Hnin Nie’s response to Picasso’s Landscape of Juan-les-Pins (1920), 2023.

Playing Pablo

10 Local artists create murals in response to works in Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds 

By Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD 

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, organized by the American Federation of the Arts, is a major initiative for The Mint Museum. It not only brings major Picasso paintings to Charlotte from all around the world, but also offers an opportunity for the museum to bring together multiple cultural entities in collaborations and partnerships. One of these projects is a mural series enlisting 10 artists and collectives (some of whom will be familiar to the Mint audience from past projects) to create murals around the city. 

The initiative is a partnership with Carla Aaron-Lopez, curator of the Local/Street exhibition series that was on view at The Mint Museum in 2021 and 2022; and Talking Walls, the organization that has been supporting mural installations across the city for the last five years.  

Together with Aaron-Lopez and the Mint’s Curatorial Assistant Jamila Brown, a group of local artists were invited to paint a mural in response to Guernica — Picasso’s powerful, mural-size antiwar painting — or any of the landscapes included in the Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds. The result is a diverse range of styles and images that will dot Charlotte’s urban landscape and the two Mint museum locations beginning mid-February 2023.

Involving Charlotte contemporary artists was always central to the Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds. As Aaron-Lopez and local artist ARKO have pointed out, Picasso continues to be a major influence on contemporary artists both as an inspiration and as a foil. The exhibition allows local artists to study the works up close and in person, to break down the structure, and analyze the compositions and brushstrokes to further their own education and experimentation. This partnership reminds us that one of the museum’s primary goals is to preserve and present art’s history so that the next generation can push it forward.  

The Picasso Mural project is generously supported by a grant through the North Carolina Arts Council and Infusion Fund.

Mural artists and locations 

ARKO and Dammit Wesley
Mint Museum Uptown 

Brand the Moth
Mint Museum Randolph

CHD:WCK!
Mint Museum Uptown 

HNin Nie
Optimist Hall

Emily Núñez
Queens University 

Kalin Reece
Elder Gallery 

Mike Wirth
Camp NorthEnd 

Frankie Zombie and 2Gzandcountin
Optimist Hall

Jen Sudul-Edwards, PhD, is chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973). Boisgeloup in the Rain, with Rainbow

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973). “Boisgeloup in the Rain, with Rainbow,” May 5, 1932, oil on canvas. Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, Madrid. Image © FABA, Photo: Hugard & Vanoverschelde Photography. © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Mint Museum plans breakthrough year ahead as opening venue for Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds

For Immediate Release | Images here

Charlotte, North Carolina (January 3, 2022) — The Mint Museum, a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design, announces its plans for a breakthrough year in 2023, while closing out a record-setting 2022. Major 2023 exhibitions, include Picasso Landscapes: Out of BoundsBearden/ Picasso: Rhythms and ReverberationsFashion Reimagined, as well as dozens of community-based featured activities, that are expected to attract record-breaking crowds.

“2023 is anticipated to be a year of powerful art and opportunities for transformation at The Mint Museum,” says Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “We will be offering the first-ever museum exhibition in Charlotte dedicated to works by Pablo Picasso and the first chance for anyone in the world to see this particular exhibition. Beyond bringing this experience to the Queen City, we have multiple other exciting activities and exhibitions planned. There’s never been a better time and place to engage with art in the Southeast than at The Mint Museum and in Charlotte this coming year.”

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds
Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds opens February 11, 2023 and runs through May 21, 2023. The exhibition is part of The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, structured around some 50 exhibitions and events that are being held in renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. The Mint’s ticketed exhibition is the only museum exhibition that is part of The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 that will be on view in the United States April 8, the date of Picasso’s death.

In addition, The Mint Museum will serve as the opening venue and the only museum on the East Coast to host the traveling exhibition. Organized by the American Federation of Arts with exceptional support of Musée national Picasso-Paris, and curated by Laurence Madeline, chief curator for French National Heritage, the exhibition is comprised of approximately 40 paintings spanning Picasso’s full career and is the first traveling exhibition to explore the breadth of the artist’s lifelong innovations in the landscape tradition. The dynamic grouping of works in the exhibition offers visitors an unparalleled window into the artist’s creative process, from his earliest days in art school (1896 when then artist was just 15 years old) to months before his passing in 1973.

Partnering cultural organizations working with The Mint Museum to create a multilayered experience of innovative programming for Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds include the Charlotte Symphony, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Theater Charlotte, JazzArts Charlotte, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and Opera Carolina. The Mint Museum will also welcome school students for free tours and students in grades K-12 and art teachers to experience the exhibition free of charge.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at mintmuseum.org/ticketing.

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds at The Mint Museum is generously presented by Bank of America, City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, Mecklenburg County, M.A. Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, North Carolina Arts Council, and Moore & Van Allen, and other generous individual contributors. The exhibition also is generously supported by Monique Schoen Warshaw. Additional support has been provided by Lee White Galvis, Clare E. McKeon, and Stephanie R. La Nasa. Support for the accompanying catalogue has been provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Bearden / Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations
Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations runs concurrently with Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds at The Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte and presents a rare opportunity to see the work of Romare Bearden displayed alongside one of his most important sources of inspiration.

The exhibition, curated by Jonathan Stuhlman, senior curator of American art at The Mint Museum, examines the impact of Picasso and his artistic influences on Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden’s work. The works of art in Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations are primarily drawn from the Mint’s deep holdings of Bearden’s work, as well as from private collections and other selected museum collections. While Bearden’s later collages and prints will comprise a significant portion of the exhibition, nearly half of the works by the artist will include his rarely seen early paintings from the 1940s when he was immersed in the New York art world, also a time that Picasso was frequently exhibiting there.

Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations is generously presented by Bank of America, City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, Mecklenburg County, M.A. Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, North Carolina Arts Council, and Moore & Van Allen.

Fashion Reimagined: Themes and Variations 1760-NOW
Fashion Reimagined: Themes and Variations 1760-NOW, curated by Annie Carlano, senior curator of Craft, Design and Fashion at The Mint Museum, is on view through July 2 at The Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte. The exhibition celebrates 50 years of the Mint’s fashion collection and the museum’s dedication to the art of fashion and design. The stunning ensembles span four centuries and are drawn from The Mint Museum’s own renowned collection of historic and contemporary fashion.

Through the lens of three distinct themes: minimalism, pattern and decoration, along with the body reimagined, 50 ensembles include bustled dresses and historic menswear along with contemporary fashion and haute couture. In recognition of the 50th anniversary, the museum hired renowned architecture firm DLR Group to build out the exhibition space. Following the likes of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the exhibition design was reimagined to create spaces that pay homage to the exhibition themes with swooping arches and translucent tapestries that elevate the fashions to a new level.

Fashion Reimagined also includes an interactive component. Titled “Shape Shifters,” a dressing room with magnetic forms on mirrors allows visitors to envision themselves in garments worn in the 18th and 19th centuries. Examples of undergarments – think hoops and bustles – will also be on display. Fashion Reimagined is generously presented by Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management and Mint Museum Auxiliary, with additional support form Bank OZK.

Ticket Information
The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17.
Tickets to Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds are $10 in addition to museum addition. Students in grades K-12 and art teachers are admitted free of charge.
For museum hours, visit mintmuseum.org.

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THE MINT MUSEUM
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.<

THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ARTS
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.

ABOUT THE PICASSO CELEBRATION 1973-2023
April 8, 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and thus the year will represent the celebration of his work and his artistic legacy in France, Spain and internationally. The commemoration, accompanied by official celebrations in France and Spain, will make it possible to take stock of the research and interpretations of the artist’s work, especially during an important international symposium in autumn 2023, which also coincides with the opening of the Center for Picasso Studies in Paris. The Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Spanish National Commission for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso are pleased to support this exceptional program.

Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications at The Mint Museum
 clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications at The Mint Museum
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704-564-0826 (c)

 

Romanticizing the American Landscape

A conversation with artist Stacy Lynn Waddell about her work Landscape with Rainbow as the Sun Blasts the Sky (for R.S.D.) 1859/2022, part of the Mint’s collection.

In 2021, Art Papers published an article about a new series of works by Durham-based artist Stacy Lynn Waddell in which she examines the history of landscape through the work of 19th-century English American painter Thomas Cole and self-taught Black Pittsburgh-based sculptor Thaddeus Mosley. The Mint’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, took notice. As an extension of the series influenced by Cole and Mosley, Waddell created Landscape with Rainbow as the Sun Blasts the Sky (for R.S.D.) 1859/2022: an homage to American artist Robert S. Duncanson’s 1859 painting Landscape with Rainbow, which is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and was displayed in the United States Capitol Rotunda in 2021 in honor of the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden.

Duncanson was one of the most important Black artists of the 19th century. This event brought significant national attention to Duncanson, who remains little known beyond art history circles. The Mint Museum is pleased to have acquired Waddell’s tribute to Duncanson: Landscape with Rainbow as the Sun Blasts the Sky (for R.S.D.) 1859/2022, which will be a part of an upcoming reinstallation of the American galleries at Mint Museum Uptown in 2023. Mint curators Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, and Jennifer Sudul Edwards, PhD, caught up with Waddell to discuss her inspiration behind the work. Lightly edited for brevity and clarity by Michele Huggins.

Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD: We are doing a rotation in the Mint’s permanent collection galleries next summer, shifting focus from different approaches to portraiture to different approaches in landscape. I am really looking forward to including Landscape with Rainbow as Sun Blasts the Sky (for R.S.D.) 1859/2022 in that. There are earlier works in this series dedicated to Thomas Cole and Thaddeus Mosley. What made you decide to extend it beyond them to Duncanson and to this painting in particular?

Stacy Lynn Waddell: I was given an opportunity to show work in a four-page spread in the publication Art Papers. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to examine the core of the romantic idea of how we have come to be as a country. We know there are holes in all of that — it is moth-eaten— but thinking about Thomas Cole and Thaddeus Mosley was really about access. How do I reconfigure or have people take another look at some of Cole’s most important paintings by inserting Mosley and his works into the scene and drawing parallels between the lives of the two men as naturalists.

The other thing was to bring forward an interest in landscape. One of the things that I have thought a lot about, especially during 2020, was access. You couldn’t go places. Once we realized that outside was a safe space to convene, then I feel like the doors were blown off in terms of how people thought about being outside.

JS: Suddenly, everyone is an outdoorsman.

SLW: Everybody! So, I was thinking about that, too: how we do not necessarily consider the space
that we have. We do not consider our dependency upon nature and how we have disrespected that
relationship.

JS: Then you shift from the Cole/Mosley series to Duncanson. Was it because of his importance as the first and best-known Black American landscape painter?

SLW: Yes. When the painting was rededicated, I thought, “yeah, this is the moment.” Think of the biblical significance around a rainbow and the promise just this idea of a promise. Another thing that the pandemic did was push us to keenly focus on political discourse. To have this painting emerge during the inauguration as a kind of promise, it just struck me as something that seemed important.

Also, the fact that here is a Black man (Duncanson) at a time when Black people had no access. This painting was made in 1859, American slavery was still the order of the day, yet Duncanson was able to access and occupy spaces in America and abroad. I found that to be fascinating. It stood as an emblem of possibility for the onlooker and me as a Black woman from the South functioning as an artist.

JS: Duncanson’s painting, and the rainbow’s landing on the cabin in the wilderness, has been interpreted as symbolizing divine blessing on westward expansion, yet we were doing so at the expense of all the people who originally lived on the land. There is an irony there as he was a Black artist painting on the eve of the Civil War. Duncanson soon thereafter just got the heck out and went to England by way of Canada and left the country for several years. So, to me, it is a painting that is loaded with so many tensions and ironies. What led you to pick the tondo (circular) format for these works and the details in the way that you have done — piecing in the panels in the sky with the rounded swirl. To me, it calls to mind the arc of the rainbow, but I’d love to know more about how you landed on the bit of the picture you chose and the way that you put it together.

SLW: I started thinking about how I would intervene upon the original painting. What would make the most sense for me, someone who loves to appropriate. I do a lot of that in my art. I find photographs and other images that I take and insert a different meaning or myself into the work. Tondos are typically formats of paintings that we ascribe to religious works. The circle points to an internal way of connecting to something. My pieces are works on handmade paper made in India that is very irregular with deckled edges, but still round. So, you still fall into that place.

My drawings are created by burning paper. I am burning paper and then I am adding gilded (gold) material. I love surface texture. I thought, “why don’t you just reinterpret paintings in your materials that are all about surface interest?”

The paintings I am referencing in this also call attention to the environment. Gold leaf is tough on the environment. It is metal. It is gold pounded into sheets with a decorative pattern inlaid. All the alchemy and all the gathering of metals happen before I get the material to use it. So, when I’m using this material, I’m thinking about science, the environment, and the optical illusion of seeing a rainbow.

It is interesting to me to overlay a lot of our contemporary concerns onto a painting that was about an ironic look at a promise. What is it that we really stand for as a country? What is it? What direction are we really going in? It is natural for me to take what I do and lay it on top of something else and then hope that someone gathers something from it.

Hopefully, what the viewer can extract from looking at this series is going well beyond looking at a landscape and even beyond the Duncanson references. The materials may lead them back to some of the concerns: the environment, the landscape, their relationship to it, and what, if anything, are they doing to protect these spaces.

Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD: One of the things that I find so interesting about Duncanson is that with romanticism over the last 100 years, we have been much more critical about it as a practice, of it being nostalgic to avoid reality, whitewashing history to erase crimes against humanity that were going on at the time. You mention the irony that is embedded in Duncanson’s treatment of it, but I also find a kernel of a reminder in Duncanson, and in your series, that romanticism was also created because of a need for hope. Was that a consideration of your series, which was started during the pandemic and has the need for a rainbow at the end.

SLW: Artists are romantics, especially the idea of romanticism as a longing or looking at something lovingly or looking back at something and thinking that there is always hope. It is what we do every day in the making of the work. To be an artist, you are pulling things out of thin air with the hope that someone will come along and find interest in it — just to create a relationship with it through the eye and through the gut. But then also, to maybe buy it and show it and talk about it and write about it. I think that at the heart of all of us, we are all romantics.

I mean, for me, I grew up in the rural South. I ran through fields and grew up on a farm and have a clear relationship to the out of doors, to the land, to owning land. It is not a foreign idea for me to know that people can own land and own large parts of it. My great grandfather, Zollie Coffey Massenburg, owned hundreds of acres at a time when a Black man in rural North Carolina, did not. When he passed, his 14 children all got large plots of land, one of them being my maternal grandmother. When I pass an open field, immediately, there is something that is pricked in me about remembering, longing, and wanting that to be kept whole. No one’s going to buy this and build on it. If we could just have green spaces. The idea of romanticism is deeply embedded in me.

I think when people stand in front of work, there is a romantic gesture that is happening internally with whatever work they are looking at. You bond with it. You are creating a relationship. Whether you realize it or not, you are siphoning through your personal and psychic experiences. It is a romantic way of engaging with something.

So yes, I come to everything as a romantic, as someone who has a longing. I think my interest in appropriation is a romantic gesture to see something and want to make it not better, but to make conditions better and add my voice to that, to envision a better world. The only way that I know how to do that is just with the materials and things that I love working with.

Journey through two centuries of American art and artists in American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, presented by PNC Bank, at The Mint Museum

For Immediate Release | Images Here

Charlotte, North Carolina (August 16, 2022) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the opening of American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, which features more than 100 works of art by renowned American artists, such as Benjamin West, Sarah Miriam Peale, Thomas Cole, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henri, and Charles Alston. The exhibition will be on view September 10 through December 24 at The Mint Museum’s uptown location (known as Mint Museum Uptown). Drawn entirely from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, the exhibition beautifully illustrates distinctive styles and thought-provoking art explored by American artists over the past two centuries.

Though many objects from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection have been on view at other museums, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and Saint Louis Art Museum, this is the first exhibition to see the best of the collection brought together in one location.

“Private collections by definition reflect the tastes and focus of the collector. In the case of Diane Jacobsen, we are fortunate that not only does she have a keen eye for quality, condition, and the appropriate frame, but she has actively collected works by female artists and artists of color, often overlooked in surveys of American art, offering our visitors a broader understanding of artistic production in America from its early days as a young country to the 20th century,” says Todd Herman, Ph.D., president and CEO at The Mint Museum.

The exhibition, presented by PNC Bank, begins with portraits by masters including Rembrandt Peale and Thomas Sully, before moving on to highlight the development of mid-19th-century landscape painting with works by Asher B. Durand, John Frederick Kensett, and others. Enticing images of fruits, flowers, and other delights by Severin Roesen, John Francis, Ferdinand Richardt, Elizabeth Williams, and Adelaide Coburne Palmer will be featured alongside trompe l’oeil (“deceives the eye”) examples by William Michael Harnett, John Haberle, and John Peto. Twentieth-century modernism and realism can be seen in works by artists ranging from Patrick Henry Bruce and Marsden Hartley to Paul Cadmus, Charmion von Wiegand, Suzy Frelinghuysen, Elizabeth Catlett, and Earnie Barnes.

The mission of The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation to “carefully research and obtain American masterpieces” is abundantly represented in American Made, says Jonathan Stuhlman, Ph.D., senior curator of American art at the Mint.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Jacobsen and her team to bring this exhibition to life over the past few years,” Stuhlman says. “Dr. Jacobsen has built this collection with not only an incredible passion for teaching the public about American art, but with a sense of exploration and discovery, a keen eye, and incredible connoisseurship.”

The September 10 opening-day celebration will include a panel discussion with Diane Jacobsen, Ph.D., distinguished scholar, art collector, and chair of the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation, along with Herman and Stuhlman.

American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection is generously presented in Charlotte by PNC Bank. Additional generous support is provided by The Dowd Foundation, Windgate Foundation, U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, and The President’s Cup. The national tour of American Made is made possible by Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Schoelkopf Gallery, and Sotheby’s. Media partners are SouthPark magazine and WDAV 89.9.

“Since establishing a presence in North Carolina one decade ago, PNC has invested heavily to support the arts and the region’s thriving cultural community,” says Weston Andress, PNC Bank regional president for Western Carolinas. “Through our frequent collaborations with The Mint Museum, we’ve helped bring world-class exhibitions to the city of Charlotte, and we’re delighted to continue that tradition with American Made.”

Accompanying the show is a catalogue of the DeMell Jacobsen Collection of fine art that is principally authored by Elizabeth Heuer, Ph.D., with contributions from other leading scholars, edited by the Mint’s Jonathan Stuhlman, Ph.D., and published by D. Giles Ltd. It is available in The Mint Museum Store or online at store.mintmuseum.org.

Following its run at the Mint, the exhibition will travel to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee; the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida; the San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas; and the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama.

Ticket Information
The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17. For museum hours, visit mintmuseum.org.

The Mint Museum
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph
in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

PNC Bank
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation
The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting American art by carefully researching and obtaining American masterpieces, providing restoration, if necessary, and facilitating long-term loans to accredited major museums and traveling exhibitions. Created in 2011 as a 501(c)3 private operating foundation, the Foundation educates and stimulates creativity and teaches viewers about our nation’s rich artistic heritage with the goal of celebrating American art.

Media
For interviews, digital images, or additional information, please contact:

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

Diedrick Brackens (American, 1989–). survival is a shrine, not the small space near the limit of life, 2021; cotton and acrylic yarn, 92 x 98 inches.

‘Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes’ retells African American histories and connects American craft traditions through powerful woven art

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (June 23, 2022)The Mint Museum is pleased to present Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes, displaying large-scale textiles, handwoven basket boats, and performative photography by internationally recognized artist Diedrick Brackens. Originally curated by Lauren R. O’Connell for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Mint Museum iteration installs the SMoCA exhibition alongside works from The Mint Museum’s collection of quilts and weavings, many of which are on view for the first time, and a survey of contemporary North Carolina weavers. ark of bulrushes will be on view July 16–December 11, 2022 at Mint Museum Randolph. 

Brackens is best known for his weavings that explore narratives about queerness, masculinity, and the Black experience in the United States. His work incorporates elements of West-African weaving, American quilting, and European tapestry-making, as well as histories associated with craft. 

In ark of bulrushes, colorful weavings are encoded with patterns, constellations, and Black figures to form a mythology that combines past stories about liberation, from the Bible to the Underground Railroad, with current narratives of freedom and remediation. Additionally, Brackens first basket boats consider how craft can activate narratives for self-deliverance.

“I really started to think about how I could employ baskets as a tool for self-liberation. For me the question was: Could you make a basket big enough to float away, and is this something that one could do in a clandestine manner or in plain sight? I want the baskets to make some of these myths feel possible, that these aren’t just stories we tell ourselves, but that there is possibility through making, through craft, to actualize these things,” Brackens says.

In the performative photography, Brackens brings the baskets back into nature. “It speaks to how folks have been dispossessed from nature. I think there is so much power in it and so much peace,” he says.

Brackens and O’Connell worked with the Mint’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, and Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion Annie Carlano to expand the original SMoCA version with related objects from the Mint’s collection of quilts, weavings, and Native American baskets.  

“The sensation of feeling lost and the yearning for guidance — physically, spiritually, emotionally, historically — is a state of existence humans have felt for as long as they have wandered the Earth, and Diedrick Brackens gives us an entirely new way to consider this experience through his poignant, potent imagery that Lauren O’Connell has assembled into this powerful constellation of works,” Sudul Edwards says.  

Contemporary regional artists who have works in the exhibition, include Charlotte-based artists Renee Cloud, Katrina Sanchez, and Andrea Vail, along with Edwina Bringle of Penland, North Carolina, Andrea Donnelly of Richmond, Virginia, and Martha Clippinger of Durham, North Carolina.

Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes is organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and curated by Lauren R. O’Connell, curator of contemporary art at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Support is provided by the S. Rex and Joan Lewis Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Learning & Engagement and Community Outreach programming for this exhibition is generously supported by Windgate Foundation.   

The Mint Museum 

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

Media 

For interviews, digital images, or additional information, please contact: 

Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c) 

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

The Mint Museum presents The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters

Installation represents the rich history of North Carolina pottery through 60 works by six generations of the Cole family of potters

For Immediate Release | Images available here

Charlotte, North Carolina (May 13, 2022) —  For more than 200 years, members of the Cole family have been potting in central North Carolina — Randolph, Moore, Lee, and Montgomery counties. Six generations of Coles, and no fewer than 18 individuals, are represented in The Mint Museum’s permanent collection. More than 60 highlights of their wares are included in the new installation The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters, on view at Mint Museum Randolph.

From crocks, jars, and jugs to pitchers, candleholders, and vases, “turning pots” is one of the oldest and richest craft traditions in North Carolina. The deep-rooted legacy of the Cole family of potters began with Raphard Cole, born in 1799. He and his sons produced utilitarian stoneware, such as crocks, jugs, and urns, that were needed in an agrarian economy. Following generations distinguished themselves from their forebears by training their daughters, as well as their sons, on how to “turn pots.”

As the North Carolina tourist market for decorative ceramics evolved, the Cole family produced an impressive variety of colorfully glazed vases, pitchers, candleholders, and other ceramic pieces. Examples of all these wares also are on view in the installation.

“In a state filled with multigenerational families of gifted potters, the Coles stand out as one of North Carolina’s most enduring and prolific. For more than two hundred years, they have contributed enormously to the state’s ceramic traditions through their well-potted objects and their exceptionally beautiful glazes,” says Brian Gallagher, senior curator of decorative arts at The Mint Museum.

The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters presents a visual history of “turned pots” and the family that helped turn North Carolina into one of America’s centers for handmade, traditional pottery.

The Mint Museum
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Contact
Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

The Mint Museum celebrates the re-installation of The Mint Museum Craft + Design Collection — with FREE admission and a weekend full of conversations with internationally acclaimed artists and makers

For Immediate Release | Images available here

Charlotte, North Carolina (May 12, 2022) — The Mint Museum is excited to announce the opening weekend of Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things May 21–22 at Mint Museum Uptown with complimentary admission throughout the weekend. As part of the celebration, highly acclaimed makers and educators Joseph Walsh, Hideo Mabuchi, and Silvia Levenson will present on their design inspirations, processes, and practices.

Examined through the lens of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, Craft in the Lab tells the story of how makers and designers use knowledge from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math in their artistic processes.

From 2 to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 21 internationally acclaimed and Ireland-based maker Joseph Walsh and Stanford University professor and maker Hideo Mabuchi discuss how science, technology, engineering, and math are used in their design processes, followed by an artists reception. From 2-3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, renowned international glass artist Silvia Levenson highlights her use of glass and printing techniques to reflect tensions in daily life, domestic violence, discrimination, and refugee issues. These conversations are being presented in partnership with Müller Corporation and the Craft & Trade Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing trades and craft in Charlotte.

The installation, which officially opened February 12, 2022, represents highlights from more than 3,000 works in The Mint Museum’s world-renowned collections of regional, national, international handmade glass, wood, jewelry and metal, fiber ceramic, and design objects. Presented by Müller Corporation, Craft in the Lab also celebrates the reinstallation of The Mint’s highly acclaimed Craft + Design galleries — the first since its opening in 2010 at Mint Museum Uptown.

Co-curated by the Mint’s Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion Annie Carlano and Assistant Curator for Craft, Design, and Fashion Rebecca Elliot, the installation includes 100 objects organized by material and subject throughout the galleries, touchable material panels, and videos of makers at work in their studios.

“The reinstallation of the Craft + Design galleries allow us the opportunity to bring new works out on view and to interpret the collection through new pairings and themes,” says Todd Herman, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “Craft in the Laboratory examines how investigation, experimentation, and critical thinking are common to both science and art, and the correlation of art with science, technology, engineering, and math that effectively changing STEM to STEAM concepts.”

The installation is accompanied by an important and timely catalogue on the topic, with contributions by several scholars and a lead essay by Elliot. The fully illustrated catalogue of the same name, published by Dan Giles Ltd., also includes contributions from museum staff, and guest essayists.

Craft in the Laboratory is the first publication in over 20 years to discuss The Mint Museum’s Craft and Design collection in depth,” Elliot says. The book is available for purchase at The Mint Museum Store or at store.mintmuseum.org.

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things is generously presented by Müller Corporation. Generous individual support provided by Beth and Drew Quartapella, Mary Anne (M.A.) Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, and Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The catalogue is supported by the John and Robyn Horn Foundation.

The Mint Museum
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Müller Corporation
Founded in Germany, and family owned and operated, Müller provides commercial surface installation, and cleaning and maintenance services to the solar, hospitality, automotive, food and beverage, and other industries. European standards and in-house trained craftsmen ensure superior results and unmatched client service. To learn more, visit mullercorporation.com.

Craft & Trade Academy
Founded in 2019, the training programs and apprenticeships are based on the international recognized German model. In order to develop apprentices into quality craftsmen, the Academy runs classroom and workshop training, as well as on-the-job training recognized by the Department of Labor. The Craft & Trade Academy is a public 501(c)3 nonprofit higher education institution committed to providing paths and expanding skills within the construction industry. To learn more, visit craftandtradeacademy.org.

Contact:
Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

Coined in the South: 2022 spotlights thought-provoking works by artists living in the Southeast

Charlotte, North Carolina (March 15, 2022) — The Mint Museum is pleased to present Coined in the South: 2022, on view March 26–July 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. The second installment of the juried biennial exhibition, created in collaboration with the Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAMs), features works by 41 artists selected from 375 artist submissions.

The name Coined in the South refers to both The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the U.S. Mint, as well as the act of inventing. Many of the works selected for Coined in the South: 2022 reflect on personal narratives and cultural myths, power structures and pressures of society.

Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum, and Kaitlyn McElwee and Patwin Lawrence, Young Affiliate of the Mint members and Coined in South: 2022 co-chairs, worked together to plan and produce the exhibition.

“An array of mediums, some less conventional than others, make up the collective body of work that converges to become a mellifluent symphony of styles, perspectives, and approaches in the exhibition,” McElwee says.

Jurors for the 2022 exhibition are Hallie Ringle, curator of contemporary art at Birmingham Museum of Art: Lydia Thompson, mixed-media sculptor and professor of art and art history at UNC Charlotte; and Ken West, photographer and digital experience designer and winner of the inaugural Coined in the South People’s Choice Award. A $10,000 grand prize presented by Atrium Health Foundation and $5,000 YAMs Choice Award will be awarded at the preview celebration March 24. A $1,000 People’s Choice Award will be announced May 9 after the viewing public has an opportunity to cast their ballots. Awardees will speak at a panel discussion June 1 as part of the Mint’s Wednesday Night Live program series.

“With so much important, innovative, and nationally recognized art coming out of the South in recent years, YAMs-sponsored exhibitions like this one keep the Mint ahead of the curve. We are consistently showing this art in real time, as it is being made,” Sudul Edwards says. Coined in the South: 2022 is generously presented by Atrium Health Foundation and will be on view March 26–July 3 in the Level 4 Brand Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.

Artists Selected for Coined in the South: 2022

ELIZABETH ALEXANDER WINSTON SALEM, NC

SUKENYA BEST RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

KAMAU BOSTIC TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI

S. ROSS BROWNE RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

ANNA BUCKNER BANNER ELK, NC

J.B. BURKE CHARLOTTE, NC

LIZA BUTTS BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

CORNELIUS A. CAKLY COLUMBIA, SC

EMMANUELLE CHAMMAH ATLANTA, GEORGIA

NATALIE CHANEL ROCK HILL, SC

CORINNE COLARUSSO ATLANTA, GEORGIA

TAMECA COLE BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

CARLA CONTRERAS SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA

MARGARET CURTIS TRYON, NC

LINDSY DAVIS NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

ANNA DEAN FORT MILL, SC

BRENT DEDAS COLUMBIA, SC

ERIN ETHRIDGE FLEETWOOD, NC

HOLLY FISCHER RALEIGH, NC

CYNTHIA FLAXMAN FRANK CHARLOTTE, NC

SOPHIE GLENN STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI

KING NOBUYOSHI GODWIN RALEIGH, NC

DONTÉ K. HAYES KENNESAW, GEORGIA

EMILY JAHR DAWSONVILLE, GEORGIA

CHLOE KAYLOR MOUNT HOLLY, NC

BRIANNA LITCHFIELD CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE

CHIEKO MURASUGI CHAPEL HILL, NC

MASELA NKOLO DULUTH, GEORGIA

MALIK J. NORMAN WAXHAW, NC

SERENA PERRONE ATLANTA, GEORGIA

KRISTIN ROTHROCK CHARLOTTE, NC

HANNAH SHABAN CHARLOTTE, NC

SHARON SHAPIRO CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

RANDY SIMMONS PADUCAH, KENTUCKY

LIZ RUNDORFF SMITH TRAVELERS REST, SC

ANNE STAGG TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA

LEIGH SUGGS RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

SABA TAJ DURHAM, NC

CORNELL WATSON DURHAM, NC

AJANE’ WILLIAMS CHARLOTTE, NC

APRIL WRIGHT GERMANTOWN, TENNESSEE

Ticket Information

Admission to The Mint Museum is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17.

The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAMs)

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAMs) is a diverse group of young professionals promoting and supporting The Mint Museum through cultural engagement, social leadership, and fundraising events. Established in 1990, the YAMs are the premier social arts organization for young professionals in Charlotte.

FROM LEFT: Mark Rothko (American, born Russia, 1903–70). No. 17 [or] No. 15 1949, oil on canvas, 51 7/8 x 29 1/8 inches. Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc. National Gallery of Art, Washington 1986.43.142. Mark Rothko (American, born Russia, 1903–70). Untitled 1951, oil on canvas, 44 1/4 x 37 3/8 inches. Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc. National Gallery of Art, Washington 1986.43.157.

Paintings by Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko debut at The Mint Museum for first time in the museum’s history

Charlotte, North Carolina (March 10, 2022) — For the first time in its 85-year history, The Mint Museum has not one, but two, Mark Rothko paintings on view. Through a long-term loan with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., two paintings by the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko are on view in the Modern Contemporary galleries at Mint Museum Uptown. The two works — No. 17 [or] No. 15 and Untitled 1951 — are the only paintings by Rothko currently on view in North Carolina.

To celebrate, Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., presents “Rothko Becoming Rothko” 6:30 p.m. April 13 at Mint Museum Uptown about the life and works of the famed artist. The lecture is part of the Wednesday Night Live Series, presented by Bank of America, and includes free admission to the museum, plus a cash bar, 5:30-9 p.m.
Rothko’s serene floating blocks of color, typical of his mature work in the 1950s and 1960s, are considered a pivotal moment in the move from figural painting to Abstract Expressionism, says Todd A. Herman, president and CEO.

“Influenced by the tragedies of World War II, Rothko felt that painting needed to reach deeper into our shared subconscious where humanity can be connected through emotional responses to color and shape. He worked in a vertical format to reflect the human form and encouraged people to stand just a few feet in front so that the work could fill their vision and maximize the effect.”

The paintings will be on view through March 2023 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts.

Ticket Information
Admission to The Mint Museum is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17.

The Mint Museum
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

More information, contact: Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

Kehinde Wiley acquisition caps off a roster of new works at The Mint Museum by culturally diverse artists

The Mint Museum is proud to announce major additions to its collection, including internationally renowned artist Kehinde Wiley’s Philip the Fair. Wiley, a California native, is best known for painting President Barack Obama’s portrait. Philip the Fair is an example of Wiley’s majestic representation of urban Black men recast in place of those populating European old-master paintings, and asking the question ‘who gets represented?’ Philip the Fair references a 15th-century stained-glass image of Philip the IV of France who was known as Philip the Fair.  The painting has been on loan at The Mint Museum since 2006, but is now part of the museum’s collection.

“The Mint Museum continues to grow and refine its collection through purchases and gifts with stellar examples from artists that represent a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences,” says Todd Herman, president and CEO at the Mint. “We are grateful to our generous donors, and especially to the artists, for allowing us to share these beautiful and inspirational works with our audience.”  

Other exceptional works entering the collection, include Willie Cole’s Silex, currently on view in the Mint’s Continuing Conversations exhibition, and Elizabeth Talford Scott’s quilted and appliqued mixed-media piece Untitled (Shield), part of the Mint’s Craft + Design Collection, both of which transcend time with stories tied to race and cultural experiences. 

Expanding the museum’s collection by artists from outside the United States are works by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto, Indian fashion designer Anamika Khanna, Canadian artist Simone Saunders, British photographer Sam Taylor-Johnson, Dutch artist Iris van Herpen, Belgium artist Berlinde de Bruyckere, and Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell. 

In addition are notable works by Charlotte-based artists, including Nellie Ashford, MyLoan Dinh, de’Angelo Dia, and Julio Gonzales, that reflect cultural heritage, ancestry, and community. 

“We are particularly proud of the diversity represented in our acquisitions over the last couple of years. Not only are the makers of all profiles — international, regional, men, women, nonbinary, young, late career — but the media spans the gamut,” says Jen Sudul Edwards, chief curator and curator of contemporary art. “These new acquisitions reinforce The Mint Museum’s commitment to all forms and all makers as long as the work is thoughtful, ambitious, and excellent.”  

The acquisition of Philip the Fair is made possible by the generous support of the Mint Museum Auxiliary, the Katherine and Thomas Belk Foundation, and Kelle and Len Botkin.

For more information, contact:
Michele Huggins, interim director of marketing and communications at The Mint Museum
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

“Foragers” short film celebrating collaboration between The Mint Museum and Charlotte Symphony wins an Emmy

The Mint Museum is thrilled to share that the short film “Foragers,” a unique composition of visual and performing art, won an Emmy in the competitive Arts and Entertainment category at the Nashville/Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards.

Commissioned by Wells Fargo Private Bank, The Mint Museum partnered with Charlotte Symphony to create the short film that unites visual and performing arts and celebrates the power of women artists.

The film opens with Natalie Frazier Allen, chair of The Mint Museum’s board of trustees, discussing the collaboration of artists while scenes of the installation of Foragers flash on the screen. Foragers, also presented by Wells Fargo Private Bank, spans four stories, 96 windows and 3,720 square feet, and features women in roles traditionally associated with men.

Following the introduction, artist Summer Wheat, who created Foragers, explains her inspiration for the work and the power of the female figures represented. At the crux of the film are duets played by Charlotte Symphony musicians Jenny Topilow, Alaina Rea, Andrea Markle, and Andrea Mumm Trammell in front of the monumental work at Mint Museum Uptown.

In the soaring open space, film producers Kelso Communications and Priceless Miscellaneous had the freedom to roam up, down, and around the musicians as they performed their contemporary classical pieces, creating a one-of-a-kind virtual event.

The Emmy was awarded Saturday, February 26, 2022 during the Nashville/Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences virtual Emmy Awards ceremony.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

By Rubie Britt-Height, director of community relations at The Mint Museum

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1963) was a major American icon whose life, though cut short far too soon, profoundly impacted the state of our country in the 1950s, 1960s, and today. He was an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday that marks the birth of this profoundly courageous leader who addressed the challenges existing in the United States relative to poverty, racism, and war.  

The Mint observes the official Martin Luther King Jr. holiday throughout the month of January with goals ongoing throughout the year to invoke dialogue and transformative programming, exhibitions, and equity for diverse artists, vendors, and staff. The museum is committed to its mission, vision, and strategic plan, of which diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are a part.  

Throughout 2022, the Mint will provide members and guests opportunities to view and have dialogue about meaningful works of art, attend performing arts programming, read historical nuggets about artists of color, and recount through socially conscious works of art the ongoing challenges identified by Dr. King’s speeches, writings, and sermons that continue to illuminate “the dream still deferred” in many ways.  

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech spoke metaphorically and strategically to an environment that blighted African Americans, with the hope of a transformed country of equity, equality, justice, and fairness. 

The Jim Crow Museum notes that “the civil rights movement reached its peak when 250,000 blacks and whites gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which included the demand for passage of meaningful civil rights laws when Dr. King, Jr. delivered his famous speech.”  Among those words, throughout his ministry are many other notable quotes that raise our consciousness and speak to courage, community, and commitment to a better America for all. 

Here are just a few of his thought-provoking and enlightened perspectives as one influenced by his Christian faith, Ghandi’s non-violence philosophy, and his commitment to balance the scale of humanity in America: 

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” 

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” 

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” 

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but it comes through continuous struggle.” 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” 

We invite you view this curator video featuring Senior Curator of American art Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, about the painting Selma by artist Barbra Pennington that focuses on the events that unfolded 55 years ago in Selma, Alabama. 

Q&A with legendary fashion icon André Leon Talley 

The curator of the Mint’s exhibition The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta and star of the fashion world spoke to the Mint’s director of public relations and publications in 2018 just before the opening of the exhibition. Following is the article that published in the Winter 2018 INSPIRED member magazine.

By Leigh Dyer  

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU GOT TO KNOW OSCAR DE LA RENTA? 

My first meeting with Oscar was in December 1975, when he and his first wife, the late Francoise de la Renta, invited me at the last minute to their table for two at the annual Met Costume Institute dinner. It was held in December in those days, and it was a very small, intimate society dinner and celebrity-filled. Diana Vreeland had spoken so highly of me to the de la Rentas that he simply made space for me at his already seated table. 

 WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF HIM? 

My first impression and my lasting impression, was he was a great man of impeccability, elegance, well-groomed, and polite. He also had a wonderful charm and smile. His whole being simply exuded a natural nobility of goodness and sunshine, warmth, laughter, and generosity. All the real things that matter. I miss him every day and his second wife, Annette, was also a close friend of the first Mrs. de la Renta. They both love beauty and comfort, nothing over the top, as the late Bunny Mellon said, “nothing should be noticed.” 

 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF HIM? 

 I loved watching Oscar dance and sing. He was the best dancer and did the best merengue. He was so soigné, even dancing. And swimming, in his native Dominican Republic. He also had a voice that was as rich and warm as his heart. He was kind, but he also had a wicked sense of humor, loved telling the anecdotal historical narrative of French high society in fashion-for example he went to some of the famous Paris society balls. And I loved him telling the narrative of those glamorous women. 

WHY DO YOU THINK HIS DESIGNS WERE SO SUCCESSFUL AT CONNECTING WITH THE PUBLIC AND POPULAR CULTURE? 

 His designs impact everyone, from the 8-year-old girl to the 80-year-old grand dame. I fondly remember a young girl being brought by her parents to de Young in San Francisco for the retrospective on Oscar, and she was so impressed by the pale pink tulle dress and hat and veil, inspired by Madame Bovary. It was actually a wedding dress in a Pierre Balmain collection in Paris, designed beautifully by Oscar. So romantic, so rich in romantic history. Oscar always wanted to make women beautiful; he didn’t care about being an artist, he wanted to make dresses that were worn and admired by the women who loved them. Embedded in every bow and every nuance of taffeta flourish, every flounce of velvet edged in sable and embroidery, was his sense of romance. The body of work from his beginnings at Lanvin Castillo to his early youth in Spain anchor him in the historical context of romantic and glamorous design. He loved so much to realize clothes that were exuberantly baroque in surface, yet weighted in elegant simplicity. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HIS MOST IMPORTANT LEGACY IN THE FASHION WORLD? 

There are three designers I think of who have left a lasting mark in the realm of modern fashion that is romantic: Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent. All three of these titans of talent, I know or knew personally. In the hands of each, a dress, a coat, or a suit became a poem! 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH LONGTIME MINT SUPPORTER MARIANNA SHERIDAN? 

I worked closely with Marianna and she was quiet, yet fiercely passionate about Oscar de la Renta. She loved the designer so much, she had a family home built in the Dominican Republic. I always looked forward to her e-mails with another glorious find. She frequently would seek my advice on if she should or should not acquire certain looks, but she was somehow drawn to the glorious pieces that always reflected the best of Oscar’s designs. Under her direction, the de la Renta archives became a wonderful resource, a literal goldmine of offerings in every category. We were friends, and I had a deep respect for her dedication and her work. She had a love of beauty, luxury, and elegance.  

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THAT VISITORS TO THE EXHIBITION WILL COME AWAY WITH? 

I hope visitors wi11 take away a breathtaking sense of Oscar’s love of texture and fabric, color, and complex layerings of details of the world of couture conceits. Romantic ruffles and the glory of Spain’s culture in the arts, and flamenco, the bullring, and the idea of the warmth of the sun in Sevilla on a beautiful day is somehow in the very cut of the cloth. More than anything, he was a true romantic and loved life, and he showed that in his love of gardens, garden motifs, flowers. 

THIS EXHIBITION HAS COINCIDED WITH THE PREMIERE OF YOUR NEW DOCUMENTARY, “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE.” 

I am proud the documentary opens at the same period this spring as the exhibit. Kate Novack, director, narrates brilliantly my humble beginnings in Durham, N.C. and how I soldiered through the “chiffon trenches” for decades to arrive at the heights of my career, landing at Vogue for nearly two decades. I am still aligned to Vogue as a contributing editor and consider Dame Anna Wintour a close friend. She has supported me throughout my career and I am blessed to have her [in my life]. The documentary received the Whistler prize last December at the Whistler Film Festival, as World Documentary. 

 It’s a great honor to curate this, my third exhibition since Oscar de la Renta died. I considered Oscar one of my close friends and I think of him every day as I do so many wonderful people who have passed away: Yves Saint Laurent, Diana Vreeland, Andy Warhol (who gave me my first job in fashion in 1975), and Azzedine Alaia. I am also proud of the books I published in collaboration with SCAD in Savannah, Georgia, published by Rizzoli, Little Black Dress and Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style. 

Lydia Thompson in her studio

Artist Lydia Thompson at work in her home studio.

On the daily: 24 hours in the life of artist Lydia Thompson

By Liz Rothaus Bertrand

For Lydia Thompson, a working artist and professor of ceramics at UNC Charlotte, the past is always present. She is fascinated by “our abodes,” and how we interact with them. Inside these spaces, we carry our own stories, as well as those of former inhabitants and vestiges from our lives elsewhere. Thompson’s recent work focuses on issues such as forced displacement, gentrification, and what gets left behind when a home is abandoned. 

“You can see the emotions of a structure when it starts to deteriorate, especially when it’s been abandoned,” Thompson says. “You can see layers and layers of cultures that lived in there.” 

As Thompson wraps up a three-year term as UNC Charlotte’s chairperson of the department of art and art history, she’s also looking toward the future. After spending much of her career in leadership positions at universities throughout the United States, she is eager to return to a schedule with more time for teaching, studio work, and leading community workshops. 

“I really love working with the community,” she says, “because the artwork just sits in the gallery and I want to bring it alive.”  

While her weekdays have been mostly filled with administrative duties she finds time for studio work on the weekend. Take a look at a typical Saturday for the renowned ceramic artist, filled with her sketchbook, the kiln, and some thought provoking documentaries. 

Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

5 AM: I wake up and start my day with some personal reading. The books I’m reading are always centered around projects I’m working on. Books I’ve recently read include Feeding the Ghosts by Fred D’Aguiar, Root Shock by Mindy Thompson Fullilove, and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

6 AM: I check emails, maybe look at Instagram, and have two cups of coffee, followed by a full breakfast of pancakes or eggs. I reserve the yogurt and oatmeal for Monday through Friday. I keep a sketchbook nearby at all times. Because I don’t have a lot of time to work in the studio, I’m always making lists.

7:30 AM: I head down to my basement studio — I am happy to finally have a dedicated studio space — and open the kiln. Even though I know what the result is going to be, I love the anticipation. The excitement of seeing a fired piece never goes away. 

Because slabs are heavy, I work on them while I have the most energy of the day. I spend a couple of hours focused rolling out and flipping slabs. I use a template and make a cardboard model before I actually cut anything out to be sure it’s going to work when I put it together.  

While working, I usually put on the television show “Columbo” or listen to a podcast. I feel like detective Columbo is the underdog who is misunderstood. I think of myself and my career in terms of being misunderstood sometimes. People see me and never think I’m the director or the person in the leadership role at UNC Charlotte because I’m an African American woman. They’re always surprised when they find out who I am. 

I also enjoy listening to podcasts. I love Brené Brown’s “Unlocking Us,” and “Business of HYPE,” with host Jeff Staple. 

9:30 AM: If I have slabs set up, I start building the interior structure and putting the walls together. I start busting up things, making rubble so I can dip all of it in glaze and put it in the piece.  

11:30 AM: It’s time to glaze. I look at the wooden bases and check the inventory of what needs to be done before setting up. I usually glaze my pieces three or four times. 

Noon: I take a lunch break, which is usually leftovers — homemade pizza, maybe a salad or a tuna sandwich — and enjoy time in my backyard with a quick stretch and check on the garden my fiancé planted. We have green beans, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, lettuce, and green peppers.

1:30 PM: Back to the studio. I set up the piece a little more and then do some glazing. This takes time and can be tedious because I put masking tape where I want another color to appear. But it gives me the result I’m after. I glaze for an hour and a half and then let it dry.

2 PM: I get another cup of coffee that I don’t really need.

3 PM: I’m always working on two or three pieces at the same time, so it’s helpful to review where I am with projects. I go back to my sketchbook and then I repeat the cycle I began at the start of the day, except for the slab rolling. 

Studio time is so important. It’s dedicated time to work and to review work you’ve done, especially the work that wasn’t successful. Even though you want to throw it in the trash, you’ve got to look at it and say, “Why did this not work?”

6 PM: It’s time to get dinner ready. We try to eat healthy, and I walk every day after dinner and sometimes in the morning, too. I also stretch. It helps to keep your body in tune, especially if you’re doing ceramics.

7:30 PM: My fiancé and I unwind watching movies, but I’m sketching all the time — at night, when I’m in bed or while I’m looking at the TV. I look through the sketches and pull out the ones I think will work. 

We like to watch suspense, thriller, love stories, and futuristic movies. I love documentaries. With the Black Lives Matter movement in focus, I’ve been watching documentaries, such as Black Wall Street, Amend, Coded Bias, and I Am Not Your Negro about African American history. They’re tear jerkers for me because this is reality. I think we’ve come really far, but the only way we can change certain mentalities is to start when people are very young. It’s hard to understand unless you actually walk in someone else’s shoes. I just don’t want people’s eyes to roll when we continue to have these conversations because it really has impacted lives. The way you treat a certain group of people still has an impact on their life and where they are in this country. There’s just no way around it.

9:30 PM: I go to bed fairly early. By 9:30 or 10 o’clock, I’m out. I’m done.

Liz Rothaus Bertrand is a writer and editor based in Charlotte who is passionate about the arts.  

E.V. Day (American, 1967–). Daytona Vortex, 2020, neoprene, filament, metal. On loan from Jimmy and Chandra Johnson.

The Mint Museum debuts Daytona Vortex sculpture memorializing NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s 2006 Daytona 500 victory

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte (December 22, 2021)Daytona Vortex by New York-based artist EV Day makes its public debut December 23, 2021 at The Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte. On loan from Jimmie and Chandra Johnson, the sculpture is made from the fire suit seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson wore when he took the win at the 2006 Daytona 500. 

Jimmie Johnson commissioned Day to create the sculpture using the fire suit. For decades Day has constructed sculptures that question social structures and perceptions around gender and sexuality, as seen in her Exploded Couture series that includes Transporter, which is on view in the Mint’s permanent collection galleries on Level 4 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

Bold forms and colors found in the sculpture generate notions of speed, technology, and celebratory confetti. The reversed engineering of the suit pays homage to Karuta, the complicated armor worn by samurai warriors. Day also considers Jimmie Johnson’s racing suit in the lineage of space exploration, tracing its fiber genetics to the suit that allowed Major Arthur Murray to become the first pilot to leave the Earth’s atmosphere in 1954.  

“It celebrates the power and heroism of humankind’s innovation,” Day says. “Tectonically the language of the piece highlights the friction between man and machine — softness of the highly tailored fabric to the rigid structure of the hardware. It may seem that these forces are at odds, but they are interdependent on one another,” Day says. 

When Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator ofcontemporary art at the Mint, learned about the commissioned piece, she knew she wanted to have it on view at the Mint.  

Like TransporterDaytona Vortex is visually stunning and conceptually powerful as it pushes us to rethink ideas around gender, dress, social interactions, expectations and popular culture,” Sudul Edwards says. “It’s also a poignant reconsideration of sports heroes like Jimmie Johnson and the tension that must be maintained between the physical and intellectual, assurances and risk, in order to succeed.” 

Daytona Vortex is on view December 23, 2021-June 5, 2022, in the Gorelick Gallery on Level 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

Ticket Information 

The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021. 

About The Mint Museum  

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

Contact: 

Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum 

michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704-564-0826 

E.V. Day (American, 1967–). Daytona Vortex, 2020, neoprene, filament, metal. On loan from Jimmy and Chandra Johnson.

The Mint Museum debuts Daytona Vortex sculpture commemorates NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s 2006 Daytona 500 victory

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte (December 22, 2021)Daytona Vortex by New York-based artist EV Day makes its public debut December 23, 2021 at The Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte. On loan from Jimmie and Chandra Johnson, the sculpture is made from the fire suit Jimmie Johnson wore when he took the win at the 2006 Daytona 500. 

Made from the winning fire suit, monofilament and hardware with a mirrored stainless steel base, Jimmie Johnson commissioned Day to create the sculpture that stands more than 12 feet tall. For decades Day has constructed sculptures that question social structures and perceptions around gender and sexuality, as seen in her Exploded Couture series that includes Transporter, which is on view in the Mint’s permanent collection galleries on Level 4 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

Bold forms and colors found in the sculpture generate notions of speed, technology, and celebratory confetti. The reversed engineering of the suit pays homage to Karuta, the complicated armor worn by samurai warriors. Day also considers Jimmie Johnson’s racing suit in the lineage of space exploration, tracing its fiber genetics to the suit that allowed Major Arthur Murray to become the first pilot to leave the Earth’s atmosphere in 1954.  

“It celebrates the power and heroism of humankind’s innovation,” Day says. “Tectonically the language of the piece highlights the friction between man and machine — softness of the highly tailored fabric to the rigid structure of the hardware. It may seem that these forces are at odds, but they are interdependent on one another,” Day says. 

When Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator ofcontemporary art at the Mint, learned about the commissioned piece, she knew she wanted to have it on view at the Mint.  

Like TransporterDaytona Vortex is visually stunning and conceptually powerful as it pushes us to rethink ideas around gender, dress, social interactions, expectations and popular culture,” Sudul Edwards says. “It’s also a poignant reconsideration of sports heroes like Jimmie Johnson and the tension that must be maintained between the physical and intellectual, assurances and risk, in order to succeed.” 

Daytona Vortex is on view December 23, 2021-June 5, 2022, in the Gorelick Gallery on Level 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

Ticket Information 

The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021. 

About The Mint Museum  

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

Contact: 

Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum 

michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704-564-0826 

The Mint Museum presents The World of Anna Sui, a retrospective of the iconic fashion designer

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (November 2, 2021) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition The World of Anna Sui, a major retrospective of the iconic fashion designer, on view November 20, 2021- May 1, 2022, at its Mint Museum Randolph location. The exhibition — presented by PNC Bank — provides a look inside the creative process of Sui, who recently was featured in T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s 2021 Greats issue and is known for her mastery of street-chic style from mod to punk, surfer to bohemian.

The World of Anna Sui is organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and curated by Dennis Nothdruft, head of exhibitions at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London. The first iteration of the exhibition debuted at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London in the summer of 2017, and has toured the globe, from New York City to Shanghai to Tokyo. The Mint Museum’s iteration — curated by Annie Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion — is the last stop for the exhibition’s current international tour. It presents more than 100 looks from the designer’s archives, with a roll call of archetypes that capture the Sui aesthetic, such as rockstar, Americana, fairytale, grunge, retro and nomad. It is the first full fashion exhibition at The Mint Museum to be devoted to a woman’s body of work, as well as the first dedicated to an Asian American designer. As the museum celebrates the 85th anniversary of its founding, the exhibition brings to life aspects of The Mint Museum’s evolution.

“One of the rare women-owned fashion brands, Sui and her innovative spirit are a fitting complement to the pioneering spirit of the donors who launched the Mint’s notable fashion collection in 1972,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum.

Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors that comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history. This fun and raucous exhibition takes the visitor through the many phases and influences of Sui’s career that have made her such a darling of both street fashionistas and the runway, says Herman.

“In addition to capturing the output of Sui’s creativity and artistic vision, this exhibition celebrates what it takes to build a successful business — entrepreneurship, innovation, determination and hard work,” says Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “PNC is excited to help the Mint bring this meaningful exhibition – the first of its kind — to Charlotte.”

Part autobiography and part cultural commentary, Sui uses her fashion to reflect her experiences as part of a vibrant New York City art and music scene in the late 1970s. Her designs point to her friendships with fellow Parsons School of Design students Steven Meisel and Marc Jacobs; and models Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. Her fashions are a product of her own high-fashion-meets-thrift store and biker-meets-princess style, as well as an ongoing fascination and study of London’s art and music world, from Aubrey Beardsley to The Beatles.

“Through her meticulous research of history, art and design, Anna Sui creates not simply fashions, but an entire gesamtkunstwerk, with head-to-toe touches: earrings, sunglasses, coats, bags, socks and shoes, and even bottle carriers,” says Annie Carlano, senior curator for craft, design & fashion at The Mint Museum. “Our installation brings the world of Anna Sui alive, with a killer soundtrack and vibrant interiors.”

The exhibition is organized by the Fashion Textile Museum, London and presented by PNC Bank. Generous individual support is provided by Deidre and Clay Grubb, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary. Additional individual support is provided by Posey and Mark Mealy, Celene and Marc Oken, Kati and Chris Small, Ann and Michael Tarwater, Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach, the Fashion Task Force, and friends of fashion.

Ticket Information

The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children age 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors age 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth age 5–17. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021.

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About The Mint Museum 

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

Anna Sui

Anna Sui’s collections take people on a creative journey that is unparalleled in the world of fashion. Mixing vintage inspiration with current cultural obsessions, she effortlessly designs hip and exuberant original clothing. Anna Sui’s first fashion show in 1991 earned her international acclaim. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recognized Anna Sui with its Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1993 and honored her again in 2009 with the prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. She received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design at the New School in 2017. Anna Sui’s products are sold in over 300 stores in 30 countries. The Anna Sui line also includes her very popular fragrance and cosmetic collections, as well as successful footwear, eyewear, and jewelry licensees. Anna Sui designs and manufactures directly from her New York City studio. Her runway shows continue to inspire and set trends through her signature lens. The Anna Sui brand has been independently owned since its inception in 1981.

The Fashion and Textile Museum

The Fashion and Textile Museum is the only museum in the UK dedicated to showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design. The Museum is committed to presenting varied, creative and engaging exhibitions, alongside an exciting selection of educational courses, talks, events and workshops. In place of a permanent collection is a diverse program of temporary exhibitions, displaying a broad range of innovative fashion and textiles from designers and makers around the world. The Fashion and Textile Museum was founded in 2003 by icon of British design, Dame Zandra Rhodes. Today, the Museum is operated by Newham College, London — one of Europe’s largest further education colleges. Situated in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Village, the Museum is housed in a beautiful and distinctive building designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta.

Contact: 

Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org| 704.488.6874 (c) 

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

The Mint Museum celebrates its 85th anniversary with a weekend of festivities and complimentary museum admission 

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (October 12, 2021) — October 22, 2021 marks the 85th anniversary of The Mint Museum. A weekend celebration is planned October 22-24 to commemorate the opening of North Carolina’s first art museum. Festivities, presented by Chase, kick off 5-9 PM October 22 at Mint Museum Randolph. Events include the opening of the newest Interventions installation by local artist and muralist Irisol Gonzalez and an artist talk with Gonzalez at 6:30 p.m., live painting by local artists Elisa Lopez Trejo and Arthur Rogers, plus a cash bar, food trucks, music by DJ Claudio Ortiz, cupcakes, and giveaways with free mini art kits compliments of Chase. 

The celebration continues at Mint Museum Uptown noon-4 PM October 23, and includes live music by Groove Masters and Orquesta Mayor, live painting by local artist Arthur Rogers, a cash bar, cupcakes, raffle prizes, docent tours of the John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition, and giveaways. Museum admission is free throughout the weekend at both museum locations. 

“We are excited to help the Mint Museum celebrate 85 years of being a key part of the Charlotte community,” says Justin Brovitz, Chase’s Consumer Banking Market Director in the Carolinas. “This past year and a half has taught us so much about the value of art and the arts to boost our spirits, to inspire our creativity, and to strengthen our communities. It is with that in mind that we are supporting a free weekend of the Mint Museum’s new exhibitions, installations and other fun activities in celebration of this milestone.” 

The Mint Museum was established in 1936 thanks to the efforts of many women who were devoted to bringing art to the Charlotte community, especially Mary Myers Dwelle. As chairperson of the Charlotte Woman’s Club Art Department, Dwelle arranged art exhibitions and lectures that were eagerly received by Charlotte audiences. Recognizing the need for a free-standing arts institution, she and other arts advocates identified the historic U.S. Mint building on Tryon Street as a viable location. Despite financial hurdles, Dwelle and her team of arts advocates marched forward ultimately inspiring funding for the purchase and relocation of the building to the Mint’s current Randolph Road location. In 2010, Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts opened at 500 South Tryon Street. 

The Mint Museum recognizes that throughout its history it has not always been the welcoming place for all people that it aspires to be today. Through initiatives, such as showcasing works by diverse groups of artists, providing added accessibility through special events and free museum days, and special programming, the museum strives to be inclusive for all people, races, and backgrounds. 

“The Mint has connected generations through the power of art,” says Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “As we look forward to the next 85 years, we are guided by a commitment to welcome and inspire artists and visitors of all backgrounds with the amazing art in our collections and through special exhibitions and programming.” 

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About The Mint Museum 

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

Contact: 

Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org| 704.488.6874 (c) 

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

The Windgate Foundation awards The Mint Museum two $1 million gifts to grow its Craft and Design Collection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Charlotte, North Carolina (September 9, 2021) — The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina has received two $1 million dollar gifts from the Windgate Foundation. One of the $1 million gifts will be used to establish an acquisition endowment for the purchase of works by living craft artists for the Mint’s permanent collection. The other $1 million is designated for operating expenses to advance the museum’s mission.

“We are both honored and thrilled that the Windgate Foundation has recognized the strength of The Mint Museum’s programs and the importance of our Craft and Design collection,” says Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “Their generous gift will allow us to continue to grow this important collection with an emphasis on living and diverse artists.”

The Mint Museum collects international contemporary decorative arts in the areas of glass, fiber art, metal, studio jewelry, design, studio furniture, wood art, and clay. The Craft and Design Collection, housed at Mint Museum Uptown, includes works of art from the mid-20th century to the present, with a focus on 21st-century pieces. The Windgate Foundation gift will be used to grow The Mint Museum’s Craft and Design Collection with works of art made by a diverse group of artists.

“Craft is central to the identity of the Mint, one of a few art museums in the country with permanent collection galleries devoted to the ongoing presentation of local, national, and global craft,” says Annie Carlano, senior curator of Craft, Design & Fashion at The Mint Museum. “We are honored that the Windgate Foundation has once again recognized the importance of the craft collection at the Mint, as well as our exhibitions, programs, and publications.”

By forging alliances regionally, nationally, and internationally, the museum continues to find new ways to integrate craft and design into the broader conversation about art and society. The new gift to The Mint Museum is a significant expansion of the Windgate Foundation’s commitment to the museum’s Craft and Design program. Previously, the Windgate Foundation has supported Covid-19 Relief, the Michael Sherrill Retrospective exhibition and catalogue, Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939 educational programming, and other art acquisitions at the Mint.

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The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Contact:

Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum
caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org| 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

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Three works of art that remind us to revere Native American culture and craft

By Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion, and Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion

Native American Heritage Day is celebrated the last Friday of November. Designated by President George W. Bush in 2008, it celebrates and recognizes the importance of Native Americans and their cultural heritage to our past, present, and future. Works of art by Native American artists encapsulate tradition, rich artistry, and stories that are passed down through generations. The Mint Museum’s Native Americas collection showcases works from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala, from the nineteenth century to today. Objects from the Native Americas collection are on view at Mint Museum Randolph, as well as the Craft+Design galleries at Mint Museum Uptown. Following are three works of art by Native American artists that chronicle their roots, relationships, and environments.

Diego Romero 

Diego Romero (Cochiti, 1964–). Bowl, late 20th century, earthenware with slip paint. Gift of Gretchen and Nelson Grice. 2017.43.34

 

This bowl is part of an ongoing series of ceramics and prints by Diego Romero that chronicles the adventures of the Chongo Brothers, named for a characteristic hairstyle of Navajo and Pueblo people, a bun gathered at the nape of the neckthe chongo. Romero’s ceramics are impeccably hand built with local clays from the hills of Northern New Mexico.

The strong graphic design is a combination of geometric motifs related to ancient Mimbres pottery, pop art and comic-strip aesthetics. Chronicling the societal injustice rampant on and off the reservation, Diego Romero sometimes softens these difficult narratives with his cartoonish style.

Trained at UCLA, his work is included in museums and private collections in the US and Europe. In 2019 Diego Romero received the Native Treasures Living Treasures Award, given to artists who have made outstanding contributions to indigenous arts and culture. 

Diego Romero ceramics are hand built with clay from the hills of Northern New Mexico. Courtesy of Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Diego Romero’s bowl is on view at Mint Museum Randolph, in an installation featuring Pueblo ceramics from the Grice Collection. Experience more of Romero’s work through a virtual tour of his current solo exhibition at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, New Mexico, Diego Romero vs. The End of Art

 

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Susan Point 

A collection of wooden circles surrounding a large disk with two fish carved into it

Susan Point (Canadian, Coast Salish [Musqueam First Nation], 1952–), Salmon Spawning Run, 2012, carved and painted Western red cedar. Project Ten Ten Ten commission. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Fleur Bresler, Libba and Mike Gaither, Laura and Mike Grace, Betsy and Brian Wilder, Amy and Alfred Dawson, Aida and Greg Saul, Missy Luczak Smith and Doug Smith, Beth and Drew Quartapella, and Kim Blanding. 2012.107. Art © Susan Point 2012. Image © Mint Museum of Art, Inc. © Susan Point, 2012.

 

The round shape of Salmon Spawning Run is based on Susan Point’s well-established spindle whorl motif, which represents the Coast Salish, a First Nations tribe. For thousands of years salmon have sustained the Coast Salish people as the primary food source. As such, salmon are highly honored and respected. Symbolizing abundance, prosperity, renewal, and fertility, the fish and their eggs are depicted here in a composition that reminds us of the importance of clean water other sustainable resources to protect our natural environment. cedar from a tree trunk found on communal land, and painted the carved wood with natural pigments.  

Susan Point’s artwork symbolizes the natural resources that are central to life of the Coast Salish, a First Nations tribe. Image courtesy of the artist

One of a group of artists responsible for the resurgence of Coast Salish art and culture, her public art projects include works at Vancouver International Airport and the Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, D.C. She has received numerous awards including the Order of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and a British Columbia Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Salmon Spawning Run is a part of Project Ten Ten Ten and is a site-specific work on view in the Craft & Design galleries at Mint Museum Uptown. 

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Tara Locklear 

Tara Locklear (United States), Bobble for Bob Necklace, circa 2017, walnut, laser cut plexiglass, recycled skateboards, costume jewelry, oxidized sterling silver, and other mixed media. Gift of Porter • Price Collection. 2019.93.117

 

Tara Locklear’s one-of a kind jewelery is inspired by her environments and includes repurposed elements, such as wooden skateboards. Image courtesy of the artist

Tara Locklear’s jewelry is inspired by urban environments and includes repurposed elements such as pieces of wooden skateboards. She made this necklace as a tribute to her jewelry professor and mentor, Robert Ebendorf, after his retirement from East Carolina University (ECU). Its materials range from ones she explored as a student there to ones she focuses on in her current practice. Locklear earned a BFA in Small Metals and Jewelry Design from ECU in 2012. She lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina and is a member of the Lumbee Tribe. 

Women’s artistry shines as Charlotte Symphony Orchestra concertos inaugurate Mint Museum Uptown’s newly installed Foragers

By Michael Solender

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra violinist Jenny Topilow could barely contain her enthusiasm when she learned she’d be performing in a special filmed concerto in the Mint Museum’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium uptown earlier this fall.  

 Topilowalong with three of her symphony colleagues, were part of a unique celebration showcasing the space and the brilliant newly installed 96-panel “stained glass” installation, Foragers, by contemporary American artist Summer Wheat.

“The beauty of great art is of importance to all of us,” Topilow says,I love spending time at the Mint, go there often, and am excited to be part of this collaboration between two of Charlotte’s favorite cultural institutions.” 

Bringing people together to enjoy beautiful artistry is at the core of the museum’s mission. As part of the Mint Museum’s 10th anniversary year uptown and in recognition of the challenges many in our community face getting out of their homes during the time of Covid, the Mint partnered with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in creating a short film featuring a pair of duets performed by symphony musicians.  

 The collaboration came at invitation of the Wells Fargo Foundation, longtime supporters of both cultural institutions. “Our foundation uses different mediums to help tell the story of impact and reach into the communities we serve,” says Jay Everette, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. “The film represents a celebration of the power of women in art presented at the intersection of architecture, art and music. The film will ultimately be made available at no charge to the entire community.” 

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra players, cellist Sarah Markle and violinist Alaina Rea, teamed up for a performance that was filmed in front of “Foragers.” Photo courtesy Kelso Communications

Each duet is performed under the backdrop of Summer Wheat’s transformative atrium window installation. Bathed in glowing jewel-toned light, the compelling musical performances are elevated by the sublimity of the space. Topilow and CSO harpist Andrea Mumm Trammell paired to play contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Part’s Fratres, an enthusiastic set of frenetic activity juxtaposed against contemplative stillness. Charlotte Symphony Orchestra players, cellist Sarah Markle and violaist Alaina Rea, teamed for the contemplative and reflecting duet Limestone and Feltby contemporary North Carolina composer and Pulitzer Prize for music recipient Caroline Shaw.  

“During this time of COVID, we want to provide content that is uplifting, hopeful, positive, and optimistic,” says Hillary Cooper, Chief Advancement Officer for The Mint Museum. “It’s a gift to our donors and partners and comes with a promise of a brighter future.”

Foragers was realized through the generous support of the Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund, a special fund developed to support broader representation of women artists in museum collections. The work showcases Wheat’s commitment to telling the stories of women as laborers and makers. She redefines historic artistic gender representation in ways that make her work resonate loudly today. 

We asked our musicians to find inspiration in Foragers, and to select music that would complement it,” says David Fisk, president, and CEO of Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.To continue our focus on the impact of women in the arts, we feature two duets by female musicians, and one work by a contemporary female composer. I am pleased to highlight musicians from the Charlotte Symphony here at The Mint Museum for a performance that is at once classical and contemporary.” 

 For Topilow, the performance is a joyful experience at a happy junction of art and music.  

Everything right nowduring Covidhas unique aspect,” Topilow says, “We wanted to create a large amount of powerful music with a small number of players and the result is truly special.”

Michael J. Solender is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, American City Business Journals, Metropolis Magazine, Business North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer, and others. He develops custom content and communications for businesses and organizations.

Members of the Metrolina Native American Association dressed in tribal colors and costume. Photo by Lance Bradshaw

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Compiled and written by Rubie Britt-Height and Kurma Murrain

 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples, and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October.

In 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in North Carolina. Cooper’s proclamation states “American Indians, who have inhabited this land since long before their first contact with English settlers, share their knowledge of the land and its resources, and have continued to play a vital role in the development of our local communities, the state of North Carolina and the nation.”

North Carolina has several indigenous peoples, including the Catawba, Eastern Band of  Cherokee‎, Chickasaw‎, Choctaw,‎  Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Meherrin, Muscogee‎, Occaneechi Band Saponi, Sappony, Waccamaw Siouan Seminole tribe, Lumbee‎, and‎ Pamlico‎.

Governor Cooper noted, “Our state has enjoyed a positive relationship with the indigenous people of North Carolina and continue to grow in our shared progress. We honor and respect the heritage and the many cultural and economic contributions of our American Indian tribes and people.”

Dancers from the Metrolina Native American Association perform at a Sunday Fun Day and Community Conversations event at The Mint Museum. Authentic costumes with feathers, bells, leather, and beads brighten ceremonial and celebratory dances.  The dances are a form of storytelling. Photo by Lance Bradshaw

The History of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day began in 1989 in South Dakota, where then Governor  George S. Mickelson backed a resolution to celebrate Native American day on the second Monday of October. It was a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of  Columbus Day, which honors Italian explorer  Christopher Columbus. Some in the United States reject celebrating Christopher Columbus, saying that he represents “the violent history of the colonization in the Western Hemisphere” and that Columbus Day overshadows Columbus’ dismal actions, including enslaving Native Americans.

According to the Cherokee One Feather news, “Columbus’ landing in the Caribbean marked the beginning of decline among Native American tribes and the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade.” Columbus Day is still celebrated the same day in many states, including by numerous Italian-American communities.

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day at the Mint

The Mint Museum joins North Carolina’s celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ day and embraces the idea of acknowledging the historic sacrifices of indigenous people and their contributions to the United States. The museum is proud of its relationship with the Metrolina Native American Association in presenting cultural history, heritage, dance, storytelling, and music during Native American Heritage Month.  It also has presented programming with Catawba artists.

A diverse audience of parents, children, and the Native American community enjoyed circle and tribal dance to the rhythms of indigenous musical instruments at a Sunday Fun Day event in 2019. Photo by Lance Bradshaw

Summer Wheat (American, 1977–). Foragers, 2020, colored vinyl on mylar, 805.5 x 738.5 inches. T0263.1a-qqqq. Photo credit: Chris Edwards

Summer Wheat’s monumental Foragers underscores the Mint’s ongoing commitment to women artists, perspectives historically underrepresented in museums

By Michael J. Solender

Uptown visitors meet with a fresh sensory experience this fall as Mint Museum Uptown reopens its doors following the Covid-mandated lockdown. As guests enter the towering glass-paneled Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium, they’re enveloped in warm jewel-toned light bathing the space of the new 96-panel “stained glass” installation Foragers by contemporary American artist Summer Wheat.

And while the quiet beauty of hand-drawn, collaged and placed colored vinyl panels encourage many to slow their pace and reflect in the grandeur, the imagery of strong, powerful women, taking on traditional male roles of hunters and providers, makes a clear and confident statement—women are represented on their own terms, making vital contributions.

The messaging is not accidental. Wheat’s work is deliberate in pushing back on gender objectification and unidimensional portrayal often depicted in museum collections. “Histories we tell, and the histories told to us are never really true,” Wheat says, her slight Oklahoma drawl elongating her cadence. “They’re only telling one side of the story, and there’s a lot that’s left out.”

Wheat, a mid-career artist whose work has been displayed in museums only within the past few years, is bucking a trend unfavorable to women. Just 11 percent of all acquisitions and 14 percent of exhibitions at 26 prominent American museums over the past decade were of work by female artists, according to a recent study by art market information company Artnet.

Recognizing this historical underrepresentation of women’s voices on public display, the Mint is leading the way to better balance the scales. “We have a strong community partner and advocate in Wells Fargo whose values align so closely with the museum on this important social and cultural issue,” says Todd Herman, Mint Museum President & CEO, “Something  we really admire and treasure in the relationship we’ve had with Wells Fargo is they collaborate with us and push us further in ways that make the community better. Their Women Artist Fund and their support of our Foragers installation is a wonderful example of that.”

Charlotte knows Wells Fargo as a significant community partner and stalwart investor in our region’s diversity and success. Their foundation focuses on projects and innovation at the community level such as awareness and social change, increasing housing affordability, and access to capital for businesses. Last year, they contributed more than $14 million in support of projects and programing in the Charlotte region. In addition to programmatic work with quantitative measure, like the number of low-income individuals placed into safe and affordable housing, a component of the foundation’s work focuses on bringing perspectives and understanding to social issues through the arts.

“As company, we’re one of the largest small business lenders to women owned businesses,” says Jay Everette, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. “With the arts and culture sector of our [philanthropic] work, we realize putting a focus on female artists helps elevate and escalate women’s voices through promoting their artwork. Not only is Foragers a significant work by an important female artist, it’s also public art that anybody can come in and access without having to pay a fee.”

It was the Mint Museum’s 80th anniversary celebration and the 2016 Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibition that served as a catalyst for the formation of the Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artist Fund according to Everette. “We were beginning to formulate some of the strategies on this and through the exhibition discovered there were a group of other women artists leading the way in the movement.  But they did not have gallery representation. They were not being picked up by museums after the abstract expressionist movement.”

Inspired, the Wells Fargo Foundation set about to address and help reconcile the imbalance of female representation in museum collections. “The Women Artist Fund was established three years ago, and we’ve been successful in helping to place and acquire seminal pieces of art in permanent museum collections across North Carolina,” says Everette. Other museums benefiting from the program include the Cameron Museum of Art in Wilmington, The Weatherspoon Museum of Art in Greensboro, and The Blowing Rock Art Museum in Blowing Rock.

Admirers of Summer Wheat’s Foragers, on display through September 6, 2022, will be pleased to note that through the generosity of The Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artist Fund, the artist’s work With Side, With Shoulder, a large painting where Wheat’s technique extrudes paint through wire mesh, has been acquired for the Mint’s permanent collection.

Mary Myers Dwelle, one of the Mint’s female founders would undoubtedly be pleased.

Foragers is part of the exhibition In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art that opens Oct. 16 at Mint Museum Uptown.

Michael J. Solender is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, American City Business Journals, Metropolis Magazine, Business North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer, and others. He develops custom content and communications for businesses and organizations.

Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museum (left) with Herb Cohen.

A stalwart supporter of the arts and dedicated staff member at the Mint, Herb Cohen provides an oral history of The Mint Museum

Herb Cohen, a well-respected potter, has been a part of the Mint family since the late 1950s and is still an active member of the Mint and the Delhom Service League.  First working with clay at the age of 6 at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Herb earned two degrees in ceramics at Alfred University before becoming a designer for Hyalyn Porcelain Company in Hickory, North Carolina.

After two years at Hyalyn, he moved to Charlotte in 1958, and immediately became involved with the Mint Museum Drama Guild. He and his husband, José Fumero, a textile artist and painter, designed and built sets and costumes, as well as appearing onstage. This was the beginning of Cohen wearing many hats on the Mint staff, including exhibition designer, ceramics teacher, interim museum director (twice!), and exhibits director. In 1972, he and Fumero moved to Blowing Rock to pursue their art full-time, but never lost touch with the Mint.   

During the 38 years in Blowing Rock, Cohen made his living as a potter, was a founder of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, and served on the boards of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Piedmont Craftsman, and the American Craft Council. After he and Fumero returned to Charlotte in 2010, Cohen became active with the Delhom Service League and the Potters Market Invitational. In 2012, the Mint celebrated his work with the exhibition, Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen. 

The following interviews were conducted by Brian Gallagher, curator of decorative arts, and Ellen Show, archivist at Mint Museum Randolph during the summer of 2017. Cohen discusses his career at the Mint Museum, his life as a potter and artist, his experiences with the Mint Museum Drama Guild, and, during a walking tour, describes what the Mint Museum Randolph building was like before and after the 1967 expansion. 

 

Interview 1 – June 12, 2017: Cohen’s roles at The Mint Museum

 

Gallagher talks with Cohen about his years on staff at the Mint Museum, which ran from 1958 to 1972. Cohen began as a volunteer exhibition installer and Mint Museum Drama Guild technician and actor, and went on to become exhibition designer, interim museum director (twice!), ceramics instructor, and exhibits director. 

 

Interview 2 – June 26, 2017: Cohen’s Life in the Arts

Cohen discusses his relationship with the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and its contribution to his studying ceramics at Alfred University, his singing at Madison Square Garden and on Broadway as a child, and his work as a potter in North Carolina. 

 

Interview 3 – July 10, 2017: The Mint Museum Drama Guild

Ellen Show talks with Cohen about his experiences working with the Mint Museum Drama Guild. Highlights of their conversation include stories about Drama Guild founder Dorothy Masterson, and memories of other guild members, including Jan Karon, Leon Rippy, and his husband, artist Jose Fumero. 

 

Interview 4 – Aug. 18, 2017

 

A walk-and-talk through the original staff areas of Mint Museum Randolph. Cohen remembers the spaces as they were in the late 1950s to 1960s. 

 

Interview 5 – Sept. 12, 2017 

 

A walk-and-talk around the original gallery spaces of Mint Museum Randolph. Cohen describes the spaces before and after the 1967 building expansion. 

Building on talent and tradition, ceramic artists leave their mark through clay creations in the Mint’s permanent collection

By Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion, and Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion

Locally, across the country, and across the pond, North Carolina is known as the “clay state.”  With an abundance of clay in the soil from the Piedmont to the mountains, centuries of pottery making, and generations of families making objects of exceptional craft and design, by the early 20th century an appreciation for North Carolina ceramics grew. In the 1960s, amid the back-to-the-earth cultural movement, pottery was collected, exhibited, and published widely, and the was the subject of scholarly inquiries and symposia.

Building on the talent and traditions of the past, in the 21st century, North Carolina has attracted potters and sculptors from throughout the world who seek good local clay bodies, but a community of makers and a lifestyle that values simplicity.

North Carolina ceramics is one of the great strengths of the Mint Museum’s permanent collection. Its contemporary holdings continue to grow through the generosity of many individuals. Striving to represent the full range of artistic production throughout the state, the Mint has amassed a collection that includes jugs, tableware, sculpture, and installation art. A sampling is featured here for your enjoyment.

Fine functional and decorative objects are also featured in the Mint Museum Store at Mint Museum Uptown.

 

Cristina  Córdova (United States, 1976-). Preludios y Partidas, 2012, ceramic, concrete, steel, resin, 129.5 x 36 x 180 inches. Project Ten Ten Ten Commission. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Laura and Michael Grace, Donna and Al De Molina, Lorne Lassiter and Gary Ferraro, and Yvonne and Richard McCracken. 2014.30A-J. Image © Mint Museum of Art, Inc. © Cristina Córdova, 2012.

 

Cristina Córdova’s figurative installation, Preludios y Partidas, commands a wall at one end of the Clay Gallery on Level 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. This subtle yet powerful psychological work was created nearly a decade ago yet is prescient. Córdova says: “In understanding this piece as a metaphorical topography, I wanted to use the title to hint as to what that corresponding psycho-emotional space would be. This landscape is one of transition and like the reference to the distillment of reason and logic from uncertainty and chaos, these figures are in the preliminary charged states (preludios) before a great action (partidas). Although the floating concrete elements could hint of the residual vestiges of a previous reality, I am not thinking of it as further leading to an ending but to the beginning of a new cycle. Common to the human experience are profound shifts where the ground gives way and one is thrust into powerful periods of self-reflection, growth, and renewed vision; this is how this space looks in my mind right before the next grand launch.”

Born in Boston, raised in Puerto Rico, Córdova received a BA, magna cum laude, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 1998, and an MFA in Ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, Alfred, New York, in 2002. Her sculptures are included in other prestigious museum collections including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts, Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, and the Mobile Museum in Alabama, as well as important private collections. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, she currently lives and works at Penland School of Craft in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

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Alexander Matisse (United States, 1984-), East Fork Pottery (Asheville, NC, founded 2010). Two Tall Vases, clay, glaze, 26 x 16 inches. Gift of the Delhom Service League: 2014 Potters Market Invitational Purchase. 2014.74.1a-b. © Alexander Matisse, 2014

 

Two Tall Vases form an elegant sculptural pair illustrating the skill and aesthetic of clay artist and entrepreneur Alex Matisse. The large vessel forms are beautifully shaped with hints of the handmade in the faint throwing lines and gracefully manipulated drip glazes. Based on traditional North Carolina storage jugs and inspired by English and Asian wares, Two Tall Vases signal a transitional period in Matisse’s career, when his mastery of regional forms and global techniques led to a period of experimentation and the emergence of his unique contemporary style.

Matisse grew up in Groton, Massachusetts and studied at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina where he discovered the rich history of the ceramics of our state. Dropping out of college to undertake apprenticeships with Matt Jones and Mark Hewitt, he started East Fork Pottery at the age of 25 along with his now wife Connie Coady Matisse, and John Vigeland. East Fork Pottery was founded on the principles of William Morris (British, 1834- 1896) that life is improved by living with objects that are beautiful, handmade, useful, and affordable. With their clean lines and muted colors, the simple everyday tableware and objects are staples in several restaurant dining rooms and are popular on wedding registries.

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Matthew S. Jones (United States 1971-). Storage Jar, stoneware, 20 x 15.5 inches.  Gift of an Anonymous Donor to Commemorate the First Potters Market Invitational. 2005.73.1. © Matthew S. Jones, 2005

In Storage Jar, with its broad strong rim, a robust vernacular shape is transformed into an elegant vessel, through its small delicate handles, surfaces markings, and glaze. Matt Jones achieves a timelessness in this and other works in the Mint’s collection through his deep knowledge and mastery of historic forms, the wood firing process, salt and alkaline glazes, and slip trailing. According to Jones, “It is important to me that my work is grounded in the Carolina traditions that go back 150 years, but I feel quite free to incorporate a modern sensibility and ideas from other cultures.”

Matt Jones fell in love with clay as a student at Earlham College in Indiana. His academic education was followed by an apprenticeship with Todd Piker at Cornwall Bridge Pottery in Connecticut, and another with Mark Hewitt of Pittsboro, North Carolina. In 1998 Jones set up his own pottery studio in Leicester, North Carolina. Today the studio is owned and run by Matt and his wife Christine. Using blue pipe clay—so named because it was once used to make pipe tobacco heads—Matt Jones continues to make a variety of garden pots and vessels.

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Benjamin W. Owen lll (American, 1968-). MiSe Vase, 2016, stoneware, 41 x 24 inches. Daisy Wade Bridges Purchase Prize from the 2016 Potters Market Invitational, given by the Delhom Service League. 2016.38.1

The MiSe Vase is a stunning example of Ben Owen III’s artistry. Though massive in size, it is perfectly symmetrical, displaying Owen’s great skill in throwing pots at any scale. The vessel’s rich blue color with hints of burgundy around the rim and on the handles demonstrates his mastery of a wide variety of glazes and his willingness to continually push himself to develop new glaze types. Its shape and the title MiSe reflect his knowledge of Asian ceramics, especially the Chinese ceramics tradition. In 2007, Owen traveled to China as part of a delegation of American political and community leaders and had the honor of presenting his work as gifts for the delegation’s Chinese hosts. During that trip, he also visited museums and pottery villages in China and Japan.

Owen comes from a long line of potters who settled North Carolina in the eighteenth century and made functional wares for the next two hundred years. Owen learned pottery beginning at the age of 8 from his grandfather, Ben Owen Sr., who had worked at Jugtown Pottery near Seagrove and later established his own pottery, Old Plank Road Pottery in Westmoore, North Carolina. Ben Owen III studied business at Pfeiffer University and earned a BFA in ceramics from East Carolina University in 1993. During the 1990s, he traveled to visit potters in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Since 1999, he has operated his own studio at the Old Plank Road Pottery.

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David Stuempfle (American, 1960-). Large Jar, 2012, stoneware, 17.5 x 21 inches. Gift of Daisy Wade Bridges. 2012.75.1

 

This Large Jar by David Stuempfle illustrates his skill at throwing large forms and achieving interesting glazing effects solely through the chemical reaction of clay and wood ash in the kiln. Dripping lines of brown and splotches of off-white add visual interest and complement the jar’s round form, accenting its background hues of rich brown, beige, and charcoal gray. Stuempfle makes his own clay body and slip from a mix of clay from his land and elsewhere in Seagrove, North Carolina, and commercially mined clays.

Originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Stuempfle first studied ceramics at the High Mowing School in New Hampshire. He then worked for many years as a journeyman potter in various states, including Tennessee and Wisconsin, as well as in Asia. When he relocated to North Carolina, he worked first for M.L. Owens Pottery and Jugtown Pottery before settling permanently in Seagrove. He built his wood-burning kiln there in 1992 and specialized in salt-glazed stoneware for several years but has recently stopped using salt glaze. His sources of inspiration include Chinese, Japanese, and Korean pottery.

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Pamela Owens (American, 1958-), Jugtown Pottery (Seagrove, NC, 1921-), Jennie L. Keatts (American). Jar with Lid, 2006, stoneware, silver, 6 x 4 inches. Gift of the Delhom Service League: 2006 Potters Market Invitational Purchase. 2006.67A-B. Copyright 2006, Pamela L Owens

 

On this lidded jar, Pam Owens has thrown a classic shape inspired by traditional Asian vases and complemented it with glazes in rich jewel tones of deep turquoise, burgundy, blue, and purple. The placement of the burgundy glaze around the jar’s shoulder highlights the elegance of its form. The jar’s small scale and silver lid further indicate that its purpose is decorative. The lid is by Jennie (Jennifer) Lorette Keatts, Pam’s sister, a jeweler in Seagrove, NC whose jewelry often features glazed ceramic “gems” made at Jugtown Pottery. 

The Lorette sisters were raised in New Hampshire. Pamela first studied pottery there in 1975 and became an apprentice at Jugtown in 1977. After further apprenticeships in New Hampshire, she returned to Jugtown in 1980 and three years later married its owner Vernon Owens. Since then they have been the principal potters, as well as managers of this historic pottery, which was founded in 1921 by Jacques and Juliana Busbee. The Busbees were artists from Raleigh who sought to reinvigorate the North Carolina pottery tradition by introducing Asian forms and glazes. The grandfather of Ben Owen III, Ben Owen senior, worked at Jugtown Pottery as a potter from 1923 to 1959. Ben Owen and Vernon Owens are from the same family line, although Vernon’s grandfather added the ‘s’ to his name. 

What’s the difference between pottery and ceramics?

Ceramics are clay objects that have been heated and chemically changed. Clay is porous and water-soluble, but ceramics are not. Pottery is a subcategory of ceramics that refers to vessels but not sculptures. The vessels can be functional or not. Pottery also has something of a rustic connotation, such that earthenware and stoneware are called pottery, whereas porcelain objects are called ceramics.

Tune In sculpture

“Tune In” is a 4,000 pound sculpture designed by Charlotte-based artist Richard Lazes.

Tune In puts focus on where we’ve come as a society and where we are going … for better or worse 

A larger-than-life outdoor diorama is coming to the plaza at the Levine Center for the Arts just outside Mint Museum Uptown. The 4,000-pound multidimensional diorama titled Tune In, created by local artist Richard Lazes and his studio team of fellow creatives at the Art Factory, is a sculpture of six stacked televisions from the 1960s in an enclosed room with wallpaper, pictures and linoleum that replicate a TV room of the time.

Tune In will be installed on Wells Fargo Plaza outside Mint Museum Uptown in tandem with the grand re-opening of the museum. The installation will be accompanied by food and live music during the Mint’s grand re-opening celebration. (Museums currently are grouped in Phase III opening guidelines. Re-opening dates will be announced when the latest guidelines from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper are confirmed).

Televisions in the installation display a collage of rolling snippets of media programming from the 1950s and ’60s, including news segments like the launch of Apollo 11, sitcoms and tv dramas, live musical performances by the likes of Little Richard and The Beatles. It’s a reflection of history that is mirrored in society today, as well as a display of media that has—and continues to—heavily influence the way people think and act. He hopes that Tune In stimulates conversations among viewers to consider where we have come from and where we are going as a society.

Lazes wanted to create a piece of art that put the pandemic crisis of 2020 and social unrest in some type of historical perspective. The massive sculpture was created by dissecting vintage television sets found in antique shops, and then assembled into a precarious formation indicative of the dysfunctional state of our society today. Six LED screens replace the old television tubes. In order to create content for the screens, he created a video collage mined from 100 hours of TV shows and news media during the 1960s to create iconic TV shows, great musical performers by the entertainers of that day and news clips of current events during that time period. 

“It’s been 60 years since these programs were broadcast on TV and while video programing has become more politically correct it is unclear whether American culture and society has become any more fair and equitable,” he says.

Lazes recognizes that shows like “The Jeffersons,” “The Little Rascals,” Lucille Ball, and “Sanford and Son” were misogynistic, chauvinistic and racist, portraying a very shallow  and prejudiced view of women and blacks. “These portrayals of minorities were indicative of that period. While we have moved a long way to a more magnanimous and politically correct viewpoint in our media, I wonder if our society has really changed in the way we treat one another,” he says. 

 

Richard Lazes working on the assembly of the “Tune In” diorama space.

 

But television programming of that period also brought families together to watch favorite shows.

“With the introduction of the internet, personal computers, and smartphones, we have become isolated and no longer came together with friends and families to take in a shared media experience. Perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic is that it has brought us back together as families to sit in front of the TV set as newscasters and politicians brief us on the status of the pandemic. With all of the discord and alienation in society, we are all in need of some introspection and a positive message so I hope that my sculpture will contribute to the healing process.”

 

“Tune In” on view in Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Tune In is scheduled to travel throughout 10 cities, including Charlotte, Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. At each stop of the exhibit, Lazes along with co-director Aaron Atkinson will interview and film local artists to document how they are leveraging their creative talent to bring hope to each city. The documentary “Artists in Quarantine: American Creativity During the 2020 Pandemic” will showcase how creatives took their craft to showcase truth, justice and hope in a time of despair, and is scheduled to stream on Netflix in 2022.

 

Suffragette Bookend from Silk Road Bazaar (fair trade and made by women), $36 // Susan B. Anthony Ornament from Silk Road Bazaar (fair trade and made by women), $24 // VOTE Enamel Pin, $12 // 19th Amendmints, $4

15+ items that celebrate women, and the centennial of women’s suffrage

This one’s for the women — and men who respect women’s rights. This year marks the centennial anniversary of women getting the right to vote. On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th amendment passed giving women the right to vote. The vote opened opportunities for women to innovate, create and legislate for women’s rights — and art by women for women has always been a social commentary to push change. As a matter of fact, The Mint Museum’s history is rich with generations of women dedicating time to establish and grow The Mint Museum, including Mary Myers Dwelle who was the driving force behind the creation of the first art museum in North Carolina. Read more about how the Mint’s history is women’s history.

The curated list of art, books, cards and more below celebrate the strength and voice of women, and are all available at the Mint Museum Store.

 

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall $26  // Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico, $19.99.

Books that tell “her”story.

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eeBoo 100 Piece Votes for Women, $18 // 500 Piece Women’s March Puzzle, $24

Pandemic puzzle project with a lesson. Get it for the kids and you. eeBoo is “Woman Owned. Mother Run. Sustainable Sourced.”

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The Illustrated Feminist: 50 Postcards by Aura Lewis, $15.99

Send a note of inspiration with these notecards that celebrate strong women.

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Dean and Martin Pottery (pictured pottery is made by Stephanie Nicole Martin) $60-$198

A reminder in every sip of the different women and how each has made a difference in their own way.

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RBG bookend from Silk Road Bazaar (fair trade and made by women), $36 // RBG puzzle, $24 // RBG mug, $16

The notorious R.B.G once said “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

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“The New Woman’s Survival Catalog,” $30

Originally published in 1973, The New Woman’s Survival Catalog is a survey of the second-wave feminist effort across the United States.

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Calhoun & Co. throw blankets, $130. Designs are created from illustrations and artwork by founder Kerry Stokes

A throw with a thoughtful message and design — something we can all use a little more of these days.

Career Chat with Mint Staff

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Get a sneak peek of our newest exhibition New Days, New Works

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Credit: Publishers Weekly

Books for kids, and podcasts for parents that help teach justice for all

Teaching children anti-racist values begins when children are young, and continues as they go through the various ages and stages of childhood. Here are expert resources for reading and listening to help navigate the ins and outs of teaching future generations, and helping to break racial barriers for a clearer path to justice for all.

Picture books to graphic novels, and a lot inbetween

Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z. Each entry presents a word related to creating a better world, such as ally, empathy, or respect, and related quotes and poems.

Antiracist Baby Picture Book. Written by founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research Ibram X. Kendi, Antiracist Baby Picture Book offers parents and their little ones nine ideas to build a more equitable world through playful text and bold illustrations.

Coretta Scott King book award winners. Awarded to African American writers and illustrators whose books explore African American experiences and humanity, the Coretta Scott King book award winners showcase a variety of fiction, biographies and nonfictions for babies to teens.

20 Picture Books for 2020: If a picture can say 1,000 words, then these stories that embrace race are a great beginning.

Early Childhood: Activism and Organizing. A smart guide to choosing anti-bias children’s books, plus a curated list of book that touch on social justice in a kid-friendly and explainable way.

An Anti-Racist Graphic Novel Reading List. For tweens and teens who love a graphic novel, these selections “address topics including the Civil Rights Movement, hip-hop, gentrification, white supremacy, the criminal justice system, police brutality, and the lives of black women.”

Podcasts for parents who want real talk about real issues

Parenting Forward. Author, blogger, community leader and mother Cindy Wang Brandt  features interviews with authors and thought leaders from progressive faith spaces, monthly listener question shows, and practical strategies for parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves children and wants to commit to treating children with justice in her podcast Parenting Forward.

Fare of the Free Child Akilah S. Richards and guests discuss the fears and costs of raising free black and brown children in a world that tends to diminish and dehumanize children of color in the Raising Free People podcast.

Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey. Dr. Jennifer Harvey discusses her book Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, as well her personal journey towards anti-racist organizing, educating, and child rearing. 

Talking Race With Your Young Child (NPR). A discussion between NPR journalist Noel King, anti-racism scholar and author Ibram Kendi, and author Renee Watson about how to be intentional when talking about race, plus tools to guide conversations with kids.

Known as one of the most influential African American quilt historians in the United States, Carolyn Mazloomi, PhD, who was trained as an aerospace engineer, has artwork showcased in numerous important museums around the world, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and American Museum of Design.

Fiber artist Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi’s passion for educating through art leads her to curate We Are the Story 

She thought she’d be settled into retirement by now, but Carolyn Mazloomi’s passion for her art pushes her to keep making, curating and working. Mazloomi, who earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and worked as a pilot and Federal Aviation Administration crash site investigator, became involved in fiber artists and quilting in the early 1970s, and founded the Women of Color Quilters Network in 1985. She currently is spearheading and curating the exhibition We Are the Story, set to open at various sites throughout Minneapolis later this summer. The exhibition is a response to the death of George Floyd in the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

We Are the Story is a series of six quilt exhibitions by the Women of Color Quilters Network, and Textile Center created under the curatorial direction of Mazloomi. The series is organized around the themes of remembering those lost to police brutality, history of civil rights, and racism in America.

“I am an artist quiltmaker, and I like to tell stories,” says Mazloomi. “Most of the work I do deals with issues of race or status of women, and a lot of the work is somewhat controversial, but I hope viewers look at it and learn something and think about things and how things possibly could be.” 

As a mother and grandmother, Mazloomi was rocked when she saw the video of George Floyd being pinned to the ground, and heard him cry out for his mother.

“It just shook me to my core. I cried for days because it was sad and tragic how he passed. But hearing him call for his mother personified the role of women in the sphere of the universe,” she says.

Mazloomi is a believer in the dynamic power of females, and has been involved in the economic development of women through the arts for over 30 years. Throughout her career of making textile art, many of her works showcase the women and their strong role in society. 

“Young women need to know about the power they wield. As women, we are the  first teachers because we give birth. We are the teachers of humanity. It’s a position that influences all of humanity,” she says. “The first word a baby learns is usually mama and it’s so strange that the last thing a human being may talk about when dying is their mother. They call on their mother.”

A self-proclaimed news addict, she listens to news while she works. Her quilts serve as a response to what’s going on in her environment, and the world, and is meant to evoke thought. 

“My inspiration always comes from the environment around me. Currently the environment is very toxic, so I’m creating work about human condition — not just here in the United States, but of refugees around the world because women and children form the greater population of refugees,” she says. 

When asked what she hopes to see evolve from the protests, pandemic and social struggles of now, she answers with the wisdom, patience and hopeful tone of someone who has weathered years of society’s injustice.

“Let’s deal with the pandemic first,” she says. “Because African Americans are disproportionately affected, they are dying more than anyone else,” she says. “Hopefully out of this pandemic, maybe it will help African Americans. They have health issues brought about due to racism because they don’t have access to good housing and healthcare, which plays into susceptibility to the virus.” 

Thirteen people in the Women of Color Quilters Network died due to COVID-19. She and other members of the network collectively made more than 27,000 masks that were given to healthcare workers, nonprofit organizations, funeral homes and other places of need.

“When it comes to protests, I am happy to see protesters aren’t just African Americans, but a diverse group of people around the country,” says Mazloomi. “Anything that can prompt racial equality and justice in America is a good thing. Hopefully something good will come of these demonstrations, and our government and individuals will make efforts to be more civil to one another and see equality for all American citizens.”

Mazloomi was awarded the first Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award in 2003. Ohio Heritage Fellows are among the state’s living cultural treasures.  Fellows embody the highest level of artistic achievement in their work, and the highest level of service in the teaching and other work they do in their communities to ensure that their artistic traditions stay strong. In 2014 Dr. Mazloomi was given the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Award, the highest award in the nation for traditional art.  She was also inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame Museum the same year.

Mazloomi’s quilt Gathering of Spirits has been part of The Mint Museum collection since 1999, and is set to be on view in the Schiff-Bresler Family Fiber Art Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown in February 2021.

 

Carolyn L. Mazloomi (American, 1948–). Gathering of Spirits, 1997, cotton, silk, beads, metallic thread, shells. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Dennis and Betty Chafin Rash, Lee and Mebane Rash Whitman, and Jim Rash in loving memory of Margaret Rabb Rash. 1999.1. © Carolyn L. Mazloomi 1998

 

Latin Music @ the Mint

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13 socially-conscious artists that deserve a follow now on Instagram

If you’re looking to bring something new into your Instagram feed, may we suggest these socially conscious artists. Some are people of color, and all allies of #BlackLivesMatter using their voices (and social media feeds) to bring new perspectives and first-hand insight to culturally important topics.

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Hank Willis Thomas

@hankwillisthomas, 124K followers

His sculpture art is large and poignant, and his IG page follows with images and commentary that call for social justice and a deep look at systemic racism in America. Brooklyn-based, he works primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture.

 

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Simone Leigh

@simoneyvetteleigh, 53.8K followers

Simone Leigh is an American, black female artist based in New York City by way of Chicago who strives to undo cultural assumptions about black women’s life and work. Her artwork is influenced by African and African American art. She posts stunning photos of her sculptures, as well as artwork that speaks to racial activism today and throughout history.

 

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Dammit Wesley

@dammit_wesley, 12.8K followers

One of the artists who created the Black Lives Matter street mural in uptown Charlotte, Dammit Wesley is the founder and force behind BlkMkrt CLT, the art gallery at Camp Northend in Charlotte that represents artists of color. He is a black, multidisciplinary artist, whose work “provides context and commentary on the black experience through the lens of pop culture” (Elsewhere). His work is thoughtful, albeit sometimes brash, but without apology. He was also part of the Mint Museum’s Battle Walls event in the summer of 2019.

 

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Owl and Arko

@owl.clt, 4.8K followers

@arko.clt, 4.5K followers

Colombian-born, Charlotte-based, Owl posts images of her work, as well as images of other artists’ work, including her partner, Arko, and positive messages that encourage change, equality, and respect. Owl is also the creator of the mural walls in the current exhibition Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of  Wedgwood and His Contemporaries at Mint Museum Randolph.

 

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John Hairston Jr. 

@jagolactus, 6.9K followers

A UNC Charlotte professor, freelance artist and illustrator, John Hairston Jr. is well-known in the Charlotte arts community for his graphic arts and graffiti style that blends social commentary and political satire.

 

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Arsham Studio 3020

@danielarsham, 728K followers

Sculptor Daniel Arsham’s IG posts are complemented by his social commentary. Recently he and artist Samuel Ross’s came together to provide $3,000 grants to 10 black artists in an effort to showcase under-represented creatives from around the world.

 

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Ola Ronke Akinmowo

@thefreeblackwomenslibrary, 41.8K followers

Ola Ronke Akinmowo is a Brooklyn-born artist and community activist. She started the Free Black Women’s Library to amplify the voice of black women and to bring their stories into the spotlight. She posts books to read, updates on the library, and other great content supporting black women and writers.

 

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Shane Pierce

@abstractdissent, 4.1K followers

Shane Pierce, aka the mural artist, Abstract Dissent, posts pictures and videos of his work. Many of his murals are responses to events like George Floyd’s murder and the pandemic, and he calls for change and unity.

 

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Nico Amortegui

@nico_malo1, 2.5K followers

A Colombian artist living in Charlotte, Nico Amortegui is a ceramic artist and painter whose art is rooted in being an immigrant. He moved to the U.S. at age 17 from Bogota, Colombia and lived undocumented for some time. In his bio online, he states: “Being forever between two cultures has shaped my views and molded the themes of my pieces. I consider myself 100% Latino – equally Colombian and American.” He even made a mask to fit on top of his mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

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Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

@angelik.wiki, 1.6K followers

A curator, writer, and speaker who currently serves as the Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) in New York City, Angelik shares works of art and promotes the talents of artists of color, and started a regular POC Artist series on her Instagram page. Her profile is full of bright colors and beautiful works. 

 

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Bree Stallings

@breequixote, 3.8K followers

A professional artist and muralist based in Charlotte, Bree Stallings is active in the local art scene most recently helping to raise money for local organizations through the sale of her art. She was also part of Battle Walls at Mint Museum Randolph in 2019, and is the creator of the To be Seen and Celebrated solo exhibition.

 

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Stella McCartney

@stellamccartney, 6.3M followers

“Yes the designer, who has amazing posts,” says Mint curator Annie Carlano. The Stella McCartney IG page is fashion forward, but to support #BlackLivesMatter protests and campaigns, the platform was used as a way to learn from, listen to and amplify black voices, and amplify the voices of diverse women.

 

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Fill your shelves with these books that educate about race, anti-racism and inequality

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is the story of the killing of a young unarmed African American man by a white police officer, and its aftermath, told by his childhood friend, Starr. She is also the only witness to the shooting. Although this book is a work of fiction, the story drives home the real effects of systemic and institutional racism, as well as putting a very human face on events that are occurring far too often in real life. Starr’s world is very different from my own, and I chose this book because I wanted to stretch beyond my comfort zone. My takeaway is that there is much work to be done and it’s time to do it. —Ellen Show, archivist

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Race and Reunion: the Civil War in American Memory by David Blight. This book is about the consequences of ignoring racial justice after the Civil War in favor of reconciliation or reunion amongst white northerners and southerners. Importantly, Blight talks about how public monuments — among other things — perpetuated white supremacy. It makes one look differently about the importance of contemporary public monuments like Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War, a direct response to Confederate monuments. —Joel Smeltzer. head of school and gallery programs

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Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. The idea behind this book began as an online call for accountability. In 2018, Saad hosted a free month-long Instagram campaign where she asked folks to share the ways in which they, knowingly or not, had upheld white supremacy. She expected resistance and reluctance. Instead, she was blown away by a worldwide outpouring of self-examination and admission. She turned that into a workbook which eventually led to the book, a manual for understanding white privilege and participation in white supremacy so that we might stop our harmful actions against BIPOC and help others do the same.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Named Esquire’s best book of the 2010s, Between the World and Me is the spiritual successor to Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Coates book is an impassioned letter to his teenage son. Coates recalls his gradual awakening to the bitter truth of racism as he eloquently voices the concern of parents everywhere who fear that their children of color will inherit a world broken beyond hope of redemption. In heralding Coates’ arrival as one of our most gifted and necessary public intellectuals, Toni Morrison put it best: “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.”  —Todd Herman, CEO

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So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo is so engaging and educational. Oluo covers so many race-related topics, from offering definitions of what racism is, to explaining the school-to-prison pipeline, microaggressions, and cultural appropriation. She navigates these topics with personal stories, real examples, and as a white person I feel like this is exactly the book I should and need to be reading right now to educate myself. — Jen Cousar, graphic designer

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White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. Published 2018, The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. Download the reader’s guides here. —Lyndee Champion Ivey, executive assistant

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I was invited a few years ago to join a book club of women connected mostly through children and one particular friend. I love meeting new women, but was particularly drawn to this group because the books they chose to read all related to understanding our white selves and how we drift through the days without racism in our hearts but also without wholly recognizing the systemic parameters that exist. Two books we read that I particularly like are I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown, and Behold the Dreamers: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue. Each book, in very different ways, shines a light on the misconceived American dream and how different it is for a person of color.

Behold the Dreamers, is the story of two families: one an immigrant family from Cameroon who believes life will be better in America, and the other a wealthy white family living in New York City. It’s a stark contrast of lifestyles, beliefs and culture. I’m Still Here is an eye-opening first-person account from a black woman navigating majority white schools, organizations, churches and corporate America, and how it affects everything in her life. —Michele Huggins, media relations and communications project manager

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Tune in

Liberate Meditations. Liberate is a Meditation app for black, indigenous, and people of color community. Over 50,000 people use Liberate to reduce anxiety, stress less and sleep better. I chose this resource in an effort to listen and learn about how to connect people through the art and meditation. Art is communication, it allows people from different cultures and different times to communicate with each other via images, sounds and stories. While we are all being proactive to make needed change, its important to remember that art can be healing. —Diane Lowry, guest services associate

HB2 Squirrels shake up expectations of social norms,  shine spotlight on LGBTQIA+ issues

HB2 Squirrels, a pair of gender-symbol-wielding squirrels covered in multicolored war paint greet visitors in the main entryway of Mint Museum Uptown. The squirrels, part of The Mint Museum collection, pose a striking opposition to expectations of social norms and what one expects to be met with in a museum.

 

Michelle Erickson. “HB2 Squirrels,” 2016, salt-glazed stoneware, porcelain slips. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Charles W. Beam Accessions Endowment. 2019.3a-b

The HB2 Squirrels were inspired by North Carolina’s House Bill 2, commonly referred to as the “bathroom bill.” HB2 required residents to use the bathroom in public facilities that matched the gender on their birth certificate, launching a national outcry over civil liberties. The bill was criticized for impeding the rights of transgender people and other people in the LGBTQIA+ community who do not identify strictly within the gender binary, and was later repealed by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper.

Artist Michelle Erickson, outraged, took to her potter’s wheel. The result: two salt-glazed stoneware squirrels, grasping the gender symbols—one drenched in the colors of the American flag, the other in the colors of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow flag. “Congressional acts are temporary,” she says “but art is forever.”

The composition of the squirrels also was crucial. The squirrels face each other, seemingly holding their assigned gender symbols as weapons used to fight one another. The female symbol, a circle with a cross stemming down, is inverted and held by the squirrel to mirror the way the male symbol is held. Erickson said inverting the symbol was a call to uprooting the traditional view of women as a shield. 

The color of the squirrels is also indicative of the message being sent. Both have rainbow colored lines covering their face and body. Erickson said she wanted to use the rainbow motif instead of the colors of the transgender flag, to place a gentle reminder that transgender individuals are included as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The squirrels also have different base bodies. The choice to make one black and one white was a conscious decision to ground it in societal tensions involving race, and to highlight the different viewpoints that stem from race within the LGBTQIA+ community.

When working with a new piece Erickson says she “allows the work to take [her.]” She starts with a design, but as the piece of clay is being shaped, it gradually takes on a new form. The overall product is as much a reflection of the process as it is the original idea.

HB2 Squirrels are a part of the past and present, she says, representing the processes of the Moravian potters, as well as speaking to the heightened political atmosphere surrounding LGBTQIA+ issues, and specifically the HB2 bill that was introduced in North Carolina in 2016. The resulting work of art challenged norms through revitalizing old processes and questioning societal implications.

The idea that became the HB2 Squirrels began as a study of a set of figural bottles from the 18th or 19th century. Erickson says the bottles originally intrigued her due to their lack of clear function and their unique construction. The bottles’ unglazed interior and overall shape indicated that they were made using a cast or mold. During her artist residency  at STARworks, Erickson began using traditional techniques with salt-glazed stoneware to see if she could create a similar design. The original designs of the squirrels were modified to be reflective of the modern era.

Sphere Series: Responsibility of Representing with Linda Foard Roberts

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5 works of art selected for Interactive CLT augmented reality series

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The subtle art of the museum label

By Jen Cousar

One of our greatest goals at The Mint Museum is to ensure that art is for everyone. When our doors are open, we host community programs, free evenings, and a whole host of tours and programs to help our community experience art like never before. But even with open doors and open conversation, some things within museums are just down right confusing. Enter the museum label. Many of you have seen these text panels next to every work of art in the museum, but what exactly do they mean? Well, we’re here to explain, so that your next trip to the Mint—and any other museums you visit—will be that much more valuable and accessible. 

Every work of art in The Mint Museum has a label. The label provides useful information about the object, such as when and where it was made and by whom. Most of the labels also have a paragraph offering more detailed information about the object, including who or what it depicts or something interesting about its design or creation. Every label in the museum has the same essential parts, as illustrated by this example:

Artist or maker

If we know who made the work of art, that person’s name appears on the first line. Sometimes a work of art is made by a factory, workshop, or studio, in which case its name appears on that line. If we know the name of an individual working for that organization who contributed to the object’s creation in a key way, then he or she is also identified. “Attributed to” means that we do not have definitive proof that this person created the work, but he or she likely did

Point of origin

Under the artist’s name, we indicate that person’s nationality or culture, and life dates. For organizations, location and years of operation are listed. 

Name and date art was created

Sometimes we know exactly when an object was made, but for historical works of art we often have to estimate. In the label example above, for instance, the work was made circa, or about, 1876.

Material

What the object is made of, whether it be acrylic paint, porcelain, wood, stone, canvas, or any combination of materials. 

Object’s Owner

This information is called the credit line. If the work is owned by a museum, either the Mint or another institution who is lending the object to the museum, then the credit line generally includes whether the object was a gift to the museum or a purchase. It also includes the accession number. This is unique to each object in a museum’s permanent collection and identifies it in the museum’s records. Loans from private collectors do not have accession numbers.

Description

This paragraph gives you background information of interest to help increase understanding of why the object was created. 

Through the eyes of docents, a closer look at the Mint’s permanent collection

More than 50 docents make up part of The Mint Museum family. A docent is a museum guide, usually a volunteer, who can share knowledge on everything from the Art of the Ancient Americas at Mint Museum Randolph to the Craft+Design galleries at Mint Museum Uptown. And best of all, the tours are free to visitors. Museum docents share their favorite artworks and insights on the Mint’s permanent collection below.

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Sabrina Gschwandtner (American, 1977– ). Quilt Film Quilt, 2015, 16 mm polyester film, polyester thread. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Founders’ Circle Ltd. in honor of Fleur Bresler. 2016.42

Quilt Film Quilt by Sabrina Gschwandtner

One of my favorite pieces is Quilt Film Quilt by Sabrina Gschwandtner (Gish-wandtner)The piece is a quilt made of old 16-millimeter film that is cut and sewn together to form a quilt. The piece is amazingly beautiful and looks totally different when viewed from afar versus up closeIt is also a wonderful homage to the history of handicraft in the United States. Throughout the years, quilts have played many roles in our society, including a way for women to express information about their lives. Quilts were also created to raise funds for causes, such as women’s suffrage, and with the advent of quilting bees, quilting became a social outlet. What I love most about quilts is their ability to provide warmth and spread love.

—Lindsey Edmondson

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Grace Hartigan (American, 1922–2008). Scotland, 1960, oil on canvas. Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary, 2013.33. © Estate of Grace Hartigan

Scotland by Grace Hartigan

Grace Hartigan’s painting Scotland in the Contemporary Gallery is one of my favorite pieces in the Mint Collection. I find that spending time looking at this painting slowly is a transformative experience. The large size of this work is engaging. The abstract style, as well as the use of the color blue, encourages meditation and introspection. I am also drawn to the spontaneity and gestural mark making, and the emotional expression and sense of spirituality.

—Diane Lowry
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Sheila Gallagher (American, 1966- ). Ghost Orchid Plastic Nebula, 2018, melted plastic on armature. Museum purchase with funds provided by Wells Fargo. 2018.48

Ghost Orchid Plastic Nebula 2018 by Sheila Gallagher

Created by melting plastic packaging and other plastic objects otherwise destined for the trash, Ghost Orchid suggests that transformation can result in great beauty. The bright colors and cheerful arrangement remind me of a field of wildflowers or a glorious bouquet.  

You must look closely to understand what this work is about. Viewed from a distance, it looks like an abstract painting. That would be enoughbut to fully appreciate Gallagher’s message and hemastery of materials yomust spend some time with the work—plus, yohavto find the ghost orchid. Ghost Orchid Plastic Nebula asks us to consider the objects that are part of our everyday lives and what happens to them when they are no longer of use. By including the rare and endangered ghost orchid in the work, the artist reminds us of the fragility of our ecosystems. Good things to keep in mind as we find ourselves evaluating what really is important 

Check out the video Chronical Trash Talk: Artists Are the Best Recyclers for a glimpse of Sheila Gallagher at work and for some very heavy thoughts on trash. 

—Renee Reese 

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David Drake (American, 1800–75). Five Gallon Jar, 1864, stoneware, alkaline glaze. Museum Purchase: Exchange Funds from the Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Daisy Wade Bridges in memory of Walter and Dorothy Auman. 2002.112

Five-Gallon Jar by David Drake

absolutely love the large piece of pottery Five-Gallon Jar on display at Mint Museum Uptown. The Mint has many great pottery piecesbut this pot is especially special because of its maker, his story, and his personality. The pot was made on March 19, 1864 ba master potter named Dave. We know this because it’s inscribed on the pot.  It also says “lm,” which refers to Dave’s master, Lewis Miles. Dave signed many pots, which was highly unusual for the timeAs an enslaved African American in South Carolina it was illegal for Dave to write. His signed pots show an independence and a spirit, as well as courage.  

Several of his pots also had short poetry.  Three of my favorites are: 

“Another trick is worse than this, Dearest Miss, spare me a kiss” – August 26, 1840.    

“I wonder where is all my relations, Friendship to all – and every Nation” – August 16, 1857.  

I made this jar all of a cross, if you don’t repent all will be lost” – May 3, 1862, during the Civil War when many people were dying.   

Dave’s personality comes through in his poetry, and in the Mint’s example, I can see it in his large scripted signature, “Dave.” Five-Gallon Jar is one of the last he signed. He died at age 64. It’s an incredibly unique gift to seeto absorb, and to appreciate the craftsmanship and poetry in Dave’s work.  

—Ross Loeser 

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Nancy Callan (American, 1964– ). Spin, Weave, Gather, 2018, blown and slumped glass. Gift of lead donors Lorne Lassiter and Gary Ferraro; Judy and John Alexander, Sandy Berlin, Linda and Bill Farthing, The Founders’ Circle, Libba and Mike Gaither, William Gorelick, Barbara Loughlin, Jancy and Gilbert Patrick, Mark Ridenhour, Vicki Jones, Yvonne and Richard McCracken, Sara and Bob McDonnell, Britt and Greg Hill, and Deborah Halliday and Gary Rautenstrauch. 2019.8A-O

Spin, Weave, Gather by Nancy Callan

One of my favorite pieces of art at The Mint is Spin, Weave, Gather by Nancy Callen. As you approach this splendid wall-hung exhibit, you can’t immediately tell that you are looking at glass, and most especially, that the flat, textural pieces are blown glass. In 2016, Nancy Callan, a Seattle-based glass artist, entered a residency here in North Carolina at STARworks. During that time, she learned about the history of the textile industry in North Carolina. The transformation of cotton from plant to thread to woven fabric captured her imagination because her work in glass has been informed by textile patterns, as well as the process of fabric production. In this work, Callan celebrates the alchemy of starting with sand and ending up with crystal – much the same as the magical journey of a plant seed ending up as a beautiful piece of fabric.

Her process requires a skilled team of glass blowers to make the caliber of work that she produces. She says working with her team is like a ‘jazz band’ – there is a leader, but everyone has a role to play and a time to ‘shine’. They work to music, any kind of music, which she believes creates a rhythm that they all respond to. What is so remarkable in this process is that the glass panels start out as large cylinders (like the ones behind her in the picture below). Once these cylinders are completed, the bottoms are cut off and they are returned to the kiln.  She cuts along one long side of the cylinder after it begins to soften and as the glass continues to heat, they coax it open and it becomes flat. After the piece is flattened and cooled, it must be cleaned, polished, and fired again. Nancy says this is the process in which artists originally made window panes for buildings.

—toni Kendrick

Nancy Callan in front of the large glass cylinders that are eventually transformed into the glass panels that make up her artwork. Photo courtesy of toni Kendrick

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Hoss Haley (American, 1961– ). “White Ripple,” 2013, metal. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Windgate Charitable Foundation. 2013.59. © Hoss Haley 2013

White Ripple by Hoss Haley

I am a big fan of the work of Hoss Haley. I love to bring visitors to see his piece called White Ripple. It is fun to watch the guests study it and figure out how it was made. Hoss takes found objects, (mostly metals) and shapes them into interesting forms. In this case, he went to a junkyard and took the sides off washing machines. The squares are then bolted together and curves are introduced in a circular fashion like you see when something drips into water. He likes to keep the metals raw and unfinished and many of his items rust in outdoor installations. He has several pieces around Charlotte, including a giant bronze hand called Integrity by the Courthouse uptown, and a gargantuan 40-foot tall, 20-ton installation called Old Growth at the Charlotte Douglas airport.

—Laura Lynn Roth

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James Goodwyn Clonney (American, 1812–67). Offering Baby a Rose, 1857. oil on canvas with an early nineteenth-century frame. Museum Purchase: Exchange Funds from the Gift of Harry and Mary Dalton. 1998.20

Offering Baby a Rose by James Goodwyn Clonney

One of my favorite things about being a docent at the Mint Museum is helping people discover new and fun ways of viewing and thinking about art. One piece I often like to show visitors at our Uptown location is Offering Baby a Rose by James Goodwyn Clonney. I like this piece because it gives me the opportunity to show visitors how to “look” at art with more than just their eyes, but using their other senses as well. For example, I often ask visitors what they smell when they look at this piece. At first, I get some strange reactions, but then I pass around a bar of rose-scented soap and they immediately get it.You could also think about how the rose feels. Are the petals soft and silky, or are there thorns on the flower’s stem?

Another question to think about is: What do you hear when you look at this piece of art? Do you hear birds chirping or a light breeze blowing through the trees? Or do you hear the clanging of dishes as breakfast is being made? By using all of your senses you can come to a more nuanced understanding of works of art. Engaging smell, sound, and touch allows you to create new interpretations of Offering Baby a Rose. 

—Lindsey Edmondson

9 ways to get creativity flowing during a WFH lunch break

Noon (Rest from work) (from Millet) (1890)
Vincent Van Gogh (1853,1890)

Doodle and color

While our access to the outside world is limited, doodling is an easy way to get creative with items you already have at home. If you’re more of a color-inside-the-lines kind of person, check out these coloring pages of famous artworks ready to download. Don’t be afraid to mess up, just start.

Use your words

Take five minutes to write a haiku (Japanese style three-line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable structure) about your day, your mindset, or even what’s on your lunch menu. This idea comes from Inc., and luckily they’ve shared 31 other ways to boost creativity while at home that we think are pretty great.

Practice writing your letters

Lettering has surged in popularity and visibility in the past few years, and is a fun way to share favorite phrases with the world. Draw your own letterforms, or use this printable practice sheet we’ve created as a place to start.

Paint your own masterpiece

Whether you try your hand at watercolors, or break out the finger paint with your kids, painting is a relaxing and beloved art form with many styles to explore. Here’s a watercolor tutorial from Mint staffer Leslie Strauss to get started.

Let your mind wander creating a watercolor painting with markers.

 

Take it from the experts

Read a book about art or creativity to get your creative juices flowing before your next project. A few favorites: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, How to be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith, and Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists by  Danielle Krysa. (Not into these? Check out what our staff has been reading during this time at home).

quarantine reads_Jen E.

See what Mint staffers are reading for inspiration for a new book while staying at home.

Preserve the moment with photos

Every phone has a camera these days, and thankfully photography is a pastime that we can all enjoy no matter our skill level. Take photos of your surroundings, your family, or try your hand at nature shots. Check our guide to getting your best snapshots with tips from some Charlotte professional photographers.

“Pay attention to your light source (or the position of the sun if you are outside). Make sure the light source is either in front of or behind your child,” says Elly Kinne. Photo by Elly Kinne

Build your creativity soundtrack

Find an already made playlist on Spotify or Pandora, or dive into a genre you’re unfamiliar with. Artist Michael Sherrill shares this favorite playlist.

Take a class and support a local business

Skillpop Anywhere and other local businesses are using art as inspiration for classes you can take at home to grow your next hobby or skill.

Visit a museum

The experience of seeing artwork in person can’t be replicated, but the Mint—and many other museums across the world—are taking a chance on virtual tours, videos, and all kinds of alternative methods to bring art to your couch, kitchen table, or sunroom. Join curator Brian Gallagher for a gallery tour of our Classic Black exhibition, or travel a little farther from home with tours from The National Gallery in London, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, or the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand in Brazil. 

Take a virtual tour of the Mint’s “Classic Black: The Basalt Sculptures of Josiah Wedgwood and His Contemporaries” for an art break.

 

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Student artists sketch in Classic Black galleries

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Afterschool Art Club Virtual Gallery Tour

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Why designing theater sets has shown me museum exhibition design can (and should) be so much more than a white box

By HannaH Crowell

Four years ago, I took my career off the stage and into the gallery. After working as a freelance theatre designer for many years, I joined The Mint Museum staff as the exhibition designer in 2016.

Inspired by art since childhood, theatre revealed itself as a form of creative expression that combined my love for art and storytelling. The daughter of an amazing storyteller, I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a storyteller, too. But I wanted to create spaces where these stories came to life.

Those early formative years have led to a career focused on crafting the immersive art experience, emphasizing audience engagement and finding new ways to tell stories. And while I now work full-time in the museum world, I’ve kept my foot in the arena of theatre design, often designing for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.

The transition from theatre to museum work has redefined how I use design to interpret space and engage an audience in a story. But, there are three lessons theatre has taught me that I bring to each new project.

Curtain up! The big reveal sets the scene

When the lights go down in the theatre, just before the curtain rises, my heart skips and I tear up. It’s been this way since I was a kid, and when I started working in theatre I didn’t become numb to it—I learned to design for it. The big reveal is not just part of the magic, it’s the first impression you give your audience of the world you’ve created for the story.

Of course, we can’t raise a curtain for every visitor to a museum gallery, but I work to design each Mint exhibition entry in a way that still gives the visitor that big reveal. For most exhibitions, the entry begins with a title wall that provides a brief introduction to the exhibition concept. I want ours to go one step farther: to set the rhythm and atmosphere for the visitor’s experience.

For Under Construction: Collage from The Mint Museum, an exhibition exploring the dynamic medium of collage that opened December 2018 at Mint Museum Uptown, I wanted to give the visitor a tactile experience upon entering. So we created a wall, where visitors could tear off each letter of the exhibition name. By tearing away a layer of the title wall, the visitor would participate in an ever-evolving collage and better understand how a collage is made through the layering, tearing, and subtracting of materials.

The exhibition “Under Construction” included an interactive element that allowed visitors to help create an ever-evolving collage. Photos by Brandon Scott

Sometimes, though, the big reveal of an exhibition entry needs to transport the visitor into an entirely new world. For the Mint Museum’s exhibition Michael Sherrill Retrospective—on view from October 2018 through April 2019 at Mint Museum Uptown—it was important that upon entry, the visitor develop a strong connection to the artist Michael Sherrill, known for his groundbreaking work with clay, glass and metal.

For Michael Sherrill Retrospective, I took a far more atmospheric approach, designing an environmental treatment that immersed the visitor in the lush green forest of western North Carolina, set against the cobalt blue stained wood planking matched to Michael’s Studio. The entry transitions the visitor seamlessly between interior and exterior spaces inspired by Michael’s studio space and surrounding property.

Left to right: A visit to Michael Sherrill’s property. Photos by HannaH Crowell. The exhibition entrance to “Michael Sherrill Retrospective” at Mint Museum Uptown. Photo by Brandon Scott

Listen to what the characters have to say

The first step in any theatre design process is reading the script. Each character is an essential part of the story, and the playwright has given important information that defines the world of the play—and the design—in the character’s dialogue. The first step in an exhibition design process is reviewing a document similar to a script, known as a checklist. More like a character breakdown, the checklist gives specific information about each work of art that will be in the exhibition. Unlike a script, the characters in the checklist don’t have speaking lines. And yet, they still speak if you know how to listen.

While it took an adjustment at first when transitioning from theatre to museum design, I learned to rely on the curator, the artist, lots of research and my own intuition to help interpret what the objects have to say and how this informs the world of the exhibition.

For the Mint’s most recent exhibition Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries at Mint Museum Randolph, I worked with curator Brian Gallagher and did months of research to help interpret what the more than 100 objects—ranging from small portrait medallions to large busts and vases—all of the objects had their own story, so finding a way to weave those stories together to create a seamless narrative was one of the biggest design challenges I’d faced. The other distinctive aspect of these “characters” was that they were all “costumed in black”—or rather, they are all made of a black basalt ceramic material. So one of the first design decisions influenced by our cast of characters was to set them in a world of color. But how to shape the gallery into a stage that each of these characters could come to life?

Inside the galleries at “Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries” at Mint Museum Randolph. Photo by Brandon Scott

Originally produced in the 18th century, these objects were thriving in the height of neoclassical design. My research lead me through the designs of Robert Adam, whose aesthetic focused on the movement of the eye from floor to ceiling, creating architectural features that would frame these objects within the elegant rooms. For our exhibition, each of the three gallery rooms was inspired by the grand designs of the neoclassical style. The Sculpture Hall for the character that told the story of the classics, The Library for the characters that were the thinkers and the politicians, and finally, for the beautiful characters fit for the finest entertaining, The Drawing Room.

The audience is your most important collaborator

Theatre is a collaborative art. Actors, the director, designers, and stage technicians—they all bring their expertise and talents to the process, but it isn’t until that first performance with an audience that the team is complete. While working as a theatre designer, I was so intrigued by the prospect of designing for an environment where the audience is no longer confined to a theatre seat and can navigate their way through a multidimensional creative moment.

This led me away from the “black box” of the theatre and into the “white box” of the museum gallery. With each new exhibition design project, I learn and apply new ways of creating immersive and engaging spaces for the visitor to create their own stories.

The most theatrical design I’ve yet to do in the museum, the exhibition Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi needed a design that invited the characters in DiTerlizzi’s illustrations to break out of the white box and come play in the gallery. Designed into the immersive exhibition there where drawing activities, larger than life character cutouts, and books to read and look at so that visitors to the exhibition could interact with the characters the book they live in, creating their own stories.

Inside the gallery at the “Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DeTerlizzi.”

I still return to the theatre to remind myself of these lessons and learn new ones that might help make me a stronger designer—for the stage or the gallery. Last fall I worked with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte on their world premiere production of The Invisible Boy. Part rock concert and part picture book, the scenic design brought the beloved children’s story by Trudy Ludwig to life, pulling inspirations directly from the pages of this thoughtful book about a boy, Brian, whose vivid imagination becomes a canvas for his creativity.

On set at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s “The Invisible Boy” performance. Photos by John Merrick

 

The Mint remembers Dr. David C. Driskell, a pioneering artist and scholar

We are losing many great minds and kind hearts in these spring months and while we may not be able to recognize all, we will try to celebrate the lives of artists, collectors and patrons who have had direct impact on the museum and our community. One such man of national and international acclaim is artist and scholar Dr. David C. Driskell, who passed away of coronavirus on April 1, 2020 in Washington D.C. at the age of 88. His touring exhibition Narratives of African American Art and Identity was on view at The Mint Museum in 2002.

Driskell was born on June 7, 1931 in Eatonton, Ga. His paternal Gullah lineage was from the Georgia Sea Islands. His family moved to Hollis in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina when he was a child. His parents were both  “makers”—his father, a blacksmith and Baptist preacher; his mother, a basket weaver and quilter. Educated in a small segregated school house, his teachers recognized his intellect and passion for art and encouraged him to attend college.  He tells the story, with great humor, of traveling to Washington, D.C.,  enthusiastically arriving at Howard University totally unaware of admission procedures, determined to “attend” college.  He sat in on classes until someone helped him officially enroll. His passion, his determination to learn, create, and teach never faulted.

Like his parents, Dr. Driskell also remained a maker. A figurative painter, his work had the loose brushwork and bold colors of the abstract expressionist painters who dominated the galleries in his youth. He became nationally recognized and lauded as early as 1956 with his modern day Pietà, Behold Thy Son, a memorial for the brutally murdered Emmett Till. The painting now hangs near Dr. Driskell’s Washington D.C. home, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Covid-19 virus abruptly ended his life; however, his legacy—his indelible contribution to the canon of American art history—will live on through his art and through his many publications, scholarly dissertations, lectures, and the generations of art historians that he spawned.

Driskell modeled himself after his mentor, Dr. James A. Porter, who established the art department at Howard University and pioneered the field of African American Art History. As heir to Porter’s groundbreaking work in the field, Driskell pursued his study, achieving his Bachelor of Arts from Howard University in 1955 and an MFA from Catholic University in 1962. He also studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 1953 and Art History at The Hague, Netherlands in 1964.

Driskell remained an important teacher as well as scholar. He taught at Talladega College in Alabama, Howard University, Fiske University in Tennessee, Bowdoin College in Maine, the University of Michigan, Queens College, and Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, before joining the faculty of the Department of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1977. He remained affiliated with the school through his retirement in 1998. In 2001, the school established the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora. The school reflects its namesake: Terry Gips, Director of The Art Gallery University of Maryland, states, “Driskell evidences his commitment to enhancing the study of art by emphasizing the multicultural contributions made by Native Americans, Black, Asian and European artists.”

Rubie Britt-Height, Director of Community Relations at The Mint Museum, first met Driskell while on staff at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. “Dr. Driskell was often involved with us—sharing, advising, and supporting,” says Britt-Height. “He would lend commentary on a work or an exhibition, and we’d inquisitively seek his wisdom. And of course, he had great ties to Loïs Mailou Jones, his Howard University art instructor.”

Driskell advised esteemed collections, and in 1996, he assisted President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton in their selection of the first work of art by an African-American for the White House permanent collection with the acquisition of Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Sand Dunes at Sunset, Atlantic City.

Driskell directly touched our Charlotte community when his chose to honor his North Carolina roots by ending his national touring exhibition, Narratives of African American Art and Identity at The Mint Museum in 2002. The museum exhibition, along with a solo exhibition of his paintings at Noel Gallery, was facilitated by former Mint Museum trustee B.E. Noel. “The best way we can honor Dr. Driskell is to enfold the work of African-American art into every aspect of the canon and celebrate our common humanity through art,” says Noel.

Todd Herman, the Board of Directors and our Mint staff extend our appreciation to Dr. Driskell and sincere condolences to the Driskell family.

This piece was written by B.E. Noel, a former trustee of The Mint Museum who knew Dr. David Driskell through her role as a gallerist, collector, and scholar.

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From basalt to charcoal: don’t miss this gallery-sketching time lapse inside the Mint’s ‘Classic Black’ exhibition (more…)

 

Get your glow on at The Mint Museum’s “Light Up the Night” celebration Feb. 14, powered by Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas

Charlotte, N.C. (February 6, 2020): The Mint Museum welcomes the community to its free Light Up the Night event, powered by Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas, 6-9 PM Feb. 14 at Mint Museum Uptown. The free Valentine’s Day event features immersive experiences for all ages, including glowing swings on the plaza, live music by DJ Fannie Mae, and pop-up maker spaces inside the museum.

One highlight sure to fill Instagram feeds: five circular glow swings installed on the plaza outside Mint Museum Uptown. The LED-lit hoop-shaped swings are designed for guests to twist and glide. Each swing is suspended on rubber-and-rope cords attached to steel structures. LED lights embedded in the swings rotate through neon candy colors when in motion, gradually dimming to a soft white light when still. 

The event—free and open to the public—is held in conjunction with special exhibition Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, of which Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas is a corporate sponsor. The exhibition, which showcases the Dutch artist collective, runs through April 26 at Mint Museum Uptown. Spotlight tours take place every half-hour in the galleries on the museums Level 3 and Level 4 galleries.

In addition to the gallery experiences, enjoy light bites and illuminated cocktails at the cash bar, and make creative designs at pop-up maker spaces with glow-in-the-dark art activities.

Fans of Immersed in Light can enjoy a special “Fall in Love With Dutch Design” conversation at 6 PM in the boardroom, presented by the Mint’s Senior Curator of Craft, Design and Fashion Annie Carlano, curator for the exhibition. Carlano will showcase exceptional works by Dutch artists and the hottest Dutch designers of the 21st century. 

 

Want more info?
Contact Michele Huggins, the Mint’s communications and media relations project manager, michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org or at 704-337-2122


The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.


Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Charlotte, NC (January 9, 2020): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming presentation of Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, opening February 9, 2020 at Mint Museum Randolph.

The exhibition will feature more than 100 works of art on loan from across the U.S., as well as England, and will focus exclusively on black basalt sculpture—the first show of its kind to do so. Classic Black will showcase works ranging from life-size portrait busts to fanciful vases, dynamic statues of mythological heroes to portrait medallions in low relief.

The exhibition features loans from major museums in the United States and England such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Birmingham Museum of Art, as well as important, one-of-a-kind objects from notable private collections in America, some of which are making their public debut.

One noteworthy aspect of the show is its presentation: a completely groundbreaking, contemporary treatment. With the help of the prominent Charlotte muralist and street artist known as “Owl,” each of the exhibition rooms will feature a specially commissioned graphic mural in striking, sunset hues. The bright colors and graphic patterns will challenge visitors’ expectations and enliven the historical pieces, making them more relevant to the modern viewer. And while completely unconventional, the design aesthetic nevertheless recalls 18th-century architecture and interior design, reinterpreting it for the modern-day audience.

And it’s a presentation that Wedgwood himself — as a master marketer of luxury, with an eye for presentation — would likely approve of, says Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museum. “Wedgwood would have never wanted his works to sit on a putty-colored pedestal, against a putty-colored wall,” says Gallagher.

Classic Black is also the Mint’s first exhibition dedicated completely to sculpture. And because the museum is known for its British ceramics collection, it’s appropriate that its first sculpture show draws from an aspect of that collection.

Classic Black and its remarkable presentation will break every mold,” says The Mint Museum’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD. “And we believe it will attract longtime Wedgwood enthusiasts as well as a new audience keen on seeing the marriage of 18th-century pieces with 21st-century mural art.”

About one-third of the works on view in Classic Blackare based directly on marble and bronze sculptures from the classical world. Other objects in the exhibition derive from works of art created in later centuries by some of the great figures in European art history, including Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published by D. Giles Limited, London, which will include extended object entries and introductory essays contributed by Robin Emmerson, Gaye Blake-Roberts, Nancy Ramage, and MG Sullivan.

The exhibition was made possible with generous support from presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Private Bank.

“This is not your grandmother’s Wedgwood,” says Jay Everette, Officer of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Wells Fargo’s Foundation decided to serve as presenting sponsor of the exhibition as part of its focus on arts, history, culture and heritage community grants. We were intrigued by the compelling contrast of past and present. We hope it allows viewers to see Wedgwood’s story, works and legacy in a different light.”

Additional support was provided by Moore & Van Allen and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The Exhibition catalogue was fully funded by the Delhom Service League and an anonymous patron.

 


About The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.


 

A Note from Our CEO, Todd Herman, PhD

The citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have an opportunity to invest in the quality of life we enjoy and improve our collective well-being. When you vote FOR the upcoming sales-tax referendum during early voting or on Election Day, you are voting to transform YOUR county and community by improving PARKS and GREENWAYS, investing in TEACHERS and classroom support staff, and supporting a thriving ARTS & CULTURE sector.

The Mint needs your help to make this a reality. If you have ever enjoyed an exhibition, program, or lecture at either of our locations, been moved by a work of art, or watched your children or grandchildren light up with excitement when engaging with the arts, vote to allow that experience to be shared! When arts, culture, history, literature, and science are an integral part of kids’ lives, it improves their academic and social skills and creates thoughtful citizens. There are many important social issues that face our community, from domestic violence to the need for more affordable housing. But the arts—which touch the soul, grow the spirit, and offer hope—are a critical component if we are to improve our communities. The Mint Museum enthusiastically endorses this referendum, and I ask you to join us in investing in our future through a simple action: VOTE YES.

 


THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

The revenue (approximately $50 million per year) will be invested in Mecklenburg County in four ways:

For more information please visit, A Better Mecklenburg’s website.

 

By state law, the ballot will not mention arts, parks, and education. To give your support, vote FOR the quarter-cent sales tax increase in Mecklenburg County.
Early voting begins Oct.16 and Election Day is Tuesday, NOV. 5 (polls open 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM).

Show your support now by picking up a yard sign at Mint Museum Randolph, and by sharing this with your friends!
We can win this!

Todd Herman, PhD
President & CEO,  The Mint Museum

Dear friends and supporters of The Mint Museum,

I want to personally thank each of you for the work you did on behalf of the Mint and the cultural sector in Charlotte, from setting out yard signs to having conversations with friends to volunteering at polling stations. The proposed sales tax for arts, parks and education launched an effort that galvanized the arts community and its supporters. This collaborative teamwork is a building block we can use as we move forward to enrich the community through the arts.

While we are clearly disappointed by the outcome of the referendum last night, one thing was made clear in conversations with those who were voting against the tax increase: it wasn’t a negative reflection on the importance of the arts. They appreciate and value the arts, and many have enjoyed our programs. The support is there, we need to work out the right funding model. This, too, is an important building block as we create a strategy that allows us to reach our goals for increasing equity, inclusion, and quality of life for Charlotte.

The Mint is committed to breaking down barriers to the arts and we will continue to work in as many communities as our resources allow. But it will take a commitment – of time, money and advocacy – to reach our potential and be a leader in the country in arts engagement and education.

Thank you again, and we ask you to walk alongside us in the journey ahead.

 

Todd A. Herman, PhD
President & CEO,  The Mint Museum

Photo: JW Kaldenbach. Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn. Courtesy of Studio Drift.

Charlotte, NC (September 9, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that uses technology in art to illuminate the power and beauty of nature. The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 20, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation making its international premiere at the Mint. PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor.

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has grown to more than 20 artists, technologists/engineers and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. Studio Drift’s work is lauded in art circles worldwide for using man-made technology to show the beauty of nature. And they do it in a way that inspires awe and meditation, a way to invite the viewer to consider technological possibilities.

At Burning Man in 2017, Studio Drift unveiled its Tree of Ténéré, a towering, lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights that people could climb. At NASA’s 50th-anniversary celebration for the Apollo 11 moon landing, Studio Drift presented its performance piece Franchise Freedom, which consisted of 600 Intel drones soaring through the night sky, simulating the flight pattern of starlings. Iconic ‘80s rock band Duran Duran played during the performance.

A room-sized art instillation made of pipes and dandelions curing from the floor to the ceiling

Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2018, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

One of Studio Drift’s most iconic works, Fragile Future—which will be on display at the Mint—is comprised of natural elements. The Fragile Future installation is made from hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds hand-glued, seed by seed, onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. Nearby will be Amplitude, an installation made of 20 large but delicate glass wings that moves smoothly to suggest a giant bird in flight—another nod to the ability of manmade technology to highlight the beauty of nature.

The exhibition also will include the world premiere of Studio Drift’s new work: Coded Coincidence on Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 5 expansion space. Museum visitors will be able to walk through a massive plexiglass chamber, while more than a dozen steerable wind blowers direct and lift elm seeds to swirl around the viewer. The project was inspired by the many elm trees in Amsterdam and is also a fitting nod to Charlotte’s vast tree canopy.

Immersed in Light has also inspired a local partnership with the Charlotte Ballet. For the ballet’s annual Innovative Works performance Jan. 25–Feb. 6, artistic director Hope Muir has commissioned two choreographers to create an experimental ballet inspired by Studio Drift’s exhibition at the Mint. The dancers will perform in the galleries, and a video presentation of the dance will be broadcast at the Innovative Works shows.

“I am so excited for this opportunity for Charlotte Ballet to collaborate with The Mint Museum and Studio Drift,” says Hope Muir, Charlotte Ballet’s artistic director. “We are always searching for ways to connect with different art forms, and we can’t wait to see what emerges from this innovative partnership between dance and visual art.”
Guests attending the opening-day celebration for Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint on Sept. 20 at Mint Museum Uptown, will be able to meet Drift co-founders Gordijn and Nauta. Godijn will discuss her work and inspiration at 6 PM Friday at Mint Museum Uptown.

Undulating glass pipes forming repetitive geometric figures. The pipes hang from the ceiling in a large spacious room.

Studio Drift. Amplitude, 2017, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

The exhibition is presented by PNC Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Duke Energy – Piedmont Natural Gas. This program is also supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA  program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

Immersed in Light also benefits from media partnership and in-kind support from Wheelhouse Media, The Charlotte Observer, QC Exclusive, Le Meredien Charlotte, Peachy the Magazine, Pride Magazine, and Rite-Lite.

 

 


About Studio Drift

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has since grown to more than 20, including artists, technologists/engineers, and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. In their installations and interactive sculptures, the relationship between nature, humans, and technology is key. Studio Drift is represented by Pace Gallery taking part in the gallery’s Future\Pace program, and is also represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery.


About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.


About The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.


Charlotte, N.C. (June 25, 2019): The Mint Museum will be reopening its doors on Tuesdays as part of its ongoing commitment to be more available and accessible to all members of the community  

The Mint’s decision, which takes upeffect on July 1 at the start of its new fiscal year, will allow members of the community to view the museum’s new crop of innovative exhibitions during daytime hours. The reopening marks the first time in over six years that the museum has been open on Tuesdays.  

The reopening serves as one of many strategic initiatives spearheaded by The Mint’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, Ph.D, less than a year after he assumed the role. The overarching goal: to broaden the museum’s accessibility.  

 In fall 2018, the museum added Friday date-night hours at Mint Museum Uptown, extending regular hours until 9 PM. The Friday evening hours cater to those who may not be able to visit the museum during the week, and offer a variety of creative ways for people to experience the Mint.  

 “Through these changes, we’re building a better Mint,” says Herman. “We want to give the community more opportunities to take advantage of all the Mint has to offer, and we’re excited for more people to join our family.”  

 The decision to add Tuesday hours comes at the same time as a bevvy of breathtaking and inspiring exhibitions and events are making their way to Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.  

 One exhibition, Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizziopened Saturday, June 22 at Mint Museum Randolph and presents paintings and sketches from the career of author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, whose bestselling works include The Spider and the FlyThe Spiderwick Chronicles (co-written by Holly Black), and Kenny & the Dragon. 

 On view until November 3, the exhibition highlights 150 original works across DiTerlizzi’s career, from his school-age sketches to his early days of illustrating for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, his children’s book illustrations to his fantastical middle-grade works. The galleries also are interactive, giving kids the opportunity to make their own works of art. 

 The Mint is also organizing and hosting the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. 

 The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 21, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation premiering at the Mint.  

Lauded in art circles worldwide for its innovative approach to art through technology, Studio Drift entered the general public’s eye in the U.S. in 2017, when its Drifter — a gravity-defying monolithic block of concrete — wowed at the Armory Show. The Dutch artist collective again made headlines a few months later when its Tree of Ténéré — a towering lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights — debuted at the Burning Man festival. The group’s critical reception across the globe has continued to grow, and most recently, the group was included in the 2019 Venice Bienniale. 


About The Mint Museum  

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

A mural by arko and owl. It is of a person in a spacesuit floating

The Mint Museum and Southern Tiger Collective have partnered to launch Charlotte’s first “mural slam” on Saturday, June 22 at Mint Museum Randolph, starting at 2 PM.

The event, known as Battle Walls, is a street art project focused on bringing Charlotte’s best street artists to compete as they create. The Mint is just the first stop in a five-week tournament, which is expected to draw hundreds of spectators of all ages and backgrounds.

The mural slam will take place on the lawn of Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road.

It’s free to attend, and viewers will be able to vote on their favorite piece of art, sending the winner to the final championship round, says Southern Collective co-founder Alex DeLarge. The competing artists are Arko + Owl, Dammit Wesley, Matt Moore, and Bree Stallings.

The collaborative effort of The Mint Museum and Southern Tiger Collective is call to action to break down the barriers of traditional mindsets that say classical and scholarly works of art can’t mingle with street art. It’s also the opportunity to make new friends and bring diverse communities together.

The Southern Tiger Collective was established in 2017 by local artists Alex DeLarge and Dustin Moates. The collective works to bring artists together to enhance vehicular and pedestrian traffic exposure to street art, murals, and creative marketing and branding. Since 2017, the number of artists at Southern Tiger Collective has grown, and their work can be seen throughout Charlotte in areas such as the Peculiar Rabbit, Abari, Pure Intentions and many other walls in the Queen City.

Battle Walls kicks off at a time during the public opening of Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical World of Tony DiTerlizzi, a retrospective exhibition featuring more than 150 magical works of Tony DiTelizzi (@diterlizzi). Most may know DiTerlizzi as a designer for Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Spider & The Fly, Kenny and the Dragon, and the WondLa trilogy.

DiTerlizzi himself will be on site June 22, giving a public talk on how he became an artist at 1 p.m., followed by a book signing at 2 PM.

Museum admission will be free that day, so visitors can experience both the new exhibition and the excitement of Battle Walls without pulling out their wallet.

There will be music by DJ AHUF (@djahuf), local craft beer, and food trucks such as Scratch Kitchen CLT (@scratchkitchenclt) and The Chimi Spot (@thechimispotnc).

Meet the four artists in round one of Battle Walls:

Arko + Owl | @arko83art + @owl.clt

Arko + Owl were the first artists to be featured in Constellation CLT, a museum-wide project designed to connect visitors with the universal talent found directly from the community of Charlotte. Arko + Owl’s murals were housed in Mint Museum Uptown in Fall 2018 but their work can currently be found at Common Market (South End), Wooden Robot Brewery, Spirit Square, and more.

Dammit Wesley | @dammit_wesley

Wesley’s most notable mural, Strange Fruit can be found at Spirit Square. He is an artist, graphic designer, and the Creative Director at BLKMRKTCLT, an 800 sq. ft gallery and studio space located at Camp North End. On Wesley’s Behance portfolio he states, “I am a bold individual and it speaks through my work, its more flashy colors and subject matter but strong composition and structure that accomplish a harmony thunderous visuals.”

Matt Moore | @puckmcgruff

Most may know Matt Moore as one of “The Matts” who tackled the infamous five-story mural of Neptune along the wall of The Nook apartments on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. Moore’s work can be found in many other locations, including Camp North End, Townsquare Interactive, and Revolve Residential.

Bree Stallings | @breequixote

A multimedia artist, activist, writer, and illustrator, Stallings has done work at  Camp North End, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, C3 Lab, and more. On her website, she states that she uses “art as her vehicle to raise awareness for many causes that affect her life and those closest to her such as economic mobility, sexual health advocacy, displacement and homelessness and environmental consciousness.”

Be sure to stop by Mint Museum Randolph on Saturday, June 22 to enjoy all these activities, and stay tuned on The Mint Museum website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future Battle Wall updates.

Credits to promo designer: @hello.soto

Jen Sudul Edwards standing in front of a brick wall

Photo by Carey King

Charlotte, N.C. (June 11, 2019): It is with great pleasure that The Mint Museum announces the newest addition to the Mint family: Jennifer “Jen” Sudul Edwards, PhD, will serve as new Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art, beginning July 1.

There was an impressive pool of candidates for this position, and ultimately, Sudul Edwards stood out for her vast experience, fresh perspectives, and deeply integrated role in the cultural fabric of Charlotte. “Jen’s passion for the arts and for quality exhibitions and programs is a perfect match for the talent already at the Mint,” says The Mint Museum’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD. “Together, the Mint can boast one of the strongest curatorial teams in the region with a shared vision of community engagement and expert scholarship.”

In addition to organizing fresh and provocative exhibitions, Sudul Edwards has seemingly boundless high energy. Her curatorial vision will help the institution move forward and explore new ways to engage with the community.

“I have long admired the Mint’s commitment to diverse art forms, from craft and design to fashion, painting to sculpture,” says Sudul Edwards. “I am excited to bring my own expansive curatorial approach to that respected team.”

She received her doctorate from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and held curatorial positions at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif. and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, before serving as the curator at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. At the Bechtler, Sudul Edwards won numerous awards for her publications, exhibitions and curatorial work, including Charlotte Magazine’s “Best Curator” award in 2017.

Sudul Edwards also is an experienced fundraiser and is active beyond the walls of the museum in the local arts community. She is the chairman of the board at Goodyear Arts, a nonprofit residency and events program that utilizes underused spaces to showcase local visual, performing, and literary artists. And she’s the co-founder and co-organizer of Sphere Series, an art speaker series that brings together local, national, and international leaders in the arts to discuss the value of cultural exchange. Sudul Edwards also serves on the AFA Advisory Committee at Central Piedmont Community College.

Sudul Edwards joins the Mint team at a key point in the institution’s evolution. Herman, who is approaching his one-year anniversary as president and CEO, is committed to expanding the museum’s engagement and involvement with the city, as well as improving accessibility.

A year after extending Friday hours through 9 p.m. at Mint Museum Uptown, both museum locations will be opening again on Tuesdays, beginning July 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. It’s part of a broader initiative to provide enhanced access for the community.

“I’ve only been in Charlotte for four years, but I’ve fallen in love with it — the passionate people, the scrappy creativity,” says Sudul Edwards. “Making sure as many people as possible make their way in the doors of Mint Museum Randolph and Mint Museum Uptown to see what we’re doing is imperative.”

Sudul Edward’s first day at the Mint will be July 1. To see some of her work before she joins the Mint team, she’s currently organizing A Face in the Crowd for SOCO Gallery, opening June 26.

She also is curating W|ALL: Defend, Divide, and the Divine for the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles — an examination of the historic use and artistic treatment of walls over the centuries — opening Sept. 21. She is also currently contributing to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery collections catalogue and contributing to Magnum journal.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with the Mint,” says Herman. “It’s a new chapter.”


About The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. The Mint Museum is dedicated to leadership in collecting, exhibiting, conserving, researching, publishing, interpreting, and sharing art and design from around the world.

These commitments are central to the museum’s core values of leadership, integrity, inclusiveness, knowledge, stewardship, and innovation, promoting understanding of and respect for diverse peoples and cultures.


 


Visitors can find larger-than-life art installations with a variety of unexpected materials in a special project housed in the level-five expansion space at Mint Museum Uptown. 
 

Known as The Noise We Make by artist Jan-Ru Wan, the installation is a study in art created with found materials from industrial sites. The installation was organized by independent curator and arts advocate Jonell Logan, who met Wan at the Greenhill Arts Center in Greensboro, N.C. after learning about her work. Logan says she was enthralled by the complexity and beauty of Wan’s creations, which use everything from human hair to coffee filters, chanting boxes to spoons.  

The Noise we Make, on view until June 14 at Mint Museum Uptown, came to fruition a year later. Here’s a look at a few of the materials used to create Wan’s stunning works of art:  

  1. Chanting boxes: The type of chanting boxes in Wan’s Kneeling (2019) are common in Taiwan.  While there are several prayers recorded on the boxes, the one Wan selected was a chant for the bodhisattva (a sanskit mantra) of compassion. It is used mainly for praying for one who is suffering in life.

  2. Coffee filters: When Wan came to the United States 20 years ago, it was her first time seeing coffee filters. She was shocked that people would use them and dispose of them every day. The filters seen in her A Tangle of Hopelessness (2006-2019) also represent something more to her: the idea of filtration in our society—how we filter information, how it influences our individual realities. Wan began to see the coffee filters as symbols of individuals’ memory and mind. The two-sided nature of A Tangle of Hopelessness represents the act of filtering certain aspects of one’s life, and in turn, only seeing small pieces of others’ lives.

  3. Spoons: In Kneeling (2019), Wan uses previously manufactured items and manipulates them so that they stand in for new ideas. In this piece, the small spoons represent Buddha spoonfeeding people religion, not necessarily spirituality.

  4. Wax: Many of the pieces in the show incorporate wax—a substance Wan says reminds her a tears and skin. She also uses wax to freeze objects in time, creating a protective seal on the object.

  5. Pink plastic: In the titular piece, The Noise We Make (2019)the pink plastic used was originally found by the artist in the trash. Wan washed, cut, screen printed, folded and sewed each piece herself. Also used in Kneeling (2019), the magnificent size of each of the plastic pieces captures the audience’s attention and draws focus to the everyday, repurposed items.


  6. Bean sprouts: Grown in Wan’s own kitchen, bean sprouts are used repeatedly in the artist’s work. They represent the life cycle and Wan’s interest in impermanence. 

  7. Human hair: In each of the small, silk, smiley-face-adorned pouches that Wan uses in her Residue of Separation (2019)there is a bundle of human hair.  Collected from salon floors across the world—from the Netherlands to Taiwan to several cities in North Carolina — the hair represents physical separation to Wan. The prayer bench centered in the same piece was acquired in Charlotte, specifically for this installation.  



    About The Mint Museum

    The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. The Mint Museum is dedicated to leadership in collecting, exhibiting, conserving, researching, publishing, interpreting, and sharing art and design from around the world.

    These commitments are central to the museum’s core values of leadership, integrity, inclusiveness, knowledge, stewardship, and innovation, promoting understanding of and respect for diverse peoples and cultures.

Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta with Fragile Future art piece

Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta with Fragile Future, from an article by Freunde von Freunden

“People find the time to look at art within a gallery setting, but the world is one big exhibition if you only care to look.” –Studio Drift, 2017.

The Mint Museum is organizing the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, a design group based in the Netherlands that creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. Dutch artists Ralph Nauta (b.1978) and Lonneke Gordijn (b.1980) established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven. Their work emanates from their distinct, yet complementary and intertwined interests. Whereas Nauta has long been fascinated by science fiction and futuristic thinking, Gordijn has an abiding interest in nature, which she views as more hi-tech than anything humans could create. Accordingly, in bringing their ideas to life, they approach technology from “an intuitive and emotional perspective,” as Gordijn puts it, often using it to emulate nature and ultimately to create an emotional experience for the viewer. Frequently new technology must be developed to realize their ideas, requiring ongoing collaborations with scientists, university research facilities, computer programmers, and engineers. Over the years Studio Drift has grown to 20 employees, who manage a busy schedule of commissions, gallery shows, and other projects around the world.

In 2018 the studio had their first solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. They have won numerous international design awards and have participated in group shows such as Design Society at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in 2016 and What is Luxury?, a collaboration between the V&A and the Crafts Council in 2015. Studio Drift’s work has been featured at several major design fairs including Design Miami/Basel, Art Paris Art Fair, Dubai Design Week, artmonte-carlo, FOG Design + Art, and ZONA MACO. Their design works and site-specific installations are included in the permanent collections of the Rijksmuseum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, SF MoMA, and others.

This exhibition will feature five works by Studio Drift dating from the last decade to today, most of which have been customized for the Mint, and one installation, Seeds (working title only), premiering here. This blog post is the first in a series that will explore each of the works in the exhibition and offer a behind-the-scenes view of the exhibition’s development.

Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2015, installation at Cidade Materrazo, Brazil

The story of Studio Drift starts with its lighting installation Fragile Future, a network of bronze electrical circuits and dandelion puffs made of LED lights to which dandelion seeds have been individually hand-glued. It is a profound and poetic reflection on the fact that light is the basis and sustenance of all life as well as a testament to the transience of our life and times. Delicate dandelion puffs are the ultimate symbol of ephemerality, yet here they are frozen in time, unable to fulfill their original purpose. Instead, they filter the LED lights and appear to either give power to them or derive power from them.

Studio Drift. Fragile Future Chandelier (Detail). Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Fragile Future began as Gordijn’s graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven after she noticed the similarity between LED lights and the centers of dandelions and realized that the seeds could be used to filter light. As she told Modern magazine in its spring 2017 issue, “It worked out perfectly and the hard light was spread so organically and softly. This was the first time that I realized that nature and technology did not have to be enemies, but could also be connected with each other and even share a similar size and aesthetic.”

After graduating, Gordijn and Nauta, who had been friends since their first days at Eindhoven, founded Studio Drift and developed Fragile Future further. Early versions were individual light fixtures, but the concept soon evolved into modules—just as dandelions are weeds, notorious for spreading everywhere, Fragile Future can expand in any direction. Essentially a three-dimensional circuit board without the board, it can be mounted on walls, hung from a ceiling, or spread across the floor. Lonneke and Ralph describe the development of the work in this video:

Studio Drift showed Fragile Future in 2007 at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, the major international design fair, and immediately received accolades.  This success enabled them to show the work at Design Miami the following year, leading to representation by the Paris-based Carpenters Workshop Gallery. A show of Fragile Future by that gallery at the PAD design fair in Paris in 2009 sold out the edition of eight plus four artist’s proofs. Since then, Studio Drift have continued making new iterations of Fragile Future while also exploring ever more ambitious ideas in other sculptures, which will be described in upcoming blog posts. Their exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum included the largest installation of Fragile Future to date, shown below; the version shown at The Mint Museum will be of similar size.

Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2018, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

Charlotte, N.C. (April 3, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that works from across the career of New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi will be on view in the upcoming exhibition  “Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi” from June 22 to November 3, 2019 at Mint Museum Randolph.

Tony DiTerlizzi – Photo credit “Jim Gipe photo / Pivot Media”

DiTerlizzi is widely recognized as one of this generation’s leading authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults, and the exhibition—the most extensive look at the art of book illustration The Mint Museum has ever done—will feature more than 150 of his original works.

The exhibition will showcase paintings and sketches from DiTerlizzi’s popular picture books, including The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), chapter books Kenny and the Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, as well as The Spiderwick Chronicles, a middle-grade series he co-wrote with Holly Black that has sold more than 20 million copies, has been translated in over 30 countries, and was made into a feature film.

Tony DiTerlizzi, 2003.
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
Cover illustration for The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone, 2003.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

It will also highlight the early years of DiTerlizzi’s career, when he got his start designing for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. The breadth of the artist’s career is expected to draw audiences of all ages and backgrounds, from young children to young-at-heart adults, gamers to artists of all mediums.

DiTerlizzi is known for creating compelling characters—think fantastical creatures, monsters, and heroes—that draw viewers into new worlds, and so the exhibition itself will be designed to bring his works to life. There will be interactive elements where visitors can engage with beloved characters, an area where visitors can lounge and curl up with one of DiTerlizzi’s books, and spots where inspired visitors can even do their own sketches.

“The Mint Museum design team has taken its cues from Tony’s fantastical world of characters and created an experience for visitors of all ages, unlike anything you have seen at the Mint before,” says The Mint Museum President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD.

Tony DiTerlizzi
Created: 2001
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
Illustration from Ted, 2001.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

The “Never Abandon Imagination” exhibition name comes from DiTerlizzi’s personal motto. “Imagination is so key to us as a people,” says the 49-year-old artist. “All the breakthroughs in humanity were by imaginative thinkers.”

During the run of the exhibition, the museum will also present a selection of works by local illustrators in an adjacent gallery, celebrating the tremendous talent right here in the Charlotte region.

“Tony’s boundless energy, enthusiasm, and desire to engage his readers and viewers are infectious,” says Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman. “Our team has greatly enjoyed getting to know his characters and finding ways to bring them to life in the galleries.”

There will be a VIP launch party open to Mint members only on Thursday, June 20 with DiTerlizzi, and the exhibition at Mint Museum Randolph will be open to the public Saturday, June 22.

The exhibition was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where it broke attendance records in 2018. It is presented in Charlotte thanks to the generous support of the Triad Foundation.

For more details and to become a Mint member, visit www.mintmuseum.org

Tony DiTerlizzi, 1999.
Cover illustration for Dungeon Adventures magazine #262, 1999.
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Photo by Marco Del Comune

Charlotte, N.C. (March 18, 2019) Argentinian glass artist Silvia Levenson will be at Mint Museum Uptown 2 – 4 PM Sunday, March 24 to discuss her career and how the theme of domestic violence plays out in her work—particularly in her sculpture Until Death Do Us Part, recently acquired by The Mint Museum.

Levenson’s work is known for starting conversations about difficult topics, such as violence against women inside the home. Her show-stopping Until Death Do Us Part—installed in February at Mint Museum Uptown—is anchored by a 330-pound hollow glass cake, topped by a plaster hand grenade.

Behind the translucent, three-tiered cake, on a striking red wall, are the words “until death do us part,” formed from metal wire. It’s a metaphor for the fragility of relationships and the domestic violence many women worldwide face every day.

“The family is often equated with sanctuary…but the evidence shows that it is also a place that imperils lives,” says Levenson. “One-third of murdered women in the world are killed by a husband or partner.”

Levenson was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina but emigrated to Italy in 1981 with her husband and young children to escape the oppressive regime of military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. During his rule from 1976 to 1981, members of Levenson’s family “disappeared.” Her experience over that intense and frightening time continues to inform her work. She currently divides her time between Buenos Aires and Lesa, Italy.

The event is open to the public and included in the price of museum admission. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Levenson questions and meet with her after the discussion while enjoying light refreshments, including cookies, coffee, and tea. Mint Museum members get in free. Price for non-members is just museum admission: $15 for adults, $10 for college students and seniors (65+), $6 for children ages 5-17, and free for children ages 4 and under.

——–

Questions? Contact Caroline Portillo, Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum: caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org, 704.337.2009.

Silvia Levenson (Argentinian, 1957–). Until Death Do Us Part, 2013, kiln-formed glass, metal structure, plaster, wire. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Mint Museum of Craft + Design Collections Board and the Charles W. Beam Accessions Endowment. 2018.64

Potters Market at The Mint Museum to return in 2020

Charlotte, N.C. (March 8, 2019)  After much thought and deliberation, the Delhom Service League of the Mint Museum has decided to postpone its signature event, the Potters Market, until 2020, when the festival will be reimagined to be bigger and more robust than ever.

“We want to re-do it, reinvent it,” says Phil Sciabarrasi, president of the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of The Mint Museum, which promotes ceramic arts and education. “We want to spend time revisiting all aspects of the Potters Market to help us produce an experience that that will continue to grow and highlight North Carolina ceramics, while also delighting potters and attendees.”

One of the major changes in store: Rather than continue as an invitational, the 2020 Potters Market will be a juried show, a move that will bring even more diversity to the beloved affair.

The event will also coincide with the 10th anniversary of the opening of Mint Museum Uptown. “This will be a very celebratory year for the museum, and our intention is to make the 2020 Potters Market a large part of that celebration,” says Sciabarrasi.

Started in 2004, the annual Potters Market is beloved by ceramics collectors and pottery fans alike for the opportunity it provides to get to know dozens of the state’s best potters and shop the latest works in the rich tradition of North Carolina pottery. Wares range from mugs, teapots and jars to oversized pots, contemporary art pottery and sculptures.

Funds raised by the festival help support acquisitions to The Mint Museum’s ceramics collection and help to promote interest in ceramic arts. Delhom Service League hosts many public programs and hands on experiences throughout the year using these funds, relating to all types of ceramics, from ancient to contemporary. As the group works to reimagine the Potters Market, they hope enthusiasts will continue to engage with ceramics and clay by taking advantage of these programs.

“Delhom Service League is thankful for the corporate sponsors, individual sponsors, and attendees who have been so supportive over the years, and for the exceptional potters who have brought their best work to sell,” says Sciabarrasi. “Potters Market has grown into one of the most important ceramics event in the state, and we want to return in 2020 with an enhanced experience worthy of their continued support in our exciting new chapter.”

For questions, email delhomserviceleague@gmail.com.

About Delhom Service League

The Delhom Service League was founded by M. Mellany Delhom as an affiliate organization of The Mint Museum in 1975. The group—credited with boosting interest and funding for The Mint Museum’s vast ceramics collection—is comprised of a diverse group of artists, teachers, corporate leaders, writers, librarians, doctors, and collectors. Over the last 40 years the focus of the group has expanded, but the mission of the group is the same: to promote ceramic arts and education. Today the league presents nationally and internationally known speakers, and supports the Delhom-Gambrell Reference Library for the decorative arts. It has funded the acquisition of numerous objects for the Mint’s ceramics collection.

Find Delhom Service League on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. See the Delhom Service League rack brochure with calendar.

Top Five Reasons to Take an Art of Reading Public Tour at Mint Museum Randolph

1. Meet Fellow Bibliophiles.
The only thing better than reading a book you love is the opportunity to discuss it with others. Art of Reading public tours give you a chance to explore characters and analyze plot turns. The discussion is followed by a visit to the galleries to view art works that connect to the book.


2. The Sunday Afternoon Tours are Less Expensive than Panther Game Tickets.
Public tours take place on selected Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm and Sundays, 2-3:30 pm. During football season, it’s an alternative activity for a Sunday afternoon. Off season, it’s a great way to spend selected Sundays. [And remember Wednesday evening options too: admission to the museum is free after 5:00.]


3. It’s a New Way to View Mint Art. Just Imagine:
Mr. Darcy holding that Derby Porcelain coffee cup and saucer in the Portals to the Past Exhibition (Pride and Prejudice). Or, Frida Kahlo wearing a distinctive necklace similar to the jadeite one in the Ancient American Galleries (The Lacuna). Or, Tree-ear admiring the 12th Century Korean porcelain bowls in the Wares of the World Exhibition (A Single Shard). Or, Sarah Grimke learning plantation social customs by using the Staffordshire miniature tea and coffee service in the Portals to the Past Exhibition (The Invention of Wings).


4. Tours are Free.
Free to museum members; free after admission for non-members.


5. There’s A Tour for All Interests.
Choose from four current book tours: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen); The Invention of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd); The Lacuna (Barbara Kingsolver); or A Single Shard (Linda Sue Park).


More information on group tours can be found here.
A fifth tour for Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns will launch at Mint Museum Uptown April 2019.

Michele Allen and Alice Ross, Docents and Members, Public Tours Task Force

“You’re invited to a VIP party.” These are words that are not usually sent in my direction, so when an invitation to the VIP Opening Party for the Michael Sherrill exhibition showed up in my inbox, I wasn’t entirely sure how to proceed. (more…)

This fall we expanded our hours at Mint Museum Uptown on Fridays, staying open until 9 PM. It’s a new ‘date night’ option for those who may have been too busy to visit us during the week. (more…)

Drawing together nearly 100 works from the museum’s Modern & Contemporary Collection, Under Construction: Collage from The Mint Museum is the museum’s first exhibition to focus on this dynamic, engaging medium. This technique, in which materials from different sources are cut, torn, and layered to create new meanings and narratives, experienced a renaissance after World War II, due in large part to Charlotte native Romare Bearden, whose work plays a special role in this exhibition.

The exhibition will be open to Mint members only on Friday, November 30; it opens to the public on Saturday, December 1. A party celebrating the exhibition and featuring artists, lenders, donors, and Mint members is scheduled for January 31, 2019 – check mintmuseum.org/events for details.

Bearden has long had a special place at The Mint Museum, which maintains a gallery dedicated to his work at Mint Museum Uptown. In this special exhibition, he and his work serve as a point of departure to explore the medium for which he is best known.

“It was great fun pulling together Under Construction,” noted Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art. “This is the first time that the museum has examined this fascinating technique in depth in a special exhibition. It also was exciting to think about how the work of Romare Bearden (which is found throughout the exhibition) relates to that of so many other artists in the collection. Under Construction is filled with dynamic, thought-provoking objects that are sure to inspire and delight our visitors.”

Under Construction explores not only classic collages including those by Bearden, but also the wide range of ways in which the technique has inspired artists and impacted other forms of art, from painting and printmaking to photography and assemblage. Featuring more than 30 international artists, Under Construction will explore the growth and impact of the collage technique from the 1950s to the present. It will include more than a dozen works by Bearden, as well as examples by such notable artists as Sam Gilliam, Robert Motherwell, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Shepard Fairey, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist.

Visitors will be able to discover how eight inventive contemporary artists have continued to mine the medium recent years in a section titled “New Directions.” Although drawn primarily from the rich holdings of The Mint Museum, this exhibition will also include special loans from private collections.

The exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum. Media partners are The Charlotte Observer, Pride Magazine, and Peachy.

Media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 AM on Friday, November 30 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street. Light refreshments will be served and interviews with the curator and select artists will be available. RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

As an artist whose work spans performance art, music, sound, light, architecture, and virtual reality, Vesna Petresin’s perspective is in great demand. In addition to designing Lumisonica for The Mint Museum, Vesna has had a busy year full of exciting projects. During the last six weeks alone, she presented at three major events: the Netherlands Film Festival (Utrecht, The Netherlands, September 27 – October 5); the Beyond Festival and Symposium (Center for Media Arts, Karlsruhe, Germany, October 3 – 7); and VR Days Europe (Amsterdam, October 24 – 26). Additionally, she gave a talk at the TNW Conference at the Technical University of Munich in March, and since January has served as an Artist-in-Residence at the Amsterdam Academy for the Arts.

Vesna Petresin performing in Open Studio, a mixed reality experience, ID Lab, Theatre and Dance Academy, Amsterdam 2018

According to its website, the Netherlands Film Festival is “the leading platform for the Netherlands’ national film culture. It celebrates the achievements of Dutch filmmakers and provides the bridge between film culture and all facets of Dutch society….It is active throughout the year, stimulating and promoting Dutch film culture before the 9-day extravaganza in late September” when the best productions of the previous 12 months are presented. “These days, cinema is more than just films, and so NFF incorporates into its program disciplines that draw inspiration from, and themselves influence, the cinematic narrative form, from TV drama, music, and visual arts to games and interactive productions.” This year was the festival’s 38th year.

Vesna spoke on a panel in the “Our Brave New World” session, moderated by Dr. Dan Hassler-Forest, a researcher, writer, and lecturer at Utrecht University. In Vesna’s words, this panel was “about the utopian and dystopian aspects of new imaging and media technologies.” In describing her talk, entitled “The Real and the Virtual of VR,” she wrote, “The strength of Virtual Reality is that it offers the possibility to experience artificial realities as real: time and space fused into a “modulated” reality. Within this medium, my performance work has a strong idiosyncratic signature, exploring the medium in various contexts. My work is in transdisciplinary art and Research & Development – through performance and public art I examine the processes of transformation and the concept of time.”

Following her talk, Vesna presented Matter = Information, a new immersive sound and light VR experience for HTC Hive, which she created in collaboration with the Dutch VR developer Aron Fels.

Vesna Petresin and Aron Fels, still image from Matter = Information, 2018

The theme for this year’s Beyond Festival was Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Post-Capitalism. Its website states: “Within the coming decades new technologies are going to change our lives and the way we perceive it beyond our expectations. The BEYOND Festival is a creative collaboration of science, technology and art, an experimental laboratory for new forms of art, which simultaneously offers a glance at social effects regarding new technologies in a global context…It is a festival of films, audio-visual installations and additionally a symposium which exhibits new forms of art and media, such as 2D, 3D, artificial intelligence, virtual-, mixed- and augmented reality.”

Vesna expanded on the idea of matter as information in her talk, “Present Continuous.” She describes the talk thusly: “As the world of technology focuses on the process from bits to particles and from particles back to bits, the impact of social change through technology gives rise to a digital world order. Here, our value is defined by what we contribute to data processing. The culture of flow, Interaction, sharing, tracking, prosuming [serving as both producer and consumer], redefines ways in which we learn, work, trade, communicate and relax. In the world when the ancient myths are fused with emergent godlike technologies such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, how will we define what it means to be human?” Vesna presented similar ideas in her talk at the Technical University of Munich in March.

After the talk Vesna again presented the VR experience, Matter = Information.

Vesna Petresin and Aron Fels, still image from Matter = Information, 2018


For the exhibition portion of the Beyond Festival, Vesna showed The Scores of Chaos, a VR experience based on composer György Ligeti’s musical notation, which she created with a team in Amsterdam called the XR Base Unit. They worked at XRBASE Amsterdam, a co-working space and production company for immersive content that has locations across Europe. Vesna has worked with XRBASE Amsterdam (formerly known as VRBase) on several projects, including content visualization and modeling for Lumisonica.

Still image from The Scores of Chaos | Executive producer: Daniel ‘Kip’ Doornink | Fractal artist: Julius Horsthuis |Creative coders: Sander Sneek, Ruud op den Kelder | Creative advisor: Vesna Petresin | Voice-over audio: Whoozy Music | Supported by XMG, Sensiks
All music by György Ligeti performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Cappella Amsterdam.


Vesna writes, “The Scores of Chaos is an immersive experience, commissioned by Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam 2018) as an homage to the musical genius of the contemporary Hungarian composer Ligeti.

His music featured in some of the most iconic scenes in Stanley Kubrick’s work, making this collaboration groundbreaking for the history of the moving image. Ligeti’s fascination with the world of fractals, chaos and multisensory experience of music, has been the inspiration behind an imaginary trip into the world of his scores. Music becomes an immersive visual landscape, a doorway into the otherworldly beauty of mathematics, of our imagination, and the universe.”

György Ligeti’s music also inspired Vesna’s sound composition for Lumisonica.

VR Days Europe is “a conference and exhibition focused on Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality XR content, creativity, and innovation” comprising keynotes, sessions, workshops, and seminars led by “over 140 thought leaders and experts drawn from the health, technology, business, and arts sectors.”

Vesna presented a talk at the Museum Morning panel, at which creators, producers and artists shared projects that successfully used XR (X Reality) technology in the museum and heritage sector. The panel’s moderator was Daan Kip, a co-founder of VR Days Europe and founder of the XRBASE network. Other panelists included Nina Diamond, Content Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vesna’s talk, “Immersive Ambients,” discussed how “Interactive media allow us to create immersive environments and experiences outside of the ‘white cube’ of a gallery or the ‘black box’ of a theatre.” She writes, “To create a fusion of the built environment and the media, my practice utilizes the conceptof a smart, playable city…. People actively shape their environment; my work attempts to render visible and audible the impact we have on the world – on the shapes, colors, sounds, emotions, social experiences and physical processes – simply by being here.” She discussed Lumisonica, among other projects.

Vesna also hosted a session in the Philosopher’s Salon, a yurt where visitors took off their shoes, refrained from using technology, and discussed questions surrounding XR technology such as human relationships with virtual characters and the ethical implications of humans carrying out acts in virtual environments that are illegal in the real world.

Vesna’s talk, another version of “Present Continuous,” focused on presence in Virtual, Physical, and Mixed Reality. “As our present looks increasingly dystopian, questions arise about the future and the impact of social change through technology, while a new digital world order seems to be taking shape. A sense of presence in virtual worlds is akin to an escape from the trauma of existence. a largely disembodied experience allowing to play god. Rethinking the philosopher Montaigne, the sensory perception may well be synonymous with sensory illusion, as the meaning of the truth seems to become intangible, and commodified,” she writes of her talk. Afterward she led a conversation among salon visitors.

Throughout her research and artistic practice, Vesna Petresin engages with pressing questions around the relationship between humans and technology in the twenty-first century. Lumisonica extends that inquiry to the environment of The Mint Museum, creating an enhanced experience in which visitors’ interactions with the technology on the staircase lead to new perceptions of their effect on the spaces they inhabit. Come to the debut of Lumisonica at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, on Friday night, November 16, from 6 to 9 PM to experience it yourself.

The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the public debut of Lumisonica, a site-specific, interactive light and sound installation on the Grand Staircase of Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts created by Vesna Petresin. Beginning Friday, November 16, visitors will experience a changing canvas of ambient light and sound that responds to their movements as they climb or descend the stairs.

That evening, Mint Museum President & CEO Todd A. Herman PhD and artist Vesna Petresin will make remarks. The event begins at 6 PM with remarks anticipated at 6:30 PM. Petresin and Creative Design Lead Ben Mason will also be available to speak to the media. There will be a cash bar in the museum’s atrium, and the museum galleries will remain open until 9 PM.

Petresin, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a trans-disciplinary artist who has exhibited and performed at the Tate Modern; ArtBasel Miami; the Royal Academy of the Arts; the Venice Biennale; the Institute of Contemporary Arts London; and the Vienna Secession. She is based in London, Amsterdam, and Berlin. She is scheduled to be an artist in residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation from January through April.

Mason, based in Asheville, runs a digital media business offering services such as media systems architecture and design, photography, animation, web design, sound design, show control/stage interactives, and more. He designed and implemented the lighting and sound systems and consulted on programming for Lumisonica.

The project was funded through a generous grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which challenged museums to use technology to enhance the visitor experience.

Creating a multisensory landscape

Lumisonica transforms the museum’s main entrance into an unparalleled immersive experience that will be choreographed by the visiting public. Based upon the idea of the smart city, this multisensory landscape makes invisible space visible, audible, and tangible while aiming to increase people’s awareness that they can and do shape their own place, perceptions and reality. Lumisonica assures a daring and playful experience like no other in the heart of Charlotte’s flourishing art district. Juxtaposed near the large reflective Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture Firebird in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, this light and sound sculpture provides another dynamic feature to highlight entropic experiences, moiré patterns and other optical and perceptional illusions in this cultural area.

The “smart city” concept of this dynamic datascape is drawn from two components that change the form to an accessible visual/audio display based upon public movement and engagement:

Visual content is created by programmable LED light features embedded into the staircase and railings. The light effects are designed to work interactively based on data captured from the environment as well as on presets of visual effects. The light effects are programmed along a 24/7 schedule with pre-rendered sets at specific times of the day, combined with responsive effects based on criteria such as visibility, program of events at the museum, and the number of visitors.

Audio content permeates ambient sound loops designed to respond and support the light effects. These amplify the visitor’s feeling of presence in the environment and assist their spatial navigation, by amplifying the ranges of frequencies that translate to embodied sensations. The audio content includes composed soundscapes and loops of sonic textures as well as key framed musical motifs on specific days and at specific times to announce events.

“My work tries to offer a moment to remember we inhabit and co-create a multisensory symphony,” said Petresin. “The piece for the Mint has been inspired by the idea that matter is information under constant transformation, bringing memory, human connection, wonder, and innovation.”

Lumisonica will be in place during The Mint Museum’s upcoming exhibition Immersed in Light (Fall 2019 – Spring 2020). The exhibition will feature experiential lighting installations by four contemporary artists and designers at Mint Museum Uptown.

Staircase to enhance museum experience, visitation

The Mint was among 12 recipients of $1.87 million in funding from the Knight Foundation for new ways of using technology to immerse visitors in art. Institutions in cities including Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City are joining Charlotte in creating new tools ranging from chat bots to augmented reality apps to engage new audiences.

Funding for this project is part of a Knight Foundation initiative to help museums better meet new community demands and use digital tools to meaningfully engage visitors in art. Knight, which promotes informed and engaged communities, has helped institutions—from newsrooms to libraries—adapt to and thrive in the digital age. This funding expands the foundation’s use of its digital expertise to help art museums build stronger, more vibrant communities.

“The arts have the rare power to bring diverse communities together, provoke personal reflection, and inspire new ways of thinking,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts. “Our hope is that by integrating technology, museums can better reach and engage audiences in ways that connect them to the art.”

ABOUT VESNA PETRESIN

Vesna Petresin is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Amsterdam University of the Arts and a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths (University of London). She has been an Artist in Residence at ZKM in Germany and created a London-based trans-disciplinary art collective whose exploration of optics, acoustics and psychology takes the format of performance, installation and artifact.

As a time architect, non-object based designer, space composer and performer, her practice utilizes an alchemy of media and senses (sound, film, space, interaction, and performance) to take art out of the white cube and bring it into an immersive experience. The key concept is transformation—of the material, the immaterial and the self.

Petresin seeks elements to link cultures rather than separate them and pays attention to archetypal formal constants and patterns existing in nature, human perception and the creative process. Her work in immersive light is ground-breaking and has been featured at Tate Modern, ArtBasel Miami, Venice Biennale, The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Academy of Arts, ICA, The Sydney Opera House, Vienna Secession, Cannes International Film Festival and Kings Place among others.

Petresin’s academic background in classical music and architecture has propelled her as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Member of the Architectural Association, a keynote speaker at symposia including “SuperLux: Smart Light Art, Design and Architecture for Cities” (Technical University of Munich, 2016), the XR Summit (ISE at RAI, Amsterdam 2018) and a print author of internationally notable publications. She has written on smart cities (Thames & Hudson, Black Dog) and on Leonardo da Vinci’s creative methods in relation to 21st century view of morphogenesis in art and design for Springer Publications.

ABOUT THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) are proud to present the Sixth Annual Fall Ball: “Mint Main Event.” The black-tie gala will take place on Saturday, November 3 from 8 PM to midnight at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts and will be themed around old Hollywood and include live entertainment and an open bar. This year’s Fall Ball will serve as a fundraiser in support of the YAMs’ contribution to the Mint’s Annual Fund to provide Mint Museum tours for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students.

In support of the YAMs’ mission of promoting and celebrating the arts, the charitable event will be an ode to old Hollywood glam featuring live music from Sammy Sinatra and the Mad Men, “the South’s premiere Vegas style lounge act with a twist,” as well as Charlotte’s own DJ Chescov. There will even be a red-carpet walk of fame highlighting the names of attendees who purchased early-bird tickets, recognizing them for their support.

“We’re proud to bring Fall Ball back to Mint Museum Uptown following their Grand Re-opening Celebration,” said Amorette Mangum, co-chair of the annual event. “To make this philanthropic event even more accessible for Charlotte’s young professional crowd, we’ve lowered the ticket prices for the first time in the event’s history.”

Tickets start at just $80 for members and $99 for non-members and include hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer and wine. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit https://13800.blackbaudhosting.com/13800/Fall-Ball-2018-MINT-MAIN-EVENT.

Special thanks to the 2018 Fall Ball title sponsor, Felix Sabates Lincoln, and our annual gold sponsor, United Global Technologies, as well as Tito’s Vodka and La Belle Helene for their contributions to this annual event. In addition to Fall Ball, the YAMs are proud to partner with UGT for their 2018-2019 signature events including the YP Mixer, Derby Days, and the Art Show.

About Felix Sabates Lincoln

Felix Sabates Lincoln, located on South Boulevard in Charlotte, has a strong and committed sales staff with many years of experience satisfying customers’ needs. Felix Sabates is proud to sponsor the YAMs and the Charlotte arts community as well as serve as the title sponsor for Fall Ball: Mint Main Event.

About the United Global Technologies

For almost a decade, United Global Technologies has set the standard for US-based IT and engineering services. Founded in 2009, by Elizabeth Bernstein and Jason Monastra, UGT has excelled at meeting the diverse information technology, engineering, and operational needs of industrial and service leaders across the country and around the globe. Through the generosity and tireless efforts of UGT employees, families and friends, philanthropy has become more than an initiative — it is a way of life. UGT is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and is thrilled to be a part of the thriving community. To learn more about UGT visit https://www.ugtechnologies.com/.

About the Young Affiliates of the Mint

Established in 1990, the YAMs are a diverse group of young professionals promoting and supporting The Mint Museum through cultural, social, leadership, and fundraising activities and events. All YAM event proceeds directly benefit Charlotte-Mecklenburg students by offsetting the cost of Mint Museum tours throughout the school year.

For More Information Contact:

Amorette Mangum or Victoria Mathias

Fall Ball Co-Chairs, Young Affiliates of the Mint

youngaffiliatesofthemint@gmail.com

A project as complex and technologically advanced as Lumisonica requires close collaboration among many people. And while it may seem ironic for a project involving digital technology, the best format for such collaboration is through face-to-face meetings. For this reason, Vesna Petresin traveled from her current home base of London to The Mint Museum to work on Lumisonica on October 9 and 10. She spent much of her time with two key people: Creative Design Lead Ben Mason, who is based in Asheville, and lighting consultant Terry Reeves, who also traveled from London.

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In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers, and to make them see the natural world anew as he works with clay, glass, and metal to create exquisite floral forms. This retrospective organized by The Mint Museum illustrates the artist’s evolution over his more than 40-year career and highlights his contributions to contemporary art, craft, and design.

Michael Sherrill Retrospective opens later this month at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street. The museum will offer member-only hours 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Friday October 26; Sherrill gives a public talk, free with museum admission, 11 a.m. Saturday October 27. It is followed by a book signing in the Mint Museum Store with a new, lavishly illustrated catalogue published by The Mint Museum to accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition will travel to the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in summer 2019, and the Arizona State University Art Museum in early 2020.

Temple of the Cool Beauty (Yucca)
Michael Sherrill
Created: 2005
Materials: polychrome, porcelain, Moretti glass, silica bronze
Gift of Ann and Tom Cousins. 2014.78a-b. Collection of The Mint Museum.

“The idea for a Michael Sherrill Retrospective was ignited by close study of one of the Mint’s sculpture’s, Temple of the Cool Beauty (Yucca), then on loan from Ann and Tom Cousins, and further research,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion. “Surveying contemporary clay globally, Michael’s work is exceptional in its sheer beauty—delicate botanical reveries that chronicle life cycles from blossom to wither. His command of materials, not just clay but metal and glass, and his brilliance as an inventor of tools and technologies, make the magic happen. There is simply nothing like his work anywhere on the planet.”

Carlano serves as lead organizing curator and Marilyn Zapf of The Center for Craft is guest curator; filmmakers Matthew Mebane and Maria White contributed video to the exhibition.

Primarily a self-taught artist, Sherrill moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to the Western North Carolina mountains in 1974. His early influences came from the North Carolina folk pottery tradition and the community surrounding Penland School of Crafts, Seagrove Potters, and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, as well as from his studies of the ceramics of Asia and the Americas. These influences are apparent in Sherrill’s functional objects from the late 1970s and 80s. These early explorations led quickly to a new sculptural vocabulary, strong minimalist organic forms inspired by the botanical world. Sherrill’s unique aesthetic sensibilities are matched by his extraordinary skill and inventiveness. A true innovator, he has developed clay bodies and special tools to make the material fulfill his desired artistic outcome.

Over 70 objects will be on view, from a group of Steins (1977) to A Beautiful Death (2017).  Loans from institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Racine Museum of Art; and individual collectors in Oregon, Florida, Vermont, and North Carolina are featured.

“The Mint Museum is committed to collecting, publishing, and exhibiting the best of contemporary craft,” said Dr. Todd A. Herman, President & CEO of the Mint. “We have recognized the unique talent of Michael Sherrill since his early forays in functional vessels, and through accessions and exhibitions have acknowledged his creative expression and skill. This retrospective is the culmination of several years of dedication and excellence on the part of Mint staff and I am proud of our team and other contributors.”

Exhibition sections and catalogue

Michael Sherrill Retrospective begins with a sense of place, as the visitor walks through re-creations and interpretations of his cobalt blue studio doors and the woods of his mountain home. Twenty-first-century ceramics, like contemporary art in general, can be characterized as an exciting period of experimentation: to express their creative vision, makers are incorporating new media and technologies to reach beyond traditional methods. Sherrill is one of the foremost practitioners of this approach. His inventiveness and worldview play ahead of current trends, and working off the beaten track, he developed a naturalist’s sensitivity to the botanical wonders of Bat Cave, North Carolina. Finding the universal in the close at hand, Sherrill’s extraordinary evolution in creating with clay—and other materials—is conveyed in this exhibition.

The first section of the exhibition, Early Works, features functional stoneware forms that demonstrate the young artist’s influences from both historic and contemporary North Carolina pottery as well as Native American and Asian inspired shapes, glazes, and raku firing techniques.  It’s the smallest section of the show, due to the fact Sherrill’s oeuvre evolved so quickly from an artist’s initial period of exploration to maturity.

Teapots is the largest section of the exhibition and illustrates the way in which Sherrill uses the utilitarian object as vehicle for his forays into materials, process, and aesthetics. Here we can see sober Minimalist designs, drawing on traditional squat round forms, exuberant colorful expressionist compositions, and pure abstract forms.  In this rich and imaginative installation, reminiscent of a fine tea shop, what is unseen is as important as the surface ornamentation, as Sherrill moves fluidly from stoneware to porcelain. Installed in an imaginative teashop-like setting, this section of the exhibition includes a hand-on activity related teas from around the world.

In an intimate room off the Teapot section is Studio.  In this section of the exhibition visitors will encounter a selection of tools, organic materials, and other curiosities from Michael Sherrill’s actual studio Wonder Wall—a space filled with objects that inspire and invite contemplation.  Underscoring the inventor in the artist, across from the Wonder Wall is an installation of array of colorful clay work tools from the artist’s Mudtools line. Visitors will be able to scroll through the twitter feed of Mudtools to see the amazing ways people around the globe are utilizing these implements.

Contemporary Sculpture begins with transitional objects from teapot botanical abstractions to full blown sculpture. Inspired by the ubiquitous rhododendron that he sees every day on his daily walks with his wife Margery, the artist crafted a series of ceramic and life size sculptures in 2008. Still, this is not entirely a linear path, as Sherrill hones his naturalist sensibilities, skill, and technologies creating both large scale an intimate ornate plant forms and makes huge creative leaps to Neo-Minimalist sheaths, reminiscent of Agnes Martin paintings. The last group of objects in the visitor’s path was created since 2014. Showing his fantastic facility with clay, glass, and lost wax casting bronze in wall mounted and freestanding sculptures, objects such as Black Medicine, A Beautiful Death, and Dutch Solomon eschew any doubt that he is a Southern American master.

Each section is introduced by a video that features Michael Sherrill addressing the visitor. Shot on location in Bat Cave and including some vintage film, the videos were produced by Matthew Mebane and Maria White, award winning documentary filmmakers based in Charleston, South Carolina.

A scholarly exhibition catalogue, edited by Carlano, accompanies the exhibition. It features essays by Marilyn Zapf, Assistant Director and Curator, The Center for Craft and Guest Curator; and Ezra Shales, Associate Professor of Art History, Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Published by The Mint Museum, the book will be available for $40 at both museum locations; beginning November 15, it will be available online at store.mintmuseum.org.

Michael Sherrill has received numerous prestigious awards, including the US Windgate Fellowship: Crafts and the Arts, US Artists (2010) and is a highly regarded teacher and lecturer throughout the United States, and in Japan and China.  He serves on several non-profit boards and councils including the Archie Bray Foundation, and the Center for Craft, and has served as a member of the Founders’ Circle Board of Directors.

Mint curators Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion and Emily Pazar, former curatorial assistant for Craft, Design & Fashion are the organizing curators; Marilyn Zapf, Assistant Director and Curator, The Center for Craft, Asheville, N.C., is Guest Curator.

The exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum. STEELFAB is the presenting sponsor for the exhibition. Generous support for the exhibition catalogue and tour provided by the Windgate Foundation; additional funding from the Founders’ Circle and Bank of America.

Media and invited guests are invited to preview the exhibition from 10 a.m.-noon on Thursday October 25; RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

 

The Mint Museum just reached 10K followers on Instagram, and to celebrate we’re giving away five items from our Store and a Mint membership to one lucky winner.

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The two people sitting across from me, ARKO + OWL, are an artistic duo who set out to find love in each other and with the city of Charlotte. They were chosen as the first artists to be featured in The Mint Museum’s newest project, ConstellationCLT. Every year The Mint Museum will highlight approximately three contemporary artists in the Charlotte region to showcase their distinct works of art.  

Having just finished painting for the night, the two enter the room beaming with unfiltered joy and happiness. They graciously meet me at Mint Museum Uptown, site of their most recent mural, to sit down for a chat about their career as artists and their views on the community that Charlotte is beginning to build.  

“Why the mask?” I start with the most obvious question. The two, though unmasked when sitting in front of me, prefer to conceal their identities when posting online or doing public events. 

The question of the masks is answered by OWL, one half of the duo, in a way that showcases the smooth friction produced by the anonymity in art. “Before the mask I was very concerned with how I looked and how people saw me. The mask gives me the opportunity to not care as much about that and to just go through the process. In a way I can focus more on the art and not about what people think of it.”  

Arko + Owl

With the mask, OWL feels that she could make things more freely than without it. “I can fully embrace my art,” she says, “and then when I overhear someone say something critical, it’s a little less personal. It’s not directed at me. They don’t know that I’m standing behind them and they don’t know who I even am. At that point it is all about the art that they see in front of them.” The words of criticism are relevant in a way that separates her feelings of being connected to the work from being a part of the work itself.  Freely losing one’s sense of self in the artistic process is what propels that same art to the forefront of the collective imagination. Raw feelings of the human condition are brought forth from artists that are allowed to embrace the intricate details of love and loss; of joy and anguish. 

Art of that substance acts as a reflection of the person standing in front of it, as well as a reinterpretation of the artist that made it. Seeing that reinterpretation and hearing its voice is indicative of the overreaching power of art to bind people together. Art allows others to connect with people who seemingly would never have been able to before. Cultivating a sense of understanding in all people is what brings gravity to a work of art. Common ground shared among people different from one another erases boundaries of isolation. It forms strings of connectivity that pull on the human vital of compassion. “Community, much like culture, is what you make of it,” says ARKO, “we are at the beginning of a really big push right now. And It’s not just us, it’s everybody. Everyone who is out doing pop-ups, doing stencils, doing graffiti, everyone showing in galleries.” Everyone who is striving to put art out into the city of Charlotte. Everyone, he seems to be suggesting, who is working toward that same goal of using art to bring people together, both physically and ideologically.  

Arko + Owl at Mint Museum Uptown

“I went to art school, I showed in galleries, I did the whole academia thing,” ARKO says, specifically recalling his interaction with the traditional structures surrounding art institutions, “but personal success isn’t what all of this is about to us. We want to bring this art to everyone and to let those voice of the minorities be heard. Not just the people that are traditionally held up as artists.” ARKO originally rejected the ideas of tradition, but says he is coming back around to it and is now looking to build upon them to form a new meaning around art. There is an evolution of traditional spaces, he says, that can be utilized to educate people about different ways of thinking and living. He describes art as an open door to other people’s worlds; a way to see things from a different perspective. Specifically, he wants to bring people, art and happiness in any way possible; whether that means working with traditional museums or utilizing Instagram to give away free art.  

OWL shares this sentiment as she recalls the protest surrounding the tragic death of Keith Lamont Scott in 2016; a time when things didn’t look as promising for minorities who may not be given the chance to have their opinions heard. She speaks about how they both wanted to do something to help recover Charlotte’s lost sense of community. “Some people’s voices aren’t as free as others, and because of that we decided to say something in the way that we could; by using our art. After the protest we helped paint the windows of the Hyatt Hotel. It was our way of reaching out to the community and making our voice heard.”  

Arko + Owl at Hyatt Hotel

ARKO + OWL are both taking note of Charlotte’s lack of representation, and they hope to help bring those voices that are traditionally silenced to the forefront of the conversation. Charlotte is currently in a unique position of having the opportunity to develop a new definition for itself, one that could include everyone’s voice. The duo hopes to capitalize upon this to help make diversity a large part of the new culture that is emerging in Charlotte. The installation at Mint Museum Uptown lies in the same contextual vein of equal representation within the city. The pair said they immediately rejoiced when they were contacted about the mural at the Mint, but more for the vocalization that the mural is giving minorities rather than their personal success. Like the painting of the Hyatt’s windows, they viewed this too as a start to bringing a level playing ground to the Charlotte art scene. Progress of building upon and moving on from traditional viewpoints lies in the collaboration between institutions of long-standing reverence and independent artist like themselves. They say they are excited at the prospect of institutions being willing to reach out and work with local artist to bring in fresh voices. “I think it’s amazing that we get the chance to help break down the assumption that there is a corporate world in Charlotte that doesn’t interact with the real people…I am in awe that I am literally drawing with a marker on the walls of a museum. Its completely crazy.” Together, both ARKO + OWL and the Mint hope they can elevate the voices of the people they serve. Working with one another can allow the artist and their art to present a new face to the Charlotte that looks like them; to a Charlotte that is culturally rich, ethnically diverse, and welcoming to everyone who wants to call it their home. 


ARKO + OWL have multiple installations inside of Mint Museum Uptown that are going to be featured in the Talking Walls Mural Festival, October 10-13, as well as serving as the launch of the Mint’s ongoing ConstellationCLT project.

You can find ARKO on Instagram at @Arko83art, and OWL at @owl.clt

Lumisonica, the interactive light and sound installation designed by Vesna Petresin for the Grand Staircase at Mint Museum Uptown and scheduled to debut this November, marks the Mint Museum’s first experience with this kind of multimedia, interdisciplinary, intangible art. To recap a previous blog post, Lumisonica is “based on the concept of a smart, playable city. It encompasses disciplines from architecture, lighting design, sound design, choreography and set design, to interactive visual arts.” (more…)

African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style introduces audiences to the dynamic traditions of African dress featuring colorful, boldly patterned printed cloth. The exhibition, opening to the public at Mint Museum Randolph October 7 following two days of Mint member previews, highlights the interplay between regional preferences and cosmopolitanism that has long flourished on the continent, while highlighting the expansiveness of 21st-century African-print fashion.

The exhibition will be open to Mint members on Friday, October 5 from 11 AM-6 PM and Saturday October 6 from 1-6 PM, and will open to the public on Sunday, October 7 from 1-5 PM. Two fashion designers with work featured in the exhibition, Titi Ademola and Alexis Temomanin, will be in Charlotte from Thursday through Sunday and are available for media interviews. Sunday’s event includes a public talk with both designers from 2-3 PM, free after museum admission. Public opening day also includes a drumming performance and a light reception with cash bar. Ademola, a Ghanian/Nigerian designer, is founder of the KIKI label, while Temomanin is the British-Ivorian founder of menswear brand Dent de Man.

African-Print Fashion Now!, organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, expands the Mint’s presentations of contemporary fashion into a broader cultural arena, and continues the Mint’s emphasis on presenting exhibitions that represent diverse voices and backgrounds. “This exhibition aligns with our mission to explore the meaning of fashion in a global 21st-century context,” said Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint. “From the bold, dynamic cloth, to the inventive, sculptural silhouettes, the textiles and fashions in this exhibition have inspired and infiltrated Western fashion, art, music, and popular culture.”

“The Mint is honored to be one of three venues for this important exhibition, and very pleased to collaborate with the Fowler Museum, UCLA, for the first time,” said Dr. Todd Herman, PhD, President & CEO of the Mint. “Additionally, we are deeply grateful to Charlotte’s own Michael Gallis for his role in bringing this exhibition to our community.”

The works featured throughout the exhibition demonstrate the vital role that African-print has played in the expression of beauty, fashion, and heritage, while creating transcultural connections across Africa and into the larger world.

The exhibition is complemented by an interactive design studio created by the Mint’s Learning & Engagement team, offering visitors of all ages opportunities to design their own prints, experience African-print fabrics, and go on a scavenger hunt through the exhibition.

Four sections weaving multiple themes

The exhibition is organized into four sections: “It All Starts with Cloth,” “Portraits in Print,” “Regional Styles, Fashion Preferences,” and “New Directions.” Collectively, the installation includes dozens of tailored fashions, nearly 100 archival and contemporary cloths, approximately 20 black-and-white studio portrait photographs from the 1960s and 1970s, a series of runway videos, and several works by contemporary visual artists. Ensembles on view draw from the Fowler’s collections, private loans, and the extensive archives of the Dutch textile manufacturing company Vlisco.

Several themes weave their way throughout the exhibition, mimicking the cyclical nature of fashion trends and the ripple effects of politics and technology on the formation of identity. One theme is consumer agency, both in determining designs and patterns through purchasing power and by commissioning unique ensembles from seamstresses and tailors. Another theme is the theatrical power of fashion, and its ability to express individualism or collective solidarity, whether in a family portrait or Women’s Day Marches in communities across the continent. Finally, a link between imaging and fashion surfaces in each section of the exhibition. From formal portraiture to visual arts to ubiquitous African fashion calendars to street style photos shared by cell-phone, it is clear that representations of fashion have always been a nuanced form of communication.

Fashion subtly communicates about place, heritage, and belonging through such means as appropriation, pastiche, and revival. Throughout the exhibition, African-print fashions are considered to be creative responses to key historical moments and empowering projections about Africa’s future.

About the Exhibition

“It All Starts with Cloth” addresses the history of African-print textiles, originally inspired by batik or wax-resist cloth from Indonesia. A dense grid of more than 60 cloths manufactured in Europe, Africa, and Asia evokes the vibrating colors and designs stocked in open-air markets and cloth shops across the African continent. A visual timeline of production across these regions outlines the history of the cloth trade in West and Central Africa from the 1800s to the present. Archival photographs and dramatic film footage of the Vlisco factory in operation transport audiences to the production of cloth in the Netherlands.

“Portraits in Print” leaves behind the brightly colored world of African-print fashion and enters an intimate black-and-white space of memory. A gallery introduces four photographers from Africa’s “golden age” of black-and-white photography in the 1960s and 1970s: Francis K. Honny (Ghana, 1914–1998); Jacques Toussele (Cameroon, 1935–2017); Omar Ly (Senegal, 1943–2016); and Mory Bamba (b. Mali, 1949). Their photography studios in newly independent West African countries provided a platform for an ascending middle class to see themselves and be seen by one another. The portraits are indicative of a historical moment when local African-print ensemble styles gained new significance as expressions of national and Pan-African pride and identity.

“Regional Styles, Fashion Preferences” takes an in-depth look at localized contemporary African-print fashion whereby stylish dress is a feature of daily life. Ensembles on view from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal reflect an array of styles, all of them customized and individually made to order. This section presents a case study from Kumasi, Ghana to illustrate the interactive commissioning process between seamstresses or tailors and their fashion-conscious clientele. The bold patterns of the cloth engineered with subtle and striking variations in style reveal the ingenuity and flair of regional designers.

“New Directions” bridges regional cultures with transnational art and fashion networks, beginning with African-print styles on global runways in Paris, New York, Dakar, and other cities. Designers in this section include Titi Ademola (b. London, based in Ghana), Ituen Bassey (b. Nigeria), Afua Dabanka (b. Germany, based in Ghana), Lisa Folawiyo (b. Nigeria), Adama Amanda Ndiaye (b. Democratic Republic of the Congo, based in Senegal), Alexis Temomanin (b. Côte d’Ivoire), Gilles Touré (b. Côte d’Ivoire), and Patricia Waota (b. Côte d’Ivoire). Ensembles on view feature full-length gowns and men’s blazers, metallic wax print, and architectural pleating and boning—all of which harmoniously marry the drape of the fabric with the strategic construction of print patterns for stunning results.

Juxtaposed with these glamorous designs are contemporary works by photographers and other visual artists who incorporate print-cloth imagery to convey evocative messages about heritage, hybridity, displacement, and aspiration.

Members of the media and invited special guests are invited to preview the exhibition from 5:30-7 PM on Thursday October 4 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road in Charlotte. Light refreshments, wine, and beer will be served. RSVP to Leigh.Dyer@mintmuseum.org.

Publication

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated volume generously funded by the R. L. Shep Endowment Fund at the Fowler Museum. The publication includes essays authored by exhibition co-curators Suzanne Gott, Kristyne S. Loughran, Betsy D. Quick, and Leslie W. Rabine with additional essays contributed by Kathleen Bickford Berzock, Boatema Boateng, M. Amah Edoh, Helen Elands, Anne Grosfilley, Karen Tranberg-Hansen, Helen Jennings, Sandra Klopper, Stephan F. Miescher, Hansi Momodu-Gordon, John Picton, Elisha P. Renne, Victoria L. Rovine, Ken Aïcha Sy, and Nina Sylvanus. It is on sale for $40 in both locations of the Mint Museum stores.

Credit

African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA in association with Vlisco Netherlands B.V. It is guest curated by Suzanne Gott with Kristyne S. Loughran, Betsy D. Quick, and Leslie W. Rabine. In Charlotte, Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion, is the project curator. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts with the additional support of R. L. Shep, DutchCulture, and Pasadena Art Alliance.

The exhibition is presented in Charlotte by PNC Financial Services with generous additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary, Wells Fargo Private Bank, and Moore & Van Allen.

ABOUT THE FOWLER MUSEUM

The Fowler Museum at UCLA explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas—past and present. The Fowler enhances understanding of world cultures through dynamic exhibitions, publications, and public programs, informed by interdisciplinary approaches and the perspectives of the cultures represented. Also featured is the work of international contemporary artists presented within the complex frameworks of politics, culture, and social action.

 

Above image:

Lekan Jeyifo and Walé Oyéjidé, Johannesburg 2081 A.D., Africa 2081 A.D. series, 2014; Digital print. Courtesy Ikiré Jones.

Standing in a round sound stage in Vesna Petresin’s studio in the ID Lab, up several flights of stairs at the Academie voor Theater en Dans, (Theater and Dance Academy) a division of the University of the Arts (AHK), Amsterdam, I am literally in the middle of light and sound experiments for Lumisonica. (more…)

MAINFRAME will remain on view through October 19 with these hours:

Wednesdays: 5-9 PM

Fridays:5-9 PM

Saturdays: 11 AM-6 PM

Sundays: 1-5 PM

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) announce their Third Annual Juried Art Show,
MAINFRAME, a participatory compilation of works that explore the role of technology, will host an
opening night celebration from 7 – 10 PM on Thursday, September 20 in Mint Museum Uptown’s
Level 5 expansion space.

Opening night is open to the public and will serve as an opportunity for the show’s jurors, featured
artists, and guests to view and discuss the interactive pieces on display. Opening night will include a
DJ, cash bar, and a photo booth with the opportunity to pose with some of your favorite nostalgic
technology.

The YAMs distinguished panel of jurors, Lia Newman, Curator of Director/Curator of the Davidson
College Art Galleries; Ivan Toth Depeña, an Charlotte-based new media artist; and Kelly McChesney,
Public Art Director of the city of Raleigh and Director of Lump, a non-profit alternative art space in
Raleigh, North Carolina; selected 18 talented artists to feature for this year’s exhibition. The featured
artists include: Jeffrey Barninger, Chris Clamp, Meredith Connelly, Travis Donavan, Caitlin and
Misha, Cynthia Hua, Andrew Leventis, Alex McKenzie, Joy Meyer, Leah Mulligan, Daniel Pillis, David
Sackett, Thomas Schmidt, Lydia See, Jordan Vinyard, and Christina Weisner.

The artists’ work exposing technological devices and developments since the dawn of the mainframe
computer will be on display in Uptown until October 17, 2018 during Mint Museum hours on
Wednesday & Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays. MAINFRAME is the Third Annual Young Affiliates of
the Mint Art Show, following the 2016 inaugural exhibition, 80×80: An Art Show, heralded as the best
Charlotte exhibition of 2016 by Creative Loafing , and the 2017 art show, GENDERED, drawing in
over 2500 attendees for a politically and culturally relevant exhibition.

MAINFRAME’s opening night is part of the Grand Re-Opening Celebration for Mint Museum Uptown. The celebration continues throughout the weekend, with Friday bringing Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night and performances of the vertical aerial dance “Perspective” by Caroline Calouche & Co., and Saturday bringing a live mural painting from local artists Owl + Arko, live music, more performances of “Perspective,” cash bar and food carts. More details and schedule at mintmuseum.org/events. For more information about MAINFRAME or to contribute as an individual or corporate sponsor, visit youngaffliates.org/artshow or email: youngaffiliatesartshow@gmail.com

Monday September 17 update: All grand re-opening activities are now scheduled THIS WEEK! Join us for the YAMs’ opening party for MAINFRAME on Thursday Sept. 20, 7-11 PM; “Perspective” aerial dances by Caroline Calouche & Co. on Friday & Saturday, Sept. 21 & 22; Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night Friday, 7-11:30 PM; and a FREE community day this Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM! More details at mintmuseum.org/events.

Sunday September 16 update, 5 PM ET: Both locations of the museum will be closed to most staff on Monday September 17, and the scheduled Board of Trustees meeting is postponed. NEW UPDATE: The Delhom Service League has decided to postpone its Tuesday program at Mint Museum Randolph. A new date will be scheduled soon. We will continue to monitor the situation and post any relevant updates here.

Friday September 14 update, 9:45 AM ET: The Mint Museum plans to open its galleries today, 11 AM-6 PM ET, but will close to the public on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 to ensure the safety of the public, our visitors, and staff. Check back here for further updates.

Thursday September 13 update, 12:15 PM ET: The Mint Museum’s galleries remain open today (Thursday) observing normal hours, and at this time, the museum plans to open galleries normally at 11 a.m. ET on Friday. Assuming nothing changes, the Mint is postponing its originally scheduled plans to extend Friday operating hours at Mint Museum Uptown, and will close at 6 p.m. ET. (Beginning on Friday Sept. 21, weather permitting, Mint Museum Uptown will be open to the public until 9 p.m. each Friday). Of course check back here or on our Facebook or Twitter accounts before heading out, and please stay safe!

Wednesday September 12, 1:30 PM ET UPDATE: The Mint Museum staff hopes to announce an entire new schedule for all events listed as part of our previously scheduled lineup for September 14/15/16, but we will wait until after the hurricane passes to publicly post most dates. Right now our focus is on ensuring the public and our own staff and art collection remain safe in the days to come. The museum’s public hours of operation will be updated day to day in the coming days. New event dates will be announced as soon as weather conditions permit.

Wednesday September 12, 8 AM ET PREVIOUS POST: The Mint Museum’s staff has been working diligently since the weekend to monitor forecasts and evaluate all of the many activities scheduled for the public this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Most of them will be re-scheduled to later dates, so please keep an eye on this space for details, as we expect things to be confirmed soon. (Hint: We hope you are keeping Sept. 20, 21, and 22 open).

If the museum can safely operate, we will continue to observe our scheduled operating hours this weekend. Those decisions will be made day-to-day. And assuming the museum is open, we do expect local muralists Owl + Arko (pictured here) to be starting their mural, which must be finished in time for the community-wide Talking Walls Charlotte mural festival, coming up October 10-13. They’ll be inside the museum periodically between now and then working on the wall just inside Mint Museum Uptown’s main entry, so please plan more than one visit to check their progress.

 

Screen print painting depicts North Carolina native and Hall of Fame inductee.

The Mint Museum has acquired a painting of North Carolinian and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nina Simone.

Nina Simone is by British artist Russell Young. “Having such a beautiful portrait of a N.C. native who was such a strong African-American woman, activist, and performer will add to our contemporary art collection here. Plus, I think it will be such a popular piece with our audiences,” said Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, the Mint’s senior curator of American, Modern, & Contemporary Art. He made the choice with former Assistant Curator Adam Justice, now Director of Galleries at UNC Charlotte.

Russell Young was born in 1959 in Northern England. From an early age, he was drawn to the idea of the quintessential “American dream,” which he thought represented freedom and possibility. Known for his bold, iconic silkscreen paintings of pop imagery turned upon themselves to explore the nature of the American counter culture as seen through the eyes of his youth, his bold ground breaking screen print renditions present a visual journey that bears witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the American Dream. His prints are a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorize and chastise in equal measure. Whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.

His body of work includes paintings, screen prints, sculptures, installations and film. He has shown in galleries and museums in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of Aby Rosen, The Qatari Royal Family, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Liz Taylor, Barack Obama, The Albertina Museum, The Saatchi Collection and Brad Pitt.

The screen print painting, embedded with diamond dust, is not yet on view but will go out in the coming months, following a grand re-opening celebration for Mint Museum Uptown this fall; watch mintmuseum.org for updates.

Note: Producers of the hit TV show “American Idol” recently held open auditions at Levine Center for the Arts and Mint Museum Uptown. Two members of the Mint staff agreed to share their audition experiences.

Jen Cousar, graphic designer:

It was 9 AM, and I had absolutely no idea what I’d gotten myself into. I’d chosen my song, practiced for friends and family, got dressed up, and had finally arrived uptown in front of The Mint Museum and there it was: the “American Idol” bus.

Beyond the bus were hundreds of wide-eyed (and slightly sleepy) Idol hopefuls lined up and filling the sunny alley in front of me. It was wonderful and terrifying at the same time. I walked toward the check-in line, and couldn’t help but smile as a large group of auditioners sang the chorus of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele in perfect harmony. It was pure magic.

I made my way down the alley and into the check-in line. I was immediately greeted by a kind, funny fellow auditioner named V. (I’ll call her V here because she had very intentionally not told anyone that she was auditioning, and I don’t want to mess that up for her). She had a guitar on her back and the biggest smile on her face. I learned that she spent a lot of time traveling back and forth to South America to visit family, was in school and wanted to be a doctor, and was going to sing an original song for her audition. We laughed and chatted as we filled out our extensive questionnaires and video release forms.

Soon after, I was able to submit my forms and jump to the front of the line (shoutout to the Mint and producers on that one!) and was lined up with three other contestants. One girl had auditioned for “American Idol” three times prior; another was nervous because someone in the tent next to us was singing the same song she’d chosen; the final man was in a band and would be playing at Matthews Alive that night.

As I laughed and talked with the many people around me, I was comforted to see so much diversity. We were all there because of a love of music and song, and a desire to share that with the world. It didn’t matter where we were from or our different backgrounds, in this space we were unified in our experience and connected by commonality.

My group was called forward and one by one we sang. Each different, and in my opinion each doing a great job. I sang a country song called “Something More” by Sugarland, a song I’d grown up loving. It felt amazing. Once we each sang, we were politely told that none of us would be moving on.

Sure, I’d hoped for better, but as I walked away to find my way back to work, I felt like I’d accomplished something. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t afraid, I was just a happy girl who got to sing her song surrounded by wonderful people.

Toni Pennington, Mint Museum Shops:

Of all the things I have done in my 24 years, I’d have to say that this is the craziest. Me, being the ambivert that I am, refused and convinced myself that I am not that “special voice” that “American Idol” is looking for. When I told my mom about it, she was beside herself and urging me to audition. At first I was resistant, but finally I decided, what could it hurt?

The days leading up to the audition, I prepared my song and practiced day in and out in preparation. I even recruited my acting coach to help with a video submission. When the day finally came, I was just a bucket of nerves. I put on my favorite outfit, grabbed my unicorn water bottle and head wrap, and made my way uptown to work and the audition. My coworkers were extremely encouraging and gave me the mojo I needed to go into the streets for my audition.

There were a few hiccups on the way to the table, but I finally made it. I was standing in line at the table with only three people in front of me to sing but I was so nervous I was ready to abandon my spot in line. My throat went dry, my arm got all tingly, and I had to go to the bathroom really badly but then finally my courage took over and said, “No matter what, it’s an experience. You can do it and you WILL do it because it’s all just for fun and the love of music. You got this.” With that, I took a sip of my water, shook out my hands and stepped up to the table with my unicorn water bottle, and sang my heart out. The nerves went away, the anxious voice in my head silenced, and I just let go.

In the end, the producer said no, but I was not discouraged or hurt. I felt so proud of myself for going up there and singing even when I had convinced myself otherwise. Was I disappointed? A little bit, but it was the most fun I had that day and can’t wait to do more auditions in the future.

When I first arrived on the staff of The Mint Museum, I didn’t quite “get” the passion of my friends who collect pottery. All it took was my first experience at a Potters Market Invitational on the lawn in front of Mint Museum Randolph, and I was hooked. To the uninitiated, here are a few reasons why the event is worth a visit:

  1. Museum-quality art: You may already be aware that North Carolina is one of the top destinations for pottery-making in the world, and that the Mint is a leading collector of this art form. It’s been a thrill to snag beautiful finds by potters whose work is featured prominently in the museum’s collection.
  2. And it’s affordable: You can find plenty of options under $100 by these museum-worthy artists – it’s one of the easiest ways to get started as an art collector.
  3. More than pots! My purchases have included a lamp, a wall clock, Christmas ornaments, candleholders, and much more – my home is filled with functional pieces I enjoy using daily.
  4. The most pottery ever: Each year the number of participating potters has increased – it used to hover around 50, but this year they’re tallying over 65.
  5. Make a day of it: Yes it appeals to shopaholics, but it’s also just fun to listen to the live music, catch a pottery-making demonstration, grab lunch, stroll the museum galleries, and people-watch. My daughter’s been going with me every year since she was 3 and she loves it too.
  6. Enjoy the community: There are opportunities to meet and get to know the potters, and though you may find yourself competing with other shoppers to grab a one-of-a-kind piece before it’s gone, it’s always fun to compare purchases with each other later!
  7. Support the museum: Proceeds from the event support The Mint Museum’s collecting, scholarship, and public programming. Every year you’ll see placards on extraordinary works that have been selected as gifts from the Delhom Service League, organizers of the event, to join the Mint’s collection.
  8. Did we mention the beer? For the first time, the Delhom organizers have decided to include a “beer garden” with craft selections from Birdsong Brewing along with wine and snacks from Delectables by Holly. Sounds like a perfect addition to the day, and I can’t wait to check it out!

Visit PottersMarketattheMint.com for more info and tickets!

ABC show to conduct auditions at Levine Center for the Arts

Producers from the ABC show “American Idol” have scheduled auditions for Friday August 31 on Levine Center for the Arts Plaza, in the 500 block of South Tryon Street. Mint Museum Uptown’s galleries will remain open to the public on Friday and the Mint encourages both auditioners and non-auditioners to stop by the museum for the excitement! Here are some things to know:

PARKING: Auditioners and their guests are encouraged to use light rail (Stonewall and Convention Center stops are just 2-3 blocks away) and/or look for paid public lots throughout uptown. Levine Center for the Arts parking garage has LIMITED visitor parking for those who plan to visit museum galleries during museum operating hours.

LINE: Check-in for the audition line is on Levine Avenue. The line begins at 6 a.m. and auditions begin at 9 a.m.

EXTENDED HOURS: Mint Museum Uptown’s Shop will open to the public at 9 a.m. and the museum galleries will open to the public at 10 a.m. (The early openings are Friday only, Uptown location only). The Shop will have bottled water and some snacks available.

IDOL SPECIAL: Auditioners and their guests will receive coupons valid for 2-for-1 museum admission on Friday.

MUSEUM ADMISSION: Guests to the museum galleries may be subject to additional security procedures on Friday; visitors are asked to leave bags at the museum Coat Check. Prohibited items in museum galleries include: Artificial noise makers; fireworks; glass bottles, aluminum cans, flasks, and water bottles containing liquid of any kind; hard-sided containers including coolers and thermoses; laser pointers; lighters; outside food and beverages including water bottles; portable chairs (exceptions for guests with disabilities); projectiles including Frisbees, footballs, or inflatable balls; radios; “selfie sticks” or poles of any size (exceptions for guests with disabilities); still cameras with lenses longer than 3″ (except escorted media); weapons of any kind.

Public is invited to join our grand re-opening and exciting fall lineup

Following a five-week closure for floor refinishing and other improvements, Mint Museum Uptown will re-open its doors to the public Wednesday August 15, and is inviting the public to join a jam-packed lineup of special events in the coming weeks to celebrate its grand-reopening; welcome its new President & CEO, Todd A. Herman PhD; and enjoy a new fall lineup of exhibitions, as well as new features in its permanent collection galleries. Upcoming events include:

Fall exhibition lineup ahead

In the permanent collection galleries, visitors will encounter new frames on signature works of art, as well as newly installed works in the Schiff-Bresler Family Fiber Art Gallery on Level 3. Following the September events, the community is invited to mark its calendars for the Mint’s spectacular fall exhibition lineup, which includes:

African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, & Style : October 7, 2018-April 28, 2019 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road; Mint member-only hours Friday October 5, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday October 6, 1-5 p.m.; two fashion designers, Titi Ademola and Alexis Temomanin, speak at 2 p.m. on Sunday October 7. This exhibition introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: “popular” garments created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa’s newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational and youth styles favored in Africa’s urban centers. All feature the colorful, boldly designed, manufactured cotton textiles that have come to be known as “African-print cloth.” The exhibition is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA in association with Vlisco Netherlands B.V. It is guest curated by Suzanne Gott with Kristyne S. Loughran, Betsy D. Quick, and Leslie W. Rabine. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts with the additional support of R.L. Shep, DutchCulture, and the Pasadena Art Alliance. It is presented in Charlotte by PNC Financial Services, with additional support by Wells Fargo Private Bank.

Michael Sherrill Retrospective : October 27, 2018-April 7, 2019 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street; Mint member-only hours 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Friday October 26; Sherrill gives a free public talk 11 a.m. Saturday October 27. In his delicately rendered sculptures Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers, and to make them see things fresh. Working with clay, glass, and metal, his exquisite floral forms have the allure of Martin Johnson Heade’s passion flower and orchid paintings and the botanical engravings of John James Audubon, at the same time they are remarkably new. This retrospective will illustrate the artist’s evolution over his more than 40-year career and highlight his contributions to contemporary art, craft, and design. Primarily a self-taught artist, Sherrill moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to the Western North Carolina mountains in 1974. His early influences came from the North Carolina folk pottery tradition and the community surrounding Penland School of Crafts and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum. Generous support for the exhibition catalogue and tour provided by the Windgate Foundation; additional funding from the Founders’ Circle Ltd. and Bank of America.

Under Construction: Postwar Collage at The Mint Museum : December 1, 2018-Aug. 18, 2019 at Mint Museum Uptown. This is The Mint Museum’s first large-scale exhibition to explore the dynamic medium of collage. Mint member-only hours 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday November 30. Although this artistic technique, in which materials are cut, torn, and layered to create new meanings and narratives, gained acclaim in the early twentieth century through the groundbreaking work of such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Kurt Schwitters, and Jean Arp, it experienced a renaissance (particularly in America) after World War II. Charlotte native Romare Bearden is widely credited with rejuvenating and reinvigorating the technique. His work, which has long been a highlight of The Mint Museum’s collection, serves as the point of departure for this fascinating exhibition featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art.

14th annual Mint Museum Potters Market Invitational set for Saturday, September 8

Collectors and pottery lovers will have access to the latest works by leaders in the rich tradition of North Carolina pottery when potters from across North Carolina and surrounding areas return to Mint Museum Randolph for the 14th annual Mint Museum Potters Market Invitational on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Sixty-six outstanding North Carolina potters have been invited to participate in this year’s event presented by the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of The Mint Museum, promoting ceramic arts and education. They’ll come from Seagrove, Western N.C., the Catawba Valley, and the Piedmont, and set up their booths in a tent on the lawn of the museum with remarkable works in clay – useful wares including mugs, teapots and jars, as well as oversized pots, contemporary art pottery, and sculptures. It’s like a shopping tour of the state’s best potteries all under one tent in one day. Attendees have the opportunity to get to know the potters as well as their work.

This year’s show will introduce ten potters new to this event, as well as 12 potters who participated in prior years but were not present in 2017.  Well-known participating potters include Donna Craven, Akira Satake, Ben Owen III, Eric Knoche, Mark Hewitt, and Cynthia Bringle. Every year, hundreds of pottery enthusiasts line up in advance of the opening to gain access to the day’s best treasures.

The Delhom Service League has named Sarah Belk Gambrell Honorary Chairman of the 2018 Potters Market Invitational. Mrs. Gambrell was a Charter Member of the Delhom Service League and her strong support for the Delhom, The Mint Museum, and the Potters Market Invitational has been instrumental in each of these institutions’ success.  The Delhom-Gambrell Library, named to honor Mrs. Gambrell, is one of the Mint’s many important resources, and is considered to be one of the top ceramics libraries in the country.

Established in 1975, the Delhom Service League has grown from a few students of ceramics to over one hundred men and women who not only study the history of ceramics but also work to present educational programming, support the ceramics collection, add volumes to the Delhom-Gambrell Library, and provide funds for the purchase of objects to enhance the collection. Their most recent projects include funding the publication British Ceramics 1675-1825, a catalogue of the collection edited by Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts, as well as support for the new installation of the European ceramics collection throughout Mint Museum Randolph.

The admission fee ($10 through September 1; $12 after that) includes access to the potters’ tent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as free admission to the museum and docent led gallery tours. “Thirty-one of the participating potters are represented in the Mint’s permanent collection, which is a reflection of the high quality of work that will be available at this show,” says Vince Long, who chairs the project this year for Delhom Service League. “Potters Market Invitational is such a great opportunity to connect with artists as real, live people, and then see their art inside the museum.”

Additionally, there are folk musicians, pottery-making demonstrations, and food, and new this year, a beer garden serving local craft beer as well as wine and other beverages. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

Individual sponsorships of $100 include Early Admission at 9:15 a.m. in advance of the general public. Special parking and continental breakfast are also included. Individual sponsorships of $150 also include attendance at the Meet the Potters Party being held Friday, September 7 from 6:30-9 p.m. Sponsors will enjoy dinner, music, and an opportunity to mingle with the potters and other pottery enthusiasts. Funds raised by Potters Market Invitational provide acquisitions of pottery and library materials for the Mint.

Potters Market Invitational admission tickets and sponsorships are available at the door and in advance at PottersMarketattheMint.com , where you can also find detailed information on all the participating potters. For questions, please email info@PottersMarketattheMint.com or call 704.337.2000. Find Potters Market Invitational on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Herman has led Arkansas Arts Center since 2011.

Following a national search, The Mint Museum Board of Trustees has unanimously approved naming Dr. Todd Herman as the Mint’s new President & CEO. (more…)

The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that it has selected internationally-renowned artist Vesna Petresin to create a Link. The project is being funded through a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which challenged museums to use technology to enhance the visitor experience.

“Ever since Mint Museum Uptown opened in 2010, we have sought ways to interface more directly with Levine Center for the Arts plaza, by enlivening the front of the building to be more welcoming to our visitors,” said Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American, Modern, & Contemporary Art.

“After a careful review of more than three dozen applicants, our team felt that Vesna’s proposal was a perfect blend of interactivity, innovation, and aesthetics. We are excited to work with her to bring her vision—and the entrance to the museum—to life!” said Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion.

Petresin, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a trans-disciplinary artist who has exhibited and performed at the Tate Modern; ArtBasel Miami; the Royal Academy of the Arts; the Venice Biennale; the Institute of Contemporary Arts London; and the Vienna Secession. She is represented by Bonnie Hall Fine Art Asset Management. Her installation, Lumisonica, will map the physical movements of people on the museum’s steps, responding with a changing canvas of ambient light and sound.

Petresin will work with her team, including regional and city of Charlotte consultants, to design, test, and create the installation throughout the spring and summer. Work will continue while Mint Museum Uptown closes from early July through mid-August for a floor refinishing project (Mint Museum Randolph will remain open). It is scheduled to debut at a public celebration in September (details to be announced closer to the date).

Creating a multisensory landscape

This public art project transforms the museum’s main entrance into an unparalleled immersive experience that will be choreographed by the visiting public. Based upon the idea of the smart city, this multisensory landscape makes invisible space visible, audible, and tangible while aiming to increase people’s awareness that they can and do shape their own place, perceptions and reality. Lumisonica assures a daring and playful experience like no other in the heart of Charlotte’s flourishing art district. Juxtaposed near the large reflective Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture Firebird in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, this light and sound sculpture provides another dynamic feature to highlight entropic experiences, moiré patterns and other optical and perceptional illusions in this cultural area.

The “smart city” concept of this dynamic datascape is drawn from two components that change the form to an accessible visual/audio display based upon public movement and engagement:

Visual content is created by programmable LED light features embedded into the staircase and railings. The light effects include subtle, safe and non-intrusive animated patterns, designed to work interactively based on data captured from the environment as well as on presets of visual effects. The light effects are programmed along a 24/7 schedule with pre-rendered sets at specific times of the day, combined with responsive effects based on criteria such as visibility, program of events at the museum, and the number of visitors.

Audio content permeates ambient sound loops designed to respond and support the light effects. These amplify the visitor’s feeling of presence in the environment and assist their spatial navigation, by amplifying the ranges of frequencies that translate to embodied sensations. The audio content includes composed soundscapes and loops of sonic textures as well as key framed musical motifs on specific days and at specific times to announce events.

Additionally, the project plan is to expand from installation to an online digital experience through a contextual component set to provide an immersive experience exclusive to each visitor entering the website. In this way, Petresin allocates access to a wider public and allows the Mint visitor an ability to take with them a direct experience from their museum outing.

“My work tries to offer a moment to remember we inhabit and co-create a multisensory symphony,” said Petresin. “The piece for the Mint has been inspired by the idea that matter is information under constant transformation, bringing memory, human connection, wonder, and innovation.”

Petresin will also create a special sound and light sequence for Lumisonica as part of The Mint Museum’s exhibition Immersed in Light (Fall 2020 – Spring 2021). The exhibition will feature experiential lighting installations by four contemporary artists and designers in the Gorelick Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.

Staircase to enhance museum experience, visitation

The Mint was among 12 recipients of $1.87 million in funding from the Knight Foundation for new ways of using technology to immerse visitors in art. Institutions in cities including Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City are joining Charlotte in creating new tools ranging from chat bots to augmented reality apps to engage new audiences.

Funding for this project is part of a Knight Foundation initiative to help museums better meet new community demands and use digital tools to meaningfully engage visitors in art. Knight, which promotes informed and engaged communities, has helped institutions—from newsrooms to libraries—adapt to and thrive in the digital age. This funding expands the foundation’s use of its digital expertise to help art museums build stronger, more vibrant communities.

“The arts have the rare power to bring diverse communities together, provoke personal reflection, and inspire new ways of thinking,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts. “Our hope is that by integrating technology, museums can better reach and engage audiences in ways that connect them to the art.”

Above image: Concept rendering for Mint Museum Uptown Grand Staircase installation titled Lumisonica, courtesy of Vesna Petresin.

ABOUT VESNA PETRESIN

Vesna Petresin is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Amsterdam University of the Arts and a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths (University of London). She has been an Artist in Residence at ZKM in Germany and created a London-based trans-disciplinary art collective whose exploration of optics, acoustics and psychology takes the format of performance, installation and artifact.

As a time architect, non-object based designer, space composer and performer, her practice utilizes an alchemy of media and senses (sound, film, space, interaction, and performance) to take art out of the white cube and bring it into an immersive experience. The key concept is transformation—of the material, the immaterial and the self.

Petresin seeks elements to link cultures rather than separate them and pays attention to archetypal formal constants and patterns existing in nature, human perception and the creative process. Her work in immersive light is ground-breaking and has been featured at Tate Modern, ArtBasel Miami, Venice Biennale, The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Academy of Arts, ICA, The Sydney Opera House, Vienna Secession, Cannes International Film Festival and Kings Place among others.

Petresin’s academic background in classical music and architecture has propelled her as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Member of the Architectural Association, a keynote speaker at symposia including “SuperLux: Smart Light Art, Design and Architecture for Cities” (Technical University of Munich, 2016), the XR Summit ( ISE at RAI, Amsterdam 2018)  and a print author of internationally notable publications. She has written on smart cities (Thames & Hudson, Black Dog) and on Leonardo da Vinci’s creative methods in relation to 21st century view of morphogenesis in art and design for Springer Publications.

ABOUT THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

From “Project Runway” to Broadway fame, Sosa inspired by both William Ivey Long and Oscar de la Renta

Like Oscar de la Renta, designer Emilio Sosa is originally from the Dominican Republic. And like William Ivey Long, he is known for designing Broadway costumes. Now, Sosa will join those other two famous names in visiting The Mint Museum this spring as part of the “Year of Fashion.”

Teens and educators are invited to register for a FREE event on Saturday May 19, ” From Page to Stage with Emilio Sosa ,” from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mint Museum Uptown. And the public is invited to a FREE public lecture on Sunday May 20 from 2-4 p.m. at Mint Museum Randolph. The events are part of the Mint’s celebration of national Art Museum Day .

When first approached by the Mint to pay a visit to Charlotte, Sosa’s reaction was immediate: “Both Oscar de la Renta and William Ivey Long have influenced my work in ways too numerous to mention,” he said. So it’s fitting that his plans bring him to the Mint when both designers’ work will be on view in the Mint’s galleries.

Sosa’s name first hit the mainstream thanks to the hit Lifetime TV show hosted by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. On the seventh season of Project Runway, Sosa gained international notice when he won five challenges on his way to a runner-up finish. He made his return to the small screen on season 2 of Project Runway All Stars where he also finished as runner-up. The seemingly tireless Sosa has a fashion line, ESOSA, which has been seen on stars including Uzo Aduba, Taraji P. Henson, and Wendy Williams.

The New York-raised Sosa has been designing since he was 14. He attended the Pratt Institute to study fashion design and it was a part-time job in the famed costume shop Grace Costumes that introduced him to costumes and theater. Upon graduation, Sosa worked in dance for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as an assistant wardrobe supervisor. Next, he worked for Spike Lee at his advertising agency doing costumes for commercials and as the costume designer for Lee’s independent film, Red Hook Summer. Like William Ivey Long, Sosa is a devoted follower of couturier Charles James; Sosa also calls The Wiz director and costume designer Geoffrey Holder a mentor and credits Holder with teaching him the practical art of designing.

“I learned the practical art of design from Geoffrey, I learned how to speak actor from Geoffrey. Fast forward 30 years and it was refined now with my relationship with William Ivey Long. Those are my bookends as far as how I came into this business,” said Sosa in an interview earlier this year.

Sosa has designed costumes for Broadway productions of Top Dog Underdog (2002), Porgy and Bess (2012), Motown the Musical (2013), and, most recently, On Your Feet: the Emilio and Gloria Estefan Story (2015), currently on its national tour which included a stop in Charlotte this fall. He received a Tony Award nomination for his work on Porgy and Bess.

And following his record on Project Runway, Sosa hasn’t always been a runner-up. In designing the costumes for the Off-Broadway production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2012), Sosa won a Lucille Lortel Award, awards which recognize excellence in New York Off-Broadway theatre. The second-place finisher that year? None other than William Ivey Long.

Call for artists to explore technology through art experience

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) announce their Third Annual Juried Art Show, ‘Mainframe,’ a participatory compilation of works that explore the role of technology in society and/or how technology overstimulation has impacted the world’s youngest generations. The dawn of the mainframe computer marked a turning point in society. Technology advancements occur constantly and turn new products obsolete in a matter of months. Ironically, technological devices elicit an array of reactions and emotions from the user. Whether it is nostalgia, innovation, or possible obsession, we are all influenced in some way by the advances the world has encountered.

The YAMs call for artists making work that is participatory, immersive, experiential, interactive, and/or multi-sensory that explores the use and effect of technology in society. The YAMs are calling for submissions now through May 31, 2018 and are accepting works made within the United States. Artists must submit high-resolution images of the works submitted, an artist statement, and a CV. Artists must include installation or artwork specifications to aid in curating and installation for the show. The entry fee is $40 for up to 8 works of art.

‘Mainframe’ will be held in the Level 5 expansion space of Mint Museum Uptown from September 20 – October 17, 2018. The submissions will be juried by a distinguished panel of jurors: Lia Newman, Curator of Director/Curator of the Davidson College Art Galleries, Ivan Toth Depeña, an Charlotte-based new media artist, and Kelly McChesney, Public Art Director of the city of Raleigh and Director of Lump, a non-profit alternative art space in Raleigh, North Carolina. ‘Mainframe’ is the Third Annual Young Affiliates of the Mint Art Show, following the 2016 inaugural exhibition, “80×80: An Art Show,” heralded as the best Charlotte exhibition of 2016 by Creative Loafing, and the 2017 art show, “Gendered,” drawing in over 2500 attendees for a politically and culturally relevant exhibition.

For submissions and more information about ‘Mainframe’, visit youngaffliates.org/artshow

For questions regarding ‘Mainframe’, email: youngaffiliatesartshow@gmail.com

ABOUT THE YOUNG AFFILIATES

The Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum is the longest running young professional group and the premier social arts organization for young professionals in Charlotte, North Carolina. For 28 years, the YAMs have supported the Mint Museum through a variety of social, cultural, leadership and fundraising activities and events. The YAMs have made substantial donations of tangible and intangible goods to the Mint Museum since 1990.

Exhibition’s VIP preview coincides with ‘Coveted Couture’ gala April 28; public access begins April 29

Following a blockbuster run at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Mint Museum is preparing to welcome a new, custom-curated version of The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta this April. The exhibition celebrates the illustrious life and career of the influential fashion designer, and will contain new additions never seen in previous incarnations at other museums. It will pay tribute to a Mint supporter and Charlottean who created the first archives for the late designer, as well as featuring dresses from the Mint’s own Fashion Collection.

The exhibition opens to Mint supporters at the museum’s annual Coveted Couture gala on April 28 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road in Charlotte (see mintmuseum.org/gala for more information). Mint members have exclusive access on April 29 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; the general public can visit from 2-6 p.m. on April 29 and during regular museum hours afterward, including four FREE hours of access from 5-9 p.m. each Wednesday. It remains on view through July 29. NEW: The exhibition has been extended and will be on view through August 19, 2018!

Presented in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta, LLC, the exhibition features approximately 50 ensembles sourced from de la Renta’s personal archives, the archives of French label Pierre Balmain, private lenders, and the Mint’s collection. It is curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for American Vogue magazine and lifelong friend of the designer, with assistance by fashion historians Molly Sorkin and Jennifer Park. Talley curated a previous incarnation, entitled Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2016.

From the start of his award-winning career, which spanned more than five decades and two continents, Oscar de la Renta set out to design beautiful clothes for every occasion in a woman’s life. The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta highlights recurring themes throughout his career. Themes to be explored include the influence of the garden on his designs; Spanish influences; and Eastern European influences. The creations on view offer a window into de la Renta’s world through a range of looks, from elegant daywear to resplendent evening gowns.

The exhibition will also pay tribute to Marianna Sheridan of Charlotte, who befriended de la Renta and became the first archivist for Oscar de la Renta LLC. She was instrumental in bringing the designer to Charlotte for a 2011 appearance and fashion show at Mint Museum Uptown, and helped bring a dress from the designer’s archives into the Mint’s collection. She passed away in 2017.

“We are thrilled that the Mint is showcasing Oscar’s extraordinary contributions to the world of fashion, with the help of Oscar’s dear friend André Leon Talley,” said Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, LLC. “We are honored to pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague Marianna Sheridan and the incalculable contributions she made to the creation of our archive.”

The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with the collaboration of Oscar de la Renta, LLC. It is presented to the Charlotte community by Wells Fargo Private Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary, Moore & Van Allen, and Dickens-Mitchener. It is accompanied by a slate of educational programming, including a FREE public lecture by famed fashion designer Emilio Sosa on May 20. Details are available at mintmuseum.org/happenings. A catalogue and other accompanying merchandise will be on sale in the Mint Museum Shops.

Media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition on Friday April 27 at 10 a.m. Talley and Mint curators and staff will be available for interviews, and refreshments will be served. To attend, RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org .

ABOUT OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Oscar de la Renta (1932–2014) began his career in the 1950s as an apprentice to the renowned Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. In 1961, he left Madrid to join Antonio del Castillo in Paris as an assistant in the couture department of Lanvin. Shortly after, he relocated to New York, establishing his own eponymous label in 1965. Lauded by fashion press, he quickly gained prominence on the international fashion scene. Considered among the world’s greatest fashion designers, de la Renta created award-winning ready-to-wear and evening wear for customers ranging from everyday women to first ladies and celebrities. In 1992, de la Renta became a designer for French label Pierre Balmain. He was the first American designer to helm a French couture house, a position he held until 2002.

Visitors, staff will focus on Mint Museum Randolph during interval

Mint Museum Uptown, a soaring architectural marvel in the heart of Levine Center for the Arts, must close its doors to the public from July 9 through approximately August 17, 2018. The closure is necessary to refinish the building’s heavily-visited hardwood floors for the first time since the building opened to the public in 2010.

UPDATED: The interval falls during the highly anticipated exhibition The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta , which will be on view at Mint Museum Randolph April 29 through its recently extended closing date of August 19. “With this exhibition serving as a significant draw, along with our popular permanent collections of Decorative Arts, Ancient American, European, and African art on view at Mint Museum Randolph, we expect the Mint will continue to be a strong force for visitors and tourism during the summer,” said Hillary Cooper, Director of Advancement & Communications for the Mint.

A committee representing the City of Charlotte (which owns the Mint’s two buildings), Mint staff, and other stakeholders determined the temporary closure of the 175,000 square foot uptown location is necessary to protect the public, staff, and art collection while the project is underway. Mint staff will either relocate to offices at the Randolph location or work remotely during the interval. The Mint Museum Uptown Shop and Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth restaurant will experience a briefer impact, with closing anticipated between July 25 and August 1.

Some dates may be subject to change, and the Mint will use its website, eblasts, and social media to keep the public informed throughout the project.

“The public will be invited to a grand re-opening celebration soon after we re-open,” said Cooper. “We expect this improvement to keep Mint Museum Uptown’s role as a premier center city destination secure for many years to come.” NOTE: Festivities are now planned for the weekend of September 14-15, 2018; keep an eye on mintmuseum.org/happenings for details.

NEW: During the closure, Mint Museum members will receive FREE admission to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture . Not yet a member? Visit mintmuseum.org/join . Additionally, Mint members receive a 10 percent discount in the Bechtler shop! All museums rely on their members to support their access to the community; please consider also becoming a member of the Bechtler and the Gantt Center in addition to the Mint.

FREE MINT MEMBER YOGA: Offered by N.C. Yoga Bar each Wednesday evening will move to Mint Museum Randolph from July 18 through mid-August!

Proceeds to benefit Outward Bound Intercept program

The Mark Headen Endowment Fund and Wells Fargo Private Bank are pleased to announce the second fundraising event Modeling for Impact on January 20th, 2018 at Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, N.C. With gratitude and pride, the event will be a part of The Mint’s Year of Fashion celebration. All proceeds will be contributed to North Carolina Outward Bound’s Intercept program. Acclaimed news anchor Maureen O’Boyle will emcee the event.

The Mark Headen Endowment would like to give special thanks to Wells Fargo Private Bank for being Modeling for Impact’s title sponsor for the second year in a row. Uwharrie Bank, Springs Creative, and Alphahound are also corporate sponsors for the 2018 fundraising event. Hendrick BMW will be providing transportation throughout the weekend for all the traveling models. Homewood Suites by Hilton – Southpark will be accommodating the models during their stay. Tony Hernandez Studios, represented locally by Hidell Brooks gallery, Windy O’Connor, and Capitol are among those who have donated items to be bid upon during the silent auction portion of the event.

Modeling for Impact will feature a runway show produced, casted, and styled by Headenistic – a Charlotte-based full-service production and talent agency owned by the late Mark Headen’s eldest son, Franklin Headen. Franklin has worked for the last six years as a photo producer, casting director, wardrobe stylist, model scout, and talent manager for fashion brands throughout the US and the UK. He started his journey in fashion as a Historic Costume Collection Intern at The Mint Museum back in 2010. He was also heavily involved in writing the copy for the 2011 Oscar de la Renta Art of Fashion event and the production of the accompanying fashion show presentation at the Mint. Headenistic’s Sabrina Linville, director and producer of Model Material will be co-producing the runway show. Supermodel Anna Wolf will be headlining the runway show. Wolf is from Charlotte, N.C. and has walked for designers including Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, and Lela Rose. She is also one of the muses of Victoria’s Secret photographer David Bellemere’s. She met Franklin Headen during the casting for the Oscar de la Renta show at the Mint in 2011 and they’ve collaborated on countless projects since then.

Los Angeles fashion brands Indah, Hot as Hell, and Beach Riot, as well as New York lines _SCAPES NY and 6 Shore Road will be sending their new collections to be debuted on the Modeling for Impact runway. Amerie 1936—a Charlotte-based accessories brand by sisters Jasmine and Shanetta Foster—will be adorning the runway looks with their jewelry. Franklin Headen and Jasmine Foster met and graduated together at Charlotte’s Northwest School of the Arts.

Award-winning New York City-based makeup artist and hair stylist Katy Albright will be creating the beauty looks for the runway show. Albright, a Charlotte native, will be leading the beauty team comprised of Stewart Hough, Jami Svay, Elizabeth Tolley, and the Jeffre Scott team comprising Charlton Alicea, Mary Ingram, and Alane Paraison.

New York City-based fashion and portrait photographers Nikki Krecicki and Grace Ann Leadbeater will be documenting the event through still images. Krecicki and Leadbeater have had work exhibited both in New York and the South. Krecicki has also been a Photo Researcher and Photographer for Conde Nast and Vogue.com since early 2017, while Leadbeater has collaborated with major art and fashion icons Lady Gaga, Nan Goldin, and Giambattista Valli. Video Content Creator Jordan Studdard, who is also based in New York City, and Argentinian-born filmmaker and photographer Annie Piacentini, will also be documenting the event through moving image. Additionally, Paris Mumpower, a New York City-based graphic designer/digital media artist and photographer, will document the event, as well. Franklin Headen developed friendships with these five artists while studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA.

THE STORIES BEHIND SOME OF THE GARMENTS IN “CHARLOTTE COLLECTS: CONTEMPORARY COUTURE & FABULOUS FASHION”

THE STORIES BEHIND SOME OF THE GARMENTS IN “CHARLOTTE COLLECTS: CONTEMPORARY COUTURE & FABULOUS FASHION”

BY HEATHER GWALTNEY

What do birthdays, a pregnancy, furtive feathers, love at first sight, a good investment and luggage left behind all have in common? Sometimes a dress is more than just a dress. Based on interviews with the featured collectors, this is a “behind the seams” look at some of the striking gowns featured in Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture & Fabulous Fashion, on view at Mint Museum Randolph through February 4, 2018.

Bride-to-be Amanda Weisiger Cornelson envisioned a long-sleeved dress with color for her summer 2016 wedding. Upon seeing her gown on the runway at the Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2015 show at the Grand Palais in Paris, it was love at first sight. She visited the designer’s atelier after the show and tried on a few of the other beautiful pieces from the collection, but in the end she only had eyes for the originally-selected gown.

Like her daughter Amanda Cornelson, Lisa Dargan’s Giambattista Valli blue ostrich feather skirt was wedding attire. She wore the dress only once in her home, for a fitting that had to take place downstairs in her entry hall because no other rooms were large enough to accommodate the generous train (the wedding was in Savannah). But she was periodically reminded of the magic of her wedding day as feathers continued to appear, for a more than a year, in unusual places such as in her nightstand and in a suitcase that did not accompany her on her wedding travels.

Myra.jpgWhen Myra Gassman wears her historic Commes des Garcons dress, it always elicits a reaction. So much so that, more than once, people have offered to buy it off of her while she was wearing it. She purchased it from a store in Carmel, California and more than five years after she purchased it, the store owner called and offered to buy it back at double the price she paid. (It’s one of the most important pieces in the exhibition due to its rarity and excellent condition.)

MMR_CCCCFF_2017(67).jpgDeidre Grubb and her family arrived at the airport one hour before their flight to visit friends in St Barths and were told that they were too late to have their bags put on the plane. In order to make their scheduled flight, the Grubbs elected to leave their luggage behind in the trunk of their car and travel with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Upon landing in St. Barths, their hosts offered to lend them some clothes to wear but also took them shopping. Knowing the caliber of St. Barths’ shopping, instead of buying the same sorts of things she already had at home, Deidre opted to take the opportunity to buy something really special, a gown by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli which she wore twice to dinner during the vacation. Since coming to Charlotte, the dress made its black-tie debut worn by her friend Leslie Culbertson, at the Mint’s Coveted Couture Gala.

Holleman.jpgAlex Holleman’s Delpozo coat is the actual, hand-stitched coat that was shown on the runway. However, as shown, the coat didn’t make it into the collection and was destined for storage. Alex loved it so much that she convinced the designer to sell it to her and, despite its significant weight, she wears it as often as possible.

MMR_CCCCFF_2017(47).jpgFor Chandra Johnson, her gowns in the exhibition represent celebrations, as they were all worn to the NASCAR Awards in Las Vegas when she accompanied her husband, seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson. However, when Chandra thinks about the white silk Isaac Mizrahi gown, she also remembers feeling very, very ill. In fact, though she was approximately three months pregnant at the time, the Johnsons hadn’t yet divulged the secret. However, protocol required her to sit on the stage, facing the audience at the banquet. So, despite the fact that they had yet to share the news with their closest friends, she had to warn the woman organizing the awards show that she was pregnant in case sickness caused her to make a quick exit from stage.

mattei.jpgAshley Anderson Mattei’s pink and yellow two-piece Giambattista Valli ensemble elicits happy memories of a milestone birthday that took place during the year she and her family lived in Paris. In celebration of her 40th birthday, her husband, Scott, teamed up with Laura Vinroot Poole to take Ashley to her very first fashion show: a couture Giambattista Valli fashion show in Paris. Part of the gift was that, in addition to attending the show, she could choose a gown. Though shown with a slightly different profile on the runway, due to the nature of couture, she was able to request some changes to customize the shape of the gown’s skirt to make it feel more “her” when she wears it with the beautiful pink beaded top.

Poole.jpgLaura Vinroot Poole first saw her silk taffeta cocktail dress when she hosted Giambattista Valli’s first-ever couture collection show in the United States at the Duke Mansion. Though the pajama-influenced dress was shown in crisp, white taffeta, she had it made in in one of her favorite color combinations, pale pink with cherry red piping. Couture can be customized, up to a point, as the designer has to sign off on the changes to the piece since his or her name will be on it and Vinroot Poole surmises that Giambattista must have agreed that the color combination was as dreamy as she thought it would be.

putney.jpgDr. Kimberly Blanding Putney had no particular event in mind when she saw her Missoni gown at Nordstrom but she felt it was a must-purchase. Initially worn for a music and art collaboration event, the fun, colorful pattern makes her smile. For her, wearing it is effortless due to the feel of the fabric, its slightly transparent nature, and the beauty of its craftsmanship.

tarwater.jpgWhen asked by her husband to name something she would want for her birthday if she could have anything, Ann Rosemund Tarwater replied, “a Carolina Herrera dress.” Though it gave him a moment’s pause, he made her wish come true and on their next trip to New York City, they spent the afternoon trying on her beautiful pieces. With this gown she feels she has been gifted the look of elegance, femininity, and classic beauty.

MMR_CCCCFF_2017(4).jpgNFL Quarterback Cam Newton shared his fashion philosophy with the Mint at the time his foundation loaned his Versace suit ensemble to round out the exhibition with a menswear sample: “I like to incorporate my individual style into everything I do, especially my fashion sense. From a young age I was encouraged to always be myself, and I make it a point to empower others to do the same. Expressing myself through fashion is something I take seriously…but not so seriously that I can’t have fun with it. Having fun is the name of the game for me. I like classic looks with a twist of something different, like some colorful loafers or a bold tie. Don’t be afraid to stand out! Check out this outfit, for example. The pin stripe Versace suit is classic. It’s dressy, but not too formal. The jacket could even be worn with jeans and a V-neck. I chose the full suit paired with a white dress shirt, a handmade feather bow tie from Charleston’s Brackish Bow Ties, and some colorful Giuseppe Zanotti loafers to complete the look.”

Visitors can use SMARTIFY on their phones to learn behind-the-scenes info on selected works of art

If you’re a fan of visual arts and you own a smartphone, you’ll want to download the free SMARTIFY app before your next visit to The Mint Museum – or more than 30 other participating art museums worldwide.

The Mint Museum is the latest to enter works of art in its collection into the database used by SMARTIFY, a global mobile app also in use at museums worldwide including National Gallery (London); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); and The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). Using image recognition technology, the app allows gallery visitors to scan and identify works of art in using their smartphone, to access rich interpretation, and build a personal collection. The Mint’s participation officially launches November 22, though visitors can now test the app on the first group of objects in the database.

“We at The Mint Museum decided to join SMARTIFY because it’s a great way for visitors to learn more about the art we have on view,” said Lyndsay Kibiloski, the Mint’s digital media specialist who is overseeing the effort. “I often look at our works on view and want to know more, and with this app, you can do just that. We hope that visitors will find SMARTIFY to be both a useful and fun way to interact with the Mint’s collection.”

The Mint started with providing information about signature works from its Craft + Design Collection – specifically, Project Ten Ten Ten , a group of works of art by leading artists and designers around the world commissioned in conjunction with the opening of Mint Museum Uptown in 2010. Most are permanently installed at Mint Museum Uptown. Additionally, visitors can scan the famous Chihuly chandelier in the entryway and the monumental Sheila Hicks sculpture in the atrium. Those objects plus Tom Joyce’s “Thicket” sculpture on the terrace are accessible without paying museum admission, and the remainder are accessible free each Wednesday evening from 5-9 p.m. Additionally, hard copies of the supplemental content will be available at the Mint’s front desks by the November 22 launch for anyone who does not use a smartphone.

The Mint is in the midst of adding new objects to the database each quarter moving forward, with a group of objects on view at Mint Museum Randolph in the next installment. In the coming weeks, labels will be added to works of art that appear in the database so visitors will know which ones to scan.

Working across a growing network of museums, SMARTIFY is becoming a global platform for art. Using advanced image recognition technology, SMARTIFY instantly identifies works of art by scanning them on your smartphone. Simply by holding the phone up to a work of art, detailed information about the work is instantly shown onscreen. Glimpses of curatorial research, links to video or audio content, or hidden stories behind the work can all be brought to visitors in a seamless experience, in the presence of the work itself.

The app is currently available at: Royal Academy of Arts, UK; The National Gallery, UK; National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; The Wallace Collection, UK; The Bowes Museum, UK; Turner Contemporary, UK; Ben Uri Gallery, UK; Sculpture in the City, City of London, UK; Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, UK; Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, UK; Deutsche Bank at Frieze Art Fair, UK; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Netherlands; The Rijksmuseum, Netherlands; Mauritshuis, Netherlands; Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Italy; Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia (Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr etc.), Italy; Museo San Donato, Italy; Le Musée en Herbe, France; Spray Collection, France; Little Beaux-Arts, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain; Laguna Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, USA; The State Hermitage Museum, Russia; The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Russia; The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, USA; The Getty, USA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA; LACMA, USA, and The Mint Museum, USA.

Coming soon: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), Greece; Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg, Germany; Musée National des Beaux-arts de Québec, Canada, and many more.

Fall Ball 2017: Under the Big Top

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) are proud to present the Fifth Annual Fall Ball : “Under the Big Top.” The event will take place on Friday, November 10th from 8 p.m. to midnight on the lawn of Mint Museum Randolph under a giant tent and will feature entertainment from Charlotte-area performing artists. This year’s Fall Ball will serve as a fundraiser in support of the YAMs’ contribution to the Mint’s Annual Fund to provide museum tours for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Students.

In support of the YAMs’ mission of promoting and celebrating the arts, the charitable event will feature aerial artists, fire dancers, and other visual performances. Live music will be provided by Hot Sauce Party Band, a five-piece band who has played with accomplished musicians from nearly every decade including James Taylor and The Moody Blues.

“This year, for the first time ever, we’re excited to host Fall Ball at Mint Museum Randolph,” said Satie Munn, chair of the annual event. “It’s a beautiful location and will allow us to highlight our talented performative and visual artist community here in Charlotte.”

Tickets start at $100 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer and wine; liquor is also available for purchase. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit mintmuseum.org/happenings/1528/fall-ball-2017-under-the-big-top/.

Special thanks to the 2017 Fall Ball title sponsor, Search Solution Group; gold sponsors, Scoop Charlotte, Marand Builder, East Coast Entertainment, and Eat Work Play; as well as Birdsong Brewing, Sycamore Brewing, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Concierge by FoodBuy, Berkshire Dilworth, Moving Mountains Photography, Blueprint Financial, Sodexho, Nectar Floral Designs, Canteen Vending, and Party Reflections for their contributions to this annual event.

About the Young Affiliates of the Mint

Established in 1990, the YAMs are a diverse group of young professionals promoting and supporting The Mint Museum through cultural, social, leadership, and fundraising activities and events. All YAM event proceeds directly benefit Charlotte-Mecklenburg students by offsetting the cost of Mint Museum tours throughout the school year.