Five Charlotte Artists Selected to Create Original Artworks for Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Categories: News & Media
Local artists will have their works viewed by regional, national and international audiences.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 10, 2018) – Travelers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport will be greeted by original artworks created by five local artists representing diverse cultural backgrounds and working in a variety of media by this time next year.

As part of CLT’s ongoing terminal improvement program, the Arts & Science Council (ASC) in partnership with the Public Art Commission and Charlotte Douglas International Airport will commission five artists to create original artworks that will be digitally reproduced to scale and installed on select “hold room” walls on CLT Concourses A & B.

ASC is pleased to announce the names of the first round of selected artists (appearing in alphabetical order by last name), below:

Ráed Al-Rawi began his artistic career as an illustrator and political cartoonist. The highly symbolic and surreal imagery of his artwork is informed by his Iraqi-American heritage, and infused by the synergy/tension between ancient tradition and contemporary life. Al-Rawi has exhibited work in numerous group shows throughout North Carolina, became an affiliate artist at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in 2002 and 2006, and currently teaches at CPCC in Charlotte, N.C.

Nico Amortegui was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and has worked in the United States since the 1990s. His current artistic focus is large-scale paintings on canvas or wood panels and sculpting and wood-working with found objects. Amortegui has taken pursuit of the “American Dream” as a central focus of his artwork, creating “snapshots” of individuals and communities striving to realize their dreams. He now resides in Charlotte with his wife and two daughters.

Charlotte native Nellie Ashford describes herself as a “self-taught folk artist” whose work is rooted in memories of life as experienced by Charlotte’s African-American community during the era of “Jim Crow” racial segregation in the American South. Ashford’s work incorporates a mix of materials that often depict actual real-life events and remembrances, individuals and communities with vibrant detail and emotion. Ashford has exhibited at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Queens University of Charlotte Gallery.

Jonathan Grauel is an artist and web developer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. He creates semi-representational narratives portraying travel destinations as landscapes seen or remembered through a psychologically, emotionally and spiritually charged lens. Professional artist Bob Rankin played a formative role in Grauel’s creative self-discovery and artistic development. Grauel has created public artwork for the Levine Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit and several Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branches through ASC’s ‘Culture Blocks’ program.

Charlotte native Ben Premeaux is an artist and educator with a passion for photography and video. His recent work experiments with optical illusions and “impossible” perspectival views to provoke a childlike sense of wonder and questioning of the world in which we live. Premeaux earned a BS in Art Education from Appalachian State University and an MIS in Computer Graphics and Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. He taught Art & Photography in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for 12 years and was an Artist-in-Residence the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in 2011.

The Public Art Commission will shortlist a fresh selection of no fewer than 5 new artists drawn from the same pre-qualified pool for assigned locations on Concourses C & D before the end of the 2018 calendar year (the exact date is yet to be determined). Renovations on Concourses A and B are currently scheduled for completion in Winter 2018/2019.

“We wanted to give our local artists an opportunity to showcase their talents within the renovated terminals. The airport serves as Charlotte’s front door, and these murals will be highly visible as thousands of travelers wait to board their planes,” Hanzal said.

About Arts & Science Council

ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte- Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.

ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

Stay up to date on ASC news and happenings at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is owned and operated by the City of Charlotte. The Airport is operated financially on a fully self-sustaining basis – no general fund revenues have ever been or are appropriated to the cost of the facilities or operations. Rather, Airport revenues defray all capital and operating costs including the cost of City furnished services. Airport revenue types include the airfield, terminal area, concessions, parking and the cargo area. This gives the Airport its annual operating budget. Each year, CLT contributes nearly $12 billion to the local economy. The Airport continues to build for the future through the Destination CLT development program. See more at:


Contact Information

Bernie Petit