CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The McColl Center for Art + Innovation will host its latest gallery opening and reception on Friday, featuring works from a center alumnus and others from its LGBT artist in residence.

The gallery, Arctic Utopia, is a major exhibition of mixed media sculptures and videos from 1999 McColl Center alumnus Marek Ranis, whose work, according to the center, “investigates how climate change influences humanity and interprets the complex social and political consequences of this dynamic change.”

The event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 19, 6-9 p.m. at the McColl Center, 721 N. Tryon St. Ranis will speak at 6:30 p.m.

Also included in the opening will be Wesley Mancini Artist-in-Residence Jessica Whitbread. Her collection of works challenge assumptions on gender, sexuality and HIV. Whitbread is HIV-positive and has been long involved in HIV activism. She will speak during the opening from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on her work “Makeout Games 101” and how traditional games like spin the bottle, hide and freak, kissing tag and seven minutes in heaven are used in her arts.

Whitbread’s residence is sponsored by the Wesley Mancini Foundation, which gave its last $30,000 contribution before closing in 2013 to the McColl. Wesley Mancini artists in residence address LGBT community issues, along with freedom of speech and expression.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.