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Linda Vista

so many doo-dads, so little time

Weird Charlotte: Are you originally from Charlotte, or did you come here from somewhere else? If you came here from somewhere else, where was that, when did you land here, and why?

Linda: Spent the formative years in Chicago, then lived out west for many years. Arrived here mid-Nov 1999 from Jersey City, NJ (my first east coast address ever). Bigtime urban didn't suit me: stayed a year, wanted out. An artist friend said she'd heard good things about Charlotte. I got online, discovered NoDa, and came down to check it out. Felt good so made the move. Didn't know a soul but had an invite to Thanksgiving dinner two weeks later. Yep, a good move! I later learned my friend had meant to say Charlottesville.

WC: Of all you've contributed to the cultural fabric of Charlotte, what are some of your personal favorites?

Linda: I was very proud of my recent mini-retrospective show at The Art Preserve Gallery. On the homefront, I have painted my entire storage shed to look like African mudcloth.

WC: What strengthens your dedication to do what you do, in spite of the fact that Charlotte has not yet developed a critical mass of creatively-attuned people?

Linda: Utimately I do what I do for my own amusement and amazement. While I want a certain number of kindred spirits to laugh and share with, I wouldn't say that I require a "critical mass".

WC: What sometimes discourages you about Charlotte and makes you dream of living somewhere else? And where would that somewhere else be?

Linda: I like it here. Unless the property taxes drive me out, I'm staying put.

WC: What would help make Charlotte a more vibrant cultural city?

Linda: I'd like more authentic ethnic neighborhoods, for example, a real Chinatown. I'd like a Museum of Outsider Art. Forget Metrolina – I'd like a good street market à la Sweet Union Flea Market in Monroe . I'd like more murals on buildings. I'd like any interesting grafitti. I'd like the city to be known for an annual Charlotte-inspired goofy event: maybe a parade with 3-piece suited bankers marching and doing precision briefcase manuvers, and next a gaggle of 3rd graders dressed like colorful bobbins of thread; highschool bands, the always popular "Lintheads" with their mile-high cotton upsweeps and turquoise vinyl capes (hairdresser group, of course); an army of weekend chefs pushing Weber grills in formation; bluegrass, bagpipes... I'm there!

WC: What can we do right now to make Charlotte a more vibrant cultural city?

Linda: Get the permit for the parade. I think a Make Charlotte Weird Parade is in order and that this group could make it happen.

WC: Let's say there's some creative person out there who's considering moving to Charlotte. If you could say one thing to them, what would it be?

Linda: There are many incredible people here!

1/31/06