallery, signing a 5-month lease on the space underwriting the cost of the space so artists can keep 100% of their earnings from selling their art. The lease technically ended in November so I have no idea who is fronting the cost for it now.
Anyways, artists use the space to have shows featuring their work. On February 5th, Andy Rocco & Jen Hill had a show together that I went and checked out with some friends.
The show was on a Friday night, and even though it was cold, there were plenty of people milling around outside drinking free PBR beer.
For an event that had basically no marketing (I found out about it via Instagram), the crowd was pretty big. Around 9pm, it felt like we were packing in like sardines, checking out the art and running into neighbors.
The two artists had very different styles. Jen Hill used a lot of bright splatter style, with several works featuring my favourite Morton Salt girl. I wanted one so badly, but unfortunately I don’t have a spare $400 to drop on beautiful art creations – despite how great they would look on our wall.
Andy Rocco‘s art almost felt other-worldly, featuring bright neons that would for sure look amazing under a blacklight. His Michael Jordan collection was amazing, and had me wishing MJ and I were friends so I could say “Yo MJ, look how cool you look!”
But that’s not the case and I don’t foresee myself ever being BFFs with Michael Jordan as he has no idea who I am.
Andy Rocco was also showing an outer-space concept as well, with astronauts and lunar photos. I loved this astronaut (below) so much, I bought one of the signed prints he was selling (only $20!)
Obviously art is best enjoyed with friends, and it was so much fun getting to talk about the artwork with my friend Laura, who is an amazingly creative artist herself. The DJ was spinning sick beats (did I say that right?) and there were so many people wearing Panthers gear getting excited for the upcoming Super Bowl.
It was an evening that made me so happy that we chose the NoDa neighborhood over the other ones. I feel like there is a close sense of community here, and that people in NoDa desperately want to see the small businesses thrive.
If you’re looking to check out Art Hole yourself, they’re hosting a Lowbrow Market in time for Valentine’s Day on Saturday, February 13th. Be on the lookout for handmade gifts, art, apparel, as well as coffee and beer. (Event Details Here)