We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Hickey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Wendy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
For 20+ years I worked in the out of home advertising industry (billboards) working with local, regional and national brands and business. I have always had a huge love for local art and supporting the artists who create it.

In 2014 I made the decision to put that knowledge into building local artists small business brands!

Founded ArtPop Street Gallery and in August of 2015 we became a official nonprofit, 501c3 organization.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In 1998 I started in local sales with Adams Outdoor Advertising, selling billboard ad space to local and regional business. I worked most of those 20+ years with Adams but also spent some time with
RBX Media and Orange Barrel Media.

After my initial time in local sales, I was promoted to sales manager, general sales manager and general manager and was transferred to many different cities through promotions in my role.

My last role in the corporate advertising world was in National Sales growing brands and business alike.
I worked with major brands on national ad campaigns all over the country.

Was it easy?
No, but I loved every minute of my career and I learned so much.
Listen, be curious and always over deliver.

My passion has always been in the arts so taking my corporate background to be able to now make local artists successful in their own hometowns has been the greatest joy of my life.

What you should know, is if you have a dream, make it happen.
What I learned along the way is work smarter not harder. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, be humble and kind. Respond to everyone who reaches out to you in the same business day whenever possible.

I want people to know that serving others is so fulfilling! Support local art and small business!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

If you came to visit Charlotte, NC I would take you on our public art tour on billboards, newsstands and more, a curated public art walk/drive! You could see ArtPop up close and personal.

We would meet so many local artists at their galleries and studios as well as our Pop Up shows at the Le Meridien Charlotte Hotel.

We would head to our local neighborhood of Plaza Midwood and go to places like the Thirsty Beaver, Dish, Soul and more!
We would head to NoDa to see all the murals, especially the Self Love mural by Abel Jackson!

We would attend art events at Camp North End and enjoy local museums.
We would introduce you to our friends at Charlotte is Creative, Black Market Charlotte and so many more!

Love the outdoors? Head about a hour north of Charlotte and take a hike in the Lake Norman State Park!

I could go on for days!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness, there are so many.

The billboard industry overall and every media partner who supports us!
All of our artists, supporters, partners, staff, volunteers and board members and the public who enjoys LOCAL public art.

Everyone who makes our mission possible.

Website: ArtPopStreetGallery.com

Instagram: @artpopstreetgallery

Linkedin: @artpopstreetgallery

Twitter: @artpopstgallery

Facebook: @artpopstreetgallery

Youtube: @artpopstreetgallery

Other: We are on google arts and culture as well! You can see us during your walks and commutes on billboards, newsstands, airports and more in Charlotte and Triad Regions of NC, Columbus, OH and Atlanta GA – here: https://artsandculture.google.com/search?q=ArtPop%20Street%20Gallery

Image Credits
Photo included was of and from David Bulfin. Photo of me by Katherine Kirchner

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.