Arts » Feature

A Selection of BOOM's Big Hits

Make the Art Go Bang!



There will be a whole lotta shaking going on when BOOM goes off in Plaza Midwood, April 28 – 30. Billed as "Three days of art, performance and the unexpected," BOOM is diverse, playful and sometimes downright strange. Designed to support the city's creative community and foster collaboration among artists, BOOM has exploded into a movement that unites and transforms Charlotte — at least for three days.

Photo of Ruth Ava Lyons courtesy of Flow 1212
  • Photo of Ruth Ava Lyons courtesy of Flow 1212

"It encourages people to inspire and challenge each other," says festival Director Manoj Kesavan. "We're building a community that is the core of a healthy creative ecosystem." Below is a sampler, a soupçon of the visual arts and performances awaiting discovery. For a full schedule of events, and to get the most bang from your BOOM, hit up

XOXO: All the Dogs and Horses

Where: Petra's

When: April 28, 7:30 p.m.; April 29, 6:30 p.m.; April 30, 4 p.m.

Admission: $10

XOXO touches on gold fever, frontier justice and the mystic allure of the vast American desert in its lysergic western All the Dogs and Horses. "We're exploring the desert as a sight of revelation," says XOXO's Artistic Director Matt Cosper, "a void that one can enter to find new knowledge and rebirth." The challenge of exploring the wide-open spaces in Petra's cozy confines has pointed the troupe in the direction of dioramas and miniaturization. "We've been calling this a psychedelic western," Cosper explains, "and something we associate with the psychedelic experience is a distortion of scale. What happens when we're looking at a scene on a little model, and then we blow it up to normal size, and then we blow it up even larger?" With music by Hectorina's Dylan Gilbert, and props and scenery by sculptor Jon Prichard, Dogs and Horses promises a trippy trail ride for all.

100 Words Film and Conversation

Where: International House

When: April 29, 5:30 p.m - 7 p.m.

Admission: FREE

BOOM is all about an unconventional approach to all types of art — so why not include movies? The 100 Words Film Festival was designed by founder Scott Galloway to foster sharpened storytelling by forcing filmmakers to create an entire narrative in exactly 100 words. Viewers buy into the story by keeping an eye on a counter that tallies each word as it's used, prompting people to wonder, "How the heck is this going to wrap up when they only have six words left?" One of the films showcased at International House, Kevin Edwards' State of Emergency, didn't win an award at last year's 100 Words Film Festival, but it should have. A video vérité documentary of the peaceful protests in the wake of Keith Lamont Scott's shooting, it provides a moving and uplifting counterpoint to the still prevalent — and slanted — narrative of widespread lawlessness and looting. Several of the filmmakers will be on hand at the screening to discuss their work.

Flow 1212

Where: Intersection Stage

When: April 29, 9 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.

Admission: FREE

Right about late Saturday evening, the average BOOM-goer is thinking, "What I need right now is a contingent of fire-spinning, belly-dancing, hula-hooping jugglers!" Well look no further than Flow 1212, a collaboration between Jacktuxedokat (aka: Katlyn Wyllie) and Miss X (aka: Ruth Ava Lyons). Drawing on martial arts, yoga and carnival sideshows, Flow 1212 pledge to light up the Plaza Midwood skies.

Hue + Shade Lounge

Where: International House

When: April 29, 12 p.m - 5 p.m.

Admission: FREE

A pop-up art gallery and market takes over International House, says Hue & Shade Lounge curator Jessica Moss. "Featured artists include DAMMITWESLEY and narly," says Moss, "They will create live interactive murals, while James Jeffries purveys his multimedia mix of painting, sculpture, pyrotechnics, and culinary art." Other contributors include ceramic-maker LaDara McKinnon, multimedia muralist Alex Delarge, painter Brandon Willet, photographer Brennan Booker, and JAIANNA and DJ Fannie Mae, who will be showing their prints, which celebrate African American identity.

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