This interview looked and felt like the many times we've lounged at Camp North End. Sitting outside on the yellow rocking bench talking to Will was organic and comfortable, just like the reputation BLK MRKT has tried and succeeded to evoke.
In a movement he says has been progressing for 4 years now, Will considers BLK MRKT to be "a liaison, and at the same time an easily accessible character" for Black underground creatives in the city. The chill humble vibes of the studio gallery welcome some of the most underground artists to hang out and discuss various forms of expression, just as we had during the interview. In the same breath, BLK MRKT has fostered connections of higher end collectors, curators, and resources to the heart of Charlotte's Black artistic talent-- some connections that may not otherwise happen. Collaboration is what Will says will help further the Black art movement in Charlotte.
In general, collaboration nourishes creativity, as it humbly acknowledges strength in complementing minds. It can be a springboard to greater levels of expression, lending to elevated opportunities for expansion. Picture Pharrell never collaborating! He is a genius in his own right, but collabs with Snoop, Justin, Kelis, Migos, etc. are responsible for some of his best work.
BLK MRKT is in place to facilitate and even encourage that collaboration, as it has with many artists in different cities. Take the Durag March, which started in the mind of Headgraphix as a parade and wave contest in Durham the spring of 2017. Collaboration between Wes, Lica, and Fannie Mae turned Durag Fest into a shining example of how coming together can really produce "dope shit" as Will succinctly put it.
As we talked, I came to realize Will did not just mean collaboration in the sense of creatives coming together. He explained that there needs to be a collaboration with the city itself -- artists having more pride in living and working in Charlotte. Too many of us want to rep being from somewhere else and avoid claiming a city that a lot of us have been inhabiting for years. Will expresses this to be problematic, and I do not disagree.
We concluded that there is a wealth of talent in this city. Charlotte is a hub of Black artists and creatives developing amazing content. Content that is elevated when we come together and capture vibes that cannot be mimicked or found anywhere else. Charlotte has its own flavor to contribute to the overall movement. How we make the mark is up to us.