Mint Board Member Charlotte Wickham and Charlotte Ballet dancer Humberto Ramazzina will dance together at the 2024 Dancing With the Stars of Charlotte to support The Mint Museum and Charlotte Ballet.

‘Take more chances, dance more dances’

Mint Board Member Charlotte Wickham is stepping out to support The Mint Museum

By Michael J. Solender

After Charlotte Wickham relocated to Charlotte from New York City with her husband in 2008, she knew she wanted to get involved with supporting the arts and cultural community in Charlotte. While she couldn’t know it at the time, her enthusiasm for, and recognition of, how arts engagement impacts the development of children and young adults in her newly adopted community would lead her to dancing her heart out in support of The Mint Museum. 

Wickham, a Mint Museum Board of Trustees member, is one of six local community leaders paired with a professional dancer from the Charlotte Ballet in its annual Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala. The event will take place March 2 at the Knight Theater to raise funds that support the Charlotte Ballet and the local leader’s charity of choice. Wickham has selected The Mint Museum and earmarked funds raised to support museum admission for Charlotte-area K-12 school children and post-secondary school students.

Cast your vote for Charlotte!

A passion for arts education

“I’ve always thought that arts and culture are an important part of learning for children,” Wickham says. “I grew up in Raleigh. My family often went to the ballet, the symphony, and to the museums. That was such a rich part of our life. Many studies show how art, dance, and music help develop children’s brains and help them to think in different and more critical and creative ways.”

Since 2020, Wickham’s role at the Mint is fueled by her passion for arts education and community engagement. She is a believer in exposure and access to the arts for all ages.

Wickham has seized upon the metaphor of taking positive steps and enthusiastically allowed herself to be “hotboxed” by her husband and a good friend into performing with the 2024 group of dancers to support The Mint Museum and the Charlotte Ballet.

“I believe life is often done best by embracing the places our steps take us,” she says in an email to friends. “This journey is going to be a bit different, and it makes the thought of participating that much more exciting.”

Different means physical for Wickham whose pre-dance assignment exercise routine has been primarily weekly Pilates classes.

Wickham is paired with Charlotte Ballet’s Humberto Ramazzina. The São Paulo, Brazil native began his formal dance training at age 8 and is in his fifth season with  Charlotte Ballet. The two share a love for salsa, contemporary and classical dance, though Wickham is keeping close to the vest the pair’s ultimate three-minute dance and music choice a surprise.

“I don’t want to give away too much and prefer to tap into what I know will be high energy from the audience at the gala performance.”

Choreographing support

Dance pairs receive support online at Charlotte Ballet’s Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala site in the run up to the event with top vote-getter ($1 per vote) receiving the People’s Choice Award. Dancers who wow the judges with the “best moves” are awarded the Judge’s Choice recognition. Since 2013, Charlotte Ballet’s Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala has raised more than $10 million including nearly $4.5 million for local charities. Funds raised via ticket sales per dance pair are divided equally between the pair’s designated charity and the Charlotte Ballet.

“That our [community] star dancers have the opportunity to generate financial support for charities of their choice has such tremendous impact for our city,” says Alysha Brown, Charlotte Ballet’s special events and volunteer manager. Brown coordinates all things Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala for Charlotte Ballet and is the liaison between company dancers and their community dance partners.

“Historically we’ve had a variety of charities chosen for support alongside the ballet from housing nonprofits to other arts institutions in Charlotte. Charlotte Ballet is honored to play a role in this level of community development. The event is unlike any other in the city and shares an incredible amount of pure joy for those involved.”

In addition to identifying funds to support student access to The Mint Museum, Wickham is hopeful to encourage arts outreach beyond the walls of the museum buildings, especially into area hospitals. Her passion and enthusiasm for community collaboration aligns well with the goals of the Mint.

“Charlotte is one of our most dedicated board members,” says Todd Herman, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “She is also an avid collector and incredibly involved in so many things that we do. I’m thrilled she shares one of the goals that our museum has, which is to collaborate with other arts organizations here in Charlotte. Her being part of Dancing with The Stars of Charlotte Gala fits her enthusiasm and her love for the arts. This event underscores the Mint’s role as a cultural hub partnering with organizations throughout the city and encouraging everyone in our community to embrace the arts.” 

For Wickham, expanding her reach to embrace and support arts impact in the community is meaningful and more than worth the extra effort. “Museums are places of culture and conversation where we can think deeply and be empathetic,” she says. “We need places where we can appreciate and learn from others.” 

Cast your vote for Charlotte!

Michael J. Solender is a Charlotte-based features writer. Reach him at or through his website,

24 Hours in the Life of Mike Wirth

By Page Leggett

Mike Wirth, associate professor of graphic design at Queens University of Charlotte, is probably best known locally for his murals. He is a founding member of the Talking Walls Festival, Charlotte’s first annual, citywide mural and public art festival. He’s known way beyond the city limits, too. His art has been exhibited in New York, Miami, Croatia, Poland and Germany. Social justice is a frequent Wirth theme, as is his identity as a Southern, Jewish American. He participated — virtually — in Contemporary Art Week in Paris during the last week in October 2022 where he exhibited with a group called Jada Art (, or Jewish Dada. “They’re creating platforms and international art spaces for Jewish artists, which is amazing,” Wirth said. “I was part of their digital exhibition. It was great to be selected from among international applicants.”

He is one of 15 local artists participating in The Mint Museum’s Picasso mural project. It’s a local tie-in for the Mint’s blockbuster exhibition, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, organized by the American Federation of Arts Wirth’s mural is a landscape scene from Freedom Park. “I chose it because every Yom Kippur, hundreds from the Jewish community come out for a ritual called tashlich,” he says. “You toss bread into the water and speak your transgressions at the same time. That’s how you release sin.” When Wirth is in a creative or emotional low, he’ll wander. “I just go for a walk with no agenda. I don’t have any destination in mind. I’ll just throw myself to chance. And I find that it’s a tremendous way to reset when the need arises.” He’s a “girl dad” whose oldest daughter, a student at North-west School of the Arts, is already a budding artist and wants to be an illustrator. His youngest also loves to draw. Artistic talent runs in this family. Wirth’s days revolve around his daughters, his students, and his art.

5 OR 5:30 AM I wake up on my own — no need for an alarm. That’s when my internal body clock dictates that I get up. I say my morning prayers, and have a bagel and coffee.

5:30–6 AM I spend a little time every morning reading on my couch or my porch. I love Jewish folklore and the daily lessons I can take from it. I’ll get some wisdom from the Oracle, so to speak. All these stories are allegories, so they unpack a lot for me. If I can spend 30 minutes reading in the morning, it’s a miracle. But that’s what I aim for.

6 OR 6:30 AM I wake my daughters up — they’re 13 and 10 — and make them breakfast and get them ready for school. We have to be at the bus stop by 7 AM.

7:15 AM I drive to campus where I teach in the graphic design department — illustration, typography, ideation, animation, and web design. I’ve taught at Queens University for 14 years. When I’m not teaching, I have office hours. The seniors working on their capstone projects often need to consult with me then. During the day, I try to carve out a little time for my scholarship. As a professor, I have an obligation to stay current in my field and to accrue a certain amount of scholastic achievements. I’m either applying for shows or hunting for the next opportunities and conferences.

4:30 PM I meet the kids at the school bus, get them home and settled with a snack and help them get started on their homework.

5:30ish PM Dinnertime. I’m a one-pot-meal type of cook. My kids know my famous chickens, vegetables and rice dish — one of my go-to’s. Once the kids are fed, clean and educated, we all have our free time. AFTER DINNER I head to my studio, which is in our garage. Art projects have a way of expanding, and I can’t currently get my car in the garage. When the weather’s colder, I have to scale back the amount of space I have dedicated to art so I can use my garage for its intended purpose. I turn on some music; get a cold beverage. My cat, Garfield, will come hang out with me. I digitally paint, illustrate, and animate and make my interactive projects. I’ve been concocting a giant interactive installation that explores the “big bang” moment in the Jewish creation story as described in the Zohar — The Book of Radiance. The story describes the moment HaShem (God) poured their essence into a series of glass spheres that then shattered due to being overwhelmed with power. The broken shards of glass then spread across the universe. My vision is that viewers will enter a room filled with panoramic wall and floor video projections of shards of broken glass that, over many minutes, will spread outward from a center point in the room and then rewind back into a singular sphere. Viewers can interact with the shards while exploring the space.

I don’t have a home yet for that interactive installation. It requires funding because it needs projection, sensors and a larger space. I also get commissions from individuals or institutions. I’ve been creating a lot of custom hamsas. Those are hand forms that originated in the ancient Middle East. Once the client has commissioned me, we’ll talk through their wants and needs, the purpose of it — is it purely for aesthetics, or is there a spiritual purpose to it? Then, I’ll send them a mockup and we’ll proceed after they give me the OK. I design each one digitally and then paint the final version with acrylic, spray paint or paint markers. My girls and I aren’t big TV watchers, and we definitely try to avoid it on the Sabbath, but we will occasionally watch a show together. We also like playing image-based board games. Usually, free time lasts until it’s bedtime for everybody. 8:30 PM Bedtime for all of us. I’m not very exciting.

Page Leggett is a Charlotte-based freelance writer. Her stories have appeared in The Charlotte Observer, The Biscuit, Charlotte magazine and many other regional publications.

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

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

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


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 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.

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 | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications at The Mint Museum | 704-564-0826 (c)

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds debuts February 2023 at The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum is the first, and only venue on the East Coast, to feature the traveling exhibition that includes many of Picasso’s greatest landscape paintings

For Immediate Release

Charlotte, North Carolina (May 19, 2022) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, a major traveling exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts, will debut at Mint Museum Uptown February 2023. Comprised of approximately 45 paintings spanning Pablo Picasso’s full career, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is the first traveling exhibition to explore the breadth of the artist’s lifelong innovations in the landscape tradition.

The Mint Museum is the first of only three venues in the United States — and the only venue on the East Coast — to feature this exceptional exhibition filled with works from private collections and international museums together for the first time.

Assembling some of Picasso’s greatest landscape compositions in one traveling exhibition, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds coincides with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. 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.

“This is the first time these Picasso paintings will be seen together and is the first time an exhibition of this magnitude will be held at The Mint Museum,” says Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “We also recognize the enormous opportunity to collaborate with other local arts organizations and artists to take the magic and energy around this exhibition beyond the walls of The Mint Museum.”

Partnering cultural organizations working with the Mint to create a multilayered experience of innovative programming, 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 Charlotte Ballet.

The museum plans to host free school group tours in conjunction with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, in addition to numerous free community days at the museum.

A special component to the Mint’s iteration of the exhibition is Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations, which examines the impact of Picasso and his artistic influences on Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden’s work. The works in Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations will be drawn from the Mint’s deep holdings of Bearden’s work, as well as from private collections and selected museum collections.

“The AFA is delighted to organize the first traveling exhibition of Picasso’s engagement with landscape, offering a new perspective on the artist’s oeuvre in this important show that will debut at The Mint Museum,” says Pauline Willis, director and CEO of the American Federation of Arts (AFA). “Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is curated by the brilliant curator and Picasso scholar Laurence Madeline, with whom we are pleased to again collaborate following the great success of the acclaimed AFA traveling exhibition Women Artists in Paris 1850-1900.”

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds at The Mint Museum is presented with the generous support of Bank of America and Duke Energy, and numerous individual contributors.


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.

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

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

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

Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications | 704.564.0826 (c)

Rebecca Elliot, assistant curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion.

‘Art can be a source of joy for people, and I like to make those experiences happen’

Rebecca Elliot is one of the creative minds behind the new exhibition Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things and lead author of the catalogue by the same name.

Rebecca Elliot is the assistant curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion at The Mint Museum. Her journey with art has taken her around the globe, from her student days studying abroad in London and frequenting the British Museum, to her jobs at the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and finally to the Mint in 2012, where she’s currently the assistant curator of craft, design and fashion. Here, Elliot shares a glimpse into her life inside the museum, from the glamorous (handling 18th-century men’s suits and thrifting with iconic fashion designer Anna Sui) to the decidedly unglamorous (copy editing and emails). — As told to Caroline Portillo. Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

I grew up in central Ohio in a town called Delaware, Ohio, about 30 or 40 miles north of Columbus. I loved to read fiction and liked writing. I loved art, especially drawing. My sister and I — she’s three years older than me — would have coloring contests. I even tried to design clothes. I would play with my Barbies and have them do fashion shows. For me, it was more about Barbie having a job, a career, and wearing stylish outfits.

For undergrad, I went to Smith College, a women’s college in western Massachusetts. I took art history during my sophomore year, and then I spent my junior year studying abroad at University College London, where I took a lot of art history classes. UCL was close to the British Museum and I would often go after school. In London, I also visited the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Tate Gallery. It was really cool actually seeing the scale of the paintings and what the texture looked like, knowing what it felt like to stand in front of it, and noticing what other people did when they were there. That’s when I first started thinking about working with museums. The interface between the art and the public was interesting to me.

Here’s a snapshot of a recent day in my life. First, I helped Annie [Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator for craft, design, and fashion] lay out the jackets from two 18th-century gentlemen’s suits for a Zoom call with a curator from the V&A in London. Because I’m the copyeditor for all the Mint’s exhibition texts, my afternoon was spent answering emails and reviewing exhibition label proofs. I spent the evening on one of my hobbies: ushering for a show at Actor’s Theater. I enjoy theater, and ushering is a great way to help out and see a show for free.

I love thrifting and actually got to join fashion icon Anna Sui on a thrifting expedition. Anna was in Charlotte in November last year for the opening of The World of Anna Sui at Mint Museum Randolph. After lunch, we ventured to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. I have admired Anna Sui’s style ever since her clothes started appearing in my favorite ’90s teen magazine, Sassy. I was thrilled when I got to join her entourage and go thrifting in Charlotte. I walked around with Anna and Vogue’s Senior Fashion News Editor Steff Yotka, observing which items they gravitated to and occasionally commenting about things that reminded me of Anna’s style. I was with them as Anna found and inspected a tablecloth — the three of us unfolded it together — and decided it was worth the $20 price. It’s fun to know that I was there when she found a small souvenir to take back and enjoy in her home.

Speaking of Sleepy Poet, I made a point to go there just before they moved out of their old location, knowing there would be bargains. Sure enough, I found a Heywood-Wakefield wood headboard and footboard, possibly mid-century modern, for $25. Whenever I’m thrifting or antiquing, I look for interesting mid-century modern items. I like old stuff, decorative stuff, fashion, and art.

When I’m visiting a museum, I nerd out. I look at the objects and the labels — how are they written? Would I do it the same way? I look at what objects are next to each other, how they play off each other. I look at what’s in the room, how the wall colors are, the pathway.

I love working at a museum because museums give people so many different kinds of experiences. Art can be a source of joy for people, and I like to make those experiences happen. Art can also be something that makes people uncomfortable, that makes them question and think about things they may not have before. We are facing many difficult issues, everything from the environment to social justice to politics. The work I do matters in those areas. We’re not trying to be political, but we are trying to make society better.

Curator’s Pick: Baseball Pitcher by Ott and Brewer

Curator of Decorative Arts Brian Gallagher discusses this modeled sculpture of a baseball pitcher, made at the Trenton, New Jersey ceramics manufactory run by Joseph Ott and John Hart Brewer. In 1873, they hired the Canadian-born sculptor Isaac Broome to create a prototypical American work for their firm to display at the Centennial International Exposition that opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 10, 1876. This sculpture is made of Parian, a type of porcelain that has more feldspar in its body than conventional porcelain and is fired at a lower temperature. These conditions give the Baseball Pitcher its ivory color and smooth, marble-like texture.

5 things to shout about at The Mint Museum

While uptown Charlotte is alive with events during Charlotte SHOUT, there is also a lot to shout about at The Mint Museum. Mark your calendar for these don’t-miss happenings.


Wednesday Night Live: Rothko Becoming Rothko

April 13, 5–9 PM, 6:30 PM
Mint Museum Uptown

To celebrate the two Rothko paintings on view at Mint Museum Uptown, Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, presents a lecture about the life and works of Mark Rothko as part of the Wednesday Night Live Series presented by Bank of America. Enjoy free admission and a cash bar.

Dance it out at Mint 2 Move

April 14, 7-11 PM
Mint Museum Uptown
$9 members; $12 nonmembers with $1 off before 8 PM

Feel the rhythm, dance, laugh, and enjoy sizzling salsa, cha cha, bachata, line dancing, live musicians, and a live DJ playing Latin rhythms and Afro-beats, plus free dance lessons, a cash bar, complimentary party favors, and live painting at Mint 2 Move. Museum galleries open until 9 PM.



Coined in the South: 2022

See works by more than 40 artists, all hailing from the Southeast. 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. On view: Level 4 Brand Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.



Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things is the first project of its kind in the Southeast to examine how artists and scientists think and work alike, and how designers of all types use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in their making. It also celebrates the first re-installation of the Mint’s Craft + Design Collection in more than 10 years. Organized by medium, more than 100 objects from the Mint’s permanent collection are featured. On view: Level 3 Craft + Design galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.

Have your cake and eat it too at Mariposa at the Mint

Stop by Mariposa at Mint Museum Uptown for dessert, a cocktail, or to share a plate before or after visiting the museum.

And of course, be sure to take a turn on the Impulse illuminated seesaws on Levine Avenue of the Arts, all part of Charlotte SHOUT!


Curator’s Pick: Farol by Elaine de Kooning

Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, senior curator of American Art at The Mint Museum, discusses Farol, Elaine de Kooning’s 1958 painting inspired by bullfights she attended Sunday afternoons in Juarez, Mexico. “Farol” refers to the movement made by bullfighters, sweeping their capes out of the way as the bull charged by. The piece captures the motion, energy, and action of the fight itself. Although long overlooked, the work of de Kooning and her other female Abstract Expressionist colleagues has recently received greater attention thanks in part to exhibitions like Women of Abstract Expressionism hosted at The Mint Museum hosted in 2016.

Curator’s Pick: Rookwood Pottery Vase by Kataro Shirayamadani

This tall, elegantly proportioned earthenware vase is one of the great standouts in The Mint Museum’s Historical Decorative Arts Collection according to Curator of Decorative Arts, Brian Gallagher. It was created in 1892 at Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, Ohio, founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols. Nichols had long desired to introduce an authentic Japanese style to her factory’s wares, when she hired china painter Kataro Shirayamadani, born in Kanazawa, Japan. Shirayamadani went on to become one of Rookwood’s most accomplished decorators, and Rookwood became one of the most commercially successful and artistically accomplished of all American art potteries.

Curator’s Pick: Spectral Boundary by Tom Patti

Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion, Annie Carlano, discusses Spectral Boundary by artist Tom Patti. In combining more than 30 laminated and fused layers of glass, interlayer and woven fiber materials, Spectral Boundary exemplifies Tom Patti’s pioneering artistic effort to interpret the relationship between an advancing industrial culture and North Carolina’s textile heritage. The 40-foot monumental glass wall was made with the same compression machinery that manufactured the skin on the Stealth bomber, thus the wall is bulletproof and bombproof. Spectral Boundary is an outstanding example of how artists and scientists think alike.

Curator’s Pick: Figures Eight by Doris Leeper

Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum, explains the significance of works by mid-century modernist Doris Leeper. Leeper, who worked in painting and sculpture, hints at her interest in the three-dimensional in the painting Figures Eight. Leeper was born in Charlotte in 1929 but moved out of state. She maintained a presence in North Carolina, however, participating in the Mint’s juried competition series Piedmont Exhibition.

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










































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.

Curator’s Pick: Autarchy by Formafantasma

An intriguing installation created by the design group Formafantasma in its studio in the Netherlands, Autarchy explores the idea of how we might make functional vessels for the home from locally sourced, natural materials, while paying homage to the craft of baking and cooking. Autarchy is an outstanding example of the way in which designers and makers think and work like scientists, researching and experimenting with materials and formulas to create, solve problems, and achieve amazing results. This piece was made especially for The Mint Museum with the assistance of Mint staff and is on view in the Craft + Design permanent collection galleries at Mint Museum Uptown in the installation Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things.

“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.

Wednesday Night Live Presents 

The QC GarMINT District 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts

Welcome to the QC GarMINT District, part of the Wednesday Night Live event series, presented by Bank of America. Tonight’s event highlights the Mint’s recognition of fashion designers’ work as art, and is a prelude to the December 2022 exhibition and catalogue Fashion Reimagined that celebrates 50 years of the Mint’s fashion collection. It also links Charlotte designers to the celebration of world culture and street fashion on view in The World of Anna Sui at Mint Museum Randolph through May 1.  

5:30-9 PM

Sounds by DJ Dammit Wesley and cash bar
in Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium 

Pop-up market in Level 5 expansion space
and Mint Museum Store 

7-8 PM

The QC GarMINT District runway fashion show
in Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium 


TARA DAVIS is the founder of Flow by Tara Davis. Her designs are created with lifestyles of modern, eclectic women on her radar. Inspirations of architect and modern art transform her concepts into chic and sophisticated apparel. Through the aesthetic of style lines, color, and comfortable fabrics, Davis has defined the art of bold simplicity. The foundation of Flow by Tara Davis started with signature dresses and custom designs, evolving into desk-to-dinner styles, including separates, leather belts, and handbags along with her newest design venture in home décor. @flowbytaradavis

MEGAN ILENE is a fiber artist who makes clothes and created the zero- waste, biodegradable clothing brand Megan-Ilene. All materials used are completely biodegradable and many are organic (no pesticides are used to facilitate growing or harvesting). Dyes used are either natural or minimal- impact synthetic with a focus on low-immersion techniques to prevent water waste and are safe for city water reclamation. Patterns are either designed to prevent textile off-fall or any fiber waste is reconfigured, reused, or revitalized creating a closed loop, zero-waste system. Silhouettes are forgiving and functional, and are meant for myriad of body types, shapes, and genders. All items are made in North Carolina and produced by entities receiving a fair, livable wage. @megan.ilene

GORDON HOLLIDAY uses remnant textile and fibers to construct sustainable garments that tell stories about culture, history, and identity in the fashion industry. A Brooklyn Collective Artist in Residence, Holliday received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in photography and a minor in retail studies at UNC Greensboro. He currently is featured in the Waste Management Design Challenge and was published in “Forbes” for the work he has committed in the community. Holliday is an up-cycle designer, utilizing donated fabric/materials, remnant scraps, previously owned items, or thrifted clothing into new garments. RENEW REWORK ROOLĒ is a brand created by Holliday that documents how reconstructed garments reach their final form through up-cycling. His latest project, the Yasuke Collection ROOLE F/W 21, details the story about the first African samurai. Inspired by Japanese quilting techniques (Sashiko and Boro) 10 quilted kimonos were constructed out of donated and leftover materials.

BREHON WILLIAMS is a native of Chesapeake, Virginia who currently resides in Charlotte. He graduated from The Art Institute with a bachelor’s degree and is currently working on a Master of Science degree. Initially a womenswear-only designer, Williams has expanded his portfolio to now include menswear. His bold, innovative, and forward-thinking aesthetic has allotted him the opportunity to participate in numerous shows across the United States. The award-winning designer has won numerous design competitions and has been featured in national and international publications, including Veer, New Pittsburgh Courier, Ink Magazine, and The Virginian Pilot.

GEGE GILZENE is the creative designer, lead designer, and owner of Gege J. Gilzene, LLC, a luxury women’s line for every event and a man’s casual, yet upscale, label designed and produced in Atlanta. His designer clothing line is composed of jaw-dropping statement pieces, and wardrobe staples with a hint of distinction. The collection’s masterful use of colors and silhouette, makes the G-three women and men the centerpiece of every event and stand out in a crowd. Every garment is carefully designed and crafted to exude the joie de vivre (to express a cheerful enjoyment of life, an exultation of spirit) and sexiness, while maintaining character, and class. 


The QC GarMINT District is coordinated in partnership with Davita Galloway, co-owner of DUPP&SWATT, and Charlotte-based stylist Jennifer Michelle, owner of J Model Executives. Charlotte influencer Ohavia Phillips will emcee the event, music provided by DJ Dammit Wesley, plus an additional performance by B&C Ballroom, and cash bar. Admission is free, but seating is first come, first served. 


Level 5 Expansion Space

Mint Museum Store

Curators’ Pick: Bracelets by Marcus Amerman

Marcus Amerman, a multimedia artist who is best known for his pictorial beadwork that combines Native American tradition with imagery from contemporary popular culture, designed and created these two cuff bracelets depicting the Dalai Lama and agents Mulder and Scully from the television hit series X Files. Amerman grew up in a family of artists and learned beading at age 10 from his Choctaw aunt who had married into the Hopi tribe. In 1982, he drew upon the multitude of cultural influences he had experienced to create his own style of beadwork.

The bracelets are on view in Craft + Design permanent collection galleries and the Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curators’ Pick: Weathervane by Brent Kington

Assistant Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion, Rebecca Elliot offers insight on the sculpture Weathervane by artist-blacksmith Brent Kington, part of a series of sculptures inspired by the weathervanes of Kington’s youth in Kansas. With nothing but gravity holding the two parts together, Weathervane is able to spin, but also to pitch and roll slightly in a breeze or if touched. While the sculpture is meant to be enjoyed indoors rather than to gauge the wind’s direction on a farm, it alludes to nature with the two differently sized disks representing the sun and moon. 

Weathervane is on view in the Craft + Design permanent collection galleries as part of Craft in the Lab: The Science of Making Things.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

In My Loan Dinh’s series “(Re)constructing the space in-between,” objects, covered in eggshells, appear fragile; but they are strong — strong enough to break glass. “I reach for these tools not only to break barriers, but also to build, forge, and construct new paths towards freedom and equality. Many things, like stones and bullets, can shatter glass. I am here to build,” Dinh says.

‘Broken, but in one piece’

Charlotte artist MyLoan Dinh explores the human condition – and the search for home

By Page Leggett

MyLoan (pronounced “mee-LAHN”) Dinh has been working with an unusually delicate medium: eggshells.

The Vietnamese-American artist, who splits her time between Charlotte and Berlin, uses them to encase objects — passports, hammers, boxing gloves. “With boxing gloves, you think of fighting,” she says. “I love the idea of pairing things that are complete opposites. There’s a tension there — a deeper meaning that starts a conversation.”

People might see the eggshell mosaics and think of the destructiveness of violence or the fragility of life. But for life to begin, the egg has to be open, to be broken, Dinh says. And brokenness is part of being human.

“I like creating something whole out of fragments,” she continues. “I like this idea that even though we might be broken, we’re in one piece. We’re going to be OK.”

The MInt Museum_MyLoan Dinh

MyLoan Dinh, United States (born in Vietnam), 1972– . “Off White,” 2019. Boxing gloves, eggshells, acrylic. Museum purchase made possible by the Charles W. Beam Endowment Fund.

From coop to kitchen to studio

Working with eggshells is tedious and time-consuming. Dinh starts by procuring eggs. She has to boil the eggs, crack and peel them. Then, she methodically places each tiny piece onto the object with an adhesive. She uses a stick pin or a needle; her fingers are too big for the job. Once the entire object is covered, she fills in with even tinier shell shards. She doesn’t want too much of a gap between fragments.

Each object gets covered in five or six protective layers. Something fragile has been made durable.

Some of the “eggshell art” was featured in Dinh’s installation for Constellation CLT — an exhibition series that spotlights local artists — this spring and summer at Mint Museum Uptown.

“I think it’s wonderful that museums are starting to look for artists in their backyard,” Dinh says. “There’s a lot of talent here. And why not expose the community to those artists? It’s wonderful that part of the community can now see themselves in these spaces.”

The part of the community she’s referring to: Asian-Americans. “When I was growing up, I couldn’t see myself in a museum setting because I didn’t have any role models,” she says. “I couldn’t name a single Asian artist. I saw some Asian art, but it was more like artifacts. So, this Constellations program is really amazing.”

‘A place we can call home’

She and her family were on one of the last ships out of Saigon in 1975. Dinh was 4. She has no memory of her homeland but still feels connected to her culture.

Her story is deeply personal, but there’s a universality to it. “Everyone deserves safety,” she says. “We all deserve the same basic human rights, the opportunity to live in dignity and to somehow find a place we can call home.”

Finding her way to safety was harrowing. For six days, they were forbidden to dock because the ships belonged to the now-defunct South Vietnamese government. “We were stateless,” she says.

The U.S.S. Kirk was the first, and then dozens of former South Vietnamese Navy ships, cargo and fishing boats lowered the Vietnamese flag and raised the American one. That was just the beginning.

Dinh’s family went to three different U.S. refugee camps before a Lutheran church in Boone agreed to sponsor them. “We’re still in touch with the pastor and his wife,” Dinh says. “At the time, there was this — not really, anti-Asian hate — but fear. People were afraid for different reasons: Would we be able to adjust? Were we Communists? Half the congregation wasn’t sure should they take us in. The minister told them, ‘As people of God, we have to.’”

They came to Charlotte because there was a bigger Vietnamese population here and it’s a bigger city. Dinh’s parents wanted to find their community.

Dinh herself has found a large creative community here. She and her husband — Till Schmidt-Rempler, a former dancer and choreographer — frequently host musicians, poets, storytellers and dancers in the 1935 log cabin that’s home to the couple and their teenage daughter. (Their son is working toward a PhD in art history in London.)

Evolution of an artist

Dinh’s work has evolved a lot since she first picked up a paintbrush to create what she calls “representational, figurative work.” It didn’t take long for her to expand her subject matter and media; she experiments to stave off boredom. In recent years, she’s been diving into storytelling.

“I began revisiting stories about what my family faced when I was growing up,” she says. “Much of that stuff, you just push away. You focus on your survival. You don’t want to bring it up because you think: ‘I’m resilient, I need to move on.’ But I felt it was time to pull it out slowly because of this shift in America, this racial reckoning.”

She doesn’t consider herself a political artist, but rather an artist concerned with social justice.

She hopes viewers see that concern in her work. “I think it’s good to let viewers enjoy the pieces for what they are, but I also like the idea of them reading my artist’s statement to understand why I made the piece. My message is that we need to find a way to share space with each other.”

‘My daughter ate it’

Dinh doesn’t always use food in her art — although she has coated everyday objects in candy conversation hearts — but she was inspired to create an installation last year using a ubiquitous Asian dessert.

“I created a fortune cookie installation the day after six Asian women were murdered [in Atlanta],” she says. “I just made it, held it in my hand and photographed it for social media. And, when Jen [Sudul Edwards] said she wanted to show it, I had to tell her: It was a real fortune cookie, and my daughter ate it. But I can get more.”

There are six fortune cookies in that little installation, she says, one for each of the six women murdered. The fortunes have numbers on them, and they are real telephone numbers to an actual hotline, Dinh says.

With her eggshell art, Dinh is a purist. She leaves the shells the colors nature intended. But she wanted dark brown eggs for several pieces — and went searching.

“There’s a chocolate brown egg that comes from a fancy French chicken called the Marans chicken, she says. “I joined a Facebook group of people who raise chickens and asked if anybody had Marans chickens. They were so responsive; I’ve been getting eggshells in the mail. Chicken people are really good people.

“You never know where you’ll find your community. And community is really another word for ‘home’.”

Page Leggett’s writing appears regularly in The Charlotte Observer, Business North Carolina and SouthPark magazine. Besides writing, her other great passions are travel and art collecting. The first art lessons she took were at Mint Museum Randolph.

This story previously published in the Winter 2021 Inspired member magazine.

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. 

Curators’ Pick: Untitled by Beauford Delaney

Beauford Delaney was one of the most highly regarded Black artists working with abstraction in the 1940s and ’50s. Senior Curator of American Art at The Mint Museum Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, discusses Delaney’s captivating untitled painting from 1959. Its energy, life and gorgeous palette of dashingly applied yellows, pinks, blues, and greens, are among key factors that distinguished it from other works by Delaney. 

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curators’ Pick: The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli (Pictures of Junk) by Vik Muniz

The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli (Pictures of Junk), from 2008 by the American artist Vik Muniz is a play on the 15th-century Renaissance masterpiece Birth of Venus by Botticelli. To create his image, Muniz and assistants assembled thousands of pieces of recyclables on a warehouse floor and photographed the assembly from a high platform. Muniz’s images are a critical reflection on the vast waste created throughout the world and its ability to be recycled into compelling, beautiful objects.

The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli (Pictures of Junk) is on view in the contemporary galleries on Level 4 at Mint Museum Uptown.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curators’ Pick: Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3) by Mary Cassatt

Mint Museum Senior Curator of American Art, Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, discusses Mary Cassatt’s Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3). Painted at the turn of the 20th century, this is a striking image of the artist’s best-known subject: the intimate relationship between mothers and children. It is even more noteworthy for its combination of distinctive features: the unusual pose of the sitters, the use of a mirror to reveal the face of the mother whose back is turned to the viewer, the tightly-compressed space of the composition, and the expansive use of the color. These qualities distinguish it from many other treatments of the subject by the artist.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curators’ Pick: Transporter by E.V. Day

Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art shares insight on Transporter, a sculpture by the New York City artist E.V. Day. In this work, Day’s undergraduate studies of nudes and objects in still life collide with her study of architecture and the psychology of space. She explodes those artistic concerns with gender theory that relates both to women and queer culture which was coming into its own in the 1980s and ’90s when Day started her Exploded Couture series.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Four uptown Charlotte cultural institutions partner to launch new event series Wednesday Night Live

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (October 25, 2021) — The four institutions that comprise the Levine Center for the Arts in uptown Charlotte — The Mint Museum, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the Knight Theater — are partnering to launch a new weekly event series known as Wednesday Night Live. Presented by Bank of America, Wednesday Night Live will include free admission to the three museums between 5-9 p.m. every Wednesday, as well as live entertainment or programming at one of the four institutions each week. The special programming, which will rotate among the partners, includes everything from Brazilian dance performances to spoken-word artists to film screenings. The first Wednesday Night Live will be October 27 at Mint Museum Uptown, as the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte perform a series of Halloween-themed nocturnes — a nod to the Impressionist nocturnes on view in the Mint’s John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition, currently on view.

While cross-collaborations and after-hour programs are not new to these cultural institutions, the idea of Wednesday Night Live grew out of a desire to further solidify partnerships between four of the city’s key arts institutions and to rebuild engagement within the heart of uptown Charlotte, an area hit particularly hard by the economic impact of Covid-19. The concept was developed in conversations with Bank of America and the chief executives of each institution: Todd D. Smith of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Todd A. Herman of The Mint Museum, David. R. Taylor of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Tom Gabbard of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Knight Theater.

All organizations will follow CDC guidelines, as well as state and local regulations, with regard to Covid-19 protocols. In accordance, all attendees of indoor events must wear a mask. “We believe in the power of the arts to help communities thrive and to create greater cultural understanding,” said Kieth Cockrell, president of Bank of America Charlotte. “Extending the hours and offering complimentary admission on Wednesday nights offers our community even more access to the city’s best art and programming.”

Wednesday Night Live 2021 Schedule
October 27: The Mint Museum and the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte present a series of Halloweenthemed nocturnes — a nod to the Impressionist nocturnes on view in the Mint’s John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition, currently on view. Cash bar.

November 3: The Mint Museum presents a performance and videos by Cherrie Yu, a fall 2021 McColl Center artist-in-residence, in collaboration with the McColl Center and the dance department at UNC Charlotte dance. Cash bar.

November 10: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art presents a Brazilian dance performance and drop-in tours of Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement.

November 17: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture presents an evening of Spoken Word featuring Boris “Bluz” Rogers that will include a writing workshop and a live performance from several esteemed poets and spoken word artists.

November 24: Head to the Knight Theater lobby as Blumenthal Performing Arts shows off some of its nerdiest content from its new Nerdy Night Out series. Enjoy a sampling of the Heroes Debate show, the Ladies Who Rocked History Show and the new Science for Comedians Show. Start off with a little Biology 101 with Professor Andrew Goff as he discusses the biology of hops and barley, and then get a taste of history with Jenny Kabool and Tiffany Bryant Jackson, as they share about the unknown women from the first Thanksgiving. Then round out the night with a fun-filled debate about which superhero would host the best Thanksgiving meal featuring Charlotte’s top local comedians.

December 1: The Mint Museum film showing of Sisters with Transistors, the remarkable story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to transform how we produce and listen to music today. Enjoy popcorn and a cash bar.

December 8: The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art features music and performances and drop-in tours of all exhibitions.

December 15: Join Blumenthal Performing Arts for outdoor, holiday cheer at the Knight Theater Plaza and on Levine Avenue of the Arts. The evening will include Christmas carols performed by a local traditional choir, a local trap choir, and a few Blumenthal Performing Arts Acoustic Grace alumni performers. Stroll along Levine Avenue and do some “reverse caroling,” where you visit different performance stations, rather than have carolers ring your doorbell. Make the experience complete with a cup of apple cider or hot chocolate.

December 22: No programming. Free admission 5-9 p.m. at the three museums.

December 29: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will celebrate Ujamaa (or cooperative economics), the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, with a candle-making workshop, an African dance class, and an informational session about the history and traditions of Kwanzaa. The Gantt will also feature local artisans and an array of hand-crafted treasures for sale during the evening.

For 2022 programming, visit,,, or


About the Wednesday Night Live Partners

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is the only museum in the Southern United States exclusively dedicated to European and American Modern Art and its legacies. Capturing a remarkable era of art history from the collection of the Zürich-based Bechtler family, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection includes works by some of the most important and influential figures of modernism, including Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Edgar Degas, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Jasper Johns, Paul Klee, Alfred
Manessier, Joan Miró, Kenneth Noland, Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley, Nicolas de Staël, Andy Warhol and a wealth of other 20th-century notables. The museum, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, prominently features the Niki de Saint Phalle’s iconic Le Grand Oiseau de Feu sur l’Arche on its entrance plaza. Located in the heart of Uptown, the Bechtler is a light-filled community space created to inspire and engage firsttime visitors and long-term supporters alike.

Blumenthal Performing Arts
Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call 704.372.1000 or visit Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is a multidisciplinary arts institution located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1974, the Gantt Center’s mission is to present, preserve, and celebrate excellence in the art, history, and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent through visual and literary arts, dance, music, film, educational programs, theatre productions, and community outreach. The Gantt Center features fine art exhibitions from around the world and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America, and is accessible online. Named for Charlotte civic leader and former mayor Harvey Bernard Gantt, the Gantt Center is housed in an iconic, award-winning structure designed by architect Philip Freelon, co-designer of the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). For more information about the Gantt Center, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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 welcomes all to be inspired and transformed through the power of art and creativity.

Media contacts

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Hillary Hardwick, Deputy Director for Marketing and Communications | 704.353.9204 (o)

Lauren Bunch, Assistant Director for Marketing | 704.353.9208 (o)

Blumenthal Performing Arts
Stephanie Dowds, Director of Programming

Danny Knaub, Vice President of Marketing

Rebecca Bereiter, Communications and Creative Content Producer

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
Bonita Buford, Chief Operating Officer

The Mint Museum
Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)

Curators’ Pick: Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing by John Leslie Breck

Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, senior curator of American art at The Mint Museum, discusses the color, light and shadow, and inspiration behind artist John Leslie Breck’s painting “Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing.” It is one of fewer than a dozen paintings of Breck to be held in a public collection. John Leslie Breck was instrumental in introducing Impressionism to America. The exhibition “John Leslile Breck: American Impressionist” is on view at The Mint Museum’s uptown location through January 2, 2022. The exhibition includes this painting, as well as more than 70 other paintings by Breck.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curator’s Pick: Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing by John Leslie Breck

Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, was created in 1888 by American artist John Leslie Breck. Breck was born in 1860, grew up near Boston, and trained in Germany, Belgium, and France. In 1887, he and seven of his colleagues visited the village of Giverny which lies approximately 40 miles northwest of Paris where the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet had settled in 1883. 

Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing was painted in the summer of 1888, not long after Breck had converted to Impressionism. In the painting, Suzanne sits in dappled sunlight under a leafy tree and in front of a field of golden hay. Breck’s skill at capturing the play of light and shadow is on full display. A canvas by Monet, completed at the same time, features his stepdaughter Blanche at work at her easel and in the distance, Suzanne, who peers over Breck’s shoulder as he, too, works on a painting.   

See this painting and 70 others by John Leslie Breck in the exhibition John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist on view at Mint Museum Uptown through January 2, 2022.

Credit: John Leslie Breck (American, 1860-99). “Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing,” 1888, oil on canvas. Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary and courtesy Heather James Fine Art. 2016.25

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curator’s Pick: Siamese Twins and Statue by Virgil Ortiz

Virgil Ortiz was born there and lives in Cochiti. Coming from a place where clay and life are synonymous, Ortiz did not know that making things out of clay was art until he was a teenager. The earliest Cochiti hand-built clay figures may have been inspired by circus performers or other itinerant entertainers, since the characters are usually depicted in an active state with an open mouth, suggesting singing. Those early figures were much smaller in size than Ortiz’s sculpture, but the way he made and decorated this form is consistent with the way historic objects, including those made by his mother and grandmother, were made. This figure was made with clay that Virgil Ortiz collected on Cochiti Pueblo land, and it has a characteristic cream and black body.

Credit: Virgil Ortiz (American, 1969-). “Siamese Twins,” 1997, clay, stain, and slip. Gift of Gretchen and Nelson Grice. 2002.124.1. (c) Virgil Ortiz Creations 1997.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

The Mint Museum renames its planned giving program The Dwelle-McBryde Society in honor of longtime supporter Neill McBryde’s commitment to the museum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Charlotte, North Carolina (July 20, 2021) — The Mint Museum’s planned giving program, The Dwelle Society, is being renamed The Dwelle-McBryde Society in honor of Charlotte attorney Neill McBryde’s steadfast support of the museum.

McBryde was recognized as one of the top 45 estate planning lawyers in the U.S. by Town & Country magazine in the course of his career, and was named in Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 1983-2021; Litigation & Controversy – Tax, 1983-2021; Tax Law 1983-2021. He also was a leader in the Charlotte-based Moore & Van Allen law firm for decades. A champion of legacy giving, he understands the value of planned giving programs for the long-term sustainability of institutions and nonprofits, whether The Mint Museum or his beloved Myers Park Presbyterian Church and its outreach ministries. This honor also marks the occasion of McBryde’s retirement from the practice of law at the end of 2021, after many years of dedicated service to his clients, the firm, and the community.McBryde was a driving force behind the establishment of the Mint’s Dwelle Society in 1996. In 2010, he was a founding member of the Mint’s Crown Society, an annual giving circle comprised of museum patrons contributing $1,200 or more to The Mint Museum’s Annual Fund. He also served on the Mint’s board of trustees for multiple terms, once as board chair, as well as on numerous committees, and is now a member of The Mint Museum’s advisory board. In addition, his wife Peggy McBryde served as the publicity committee chair for the 1997 Antiques Show and co-chaired the Antiques Show committee in 1998, and has held multiple committee leadership roles with the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

The Mint Museum’s planned giving program was originally named for Mary Myers Dwelle, who in 1933 began to raise funds to relocate the Charlotte Mint building to house the first art museum in North Carolina. Her pioneering efforts inspired the establishment of the Dwelle Society, now the Dwelle-McBryde Society, which recognizes the generosity of donors who make a planned gift or bequest to The Mint Museum.

“This renaming and the generous gifts in honor of Neill McBryde have invigorated our planned giving program at the Mint,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “We are optimistic that Neill’s stature in the community and commitment to lifelong giving will serve as a catalyst for growth.”

Moore & Van Allen has been a longtime corporate supporter of The Mint Museum and has sponsored many exhibitions, ranging from Portals to the Past: British Ceramics 1675-1825 (currently on view at Mint Museum Randolph) to The Glamour & Romance of Oscar de la Renta in 2018, and most recently Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries in 2020.


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.

Moore & Van Allen

Moore & Van Allen PLLC (, founded in 1950, has more than 330 attorneys serving clients in over 60 areas of focus. The attorneys at Moore & Van Allen provide sophisticated legal services within nationally recognized Litigation, Corporate, Financial Services, Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy, Wealth, Trust and Estate, and Commercial Real Estate law practices for international banks and financial services companies, domestic and global manufacturers, retailers, individuals, and healthcare and technology organizations. The firm is ranked in the prestigious “Am Law 200” list, and U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have recognized Moore & Van Allen in their 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings, both regionally and nationally.

Contact: Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)

The Mint Museum organizes the first-ever retrospective of works by Impressionist painter John Leslie Breck in its exhibition John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Charlotte, North Carolina (July 16, 2021) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the premiere of John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist, an exhibition showcasing more than 70 works by one of the first American artists to introduce Impressionism to the United States. The exhibition — the first ever organized by a museum to be dedicated to works by John Leslie Breck — will run from September 18, 2021 through January 2, 2022 at The Mint Museum’s uptown Charlotte location (known as Mint Museum Uptown).

Drawn from public and private collections, as well as the acclaimed Terra Foundation collection of American art, many of the works have not been on public view in more than a century. In addition to Breck’s landscape-inspired works, the exhibition highlights his exploration of new styles and approaches to painting in the years before his early death at the age of 38. More than 10 related paintings by Breck’s French and American Impressionist colleagues, including Theodore Robinson, Willard Metcalf, and Lila Cabot Perry, are also featured in the exhibition.The exhibition, presented by Bank of America, is inspired by The Mint Museum’s acquisition of Breck’s canvas Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing. “I have been an admirer of John Leslie Breck’s beautiful, trailblazing paintings ever since my first encounter with his work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the late 1990s,” says Jonathan Stuhlman, senior curator of American art at The Mint Museum. “When we had the opportunity to acquire one for The Mint Museum in 2016, it was the perfect catalyst for the museum to begin organizing this exhibition — the first retrospective of his work since his death in 1899.”

“The importance of John Leslie Breck’s works and his introduction of French Impressionism to an American audience has largely gone unrecognized but is an important part of American art history,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “Through dedicated research and work by the staff at the Mint, Breck and his beautiful paintings will be brought back into the conversation of American art.”In addition, a 208-page, fully illustrated exhibition catalogue will be available when the exhibition opens in September. Stuhlman collaborated with leading Breck scholars Royal Leith and Jeffrey Brown to bring together Breck’s finest paintings, as well as to create the first ever monograph produced about the artist, which also includes contributions from Erica Hirshler, PhD, and Katherine Bourguignon, PhD. After debuting at The Mint Museum, John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist will travel to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee in the winter of 2022 and the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa in the spring of 2022.

“Bank of America believes the arts are fundamental to a culturally healthy community,” shared President of Bank of America Charlotte Kieth Cockrell. “We are pleased to support The Mint Museum in hosting the Breck exhibit to showcase his talent, encourage appreciation of Impressionism and inspire future artists.”

John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist is generously presented by Bank of America, with additional support provided by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts and the Mint Museum Auxiliary. Individual support provided by Charlie and Susan Murray in honor of Welborn and Patty Alexander, and Mary and Dick Payne.

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 also receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021.

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.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 2,700 lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions Advisor and approximately 2,400 business centers; approximately 17,000 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with approximately 40 million active users, including approximately 31 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.Contact: Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)

Curators’ Pick: King’s Voyage by Bertil Vallien

Bertil Vallien is recognized as the pioneer of the sand-casting technique, in which molten glass is poured into a firm sand mold. Much like the cire perdue or lost wax technique, the delicate nature of the mold material prevents more than one sculpture from being produced. Thus, Vallien’s sand-cast sculptures are unique works of art.

One of the most prominent vessel themes in his stoneware sculptures of the late 1970’s, the boat became a hallmark of Vallien’s later sand-cast sculptures (1984-88). Vallien’s boats are containers for messages and metaphors for man’s existence. They explore universal themes, like the journey of life and the unknown destination.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Show your pride with these rainbow-themed items from the Mint Museum Store

Rainbow & raindrops Kit throw Blanket

Cozy up in any space with this machine washable 50″x60″ rainbow throw. $130.

Rainbow Catch-all

Keep your small treasures safe at night with a cute catch all that shows off your pride 24/7. $8.

Unicorn and Rainbow Magnetic Lapel Pin

These luxury-quality 22-karat gold gilt lapel pins are decked with vivid cloisonné colors and have a magnetic backing. They are Delicate enough for your favorite tops but with magnetic strength that allows them to be worn on even heavy-weight denim. $14.

Wide Calf Pride Knee Sock

Pride only happens once per year, but your own personal pride is an everyday thing that you carry wherever you go. These STRETCH-IT Team Pride Wide Calf Socks are the perfect pair to wear to Pride this year. Tell people who you are, and show them that you support the ongoing fight for equality. $12.

Liberty Rainbow Puzzle

Artist Naomi Devil combines whimsy and a masterful painting technique in this playful puzzle celebrating difference, beauty, and freedom. This 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle is thoughtfully commissioned and beautifully designed to offer a screen-free, relaxing way to practice contemplative mindfulness or share a gentle cooperative activity with friends and family. $24.

Great Gays Heat Activated Mug

What do Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, and Andy Warhol have in common? If you’re thinking, “They were all gay,” you’re only half right. They’re also all included in this amazing Great Gays Out of the Closet Mug. When the mug is empty, it shows fourteen closet doors. But when you pour in a hot beverage, 14 of the world’s most famous gay men proudly emerge. $16.

The Future is Equal Mug

Show your optimism for the future with a mug that says it all. $16.

You are Magic Socks

These cotton crew socks are made from the softest cotton with long combed fibers for a luxurious hand feel. Most importantly, they are made following the highest ethical, labor, and environmental standards. $12.

Rainbow Pride Mason Jar Candies

Celebrate your pride all year round with handmade fruit punch flavored candy from Hammond’s! Hammond’s Candies are handmade with the finest locally sourced ingredients for superior quality flavor for over 100 years. $14.

Wooden Bead Rainbow Necklace

Colorful wooden bead necklace that makes a perfect gift for that artsy person in your life. Wear it as a piece of jewelry or incorporate it into your home as a bright decoration. $22.

Want to see more?

Visit our online store to see the ever-growing collection of pride themed items.

Gallery Chat with Curator and Community, Part 3

Coming together for another discussion surrounding works of art in the Mint’s permanent collection is Jon Stulhman, PhD, senior curator of American art, and Rubie R. Britt-Height, director of community relations at the Mint.

This series is a part of video series that examines and compares works of art currently installed in the Mint’s Contemporary Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown.

Watch the first two videos in this series using the buttons below:

The Mint Museum to Display Masterpiece by Mary Cassatt in American Galleries


Charlotte, North Carolina (June 10, 2021) — The Mint Museum is delighted to announce that it will display in its American galleries Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3), a stunning work by iconic American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, as a long-term loan from the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation.

The Foundation purchased the piece from The Brooklyn Museum, as well as Thomas Cole’s The Arch of Nero (deaccessioned by the Newark Museum of Art), on May 19 at Sotheby’s, and immediately offered to lend the Cassatt to The Mint Museum and the Cole to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Cassatt was the only American artist to exhibit with the French Impressionists, and Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3) is a classic example of her mature work. An intimate   portrait of a mother and her child — whose unique  composition,  with  the  mother’s  back  to  the viewer — allowed Cassatt to demonstrate her strength as a colorist as well as a creator of innovative compositions. The Cassatt will go on view in July at The Mint Museum’s uptown Charlotte location, known as Mint Museum Uptown, as part of annual rotations in the American art galleries.

“We have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Jacobsen and her Foundation for a number of years,” says Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, the museum’s senior curator of American art. “Dr. Jacobsen is a champion of American art, striving to acquire the finest paintings and sculptures by a diverse range of artists who worked from this country’s earliest years to the present day. The Mint does not currently own a painting by Cassatt, and the loan of this fabulous painting will allow us to tell more fully the story of American Impressionism, as well as to highlight the important contributions of female artists  to the story of American art.”

The Thomas H. and  Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D.  Foundation’s  close relationship with The  Mint Museum is also evident its participation in the museum’s upcoming exhibition John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist, a retrospective featuring 70 of Breck’s finest works, which will be on view from September 18, 2021 to January 2, 2022 at Mint Museum Uptown. In 1887, Breck was one of the founders  of the American art colony at Giverny and was among the earliest American artists to embrace the Impressionist style. He was also one of the first to exhibit his Impressionist paintings in America and helped to popularize the style during his years working in the Boston area in the 1890s. The exhibition, inspired by The Mint Museum’s 2016 acquisition of Breck’s canvas Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, features a number of works that haven’t been on public view in more than a century.“We are excited to be able to share this exquisite painting by Mary Cassatt with our community,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “Dr. Jacobsen and her Foundation believe great art should be shared and have enriched our American galleries by lending a number of unforgettable works. Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3) will become a must-see piece in our galleries.”

The planned donation of the Jacobsen Foundation’s collection The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design will also be displayed at The Mint Museum in the near future, after it concludes its tour of 28 institutions across the country. And alongside the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, The Mint Museum is co-organizing an exhibition of over 100 highlights from the Foundation’s collection of American art. After its debut in Charlotte in fall 2022, the exhibition will travel to four additional venues and be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue of the collection.

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 | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)

Curators’ Pick: Ring of Iron, Ring of Wool by Kay Sage

Kay Sage was one of the few American artists to be closely involved with the French Surrealist movement. “Ring of Iron, Ring of Wool” was completed at the height of her career and incorporates all of the hallmarks of her signature style: a haunting, desolate landscape; beautifully-rendered yet enigmatic forms; and sophisticated variations in tone and color. The title is thought to be a reference to the traditional gifts for a couple’s sixth and seventh anniversaries. 1947 marked the sixth anniversary of Sage and Tanguy’s move to Woodbury, Connecticut and the seventh of their marriage.

Credit: Kay Sage (American, 1898-1963). “Ring of Iron, Ring of Wool,” 1947, oil on canvas. Museum purchase: The Katherine and Thomas Belk Acquisition Fund. 2016.8. © 2016 Estate of Kay Sage / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curators’ Pick: Beloved (Reering Deer) by Beth Cavener

The sculpture “Beloved” is from a body of work by the artist Beth Cavener, that, somewhat autobiographical, captures intense psychological states of the human condition, in anthropomorphic forms, usually feral mammals. These life-size portrayals function as a sort of camouflage for her own feelings, or her observations of other people going through some sort of inner turmoil.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Curators’ Pick: Flowerbed by Yann Gerstberger

Yann Gerstberger creates murals, sculptures, and textile tapestries from his home in Mexico City. In Flowerbed Gerstberger uses inspiration from his world travels, both in person and electronically, to create imagery of lush rainforest and desert flora and fauna.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

Local artists and artist collectives are expanding opportunities to create and experience art in Charlotte

By Liz Rothaus Bertrand 


The Mint Museum’s exhibition It Takes a Village: Charlotte Artist Collectives puts local artists and the organizations that nurture them in the spotlight. Opening June 12 at Mint Museum Randolph, the exhibition will feature individual and collaborative pieces by artists who are part of three of Charlotte’s innovative artist collectives: BlkMrktClt, Brand the Moth, and Goodyear Arts.

Curated by the Mint’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art, Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, sees the exhibition as a wonderful way to showcase the collaboration of local artists who are producing intriguing and inspired works of art. “One of the things I’ve found really wonderful about this city is the number of collectives that were created for artists to support each other. I rarely have encountered that in the other places I’ve lived.”

Building artist communities

Collectives build something special for artists, says Todd Stewart, a member of the artist-led residency program Goodyear Arts. “There’s a reciprocal relationship within an art community, creating and seeing things,” he says. “Personally, I feel like I get more than I give.”

For Stewart, a trained sculptor who also explores painting in his mixed-media creations, working as an artist can be lonely. He says collectives really help to push past the feeling of isolation, even if you’re not actively collaborating with the artists around you. “That to me is just a huge boost of energy … seeing what these folks are up to really propels me forward,” he says.

The wide spectrum of artists—visual, performing and literary—and creative work at Goodyear Arts helps draw diverse audiences to events, most of which are free and offered in an accessible location. This expands relationships and exposure for other artists, too.Having the opportunity to show their work in a museum the caliber of the Mint is an exciting for collective members, Stewart says, with the potential to reach people who don’t yet know them and what they contribute to the community.

People often think of art coming from “meccas” like Los Angeles, New York, or London, Stewart says, “but Charlotte is building this creative capital, too. It’s rewarding putting your buckets down where you’re at and creating where you are,” he says.

Artists collectives depend on public and private support to continue their work. Goodyear Arts, for example, turns donated space into art galleries and studios. This kind of partnership is key to building opportunities for artists to create.

The fruits of such collaborations can already be seen around Charlotte through various public art initiatives.

What public art brings to the city

Besides beautifying and enriching the city’s landscape, public art like murals serve important social functions. Art inspires conversation and brings different communities together, says painter Sam Guzzie, partner and director of programming for Brand the Moth.

Last summer, Brand the Moth and BlKMrktClt were two of the key groups leading local artists in creating the Black Lives Matter mural on Tryon Street. The iconic project involved 20 different artists, who were each able to put their own distinctive mark on this collaboration.

Bringing community members into the creative process is important, too. For example, Brand the Moth’s 16th Street Bridge Mural was directly inspired by conversations with homeless residents at the nearby Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, who then volunteered side-by-side with Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department officers, and others to revitalize the area. Such efforts help create community dialogue over the paintbrush, says Hannah Fairweather, partner and director of curation at Brand the Moth.Another unique collaboration took place at the McGill Rose Garden, where the Brand the Moth created a mural with UMAR, a nonprofit that promotes community inclusion for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Efforts like these strengthen community bonds and allow people all over the city to experience the arts. For some people, seeing or participating in a public art initiative may be the only chance they have to experience art. “Often public art is the gateway into that world for them,” Fairweather says.

Visitors to The Mint Museum can gain an appreciation for the role artist collectives play in our community through this exhibition. “It’s really something to be proud of and to invest in,” Sudul Edwards says.Liz Rothaus Bertrand is a Charlotte-based freelance writer who has a love of the arts in all its forms.

This story was originally published in the January, 2021 issue of Inspired, the Mint’s biannual member magazine.

The Mint’s community relations director recognized as an icon of the Latino community

By Rafael Prieto 

The Comité de Fiestas Patrias y Tradiciones de Charlotte (CFPTC) recognized Rubie R. Britt-Height, director of community relations at The Mint Museum, as an Icon of the Latino community, for her contribution to culture and the preservation of the Hispanic heritage.

“For years, we have wanted to cherish Rubie’s support to the local Hispanic artistic talent and the presence of the Afro Caribbean rhythms on the Charlotte Region,” says Rafael Prieto, co-founder of CFPTC.

The award was presented in person to Britt-Height by Charlotte’s Patriotic Celebrations and Traditions Committee on June 25 at CFPTC’s Third Encounter of Directors, Founders, and Volunteers on the Artesan Gelato Ice Cream place in Matthews. The award recognizes her initiative Mint to  Move, created in 2012, which represents the spirit of Afro-Latino culture through music and dance by Africans in the Caribbean and the rest of Hispanic America.

“We intended to honor Rubie in the Third Afrolatinos-Black History Month commemoration, held at Johnson C. Smith University on February 27, 2020, but imponderable circumstances prevented it,” Prieto says. The Third Encounter of Directors, Founders, and Volunteers was a perfect event to recognize Britt-Height. Representatives of many Hispanic nationalities affiliated with Fiestas Patrias applauded her work and accomplishments.

Thanks to the intervention of Britt-Height, the idea of preserving the beautiful and meaningful Colombian tradition of Candles’ Day became a reality. With the help of artist Edwin Gil, CFPTC proposed the commemoration be held at the Mint after the Colombian painter closed his gallery. Since 2016, Fiestas Patrias, Soy Latino Como Tu (SLT), Colombian American Foundation (COAMFO), Lideres Colombianos en Charlotte (LCC), and Manolo’s Bakery have been proactive partners of Candles’ Day.

Britt-Height created the event’s motto, “celebrate the LIGHT in CommUNITY, Family, Oneness, Sharing, Faith & Love for All of Humankind, based on a Colombian tradition.”

Manolo Betancur, from Manolo’s Bakery, and owner of Artesan Gelato, provided the appetizers and pastries for the CFPTC Third Encounter of Directors, Founders, and Volunteers.

Curators’ Pick: Wood Branches, Diversity N. 17

Nacho Carbonell views his creations as living beings and in doing so, he captures the life-force and expressive qualities of the wood that was chosen to create this work of art.

Wood Branches, Diversity N. 17 is on view at Mint Museum Uptown.

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.

The Mint Museum to showcase work of 25 local artists, three artist collectives in upcoming exhibition It Takes a Village


Charlotte, North Carolina (May 21, 2021) — In celebration of the vibrant, grassroots art happening throughout Charlotte, The Mint Museum has organized It Takes a Village: Charlotte’s Artist Collectives, an exhibition presenting works of art from three of the city’s innovative artist collectives: Goodyear Arts, BlkMrktClt, and Brand the Moth. The exhibition runs June 12- September 12 at Mint Museum Randolph.

About the collectives

Goodyear Arts is an artist-led residency program that supports visual, performing, and literary artists annually by providing time, space, money, and community in which to create. Alumni have formed a collective and continue using free studio space and volunteering their time to support the organization.

BlkMrktClt was created to provide a safe creative environment for artists of color. The organization, located at Camp North End, focuses on developing emerging artists and creating a more diverse and robust community.

Brand the Moth uses public art programs and projects as a vehicle to spark creativity and connection, provide a trusting space for artists to grow, offer educational opportunities for professionals, and produce projects which reflect and empower the community around them.

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.


Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)

Funding for this exhibition is provided by ASC and NCAC. A special thank you to our media sponsor Charlotte is Creative.

Gallery Chat with Curator and Community, Part 2

Coming together for another discussion surrounding works of art in the Mint’s permanent collection is Jon Stulhman, PhD, senior curator of American art, and Rubie R. Britt-Height, director of community relations at the Mint.

This series is a part of new video series that examines and compares works of art currently installed in the Mint’s Contemporary Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown.

Watch the first video in this series here:

Monteith and Stand – Curators’ Pick

Brian Gallagher, curator of decorative arts, tells us about this peculiar object found at Mint Museum Randolph.

A monteith was used to cool wine glasses, which were suspended upside down into iced water. The glass stems rested in the monteith’s notches. This particular monteith and stand were made for Thomas Lamb (1753–1813), a Boston shipping merchant who was very active in the early years of the American China trade.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Celebrating Mexican artists for Cinco de Mayo

Get to know Zuleyma Castrejon Salinas

Haga clic aquí para leer la traducción al español.

Zuleyma Castrejon Salinas is a teaching artist living and practicing in the Queen City. She has experience teaching art at all life stages from child to senior adult. Her practice is very versatile and she likes to explore anything and everything from painting to jewelry making and everything in between.Tell us a bit about your background

I was born in Huitzuco, Guerrero, Mexico to a young mother and father. I spent my first couple of years living there with my mother. My father made his way to the U.S when I was 1 year old to help provide for us, since we were scarce on money and resources.Early artistic roots

Because mom and I didn’t speak English, and mom didn’t know how to drive, we passed our time walking to the nearby Family Dollar. From a young age, Mom and dad always bought me coloring books, puzzles, crayons, watercolor paints, and notebook paper.Observe. Bridge. Respond. Art (OBRA)

Early in college, I joined a Latinx-led art collective called OBRA collective. We are an art collective made up of Latinx and ally artists that create art that celebrates our heritage and raises awareness about issues that the immigrant community faces.As an art collective, we:

• Lead community workshops
• Plan and execute art exhibitions
• Collaborate with different partners, including the city of Charlotte
• Listen and respond to the needs of our communityOBRA collective tapestry mural

This is one of our largest projects. We partnered with the city of Charlotte and the community of East charlotte to design and create a mural that was representative of the people of East charlotte. You can see the mural at the intersection of Monroe and Idlewild roads. The people of East Charlotte come from many parts of the world. These countries were represented through their fauna, flora, and traditional textile patterns.Photography

These two photographic series were both inspired by my parents. I am forever grateful for all of their sacrifices because I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

Celebrando Artistas Mexicanos Por El 5 de Mayo

Llegar a saber Zuleyma Castrejon Salinas

Soy un artista docente que vive y ejerce en la Cuidad Reina. Tengo experiencia enseñando arte en todas las etapas de la vida, desde niño hasta adulto mayor. Mi práctica es muy versátil y me gusta explorar cualquier cosa, desde la pintura hasta la fabricación de joyas y todo lo demás.¿DE DONDE SOY?

Nací en Huitzuco, Guerrero, México a unos padres jóvenes. Pasé mis primeros años viviendo allí con mi madre. Mi padre se dirigió a los EE. UU. Cuando yo tenía 1 año para ayudar a mantenernos, ya que éramos escasos de dinero y recursos.Primeras raíces artísticas

Debido a que mamá y yo no hablamos inglés y mamá no sabía conducir, pasamos nuestro tiempo caminando hacia el family dollar cercano. Desde temprana edad, mamá y papá siempre me compraron libros para colorear, rompecabezas, crayones, pinturas de acuarela y papel para cuadernos.Observe. Bridge. Respond. Art (OBRA)

Temprano en la universidad me uni a una colectiva de arte latinx llamada obra colectiva. Somos una colectiva de arte hecha de artistas latinx y aliados que crean arte que celebra nuestra herencia y que sensibiliza los temas que enfrenta la comunidad inmigrante.COMO COLECTIVA NOSOTROS:


Este es uno de nuestros mayores proyectos. Nos asociamos con la ciudad de charlotte y la comunidad de east charlotte para diseñar y crear un mural representante de la comunidad de east Charlotte. Puedes ver el mural en la interseccion de Monroe Road Y Idlewild Road.

La gente de east charlotte proviene de muchas partes del mundo. Estos países estuvieron representados a través de su fauna, flora y patrones de textiles tradicionales.Arte Personal

Mi arte refleja mucho mi cultura y herencia mexicana a través de sus imágenes y colores brillantes y atrevidos. La mayor parte de mi arte está muy influenciado e inspirado por mi experiencia como mujer mexicana.

One year after Covid-19 shutdowns began, Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic reflects how it shaped a societal shift  

By Liz Rothaus Bertrand  

When the world came to a halt in early spring 2020, so did museums everywhere. Doors closed, shipments stopped, planned exhibitions were put on hold. Then cities across the nation erupted in protest, as communities faced a reckoning with long-term injustices and systemic racism. The concurrent events posed a challenge: How could the Mint best serve the community through the crisis and uprising, while also facing financial uncertainty and logistical challenges caused by the pandemic?  

“This gave us [an] opportunity,” says Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, the Mint’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art. “Instead of showing an exhibition that seemed incongruous with the times, we were able to construct something that reflected the times.”  

Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic opened April 21 at Mint Museum Uptown. The Mint commissioned new works by three North Carolina artists—Amy Bagwell, Antoine Williams, and Stacy Lynn Waddell. Their task: create works of art that respond to something that has happened since the pandemic began and reflects some change in their practice.  


As poet and mixed-media artist Amy Bagwell reflects on the past year, she lands on one overriding sensation: dissonance. Bagwell, who also teaches English at Central Piedmont Community College, watched her students grapple with both the dire consequences of COVID-19 and racial injustice. And yet she also heard people deny the virus’s existence and claim the protests were unjustified.  

“That dissonance is terrifying,” Bagwell says. “Absurd in a painful way.”  

Poetry she wrote during the Covid-19 pandemic inspired the three large-scale collages she created for Silent Streets. “As artists we’re trying to document this moment of multiple vexations,” Bagwell says, “but it will be an interim document because we’ll be going through this during and after the show. We don’t yet have the benefit of distance.”  


Greensboro-based artist Antoine Williams says 2020 was shaping up to be a great year—but ended up being one of the worst. The pandemic upended his personal and professional lives while exposing, once again, systemic racism across the nation.  

An assistant professor of art at Guilford College, Williams says his work is influenced by critical race theory. For Silent Streets, his mixed-media work looks at the uprisings and their meaning. He explores the objectification of Black labor and culture, and the absurdity of public shock when Black people speak up against injustice.  

Creating during this challenging time has been cathartic, Williams says. “It’s a way of me shouting at the universe … or to feel like I’m contributing to this conversation.”  


Artist Stacy Lynn Waddell of Durham often takes tools and uses them in new ways, redefining how we communicate. She has used branding irons on paper and acid to paint, among other experimental techniques.  

For Silent Streets, Waddell explores themes like representation and inclusion in symbols of power. Working alongside a master quilter, she used homemade textiles to create flags. By using a technique from a domestic realm and bringing it to a public sphere, she envisioned a way to reclaim symbols such as flags that are often weaponized, and explored how they could be redesigned to be more inclusive.  

“I think we’ll look back on this years later [and say] ‘This was an opportunity, even in all the bleak, difficult, sad lolling out of all of it,” Waddell says. “It’s still been an opportunity.”  


These three commissions form the core of the exhibition, but Silent Streets also features a wide spectrum of artists’ works during the pandemic. The exhibition also includes photo highlights from Diary of a Pandemic, a collaboration between Magnum Photos and National Geographic that features images taken by stranded photojournalists around the world in 2020.  

In the Pandemic Comics part of the exhibition, the focus is on how syndicated comic strips such as Pearls Before Swine, Liō, and Tank McNamara changed course suddenly as COVID-19 upended our lives. Silent Streets will also features As the Boundary Pulls Us Apart, a video and soundscape projection created by Charlotte artists Matt Steele and Ben Geller. 



Liz Rothaus Bertrand is a Charlotte-based freelance writer who has a love of the arts in all its forms.

This story was originally published in the January, 2021 issue of Inspired, the Mint’s biannual member magazine.

Some of our favorite photos from Coveted Couture Gala: A Little Night Magic

Our annual Gala fundraiser was virtual this year, but that did not stop the party. These guest went above and beyond to set their tables, get dressed, and support the Mint’s mission of serving the community. Here are some of our favorite photos from the night.

“Lost Soul Found Spirits” by Robert Ebendorf – Curators’ Pick

Rebecca Elliot, assistant curator or craft, design, and fashion, shows us a necklace constructed of crab claws by Robert Ebendorf on view at Mint Museum Uptown.

Robert Ebendorf created his “Lost Souls Found Spirits” series of necklaces during a period of introspection and recovery while going through a divorce. He collected the crab claws during walks on the beach; on other pieces in the series, he incorporated found squirrel paws and bird heads. Ebendorf often uses found objects on his jewelry, an act he describes as making order out of chaos. However, the materials of “Lost Souls Found Spirits” are especially startling: claws, nails, and beaks, once lacerating, then dead, now live on as jewelry.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Embrace the blossoms of spring with new items from the Mint Museum Store

Sarah Cavender Metalworks Jewelry

All of Sarah Cavender’s Jewelry is handcrafted by local artisans under her supervision. Each piece is unique, and every aspect of its creation is hand done. Her pieces are light and airy, beautiful, and extremely special.

Passion Flower Necklace: $180. Hummingbird Brooch: $130.

White Dali Flower Chiffon Scarf

The sister scarf to our black Salvador Dali inspired scarf, this tone-on-tone scarf has charming wool flowers melting off white chiffon. This scarf is handmade and felted by artisans in Nepal and is a Fair Trade piece. $68.

Gilded Frame Cuff

Miss Ellie beautifully captures the elegance of a regal garden in this hammered cuff. It is cast in pewter and electroplated in 10 karat gold. An antique patina is hand-applied to bring out the unique features and contains small cream pearls. This is proudly handcrafted in New York City. $108.

Bird Cage Necklace

This incredibly special necklace from Miss Ellie features a bird cage with crystal rhinestones, an antique gold finish and a tiny white bird swinging on its perch – complete with a cage door that opens. This piece is proudly handcrafted in NYC. $88.

Van Gogh Starry Night Scarf

Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting, this scarf has a Merino wool night sky motif felted over silk chiffon. This scarf is handmade and felted by artisans in Nepal and is a Fair Trade piece. $68.

Double Dogwood Necklace

Turn heads with this stunning hand sculpted statement piece from the studio of Sarah Cavender Metalworks in Alabama. This showstopper features dogwood blooms (the North Carolina state flower), leaves, and twisted “branches” with a tubular mesh chain. There are oxidized brass meshes with hand painted mixed metal lacquered details. $240.

Papaya Scarf

A bright and tropical display of papayas displayed across a felted white background. This scarf is handmade and felted by artisans in Nepal and is a Fair Trade piece. $60

Passion Flower on Wide Scalloped Chain Necklace

Embrace spring with this beautiful hand-crafted necklace from the studio of Sarah Cavender Metalworks in Alabama. This enchanting passion flower bloom necklace, with an equally special scalloped mesh chain, is sure to dazzle and impress anyone! This necklace is like a sculpture you can wear! It is made of oxidized brass meshes with hand painted mixed metal lacquered details. $180.

Monet Inspired Water Lily Scarf

Inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies painting, this Merino wool and silk chiffon scarf is full of color, art and texture. This scarf is handmade and felted by artisans in Nepal and is a Fair Trade piece. $68.

Pansy Petal Drop Earrings

This delicate pair of drop earrings feature a beautifully handcrafted metal mesh pansy blossom and are proudly made by Sarah Cavender Metalworks in Alabama. They are made of oxidized brass meshes with hand painted mixed metal lacquered details with a small stone center accent and a hypoallergenic titanium post. $104.

Bright Felted Rings Scarf

Beautiful colors interlocked together with a ring design. Bring some color to your world! This scarf is handmade and felted by artisans in Nepal and is a Fair Trade piece. $62.

“The Poetry of Science” by Carlos Estévez – Curators’ Pick

Cuban artist Carlos Estévez uses his art to explore the relationship between the natural world and the one made by human ingenuity. Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the Mint, gives a close look at this newly accuisitioned work of art in the Mint’s permanent collection. On view at Mint Museum Uptown.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Gallery Chat with Curator and Community, Part 1

Jon Stulhman,PhD, senior curator for american, modern, and contemporary art, and Rubie R. Britt-Height, director of community relations at the Mint, look at two pieces of contemporary art in the museum’s collection. This video is a part of new video series that examines and compares works of art currently installed in the Mint’s Contemporary Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown.

Black Stacked Circles by Ibrahim Said – Curators’ Pick

Annie Carlano, Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion, shares one of her favorite works in The Mint Museum’s Collection. Black Stacked Circles by Ibrahim Said is an intricately carved ceramic sculpture on view at Mint Museum Uptown.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Looking Back on 10 Years of Mint Museum Uptown

From famous fashion soirees to NBA takeovers, some of the Queen City’s biggest events have been held at Mint Museum Uptown.

By Ellen Show, Archivist

September 25, 2010

The Metamorphosis Gala celebrated the opening of Mint Museum Uptown. Partygoers were serenaded by an opera diva from the grand staircase.

April 29, 2011

The Mint Museum Auxiliary’s Room to Bloom celebration kicked off with the Art of Style gala at Mint Museum Uptown with guest of honor, Oscar de la Renta. The event included a runway show of the designer’s fall 2011 fashion line, and a display of more than 30 de la Renta pieces owned by Charlotteans, as well as items from the Mint’s Fashion Collection.

July 13 & 14, 2012

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited The Mint Museum in conjunction with the Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection exhibition.  The weekend included an exhibition walk-thru, VIP reception, an education program for college students, “A Conversation With Madeleine Albright” program that packed Mint Museum Uptown ’s James B. Duke auditorium, plus a book-signing by Albright.

September 3–6, 2012

Mint Museum Uptown hosted events related to the Democratic National Convention and launched its “Vote for Art” campaign that allowed guests to vote for their favorite work of art from six candidates on display. Even Queen Charlotte cast her ballot! Voting continued through November and the top three pieces were purchased by the museum.

February 18, 2013

Motoi Yamamoto created Floating Garden, a saltwork on the floor of the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium. During a community dismantling ceremony on March 3, 2013, the piece was removed from the floor by participants who were invited to return the salt to the sea.

May 6–20, 2013

Charlotte-based artist John W. Love, Jr., performed his interdisciplinary work FECUND, which combined a residency, interactive installation, and one-man performance.

June 19, 2014

Redesigned Charlotte Hornets basketball uniforms were unveiled in Mint Museum Uptown’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium.

October 22, 2016

The Year of the Woman kicked off with the opening of two exhibitions at Mint Museum Uptown: Fired Up: Women in Glass and Women of Abstract Expressionism on the 80th anniversary of the opening of The Mint Museum.

October 28, 2017

Devolar y Detonar (Reveal and Detonate) made its debut in the United States at The Mint Museum, featuring the work of over 40 contemporary Mexican photographers, and was the central exhibition in a community-wide initiative celebrating Mexican photography titled In Focus/Enfoque. Other participating organizations include the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, the Light Factory, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and LaCa Projects.

February 2019

When Charlotte hosted the NBA All-Star Weekend, Mint Museum Uptown became the home for Nike and Jordan Brand events. A fully enclosed basketball court was built in the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium, and a temporary gallery of Nike shoes was also on display.

Mint Música & Poesía Café

This event will premiere at 7 PM on March 31.

Mint Música & Poesía Café features talented poets, dancers, and musicians from the Charlotte area. Special guests: Singer Joseph Gallo, and poets Irania Patterson and Kurma Murrain.

This biannual event conveys renowned artists and rising stars. Listen to the voice of the classics through our guest artists or be inspired by new lyrics and verses. Mint Música & Poesía Café celebrates Women’s History Month, and it is also tied with the current Latin American exhibitions at the Mint.

The Mint Museum’s upcoming Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic puts spotlight on works created in isolation by local, regional and international artists

Charlotte, North Carolina (March 26, 2021) — When the city streets fell quiet in March 2020 due to Covid-19, followed by social justice reckoning across the country, people and communities were changed. The Mint Museum’s newest exhibition, Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic, opening April 17 at Mint Museum Uptown, showcases thought-provoking works of art by regional, national, and international artists. From collage and comic strips to abstract painting, video and photography, the exhibition installations illuminate discord while also providing solace and insight in challenging times.

At the core of the show, which is presented by Fifth Third Bank, are commissioned pieces by North Carolina artists Amy Bagwell of Charlotte, Stacy Lynn Waddell of Durham, and Antoine Williams of Greensboro. Each artist created works during isolation that reflect how the pandemic and events of 2020 affected their worlds.

“In March 2020, we found ourselves looking at a depleted exhibition schedule, between pandemic-related shipping delays and budget cuts,” says Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the Mint. “The Mint’s President and CEO Todd Herman said, ‘Why don’t we reallocate those remaining spaces and funds directly to artists?’ I selected these three artists, confident we could do remote studio visits and it would still be a successful collaboration. By April, artists around the world were creating profoundly powerful and poignant work responding to all that was going on, and I realized the show could go beyond three North Carolina voices and become an international chorus.”

Bagwell, a poet and mixed-media artist, who has more than 20 public murals throughout Charlotte, produced three large-scale collages inspired by poetry she wrote during the pandemic. Mixed-media work by Williams addresses social injustice, systemic racism, and the objectification of Black labor and culture. And Waddell, working alongside a master quilter, used textiles to create flags that explore themes of representation and inclusion in symbols of power.

Also included in the exhibition is As the Boundary Pulls Us Apart, a short film by Charlotte-based artists Matthew Steele and Ben Gellar. The digital project enabled the two artists to collaborate and volley ideas from separate spaces, ultimately creating a piece that embodies a spirit of unity while being apart.Additional installations include Diary of a Pandemic and Pandemic Comics. Through a collaboration between Magnum Photos and National Geographic, Diary of a Pandemic showcases images taken by photojournalists around the world stranded during the pandemic. Pandemic Comics highlights syndicated comics—La Cucaracha, Liō, Curtis, Pearls Before Swine, and Tank McNamara—that suddenly changed course, as long-planned strips were replaced with ones that related directly to the pandemic.

The one work that predates the pandemic—Gregory Crewdson’s Funerary Back Lot (2018-19) from his An Eclipse of Moths Series—eerily relays an aura of isolation and quiet destitution that feels consistent with the pandemic times, reminding us that these are human states, not temporary or conditional ones.

“Artists are often the first to respond and react to societal forces and create work that manages to encapsulate abstract concepts of emotion,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “I am excited to see the result of their efforts and to celebrate the necessary role that creatives play in healing communities.”

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.

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of September 30, 2020, Fifth Third had $202 billion in assets and operated 1,122 full-service banking centers and 2,414 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 52,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of September 30, 2020, had $422 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $53 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC.


Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)

Download the PDF of this press release here.

A curated selection of items from the Mint Museum Store that celebrate women’s stories, art, and artists

Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World

A charmingly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Art by Rachel Ignotofskyt highlights the achievements and stories of 50 notable women in the arts, from well-known figures like painters Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe to lesser-known names like 19th-century African American quilter Harriet Powers and Hopi-Tewa ceramic artist Nampeyo. $16.99


Mamas knit throw blanket

This cozy cotton and acrylic throw blanket, made in the USA, celebrates females, chicas, women, ladies, girls and mamas. $130.


Votes for Women Suffrage felt doll

These dolls are handcrafted using natural fibers and eco-friendly resources by talented artisans in Kyrgyzstan, and make a great bookend while reminding us all who blazed a path before us. All details are hand stitched and embroidered. $36.


You Go Girl mug

This mug commemorates some of the most influential women artists who have made their stamp. If there’s one thing to say about the accomplishments of women, it’s this: Girlfriends, we’ve come far! $26.

Ruth Supreme zipper pouch

Perfect for storing pencils, cosmetics, art and school supplies, or organizing the resistance. 100% Made in the USA, including the fabric. $18.


Greta Thunberg felted 0rnament

These dolls are handcrafted using natural fibers and eco-friendly resources by talented artisans in Kyrgyzstan. All details are hand stitched and embroidered. $24.


Poet’s Garden 1000 Piece Puzzle

This puzzle features seven beloved women poets and lyricists spanning centuries and continents whose wisdom and words continue to influence the world, including Sappho, Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver, Miriam Makeba, Kamala Das, Li Qingzhao, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz in a lush, heavenly floral garden.  Illustrated by Jennifer Orkin Lewis. $24

Through the Lens

New photography installations tell the stories of people and places, past and present


By Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, Chief Curator & Curator of Contemporary ArtIn addition to these two photography shows on view in the galleries, the Mint’s first online exhibition: Expanding the Pantheon: Women R Beautiful launched on the Mint’s website in November 2020. It presents 26 portraits by Ruben Natal-San Miguel, whose Mama became an audience favorite when it joined the collection in 2018. Natal-San Miguel photographs subjects not historically seen on museum walls, and his new series continues that project, presenting feminine beauty in a myriad of shades—literally and symbolically. In addition to Mama, two other online images—Mary C. Curtis (Journalist) and Three Muslim Women—can be seen in the Contemporary Galleries. They were donated to the museum last year thanks to the generosity of Dana Martin Davis (who also donated Mama) and Natal-San Miguel.

As art historian Coco Fusco observes in the book Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, “The photographic image plays a central role in American culture.” We have seen this most prominently in the press, advertising, and social media, and we will continue to examine its effects through our photography exhibitions at the Mint. Look for an increased presence of photography online and in the galleries in the coming years.

Stephen Compton: From Jugtown Pottery to hyalyn Porcelain: A Collector’s Journey

Delhom Service League Studio Visit

Steve Compton discusses his history as a collector of NC pottery, and how his interest led him to become a noted researcher and author. Steve shares details about his collection of pottery, now including over 2,000 pieces, and some of the many books he has authored.

Call for Artists
Coined in the South: 2022

The Young Affiliates of the Mint, in collaboration with The Mint Museum, are seeking works of art produced by southeastern artists for the second installment of Coined in the South. This juried exhibition will be held from March 25, 2022 to July 3, 2022 at Mint Museum Uptown.

Coined in the South is about bridging the gap between the museum, the gallery, and the studio, to highlight the innovative and thought-provoking works produced by the creative innovators of the southeastern arts community. The show is not confined to any single aesthetic, theme, or medium.

Prize money will be awarded. There will be a $10,000 juror-awarded grand prize, a $5,000 Young Affiliates of the Mint member-awarded prize, and a $1,000 “People’s Choice” prize awarded by the general public at the conclusion of the show. All selected artists will be provided with a $200 stipend to offset shipping and travel costs.

The Details:

UPDATE: Call for submissions is closed. Artists who submitted works for consideration will be informed whether they were selected by August 25.


• Hallie Ringle, curator of contemporary art at the Birmingham Museum of Art
• Lydia Thompson,
artist and chair of the Art and Art History Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
• Ken West,
photographer and digital experience designer. Winner of the inaugural Coined in the South “People’s Choice” award

What’s eligible: Submitted works of art must be less than two years old, non-perishable, do not produce excessive noise pollution, and do not result in physical harm to any living beings. Installation, video, and performance artists are encouraged to apply but must provide instructions for installation and space requirements, as well as recordings and/or documentation of past performances when available.

Exhibition dates: March 25, 2022 to July 3, 2022

Where: Mint Museum Uptown, 500 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Deadline for submissions: Due at 11:59 PM June 4, 2021 at All works of art must be delivered ready to install between February 28 and March 18. Artists are responsible for the cost of shipping. Each accepted artist will be given a $200 stipend to offset shipping and travel costs.

Entry Fee: $50. Each artist may submit up to five works as part of their application. The one-time $50 fee covers all submissions.

Contact: Kaitlyn McElwee, Art Show Chair at

Just part of the story: A chat with Constellation CLT artist de’Angelo Dia

By Rubie R. Britt-Height, Director of Community Relations at The Mint Museum

In September 2008, after 20 years away from Charlotte, I was drawn back to the Queen City and its art scene by what felt like a magnetic force and wide-open door. I was coming from the prestigious Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as its community affairs director. I had worked with numerous amazing statewide artists, yet the springing up of talented Charlotte artists was nothing I had experienced. Charlotte and the Carolinas were rich with young, creative, thoughtful minds, and The Mint Museum was where I saw myself. At that time, it was showcasing a Charlotte-born, renowned artist whose work I loved—Romare Bearden. At the same time, the Mint was presenting an exhibition called A Contemporary Look at the Black Male Image. Two wows! I was impressed.

As I settled in the City once again, in summer of 2009, I was invited by God City artist-educator John R. Hairston, Jr. to the opening night of a NoDa art show that he and artist de’Angelo Dia had put together to debut their latest works. The atmosphere, the creative works, and the vibe of North Davidson were soulful, and light. I knew Hairston as this hip surrealist artist, and he introduced me to Dia. We chatted, he showed me his work, and we discussed his artistic views, society, and what he envisioned. It was a great show.

After that, I engaged the God City art collective members, including Dia, to engage with the Mint’s Grier Heights Community Youth Arts Program as enlightened artist-educators that our students could engage with, and who were young, cool, and looked like them. God City connected with the students like a magnet, and Dia’s sessions brought out the best in the students’ abilities to be critical thinkers. They talked about current events, what they would do if they were the mayor, and how they could change their community by changing how they viewed themselves and “Griertown.” He was a newer member of the God City, and art, education, and social activism seemed his platform too, especially with young minds.

As an instructor at Trinity Episcopal School and through the Mint’s Grier Heights art program, Dia challenged his students and they enjoyed his teaching style and socially-conscious poetry. I also invited Dia to the Mint to present on his service projects, where youth were introduced to the concept of being more spiritual, with introspection, and of giving back to the community, and learning to delve deeper within to discover their own style and individuality.

Over a short time, Dia branched into several modes of art exploration, including photography, poetry, creative writing, oral presentations, and painting. Interestingly, he also was drawn into religious studies and received a Master of Divinity degree. He intertwined his growth as a young radical artist and theologian with his desire to be a social activist through his works of art and his engagement with youth in the Black church. He currently serves as the minister of social justice at St. Paul Baptist Church in Charlotte where he is known as Reverend de’Angelo Dia.

Dia’s Constellation CLT installation is on view at Mint Museum Uptown through March 7. I had a chance to recently chat with Dia and see where he was with creating this body of work on exhibition at Mint Museum Uptown, his art projects, his religion, his thinking, and his latest vibe.RBH: What was your inspiration in creating these works featured in Constellation CLT?

Dia: Works featured in Constellation CLT are part of an on-going passion project. At this point, I have created 70 large-scale pastel drawings exploring representation and the celebration of creating cultures within a culture. The works of Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein inspired this collection. The book Where the Wild Things Are was the Holy Grail for me as a kid, however, I couldn’t identify with the main character Max, so I decided to place my cultural embodiment into Max and the Wild Things and create a pantheon of original characters. Each drawing was created at Goodyear Arts while listening to the works of assorted jazz artists (Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Ghost Tree). Each drawing has a poem reflective of what I was theologically and culturally processing at the time.

RBH: In relation to your installation and viewing today’s America amid a divide, at what phase do you see African American art and culture as social commentary/activism?

Dia: African American art and culture has always been a mirror to America, exposing its hypocrisy and systemic oppression. The work of AfriCOBRA, Emory Douglas, Elizabeth Catlett, Gordon Parks and so many others exemplify this. However, I want to be clear, African American art and culture are not a monolith. Through this body of work, I am attempting to balance the tension of processing our daily reality of being Black in America, to highlight our resilience and tenacity, and to celebrate our inherent ability to thrive amidst a divisive social and political climate. The childlike elements of these drawings are my attempt to reclaim my own sense of Black Boy Joy with the understanding that joy is an act of resistance. These drawings are reminiscent of my drawing style in the second and third grade before any teacher attempted to socialize a “standard of quality art,” which often hinders the creative spirit.

RBH: Art is a catalyst for change. How do you view that perspective, and how can artists and art today bring about positive change in America?

Dia: Again, this goes back to representation for me. Representation in creatives, and creations and experiences inspire and ignite social movements that supersede any of my academic training.

RBH: Does poetry and theology impact your approach to your visual works of art? If so, in what way?

Dia: Absolutely. Poetry and visual art coexist as theological outlets for me. Every drawing is preceded with a writing prompt intended to help me gain a better understanding of self, others, the communities I navigate and negotiate with. Writing is my primary outlet and my area of academic training, and yet I cannot separate the literary from the visual. This body of work was always intended for me. They are my mind maps, holistic outlet, visual journals. For example, Epiphany, which is on display in this collection, was my template for a poem titled shallow words. With deep investigation, the viewer can find the words “what if I was your child” throughout the drawing. This is in reference to the biblical children of Israel, Isaac, one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites, and in a contemporary context every Black and Brown child of God killed as a result of power and authority. “What if” is also a reference to a Marvel comics anthology series of alternate reality stories titled What If?

RBH: You noted being a comic book scholar? What does that entail and how did you arrive there?

Dia: I earned a master’s in literature from UNC Charlotte. My thesis project was “Black Images in Comics: An examination of what does 200 years of cartoon images depicting Black people tell us about ourselves.” The images displayed for Constellation CLT are a continuation of this study. While the comics scholar in me values and appreciates the impressive archeology of images that present Black history, this work is a visceral reminder of the barrage of racist depictions intentionally created to oppress us. Currently, I am working on my doctorate with a proposed dissertation topic of theopoetics, an interdisciplinary field of study that combines elements of poetics, narrative theology, and postmodern philosophy. My comic passion was sparked by Milestone Media, a comic company created by three Black men with the intent to provide a diverse spectrum of representation in comics. Comics have always been one of the mediums intended for theological analysis (i.e. God is Disappointed in You, 2013, Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler).

RBH: With thoughts of the fantastical and your love for comic books, who are your most celebrated superheroes/sheroes? If you could create one, what attributes would he/she possess?

Dia: I love this question and it is a tough question because there are so many amazing characters to select from. Shaft (Richard Roundtree) was my gateway to superheroes. His Blackness was and is his superpower. I recommend Shaft written by David F. Walker (Dynamite Entertainment). Luke Cage (written and drawn by Genndy Tartakovsky) and Misty Knight (Marvel Knights), who deserves her own comic series, are two street-level characters presenting a slice of Black life that is relatable. Two series I recommend are Excellence and Bitter Root both produced by Image Comics, written and drawn by creatives of color. If there was a comic character I would love to write about, it would be Doctor Voodoo (Marvel Comics with art created by artist Wolly McNair and Marcus Kiser, inked by Reco Renzi. This would be a dream project. If I could create a character, the attributes would be resilience, tenacity, creativity, and the superpower would be superspeed. Often, there is never enough time in a day to accomplish all I desire to do.

RBH: Which world or American leaders and artists have most impacted your life and works of art?


• Poet, professor, Jericho Brown (The Tradition) for his narrative transparency.

• Poet, professor, Gary Jackson (Missing You, Metropolis) for his beautiful work that is a hybrid of introspection and comic mythology.

• Poet, educator, and should be the Poet Laureate of Wakanda, Nikki Giovanni for the diversity and scope of her work.

• Artist Brain Stelfreeze for his incredible art and more than that, his compassion and willingness to take time to talk with emerging artists.

• TJ Reddy (August 1945-March 2019) for constantly reminding me that creativity and sleep are acts of defiance.

• My parents, Betty and Charlie Jessup, for providing me with creative outlets for artistic expression, introducing me to the music of Parliament Funkadelic, and affirming Black Boy Joy.

• Growing up I thought Shel Silverstein was Black, so I am going to give him honorable mention.

RBH: What is your preferred art medium and why?

Dia: I love drawing, it is a basic instinct. I have a passion for photography, and it is perhaps the best medium to consistently document our collective narratives. However, writing is in my primal nature. I will always find comfort with writing. It was the first artistic outlet that made me feel at home.

RBH: How do you hope your works of art will impact the viewer?

Dia: I hope viewers see them as a reflection of childhood, joy, and solidarity.

RBH: What’s next for you with respect to art projects, works, inspirations?

Dia: I had work recently published in the anthology 2020: The Year that Changed America edited by Kevin Powell. I am currently working on a chapbook that will be part of my doctoral dissertation, which will include poetry and drawings. I am contributing to a performance titled Codex with performance arts members of the Goodyear Arts Collective. I am also working on a performance inspired by the life and music of Marvin Gaye. This is a collaboration with sound artist Dylan Gilbert.

Get to know artist Gisela Colón

Artist Gisela Colón joins Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Mint, for a discussion on her evolution as an artist, her transition from her home island of Puerto Rico to her adopted home of Los Angeles, and her mesmerizing techniques and unique art projects. Colón’s work was on view in the Mint’s recent exhibition In Vivid Color.

The discussion concludes with a Q&A segment where Colón answers questions previously submitted by the Mint audience.

Studio Visit with Amy Sanders and Ron Philbeck

Delhom Service League

Amy and Ron discuss their individual work, and then discuss their collaboration on a series of work created during the pandemic. While their individual work is very different, their collaborative work has been very popular and a great learning process for them both. If you would like to see more of their work, you can visit their individual websites, and Both potters are scheduled to be exhibitors at the Delhom’s Potters Market at the Mint on Sept. 25, 2021.

Jamil Dyair Steele’s “Black Lives Matter” mural – Curators’ Pick

Local artist and educator Jamil Dyair Steele painted this powerful mural after the death of George Floyd and amid the protests that took place around the United States during the summer of 2020. Decorating the chipboard that was used to cover business windows in preparation of the protests, artists around the city of Charlotte subverted the implicit gesture of racism that assumed criminal violence would inevitably be present at a Black Lives Matter march.

Steele’s mural is on view at Mint Museum Uptown in the Carroll Gallery. It is free for the public to view.

Movable Magnet Art inspired by artist Susan Point

You can use recycled bottle caps and a lid to create movable magnetic art, inspired by this carved and painted red cedar sculpture Salmon Spawning Run by artist Susan Point. The magnets can be arranged in different ways to form new works of art.


• Bottle caps
• Mason jar or plastic recycled lid
• Colored paper
• 1” and 1/2” paper punch
• Small magnets
• Glue
• Scissors
• Pencil
• Newspaper or washable table covering


•Epoxy Resin (We used Art ‘N Glow Clear Casting Resin for the demo. It is BPA & VOC free, non-flammable, low odor, and non-toxic when used as directed.

Tip: A solid one-piece lid works best


1. Decorate the bottle caps

Start by punching out both 1” and ½” paper circles from your colored paper. Use a dot of glue to attach the larger circle to the inside of the bottle cap. Put a dot of glue on the back of the smaller circle and place over top of the larger circle in the bottle cap. Don’t worry; it does not have to be perfectly centered!

2. Design your centerpiece

Draw and cut out the shape of a fish. Use it to as a stencil to trace a second one on a different color paper. Cut out the second one. You can add eyes or gills if you want.

3. Make your piece pop with a splash of color

If you would like to include a background color, use the lid to trace a circle. You will need to cut inside of your traced line to make the circle a little smaller than the lid itself so that it fits inside the rim. Glue the background circle to the lid. Arrange and glue the fish on top of the background.

4. Fill the bottle caps with epoxy resin (optional)

Pour just enough epoxy liquid into the bottle cap and lid to completely cover the paper shapes being careful not to overfill. Let dry overnight. The epoxy will form a hard, glass-like coating.

Mix epoxy according to manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area with a table covering.

5. Add the magnets

Once everything is dry, turn the bottle caps and lid over. Glue one magnet to the back of each and let dry.

6. Assemble your work of art

Arrange the magnets on your refrigerator or other magnetic surface.

7. Experiment by arranging magnets in different ways to create new designs

About the Artist:

Native to British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, the Coast Salish First Peoples consist of several groups with distinct languages but similar customs. Each group has a strong spiritual connection to the land and water of the Pacific Northwest, which has provided their livelihood for thousands of years. Artist Susan Point’s knowledge of the style and meaning behind the imagery allows her to honor the traditions of her ancestors while expanding on the designs in a contemporary way. The red cedar roundel Salmon Spawning Run features carved and painted salmon and clusters of eggs. The vibrant eggs complete the fish’s lifecycle, as the renewal of wild salmon (still caught using traditional methods) is critical to keeping Mother Earth in balance.Learn More:

Susan Point’s website:

Share a picture of your creation and tag us @themintmuseum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


This idea brought to you by Maggie Burgan

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Shop artful while supporting Black artists at the Mint Museum Store

For Black History Month, Mint Museum Store staff curated a selection of items that celebrate Black stories, art, and artists.

Find Your Voice jigsaw puzzle

This 1,000-piece puzzle, is both a social statement and a striking graphic. Brightly dressed figures, silhouetted on a colorful, 60’s-inspired psychedelic backdrop, are posed so as to engage us in conversation about love, empathy, compassion, inclusion, and justice. Illustrated by artist Aurelia Durand, and made by “a woman-owned, mother-run, sustainably sourced” company, the puzzle also includes a full-color image reference print. Find Your Voice jigsaw puzzle, $24.

Black Art Matters face mask

This face covering features artist Willie Cole’s Black Art Matters logo and the artist’s iconic scorch mark. Through the use of simple objects like an iron, Cole creates symbolic designs that have profound meanings. Each reusable mask is made with three layers of fabric and is machine washable. Black Art Matters face mask, $18.

Brave. Black. First. postcard set

These 100 stunning postcards celebrate 50 groundbreaking African American women, from Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks to Angela Davis and Beyoncé—published in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Each card features the portrait on the front and, on the back, an inspiring quote, short biographical information, and space for writing a message. Brave. Black. First. postcard set, $20.

Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists

This book surveys the work of a new generation of Black artists, features the voices of a diverse group of curators who are on the cutting edge of contemporary art, and showcases the art collection of Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi. As mission-driven collectors, Lumpkin and Boccuzzi have championed emerging artists of African descent through museum loans and institutional support, but until now, there has never been an opportunity to consider their acclaimed collection as a whole. Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists, $49.95.

The Incredible Joy of Collecting African American Art: My Journey from Frogtown, S.C. to the National Gallery

Written by Patrick Diamond, The Incredible Joy of Collecting African American Art: My Journey from Frogtown, S.C. to the National Gallery chronicles the author’s journey from growing up in poverty to avidly collecting African American art. Growing up during Jim Crow restrictions, Diamond describes a childhood with limited opportunities and reinforced social, political, and cultural inequities layered with personal stories of how his love of art began with his grandmother, and how he and his wife joined forces to support and celebrate African American artists. The Incredible Joy of Collecting African American Art: My Journey from Frogtown, S.C. to the National Gallery, $30.

The Beauty of Everyday Thangs

After 13 years in the making, award-winning documentary photographer Ken West releases a book of photographs entitled The Beauty of Everyday Thangs, a first-of-its-kind photo collection inspired by the art of mindfulness as a testament to black humanity. While the majority of the images are of folks in the midst of what West terms “revolutionary normalcy,” the book also features candid moments with cultural icons like legendary lyricists and activists Clifford “T.I.” Harris, stic of dead prez, British actor and musician Tricky, and groundbreaking filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. Photographs taken in Havana, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit using West’s collection of film cameras (some as many as 60+ years old) are included in the nearly 250-page book. The Beauty of Everyday Thangs, $29.95.

Black Lives Matter T-shirts

Stop by either the Mint Museum Store Uptown or at Mint Museum Randolph to purchase an official Charlotte Black Lives Matter Mural T-shirt. Available in sizes XS-XXL. $36 each with $5 from the sale of each shirt going to a charitable organization.

Leah Leitson Ceramics: Then and Now

Delhom Service League Studio Visit

Join the Delhom Service League as they Leah Leitson, ceramic artist and educator based in Asheville NC. She discusses her career in ceramics from her first interest as a studio potter to her current role as Professor of Ceramics at Warren Wilson College. For more information about Leah, you can visit her website at

Untitled (Shield) by Elizabeth Talford Scott – Curators’ Pick

In celebration of Black History Month, Annie Carlano, Senior Director of Craft, Design & Fashion, shares details about Untitled (Shield) by nationally renowned fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. Untitled (Shield) is on view in the fiber art gallery of the craft and design gallery at Mint Museum Uptown.


Film produced by SmARTlab

The Mint Museum from Home is presented by Chase.

The queen in Netflix’s hit series “Bridgerton” is none other than Charlotte’s Charlotte

Above: Ken Aptekar (American, born in 1950). “Charlotte’s Charlotte,” 2009, oil on canvas on panel with glass. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Charles W. Beam Endowment Fund and James G. and Mary Lou Babb, Gray Ellison and Selena Beaudry, David and Jane Conlan, Bill and Sally Cooper, Fairfax and Hillary Cooper, Walter and Meredith Dolhare, Mike and Libba Gaither, Mike F. and Laura Babb Grace, Beverly and Jim Hance, Mary Ann Grace and Mary Beth Grace Hollett, John and Stacy Sumner Jesso, Thomas E. Kanes and Susan Valentine Kanes, Stephen and Laura Philipson, Bill and Pat Williamson, Ginger Kemp, Bob and Peggy Culbertson, Norris W. and Kathryn Preyer, Claudia W. Belk, Janet and Lowell Nelson and exchange funds from the gifts of various donors. 2010.24a-f. © Ken Aptekar, All Rights Reserved, 2009

Kuba textile project shines a spotlight on the ‘kings and queens’ of Grier Heights Community Youth Arts Program

When the Covid-19 pandemic pushed The Mint Museum to temporarily close its doors in spring of 2020, the Mint’s Learning & Engagement team turned hands-on art classes into virtual Create-at-Home art kits that included art supplies and instructions, as well as information that ties the art project back to works of art in The Mint Museum’s collection. One of the first kits created was how to make a Kuba-style T-shirt based on Kuba textiles in the Mint’s collection.

Children in the Grier Heights Community Youth Arts Program used the Kuba-style T-shirt kits to create T-shirts that showcase their individual styles and artistic talents. Alexandra Brown, a 10th-grade honor student at Myers Park High School, and teen leader at the Mint, created the video above that captures what the Grier Heights students created using the Kuba-style T-shirt kits.

Kuba Textiles

The Kuba people are part of approximately 16 Bantu speaking groups living in the southeastern Congo in central Africa. Kuba textiles are handwoven using strands from raffia palm trees with earth-tone designs created using vegetable dyes. Kuba cloth is known for its complex, bold geometric designs that have been carried through generations for ceremonial purposes.

Want to make your own Kuba-style T-shirt? Download the instructions here. 

The Mint Museum re-opens to the public Friday, Feb. 5.


Charlotte, N.C. (February 1, 2021) — After being closed for three weeks to help curb the spread of Covid 19, both locations of The Mint Museum and its stores will re-open to the public on Friday, Feb. 5 with strict safety protocols in place.

All visitors are required to wear masks, and the museum will offer free masks for anyone who’d like to double up on coverage, per new CDC suggestions. Timed ticketing remains in place to ensure the museum stays within occupancy guidelines, and social-distancing signage is in place throughout the galleries.

“We decided to re-open for the benefit of people who adhere to our guidelines and need a safe place to experience art,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “We feel the museum has implemented protocols that create safety measures beyond what one finds in many businesses and public spaces.”

Additionally, the city of Charlotte — which owns both Mint buildings — has partnered with locally based Global Plasma Solutions to outfit the Mint with Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization to remove indoor air pollutants and help neutralize Covid-19. The air-purification system removes up to 99 percent of certain airborne viruses, mold, and bacteria, helping promote the health of employees and the visiting public. All precautionary measures and details about museum visitation are viewable on the Mint’s Know Before You Go site.

As a thank you to essential and frontline workers, The Mint Museum is offering complimentary admission to health care providers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, custodial staff, transit workers, grocery store and restaurant employees, and their immediate family members through June 30, 2021.

Both locations of the Mint will be free to the public on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27-28 for the closing of In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art and the opening of W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine.

Those interested in viewing the Mint from the comfort of their home can still get their art fix on The Mint Museum from Home site, presented by Chase, which offers curator-led virtual gallery tours, create-at-home activities, community conversations and artist Q&As. The Mint’s first online exhibition, Expanding the Pantheon: Women R Beautiful is also available, featuring 26 striking photographs of New York City-based photographer Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who aims to introduce a new range of beauty for our consideration.

The Mint Museum Store also has a newly launched e-commerce site (, with shipping, curbside pick-up and free gift-wrap options available.

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.


Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)


Download the PDf of this press release here. 

W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine explores the use of walls throughout centuries, across civilizations

Mint Museum Uptown’s 10-year anniversary celebration continues with opening of new photography exhibition


Charlotte, N.C. (February 1, 2021)— As a continued celebration of Mint Museum Uptown’s 10th anniversary, W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine examines the historic use and artistic treatment of barriers — whether made of stone, sand, steel, or wire — through photography. The exhibition, presented by PNC Bank, is scheduled to open Feb. 24 in Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 4 Brand Gallery.

Through more than 130 photographs taken by 67 photographers across five continents, W|ALLS explores architectural aspects of these barriers, as well as the stories of people’s lives touched by the boundaries.

The exhibition is divided into six sections — delineation, defense, deterrent, the divine, decoration, and the invisible — with each section anchored by a central photo essay. From the Berlin Wall’s fall to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, as well as barriers built in India, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland, and along the United States’ southern border, W|ALLS includes images that span five continents from photographers of all stripes: documentarians, photojournalists, artists, protestors, commercial photographers, explorers, and even a Tibetan Buddhist monk.Curated by Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum, W|ALLS includes works by nationally recognized artists Carol Guzy, Moises Saman, SHAN Wallace, Banksy, JR, John Moore, and Tanya Aguiñiga.

Charlotte-based artists featured in the exhibition include: Will Jenkins, who photographed Dammit Wesley’s Strange Fruit mural in uptown Charlotte; UncleJut who photographed Darion Fleming’s Pure’ll Gold mural that made The New York Times cover page in March 2020; and Linda Foard Roberts, a recent Guggenheim Fellowship recipient.

“When Katie Hollander and I began working on the W|ALLS exhibition in 2018, we could not have imagined a more divided world, and yet, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has united us in a common anxiety, here we are, even more segmented and antagonistic,” says Sudul Edwards. “The images in this exhibition remind us of our common humanity and why we are stronger together than apart, no matter what our race, ethnicity, or political ideology.”

In concert with the photographic exhibition, artists Candy Chang and James Reeves created Light the Barricades, interactive installations that appeared in three sites throughout Los Angeles before relocating to the plaza in front of the Annenberg Space for Photography. Light the Barricades was inspired by the I Ching, one of the oldest Chinese texts. Nearly 30 feet in length and 8 feet high, each installation features a word that represents an emotional barrier and offers an opportunity for contemplation. One of these walls will be on view in front of Mint Museum Uptown in conjunction with the photography exhibition.

“Walls make up a significant portion of our surroundings, especially in urban settings, and these photographers present us with new ways of thinking about how we are affected by these structures,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “It is impossible to walk through this exhibition and not have it inspire a conversation.”

This is the first exhibition at The Mint Museum with Spanish translations throughout. All object labels include a QR code to scan for a Spanish translation, and there are printed translations on introduction panels.

“With this exhibition, The Mint Museum continues to deliver on its unique ability to engage our community in timely, thought-provoking conversation and reflection,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “The themes addressed in the photography hold relevance for all, and PNC is proud to help bring this compelling and ambitious exhibition to Charlotte.”

W|ALLS was originally scheduled to open in May 2020. Shipping crates containing much of the show — gifted to the Museum by Annenberg Space for Photography, which was the originator of the exhibit — were delayed due to COVID-19.

W|ALLS is made possible by Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, Calif., and is generously presented by PNC Bank, and supporting sponsors The Mint Museum Auxiliary, Laura and Mike Grace, Leigh-Ann and Martin Sprock, Betsy Rosen and Liam Stokes, and Deidre and Clay Grubb. QC Exclusive is the media sponsor.

The Mint Museum

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

The Annenberg Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and
human services; and animal services and the environment.


Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum | 704.564.0826 (c)


Download the PDF Media Kit for W|ALLS here.

Many Voices Echo in the Mint’s American Galleries 

Revamped American installation offers new works and new perspectives for museum visitors. 


By Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, Senior Curator of American Art When Mint Museum Uptown opened its doors in October 2010, one of the most exciting opportunities was the expanded space that became available for the display of its American art collection, roughly tripling what had been available at Mint Museum Randolph. While a number of new objects have entered the collection, and special loans from private collectors have come and gone, the American galleries have remained relatively static over the past 10 years.

The summer of 2020 marked the first major changes in the American galleries since Mint Museum Uptown opened a decade ago. The incorporation of 18th- and 19th-century paintings from the Adams collection bequest, special loans of a monumental canvas by Julius Leblanc Stewart, a curvaceous Gorham art nouveau punch bowl, a sumptuous floral still life by Severin Roesen, and a new pocket gallery installation featuring a diverse array of images of America at mid-century, are just a few of the visitors can experience.

The most significant change, however, occurs in the first gallery of the Level 4 wing that provides access to both the American, and Modern and Contemporary collections. Rather than starting a chronological journey through American art history, this gallery puts the focus on the theme of portraiture, probing this enduring topic across time and different artistic mediums. The 13 works of art featured in this installation reflect the museum’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion with works of art by women, as well as African-American, Latino, and European artists.Instead of being greeted by an 18th-century image of children hung over a Chippendale fall-front desk, visitors now encounter Kehinde Wiley’s iconic Philip the Fair juxtaposed with John Singleton Copley’s St. Cecilia: Portrait (Mrs. Richard Crowninshield Derby) created more than 200 years earlier. Visitors are encouraged to compare and contrast these two full-length portraits, taking time to consider how the artist engaged with and depicted the person portrayed, as well as the reasons behind the creation of each portrait.

These kinds of pairings are echoed throughout the rest of the gallery in works executed in media ranging from oil on canvas to photography to hand-painted porcelain. One example of these juxtapositions is Robert Henri’s early 20th-century painting Dorita, which features a young Spanish dancer gazing boldly out at the viewer. To its right contemporary photographer Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s vibrant photograph Mama, in which a young woman with vitiligo poses with a similar intense gaze in front of a brilliant red background. These two portraits of women with intense expressions provide a striking contrast to photograph Ai, in which the artist, dressed in black, lies prone in front of a black background, twisted away from the viewer. The ways in which artists depict family and loved ones is also explored in paintings by Kay Sage and Paul Cadmus, and photographs by Linda Foard Roberts and Oliver Wasow. In the center of the space is Cindy Sherman’s Madame Pompadour (née Poisson) Soup Tureen, which probes questions of identity, history, gender, power, and self-portraiture.

Throughout the level 4 galleries, the commitment to diversity and inclusion continues, as visitors encounter 20th- and 21st-century works by artists, including Blanche Lazzell, Augusta Savage, Helen Lundeberg, John Biggers, Hale Woodruff, Romare Bearden, Barbara Pennington, Haywood “Bill” Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, Juan Logan, Leo Twiggs, E.V. Day, Iruka Maria Toro, and Vik Muniz, and a special-focus exhibition on photographer Linda Foard Roberts.

Although the cross-disciplinary thematic approach is highlighted in a permanent collection gallery, visitors are encouraged to think about how artists have engaged with other themes across time—landscape, still life, history, abstraction—as they explore the rest of the collection and other parts of the museum.

Delhom Service League Studio Visit with Julie Wiggins

Join the Delhom Service League as they visit potter Julie Wiggins in her studio to hear about her current work, learn about her creative techniques, and hear about some of the challenges facing potters during the pandemic.

Stencil Making with Owl: Mini Art Workshop

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

In Vivid Color Scratch Art Project

Create beautiful DIY scratch-off work of art with this video tutorial from our Learning and Engagement team. This project is inspired by our exhibition In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art, on view at Mint Museum Uptown through February.


Supplies Needed:

• white copier or drawing paper
• crayons
• black tempera/poster paint
• liquid dish soap
• paintbrush
• toothpick
• wooden skewer

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

‘Hue’ do you do it?

The Art of Choosing Color

By HannaH Crowell, Exhibition Designer Color is a distinct element in works of art, and has been especially prominent in recent exhibitions at The Mint Museum. Whether it was the sunset palette of Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood & His Contemporaries at Mint Museum Randolph or the spectrum of colors in the exhibition In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art at Mint Museum Uptown, our gallery walls are filled with palettes of color.

As the exhibition designer, I think a lot about the gallery walls. Gallery walls are not only the architecture that hold the works of art, they create an atmosphere that moves the visitor through the galleries. The right paint color, even a neutral, can transform a gallery into a world of its own.When the Mint decided to embark on a reinstallation of the American collections, what better way to bring new life to these galleries than with color. Working with Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, Senior Curator of American Art, the exhibition team selected feature walls to provide pops of color that help to guide the visitor through galleries rather than choosing to paint the entire gallery space. When selecting paint colors for gallery walls, we consider the physical space, the lighting, the visitor’s path, and most importantly, the art. Each work of art, like a character in a play, has its own story told through the composition of the work, the medium the artist chose, when and where it was painted, the frame, and of course, the color palette.

With my trusty Benjamin Moore paint deck, I selected a color that would turn the volume up on each work of art’s story. A rich purple wall sends the delicate petals swirling off the golden stems of Kehinde Wiley’s Philip the Fair into full bloom against its surrounding golden tones.

A deep wine color, aptly named Old Claret, helps the rich warm florals pop at the party in Julius LeBlanc Stewart’s Five O’Clock Tea.

Picking a color to be the backdrop for a painting’s story cannot disrupt what it has to say. It needs to complement the person, party, and scene. Next time you stand within the walls of the galleries, take a moment to look around and find your favorite color.

Remembering Tom Martin

It is with heavy hearts The Mint Museum shares that Special Events Director Tom Martin passed away on January 15, 2021 at the age of 60.

His memorial service for immediate family is Saturday, Jan. 22 at 11 AM and can be streamed virtually here.

Tom grew up in Massachusetts, and built a name for himself in events and food service as the Director of Catering and Convention Services for the Harvard Club of Boston, where he worked for more than 12 years. He relocated to Charlotte in 2013.Tom was the Mint’s director of special events for over four years, and in that time, he helped grow special events revenue by over 40 percent, says Gary Blankemeyer, the Mint’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

In his tenure at the Mint, Tom helped secure and execute on a number of high-profile events for clients ranging from tech giant Facebook to billionaire businessman and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, who announced Charlotte’s new MLS team from inside the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium at Mint Museum Uptown. During the NBA All-Star Weekend in February 2019 in Charlotte—the biggest event in basketball—Tom shepherded a museum-wide takeover by Nike and Jordan Brand that even included a basketball court in Mint Museum Uptown’s atrium and a wrap across the building’s facade.

“He was driven to do the best,” says Blankemeyer. “And not only was he a good business partner, but he was someone I could count on, someone I could rely on, which is all you want as a manager.”

Tom was a great man, says John Caldwell, special events manager at the Mint. “He taught me so much about the events business. He changed my professional life as well as my personal life because he became my friend.”

Tom is survived by his three daughters, Jessica, Katelyn and Kristina; two grandsons, Joey and Tommy; as well as a brother, Robert Martin; and his partner of eight years, Gladys Blakeman— all of whom he loved to spend time with at the beach and in Charlotte. His care for even the smallest details carried over into his personal life as well, whether he was pruning a tree, stocking the fridge for family coming to stay at his house for the holidays, or executing on one of his many DIY projects.

“He was always rebuilding, remodeling,” says Blakeman. “We built a patio together and flower boxes for one of his daughters. When the heater went out at my townhome, the electrician told him it’d be $1,700. He said, ‘I’m not paying that, I’m going to Google it.’ He did it himself for $500.”

Tom hired special events manager Laura Hale about a year ago. They both had backgrounds in catering and shared a love of the Boston Celtics. Tom was ambitious, yes, with big goals and ideas for how to grow the Mint’s special events business, she says.

But Tom was also nurturing and sweet. Above all else, Hale says she loved how Tom was always up for a good chat. “You’d go in and be like, ‘Hey, how’s it going? How was your weekend?’ And you’d be standing in his office door for the next 30 to 40 minutes. He’d tell you that weekend he’d had Bloody Marys and then he’d tell you about the time he was in Boston and had the best Bloody Mary.”

A look at the upcoming exhibition W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine, opening at Mint Museum Uptown 

By Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, Chief Curator & Curator of Contemporary Art On November 9, 2019, the world celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. Most can easily call up images from that exhilarating evening in 1989: young Germans in T-shirts and jeans destroying the concrete dividers with sledgehammers, armed soldiers looking on with stoic reserve, people rushing through holes and rubble to embrace their counterparts on the other side. The world saw the joy of people uniting, and as the end of the 20th century approached, the toppled wall felt like the dawn of a new age of reason. As the violence of World War II receded into history, it appeared that so, too, was the ancient, simple brutality of dividing people with walls.

And yet, the numbers offer a different narrative. When the Berlin Wall came down, there were 15 border walls around the world. As of May 2018, there were more than 77, according to Elisabeth Vallet, a geography professor at University of Quebec-Montreal. Over one-third of the world’s nation states now define their borders with a barrier. And new walls keep going up.

This central issue is at the heart of an exhibition coming to Mint Museum Uptown: W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine. I began working on this show three years ago, when Katie Hollander, the director of the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, asked me to tell the story of the role of walls in human history through a photography exhibition. The result went on view in October 2019 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, a free exhibition space devoted to photography founded by Wallis Annenberg and the Trustees of the Annenberg Foundation in 2009. I am delighted that the exhibition will open in February at The Mint Museum.

The show, which will run from February 24 to July 25 in the Level 4 Brand Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown, explores various aspects of “walls,” whether they are made of stone, steel, sand, or wire. The space is divided into six sections—Delineation, Defense, Deterrent, The Divine, Decoration, and The Invisible—with each section anchored by a central photo essay. Two of those essays were commissioned for the exhibition by the Annenberg Space for Photography. Magnum photographer Moises Saman documented the Peace Walls in Northern Ireland, while SHAN Wallace photographed Detroit’s Eight-Mile Wall, a painted-over wall that was originally built to segregate a black community from an adjacent white community.

Walls aren’t limited to a particular culture, region, or era. The exhibition features 130 images spanning six continents and 67 photographers of all stripes: commercial photographers, documentarians, photojournalists, artists, protestors, explorers, and in one case, a Tibetan Buddhist monk.

Some walls featured occur naturally, like the glacier in the Jango Thang plain. Others are constructed with intention, such as Linda Foard Roberts’ aptly titled Divided in Death photograph that captures a low stone graveyard wall, delineating the buried bodies of the enslaved from the whites.While many of the images in the exhibition connote division, some show unity. Consider the way neighbors converge before the stepwell wall in Jaipur, India, captured in Ami Vitale’s Ripple Effect. Artist Swoon converted a wall into a canvas for a monumental art project that celebrates community at the site of Prevention Point, the groundbreaking addiction treatment center in Philadelphia. And during her work in Detroit, SHAN Wallace found families who chose to embrace the Eight-Mile Wall, rather than be hindered by the history embedded in the bricks and mortar.

Photographers have been shooting walls from the earliest days of photography. In fact, one of the first known photographs is Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s 1827 heliograph showing the monumental walls outside his window in Le Gras, France. And while walls may be built for one reason, they often stay up for another. The Moroccan city of Essaouira and the Croatian city of Dubrovnik once fortified their ports for protection; today, tourists visit them for their picturesque quaintness. The Western Wall in Jerusalem started as a retaining wall for King Solomon’s Second Temple, but it has become one of the most holy sites for the Jewish people and is considered hallowed by many other religions.

What’s the attraction of walls for photographers? Perhaps it’s that, like photographs, walls are human constructs that describe and circumscribe space. And, like walls, photographs can represent hope or conquest. Both can be admired for their beauty and power, and both can make us feel protected or intimidated.

We constantly contend with walls, whether they are solid, porous, real, or imaginary. This photography exhibition invites you to reflect on the omnipresence of walls and to consider your own. Where do the barriers start in your life? And do you need them to live the life you want?

This story was originally published in the January, 2020 issue of Inspired, the Mint’s biannual member magazine.

Remembering Robert E. Wylie Jr.

Robert E. Wylie Jr. passed away January 2, 2021 at the age of 70. For 12 years he was a beacon of kindness and grace at Mint Museum Randolph, where he served on the housekeeping team.

This spring, the Mint will dedicate a tree to him on the grounds of Mint Museum Randolph.

A native Charlottean, Robert graduated from Olympic High School. As a teenager, he fell for a cute girl named Mary who went to rival school West Charlotte High. She asked him to her prom. The couple went on to be married for nearly 50 years.

Robert and Mary had four children—Robert Wylie III, Dornetta, and twins Christina and Christopher—and later welcomed 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. They were all the beneficiaries of Robert’s love of cooking.

“He could cook anything,” says Mary. “Deviled eggs, barbecue ribs. Most people liked his slaw and his baked chicken.”

Before working at the Mint, Robert held a number of jobs at some of the city’s top country clubs. But his role at the Mint held a special place in his heart. “He loved everything about that job,” says Mary.When Lisanne Smith, the facilities manager at Mint Museum Randolph, started her job five years ago, she was told that if she needed to know something, just ask Robert. She and Brian Gallagher, senior curator of decorative arts, both came to count on his warm “good morning” every day in the atrium, his kind, selfless devotion to his job.

It’s hard to quantify how much Robert took care of, says Joyce Weaver, the Mint’s director of library & archives. He did everything from transporting interoffice and external mail to setting up and breaking down for meetings and events, cleaning offices to mopping up spills from the leaky atrium roof—and all in a way that was usually invisible to visitors. “I can’t believe how many times he lugged bins of books from Uptown back to the library,” says Weaver. “He was an unsung hero, someone who didn’t want or need a lot of attention, but every day, took care of us, took care of the museum.”

Robert also had a sense of humor — and an undying love of Dallas Cowboys football. Guest services associate Sue Carver says she’ll never forget watching Robert sweep away a picture of former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton with a broom labeled with a big Cowboys star.

“Robert was part of a special group of people I count on here at the Mint,” says Katherine Steiner, the Mint’s chief registrar. “I always knew that he’d be there to help me with anything I asked, but more than that, I counted on his warm smile. I counted on his presence. He was one of those solid people that warm your heart just by being there, by being constant.”

In March 2020, when the spread of Covid-19 forced the museum to close, Head of Family and Studio Programs Leslie Strauss was at Mint Museum Randolph, frantically gathering art materials to bring home. Robert stepped in to say hello. “We chatted for a bit and I worried over whether our many houseplants in the studios would survive a few weeks without us,” Strauss recalls. But she gave them a heavy watering and turned to leave. Then those days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months.

“When we finally returned to the classroom, we expected to find withered plants,” says Strauss. “Instead we found a table full of happy and healthy plants, having weathered their time without us.”

Robert had watered the plants the entire time they were gone.

Revive Your Routine 

Home sweet home can feel like an overstatement these days. Whether you’ve cooked the family staples one too many times or are sick of seeing that same pair of pajamas staring back at you in the mirror, the Mint Museum Store is a treasure trove of items waiting to refresh and restore. So put on some real pants, grab your mask, and stop in at either location for something new to refresh your kitchen, office, wardrobe, or game cabinet, or check out our new online store for shopping from the comfort of home. (And don’t forget: Mint members always get 10% off every purchase, and Crown Society members get 20% off!) 

Desk Jockey 

Work-from-home tally? Too many days to count. If your makeshift workstation needs a makeover, grab a bright notebook or inspirational shelf piece—some welcome respite for your Zoom-fatigued eyes. • Black and White Playable Art Cube, $35
• Make Mistakes Small Notebook, $12
• Color Wheel Notecards, $16
• Stonewear Trivet, $8
• Modern Graphite Pencils, $8
• Desk Signs, $8
• Great Things Sticker Book, $16
• Ben Owen Egg Vase, $68

S’il Vous Play 

Suffering from puzzle fatigue? Here are a few indoor alternatives to keep you entertained, from new reading material and creative card games to a brush with the supernatural. • All Good Things Book, $24.95
• Make Art Where You Are Guide and Sketchbook, $19.99
• Dino Car Trio, $7
• Young Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists, $49.95
• Show Me The Monet Card Game, $18.99
• Gin Rummy: A Gin Lovers Card Game, $14.99

Food for Thought 

Weekly pasta bake got you down? Stock up on the new and the bold, from patterned dishware and playful towels to new cookbooks and funky serving spoons. Your kitchen can spark joy again, we promise. • Cotton Square Crochet Trivet, $9
• Lisa Oakley Glass Lemon, $65
• Brass Bee Spoon, $6
• Moustache and Stripes Spoon, $6 ea.
• Les Diner De Gala Book, (The Surrealist Cookbook) $60
• Black and White Plates, $14
• Walnut Eating Spoon, $20

Word on the Chic 

Nine months of that pajama life has been nice, yes. But as we (hopefully) head toward normalcy, nothing says “let’s leave 2020 behind” like a new pair of earrings or fancy tie. Stop by the Mint Museum Store and find your sartorial stride once again. • Rollneck Pullover Peruvian Wool Sweater, $118
• Black Box Bag with Leather Handles, $169
• Recycled Skateboard Legend Earrings, $42
• Artist Ties,, $58
• Michaelangelo Socks, $12
• Black and Cream Bracelet, $28
• Sarah Cavender Knot Pendant, $102

On the Daily

24 Hours in the life of Ruben Natal-San Miguel

“I’ve walked every street in all five boroughs,” Natal-San Miguel says.

A native of Puerto Rico, Natal-San Miguel came to the U.S. to study architecture in college and graduate school—studies that inform his eye for photography. Now 51, Natal-San Miguel is the artist behind the Mint’s first online exhibition, Expanding the Pantheon: Women R Beautiful. His portrait Mama (Beautiful Skin) in the contemporary galleries of Mint Museum Uptown shows a confident woman in front of a red van. She wears a white T-shirt, with cornrows and skin marked by vitiligo. The image—one of 26 included in Women R Beautiful—speaks to the photographer’s overarching goal: introducing a new range of beauty for our consideration. Here, Natal-San Miguel walked us through his typical day.

7 AM

I’m diabetic, so the first thing I do is test my blood and feed my cat, Dante. I check my email. If it’s press, I need to respond. If something got published, I immediately go on social media. The base of my collectors is older and on Facebook. So I go do a more personal approach there before reposting on Instagram. Then I go and eat and take my meds.


8 AM

For breakfast, the first thing is coffee. It’s part of my family and culture. I was born in Puerto Rico, where my grandfather had a coffee and tobacco plantation. I recently made whole wheat cinnamon pancakes with sliced mandarin oranges cooked in slow fire. I’m daydreaming about it.


9 AM

I’m not exactly a morning person. I hate midday shadows and I love people in natural light. I photograph people exactly how I find them: the hair, the necklace, the shoes. I’m a storyteller. I have a simple, strong connection between me and the subject.


I make a sandwich or buy it at a corner bodega. My go-to sandwich—well, I’m not supposed to have it all the time—it’s chicken parmesan. In New York, I love it.

1 PM

I take a nap. My cat is next to me. He’s black with green eyes, and sweet. I found him in Harlem on a cold December day and he followed me home. I take time to think. It’s part of my process. Right now, my head is all about a book for Women R Beautiful.

With my photographs, I celebrate a life—a lot of these women may not have a voice. My grandfather wouldn’t allow my mother to look at him when she was talking to him. She had to talk to him with her head down. Even though she was highly educated, she was in the shadow of machismo culture. I was a little kid when I saw that, and I had a visceral, strong reaction. I couldn’t believe a father could treat a daughter like that. It’s what motivated me to do a show like what’s at the Mint.

2:30 PM

I live in a brownstone, have a yard. But I’m a creature of the street. It’s good to travel around this time because kids aren’t coming out of school and the subways aren’t crowded. I want to be in place by 3 or 3:30 PM. My encounters with subjects are no longer than five minutes, usually just a few seconds.

Sometimes I have three cameras on me. The lens caps are off. If I have to wait to take a cap off, my subject may be gone. My work is like a subway ride—very strong, very fast.

You’re passing thousands of people and that person catches your eye and you go after them.  Most New Yorkers are always in a hurry and they don’t want to talk. I feel like I’m selling Tupperware when I’m trying to get their photo. But I’m lucky. I’ll get nine out of 10. These people in the most marginalized areas of the city—they have such wisdom and can tell if you’re a bullshitter. I love and respect that. They can tell I’m not a bullshitter.

I get their email address, get their Instagram feed, and I send the file later. Sometimes I give them a signed print. I stay in touch and invite them to my shows. I want them to see themselves in museums, in galleries.

6 PM

By this time, I have my second cup of coffee. Coffee twice a day, that’s part of my culture. Then that moment before it goes dark—I call it the magic moment. It’s only a few seconds, so you better be somewhere that’s important.

6:30 PM

In the winter, I’m home by this time. In summer, I’ll be out until 8:30 or 9 PM. Dinner is usually salad and soup. Sometimes I’ll buy a rotisserie chicken and share it with my cat. He’s a Harlem cat and loves his fried chicken and rotisserie chicken. After dinner, I look at pictures I’ve taken.

1 AM

I do what I call my “YouTube videos and Google research.” I Google neighborhoods and notice the demographics, crime statistics, landmarks. I look at an area’s retail. It’s important for me to understand the culture of an area to reflect it in the photos. I took the photo of the three Muslim girls in Women R Beautiful because I’d seen the subway coming through in a commercial for a local newscaster. I saw it, googled the gym name on the side of a building, and went there. I sat like a fool for 90 minutes on those steps, waiting. I said, “I’m going to sit here until someone comes down who’s amazing.” And the three little Muslim girls came down. That was it.

1:30 AM

I do The New York Times crossword. It takes me only a few minutes because I’ve been doing it for years. I like to motivate my brain to think. Then I give myself time to think.

3 AM


A Conversation About Classic Black: Basalt Sculpture, Design, and a Palette of Pastels

Join this virtual gallery tour and chat about the exhibition Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries with Brian Gallagher, Senior Curator of Decorative Art; HannaH Crowell, Exhibition Designer, and Owl, exhibition Artist. Hosted by the Mint’s Director of Community Relations Rubie Britt-Height, the program highlights the three galleries featured in the exhibition, several specific works of art, and how classic and contemporary reimagined creates a marriage between the works of art and the design palette.

The Mint Museum From Home is presented by Chase.

Virtually tour the Mint’s art storage area with a museum professional

Julia Kraft, the Mint’s Assistant Registrar, walks you through the Mint’s art storage areas to show you a behind-the-scenes look at here we keep our objects when they are not on display.

This program was originally a live event, and has a Q+A segment at the end where she answers participants questions.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Celebrating the power of women in art:

A special collaboration between The Mint Museum and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mint Museum Uptown and the Mint’s new installation Foragers, the Mint partnered with Charlotte Symphony Orchestra to create a short film that unites visual and performing arts.

The artistic collaboration features four female musicians from the Charlotte Symphony playing classical compositions in front of artist Summer Wheat’s contemporary work of art in the Mint’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium.

We welcome you to experience the power of women in art presented at the intersection of art, architecture, and music.

This special presentation is brought to you by:

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

A Conversation with Summer Wheat

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Sew a Soft Sculpture Inspired by Nick Cave’s Soundsuits

So, what is a soft sculpture? A soft sculpture is a 3D form that is made from soft materials like cloth, foam, paper, or other flexible materials. Soft sculptures can range from fine art pieces in exhibitions to comforting toys.

Get inspired to design and hand sew your own soft sculpture with this lesson inspired by a series of sculptures called Soundsuits by fabric sculptor, performance artist, educator, and dancer Nick Cave.

About the Artist:

Nick Cave began working with fabric at a young age by manipulating hand-me-down clothing from his older siblings. His work is inspired by an array of things, from the experience of being Black in America, to African art traditions, to haute-couture fashion. Cave has created over 500 Soundsuits since he created his first one in 1992. The Soundsuits serve as a sort of armor that distorts the wearer’s figure and hides their identity.

“The Soundsuits hide gender, race, class and they force you to look at the work without judgment.”

-Nick Cave


• Paper & drawing utensil
• Fabric – Use something from home like an old dress shirt or linens. Choose fabric without much stretch because sewing on stretchy fabric can be challenging. If purchasing fabric, choose something cotton, as cotton is easily drawn and painted on.
• Polyester fiber fill – Alternatives include cotton batting, stuffing from an old pillow, rice.
• Needle & thread
• Straight pins
• Scissors
• Skewer or chopstick for filling
• Strong glue – Elmer’s Glue-All, Alene’s Tacky Glue, or fabric glue
• Embellishments (See optional supplies)


• Fabric markers/Sharpies
• Acrylic paints
• Yarn
• Embroidery thread
• Beads & bells
• Sequins & gems
• Pom poms
• Sewing machine


1. Plan your design and pattern.

Sketch out what you want your sculpture to look like, and then draw a pattern for your design. To create a sewing pattern, draw and cut out each piece of your sculpture onto any type of paper or cardboard. Then trace the cut pieces of your pattern onto the fabric to guide you in cutting your fabric. Keep in mind that this is a sculpture not an item of clothing, so you’re pieces of fabric don’t need to be perfectly symmetrical. You can even try to freehand draw the pieces of your pattern onto your fabric.

This simple, 4-piece Soundsuit pattern includes a front side, a matching back side, and two identical legs. Make the leg pieces twice as thick and a few inches longer than desired. Each leg will be folded in half and sewn together to create a cylinder shape when filled. The extra length at the upper end of each leg will be sewn inside of the body.

Tip: Limit the pattern to simple shapes. Details will be lost when pieces are sewn together. Also, make your pattern an inch larger than you want your sculpture because you will lose some of the size.

2. Cut the pieces of your pattern out of your fabric and pin together pieces where you will be sewing.

Mark a line along the edge to help guide where to sew.

3. Use a running stitch to sew together pinned pieces about a ¼ inch away from the edge.

A running stitch is when the needle and thread pass over and under. Keep the stitches tight to strengthen the bond between the two pieces, and carefully remove pins as you go. Leave the bottom edge of the body and the top of each leg open to fill.

4. Turn the stitched pieces inside out to hide the raw edges of the fabric and create a cleaner look.

Skip this step if you prefer to see the edges.

5. Fill the legs with stuffing.

Use a skewer, chopstick, or long handled utensil to help pack filling and reach small areas like the toes. After the legs are filled, halfway fill the body with stuffing, and then position legs inside the body before you finish filling the body. Be sure to leave enough space so that the bottom edge of the body can be stitched closed with the legs inside.

6. Pin the bottom edge closed and using a running stitch to stitch close the body.

This completes the structure of the soft sculpture.

7. To finish the sculpture, add embellishments and surface design.

This is your opportunity to personalize your sculpture. Use markers, paint, found objects, and fiber materials to strengthen your Soundsuit ‘s appearance.

Begin with markers and paints if you want to add color and pattern to the fabric. Once that dries, add the three-dimensional decorations using different embroidery techniques and glue.

Ideas for surface design:

• Couching using a chunky yarn. Couching is a type of embroidery where thread is laid down on the surface and then stitched over with small stitches to hold it in place. A thicker yarn makes the process go faster and gives the sculpture a plush feel.
• Thread long pieces of twine through the sculpture and then tie beads to the end. This makes a great clacking sound when the beads knock against each other.
• Glue sequins or any other small objects to the surface.

Challenge: Create your own pattern to sew. Think of ways to add more pieces and dimensions to the sculpture.

Simplify: Fill a sock with stuffing and sew it closed. Add embellishments to the outside.

Learn More:

There is so much to look at and learn about Nick Cave and his hundreds of Soundsuits. Check out the resources below to learn more about Nick Cave and his work:

Share a picture of your creation and tag us @themintmuseum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


This idea brought to you by Zoe Whiteside

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Sticker Making with Owl: Mini art workshop

Owl, local artist and creative behind the murals of Classic Black, shows us how she creates custom stickers that show her unique style.

This video compliments the Teen Hangout that Owl will be hosting with NexGen. Sign up to watch Owl work, or pull out your art supplies and work along side her.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Mint curator Annie Carlano presents studios talks with artists Danny Lane, Tom Joyce, and Kate Malone at inaugural Intersect Chicago art fair

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Project Ten Ten Ten, The Mint Museum is presenting studio talks with three featured artists: Tom Joyce, Danny Lane, and Kate Malone. In conversation with Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design & Fashion at The Mint Museum, the artists will discuss the impact of The Mint Museum commissions on their work, as well current and future projects as part of Intersect Chicago.

More than 100 exhibitors are part of the Intersect Art and Design roster for the inaugural edition of Intersect Chicago, the virtual art fair replacing SOFA Chicago for the 2020 edition due to COVID-19. Intersect Chicago will be online from November 6-12, 2020.

The fair is the evolution of SOFA – Sculpture Objects Functional Art. It is the intersection of art, design, and objects, including daily highlights on glass, contemporary art, design, ceramic and craft, outsider art, fiber, and public art/sculpture. Intersect Chicago will feature institutions from around the globe, including The Mint Museum, with dedicated programming and a selection of galleries showcasing work of these disciplines. Cultural partners of Intersect Chicago will be featured on different days of the fair with special programming, talks, virtual tours, and more. See the full schedule.

Visit the Fair on Artsy

Intersect Chicago has partnered with Artsy, the global marketplace for discovering and collecting art. In addition to accessing the fair through, visitors may also visit the fair through Artsy. As Intersect Chicago’s Main Marketplace Partner, Artsy provides a unique opportunity for exhibiting galleries to promote their virtual booths to Artsy’s global audience. Collectors can experience Intersect Chicago on Artsy to discover artists, save favorite works, view works on their home walls through Artsy’s AR mobile tool and directly purchase work from galleries.

Fall into fashion with these picks from The Mint Museum Store

Our fun and funky Peruvian Trading Company hats, gloves, arm warmers, ponchos and headbands, and even dog sweaters make the perfect gift and are always a seasonal favorite. Celebrate the coming chilly weather, and one of our favorite vendors, with a special pop-up sale. Enjoy 25% off Peruvian Trading Company’s handmade wonders through the end of October.

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit CLT Hat with Pompom, $22 / CLT Hand/Arm Warmers, $18

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit Peace Sign Hat with Pompom, $22

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit Headbands, $22

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit Spider Hat, $58

Klimt Silk Artist Tie, $58 / Klimt Cufflinks, $72 / Newgate Drummer Watch, $208

Bracken Explorer’s Hat, $72

Fair trade, hand-embroidered clutch from Thailand and fair trade hand-embroidered mask from Mexico (assorted designs and colors), $32 / $22

Sarah Cavender Metalworks jewelry and scarf. Each piece is hand crafted in Oxford, Alabama and made by local artisans under the supervision of Jewelry Designer Sarah Cavender. Square Cobra Necklace (Bottom Right), $174 / Knotted Snake Necklace (Bottom Left), $130 / Long Gold Chain, $120 / Short Gold Chain, $68 / Short Rose Chain, $68 / Interlocking Disk Earrings, $92 / Open Weave Metal Scarf, $250

Fair trade from Nepal felted oversized bag with three interchangeable felted flowers, $118

Kevin Cole YAM’s Studio Tour

The Mint Museum From Home is Sponsored by Chase.

The Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture recognize frontline workers and their families by offering free admission

Charlotte, NC — As a thank you to essential and frontline workers during the pandemic, The Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture are offering complimentary admission to health care providers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, custodial staff, transit workers, grocery store and restaurant employees, and their immediate family members through Dec. 31, 2020.

“Throughout the pandemic, frontline workers have helped to sustain health and well-being for our community. We want to recognize these efforts by offering an opportunity for these workers and their families to come and enjoy exploring art at our museums free of charge,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO at The Mint Museum.

Each museum has safety and capacity protocols in place to keep within COVID-19 guidelines. Visitors are encouraged to reserve tickets online in advance of their visit to support a low-touch environment. Tickets may be reserved on each of the museums’ websites. Walk-in visitors are welcome if space permits at that time. Guests are required to wear masks at each museum.  

“The Bechtler enthusiastically joins the Mint and the Gantt in supporting our frontline essential workers in the Charlotte community,” says Todd D. Smith, executive director at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. “We hope this move allows more people to enjoy the restorative powers of the visual arts and museums in this time of crisis.”The Mint Museum also is recognizing frontline and essential workers with the digital installation Messages for the City displayed on the Wells Fargo screen along Levine Avenue of the Arts and on the Legacy Union screen at 620 S. Tryon St. Artist-made images and animations recognize and celebrate the commitment of these workers during the COVID pandemic. The images play continuously, as part of the general video displays on both screens. The project originated with Times Squares Arts in partnership with For Freedoms, Poster House, and PRINT magazine and was first shown in Times Square last spring.  

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our frontline workers for their selfless dedication during the pandemic. Being able to show our appreciation collectively as a museum community is the least that we can do in honor of their service,” says David Taylor, president and CEO of Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.

For more information about safety protocols at each museum and hours, visit each museum website.

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, media relations and communications project manager, 704.564.0826

Draw & Print Patterns Inspired by Textiles

Find patterns in the textiles around your house, then turn them into a series of prints inspired by the glass panel installation Spin, Weave, Gather by Nancy Callan. In her patterned glass panels, Callan references North Carolina’s rich history of textile manufacturing. From twisted threads, to woven patterns, to designs of stripes or dots, the fabric around us can prompt some pretty cool design ideas!

“I think art is both a question and an answer. We ask the question ‘What if?’ and we answer that question through the process of making.”

-Nancy Callan

About the Artist:

Glass artist Nancy Callan lives in Seattle, Washington, where she works among many skilled glassblowers. She created the piece above while working at STARworks in Star, North Carolina.


• Scratch art printing foam (or recycled foam trays from the grocery store)
• Paper to print on
• Water soluble printing ink or tempera paint (also known as poster paint)
• Paint brush, pencil, or blunt end to use as a stylus (you can use more than one size tip to create different line thicknesses)
• Brayer (or small paint roller or foam brush)
• Washable, flat container for rolling ink
• Tarp or table covering that can get dirty
• Damp and dry paper towels for wiping hands
• Ruler – optional


1. Gather fabrics to use as your inspiration.

Find pillows, towels, or pieces of clothing with textures or patterns that interest you. Pictures from the internet can also be used as inspiration for the project. Printing them and having them next to you as you work can help.

2. Carve your decoration

Use your stylus or pencil to scratch patterns into foam boards, also called “plates”. Press hard enough to make an indentation, but not so hard as to cut through the foam. Mixing large and small patterns and using various sizes of foam boards helps create contrast and interest in your prints.

3. Create your Borders

To create even borders around your print, or to plan a layout of multiple prints on one large piece of paper, draw light pencil marks where you plan to print your design. This will help with positioning. You can use a ruler or straight edge, or trace around the non-inked styrofoam plates.  You don’t have to be this precise if you don’t want to.

4. Add some ink

After you have covered your work area with a tarp or disposable covering, decide what color you would like your print to be. Put ink into the flat container and roll the brayer back and forth to cover the entire roller with ink. Roll over your foam plate several times until there are no bare spots. If you are using a foam brush, dab the ink on as evenly as you can. If you get ink on your hands, be sure to wash and dry them before touching your paper to keep from getting fingerprints on it.

5. Press on your design

Place foam plate, ink side down, on a piece of paper. Gently press and rub your fingers over the foam making sure the entire surface of the plate is in contact with the paper. You can use a paper towel or extra piece of recycled paper to lay over top of your foam plate before rubbing to help keep the edges of your print clean.

6. Do it again!

Carefully lift the foam plate off the printed paper. Remember, perfection isn’t the goal. If you would like to use the same foam plate with a different color, just gently wash the foam plate and the brayer with warm soapy water and dry with an old towel. Have fun; make more than one! Why not make multiple prints to share with friends and family?Option:
If you like the way your foam plate looks with ink on it, let it dry and then glue it to a piece of paper ink side up. The plates will have a darker tone than the prints themselves.


Have friends or family each create their own unique patterns. Make a larger collage with all the prints.


If you don’t have styrofoam, try printing with a plastic sandwich bag! Brush one color of paint onto a bag, doodle designs into the paint with a Q-tip, and flip it onto a piece of paper. Gently pat, then peel off, and you’ll have a print.


Learn More:

Watch Nancy Callan and her team create Spin, Weave, Gather for The Mint Museum (3.25 minutes)


This idea brought to you by Maggie Burgan.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Simply Tie Knots to Create Macramé

Macramé is an ancient fiber art that uses knots to create items that are both useful and beautiful. This activity inspired by Wall Hanging 3 by Tanya Aguiñiga uses only square knots. It is easy for beginners and for young children, with help from parents.

About the Artist:

Growing up in Mexico and California, Tanya Aguiñiga discovered a passion for making things with her hands. As a child, she got her start in fiber art by turning shredded palm fronds into jewelry and selling it to her neighbors! Today, she uses her artist/designer/activist voice to address social issues with creativity and compassion.


• Scissors
• Tape
• Cardboard or clipboard for holding your work
• Macramé cord- this can be rope, twine or yarn cut to desired length (3 feet is a good length for beginners/young children)
• Support, something to tie your cords to- dowel, branch, straw or ruler (Your yarn will be attached to this)


1. Start by cutting your cord or yarn.

Three foot pieces (3’) are a good length to start with. You will need at least two pieces to practice tying square knots. Tape your support to the cardboard then anchor pieces to it using a simple loop called a Larks Head.

You’ll need 4 cords or strands to make a square knot.

2. Tie a Knot

Bring the ends of each cord together to find the middle. Loop it midway over your support then feed the ends through. This is called a Lark’s Head knot. Repeat with each cord. You’ll be using the Left and Right strands for knotting; the two center strands don’t move.

3. Make a Loop

Take the Left strand and make a loop over the center strands, then the Right one goes over the Left’s “tail” and through the loop in back. Then tighten. Now you’ve made a Half Square knot.

4. Now do the reverse!

Loop the Right strand, Left strand goes over the tail and through the loop in the back. Tighten the Square Knot you just made. You can keep repeating the same knots to make a chain. Here is a little trick to help you as you work:

Left over Right, tuck under. Right over Left, tuck under.Option:

Using just square knots, you can make a chain for a bracelet or keychain. Add a few more strands and you can make a wall hanging. You can even add beads to your work!Simplify:

Even young children can experiment with freeform knotting. Get them started and let them go!Challenge:

Try a more advanced approach using 5 cords. Start your knots lower and skip the outer cords after the first knot, then add them back. Then use all the cords to make a large square knot. Feel free to experiment, you can always untie and start again!Learn More:

“Meet” the artist in this Craft in America video (13 minutes)

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Personalize your space with a tissue paper initial

Use small squares of tissue paper to create a colorful, textured initial to personalize your desk or room. This project is inspired by Pilar Albarracín’s Ceiling of Offerings, a sculptural installation made of 724 flamenco dresses suspended from the ceiling. From below, the ruffled material looks like a floating bouquet of colorful flowers.

About the Artist:

Spanish artist Pilar Albarracín creates performance, video, and installation art. She often creates challenging art about identity, culture, gender, and heritage.


• Cardboard cut-out of your favorite initial (or other symbol/shape)

• Colored tissue paper squares (1” and 2” work well)

• Glue

• Pencil

• Tarp or table covering that can get dirty


Choose tissue paper colors that best represent you, and cut into small squares. Wrap the squares (one at a time) over the eraser end of a pencil to create a flower-like shape. Dab a small amount of glue to the bottom of the tissue paper, and lightly press onto your cardboard. Repeat the process until your cardboard is covered. The closer you place them together, the fuller the effect.

You can clump colors together or go with a random approach – either way, have fun! This process is simple, but you will find that it helps with focus and relaxation.Option:
Draw a block-letter initial or a symbol onto a piece of cardboard, instead of cutting out a shape. Fill in the shape first, and then fill in or paint the background area.


Glue a smaller size tissue square inside of a larger one to create dimension. Use a complementary color for variation.


Purchase pre-cut tissue paper squares.


Learn More:
• Brush up on your Spain facts with National Geographic Kids
• Watch superstar singers, musicians, and dancers in the 1995 documentary, Flamenco


This idea brought to you by Maggie Burgan.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art investigates the power of color on our everyday perceptions and shared experiences 


Charlotte, NC – Colors are linked to memories, experiences, and our environments. To celebrate the world of color and its effects on our perceived realities, The Mint Museum proudly presents In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art. The exhibition is on view Oct. 16 at Mint Museum Uptown and features four innovative contemporary artists—Gisela Colon, Spencer Finch, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Summer Wheat. Installations in the exhibition are experiential by design, allowing each viewer to feel and engage with the works of art based on individual perceptions of color.

“We are so pleased to be able to share these powerful, engaging works of art with our visitors,” says Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, senior curator of American art at The Mint Museum. “Not only do they demonstrate the wide range of innovative ways in which artists use color, but they also inspire us to reflect upon the many ways in which color infiltrates our memories, functions symbolically in our everyday lives, creates shared experiences, and sparks conversations and connections.”

Visitors are first greeted by Summer Wheat’s monumental installation Foragers in the Robert Haywood Morrison atrium. The four story, 3,720-square-foot installation fills 96 window panels with vibrant hand-cut layered vinyl gel panels that combine to tell the story of women as makers and providers. The presentation bathes the space in jewel-tone colors and hues that shift with natural light, enveloping the visitor. Foragers was commissioned for the Mint and generously funded by Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund.

Located on Level 3 in the Gorelick Gallery, immersive installations Daisy Bell and Orbit 12 by pioneering digital artist Jennifer Steinkamp explore the symbolic power of color through video technology. Using repeated floral patterns and hyper-saturated colors, Daisy Bell, which is part of Bank of America’s corporate art collection, challenges viewers to rethink their relationship with the natural world. Orbit 12, a gift to the museum from the Mint Museum Auxiliary, guides viewers through four seasons in which leaves, branches, and blossoms constantly morph through cycles of growth, abundance, decay, and renewal.At nearly 40-feet wide, Spencer Finch’s Sunset (South Texas, 6/21/03), also on loan from Bank of America, recreates a sunset on the Texas plains with green, pink, blue, yellow and orange filters fitted over fluorescent lamps. The horizontal stretch of the piece mimics the vastness of the plains and allows viewers to settle into the distance of space and color. Gisela Colon’s Hyper Ellipsoid pushes the boundaries of materials and sculptural form. Her objects, self-described as organic minimalism, use suspended pigments in acrylic to create forms that seem to shape-shift with light and motion.

The exhibition also includes 11 paintings and works on paper by artists Jennifer Bartlett, Annette Cone-Skelton, Peter Halley, Juan Logan, Harvey Quaytman, T.J. Reddy, Brian Rutenberg, Julian Stanczak, and Donald Sultan from the Mint’s permanent collection. In addition, local artist Juan Logan has loaned a painting from his Elegy series. Visitors can also play with color and light in the color shadow experience just inside the gallery.

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, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager, 704.564.0826

Collaged Memory Box

In this collage project inspired by Romare Bearden’s Evening of the Gray Cat, you can create an artistic Collaged Memory Box to celebrate a special person, place, or journey. Cut, paste, and collage your story on the lid, and keep favorite mementos inside the box.As a child, Romare Bearden traveled to Charlotte each summer to visit his great-grandparents. Many years later, he created a series of art called “Mecklenburg Memories,” inspired by his recollections of North Carolina in the early decades of the 1900’s.
Can you find the gray cat in this scene?

“A work of art can always keep growing. You can always add something to it each time you see it.”

-Romare Bearden

About the Artist:

Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1911. At a young age, he moved with his parents to Harlem, in New York City to seek opportunities that weren’t available to African Americans in the south. As an adult, Bearden became known as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century.  Combining images from magazines, prints, and colored and textured papers to create collage “paintings,” his art told many stories about the Black experience, classical literature and art, and cultural history.


• Shoe box, or any box with a lid
• Piece of paper cut the size of the box lid
• Scissors
• Glue
• Pencil
• Small paintbrush to paint glue onto paper
• Small container for glue (add a drop or two of water)
• Collage material cut from magazines, catalogs, recycled artwork, envelopes, photos, greeting cards etc.
Optional: White paper and markers or paint to create your own collage paper


When you’re finished gluing, look at your collage and think about the images you chose and how they relate to your memories. What feelings come up? This gray cat feels proud that his picture made it into our collage!



Option: Write a note, short story, or poem about your project inspiration and drop it in the box. Our project was inspired by fun memories of traveling with a good friend.

Challenge: Fill the background with a grid of horizontal and vertical rectangles of different sizes and colors, then build your collage on top of it.

Simplify: Instead of a box, collage onto a colorful piece of paper.  This makes it easier to fill your space.


Learn More: There are so many great resources about Romare Bearden! Below are a few. As you view his art, look for some of these themes:

Trains, large hands, birds, musicians, windows, cats, roosters, the sun, the moon

The Romare Bearden Foundation

• YouTube Video: Trains, Snakes, and Guitars- The Art of Romare Bearden

Family Guide for Southern Recollections, a 2012 Mint Exhibition

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

Celebration photos of our reopening

Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph re-opened to the public with a celebratory weekend of music and free admission. Look back at photos captured during the celebration.


Photos by Alex Cason. All weekend celebration activities were sponsored by Chase.

The Mint Museum’s new four-story installation Foragers offers a transcendent experience while celebrating the tradition of women as makers and providers


September 10, 2020, Charlotte, NC — Unlike anything ever seen at The Mint Museum before, Brooklyn-based artist Summer Wheat’s Foragers is a monumental piece of public work of art spanning 96 windows, four stories, and 3,720 square feet at Mint Museum Uptown’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium. The myriad of vibrant panels that give the illusion of stained glass and celebrates the tradition of women as makers and providers.

“In so many ways, Foragers is a monumental tribute to all those anonymous female makers and laborers who have made North Carolina the place that it is today: the Catawba clay workers, the Cherokee basket makers, the enslaved and freed African-American fishers and farmers, the countless woodworkers, weavers, and quilters,” says Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, the Mint’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art.

Foragers is part of a larger exhibition In Vivid Color that opens Oct. 16 at Mint Museum Uptown. In Vivid Color brings together four innovative contemporary artists—Wheat, Gisela Colon, Spencer Finch, and Jennifer Steinkamp—who create works celebrating the power of color and its ability to permeate the space around us. Their work is juxtaposed with a selection of paintings and works on paper, drawn primarily from The Mint Museum’s permanent collection, which showcase artists’ more traditional exploration of color.

The magnitude and brilliance of Foragers turns the typical museum experience on its head and creates a transcendent space of contemplation and beauty at a time when a weary public craves an escape—and a spacious, social-distancing-friendly one at that. While standard admission rates apply to the museum’s Level 3 and Level 4 galleries, access to Mint Museum Uptown’s atrium and the Foragers installation is free.

“This gorgeous work will transform Mint Museum Uptown’s atrium space with color and light, making it a must-see destination in Charlotte,” says Todd A. Herman, Ph.D., President and CEO of The Mint Museum.Summer Wheat’s installation was commissioned by The Mint Museum. The installation and purchase of Foragers was funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund, which aims to address and rebalance gender representation in museum collections.

“The Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund is designed to address and help reconcile the imbalance of female representation in museum collections,” says Jay Everette, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.

“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 joint investigation by In Other Words and artnet News, a total of 260,470 works have entered museums’ permanent collections since 2008. Only 29,247 were by women.”

Foragers celebrates North Carolina’s creativity and industry—those named and anonymous.

About Summer Wheat

Contemporary artist Summer Wheat (b. 1977, Oklahoma City, Okla.) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York City. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is known for being an innovator, constantly blurring boundaries between traditional art forms and mediums. Consider the way she pushes acrylic paint through fine wire mesh to create large-scale paintings, like her With Side, With Shoulder, part of the Mint’s permanent collection and on view in the Mint’s new exhibition New Days, New Works.

Wheat has had solo exhibitions with lauded institutions, galleries and museums across the nation, including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City (2020); KMAC Museum, Louisville (2019); Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles (2018); Smack Mellon, New York (2018); Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle (2017); and Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City (2016).

Wheat will also have her first solo exhibition with SOCO Gallery in Charlotte—entitled Lather, Rinse, Repeat—September 16 through November 6, 2020. The exhibition will feature ve large-scale paintings and two “pebble seats” focusing on the theme of bathing and grooming. The theme, drawn on throughout art history, frequently depicts idyllic figures and scenery, but in Wheat’s work, the women portrayed are imperfect and defy traditional notions of beauty. Wheat will have a solo exhibition with Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles in 2021.

Additional museum exhibitions include Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2013–14); deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park (2013); and Torrance Art Museum (2013). Wheat received the 2016 New York NADA Artadia Award and the 2019 Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO Chicago. Wheat’s work is in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; Peréz Art Museum Miami; The Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, Seattle; The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC and the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

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, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager, 704.564.0826

Download PDF version of this press release here.

Recreate Ancient Ruins with leftover cardboard

You’ll just need a cardboard box and a few basic tools to create these ancient architectural ruins, inspired by the wood sculpture Pompeii by artist, architect, and furniture designer Po Shun Leong. This project can serve as a launching point to design your own imaginative architectural realm from cardboard scraps!

About the artist: 

A man of many talents, Po Shun Leong creates complex wooden sculptures and boxes reimagining ancient sites like Mesa Verde, Pompeii, and Petra. He works with many different types of wood, and encourages artists to recycle their scraps into new art.  

“Be joyous, use all your … scraps, and add to the sum total of beauty in this world.” 

-Po Shun Leong 


• Corrugated cardboard
• Medium- large bowl to trace
• Scissors
• Strong gluelike Elmer’s Glue-All or Alene’s Tacky Glue
• Masking tape
• Paper towel for wiping hands 


• Ruler
• Extra cardboard (paperboard like cereal boxes, paper towel tubes, etc) 


• To glue cardboard, add glue then hold the pieces together and count to 20.
• Use a small piece of masking tape to temporarily hold cardboard together while glue dries.
• Wet a cardboard box and leave it outside to dry to easily separate the corrugated layer from the smooth layers. The water dissolves the glue! 


Option: For younger artists, provide cereal boxes, tubes, and lighter paperboard, which is easier for young artists to cut and manipulate. Pre-cut some basic corrugated cardboard shapes to help trigger creative thinking.

Challenge: Start with a larger base and incorporate other recyclable materials into your design.

Simplify: Don’t worry about measurements and rulers, just start cutting shapes and let the process happen organically!

Learn more: Po Shun Leong’s website is a treasure trove of interesting information!

This idea brought to you by Leslie Strauss.

The Mint Museum From Home is Presented By Chase.

The Mint Museum presents new and never-before-seen objects from its collection in the exhibition New Days, New Works


Charlotte, N.C. When The Mint Museum is once again able to open its doors, we welcome visitors to experience a dynamic exhibition New Days, New Works that features more than 80 works of art from the Mint’s permanent collection. Many of the works of art were recently acquired or have never been on view at the Mint before.

The exhibition, on view through January 3, 2021 in the Level 4 Brand Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown, is a collaboration between all of the Mint’s curators, featuring works from the American, contemporary, craft, design and fashion and decorative arts collections. New Days, New Works is a striking juxtaposition of color, material, time and place, and the exhibition design showcases the broad diversity of pieces that define the Mint.Mere feet from African textiles made from bark by Bakuba weavers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a sprawling abstract sofa by Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana. A stunning collection of 19th-century British ceramics are installed around the corner from a striking suite of black-and-white photographs from a collaboration between artists Carolyn DeMeritt and Pinky/MM Bass. And Pilar Albarracín’s Ceilings for Offerings, a large-scale installation made up of hundreds of colorful flamenco dresses, echoes the bright hues of Brooklyn-based artist Summer Wheat’s contemporary acrylic painting With Side With Shoulder that greets guests upon entering the exhibition.

“A harmony, not dissonance, resonates amongst all these disparate and different objects, and that speaks to the commonality we all have as human beings,” says Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, the Mint’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art. “No matter the human condition, people want to find a way to live their best life, with beauty and security, and no matter the technological innovations we may invent, human beings are always intrinsically tethered to the natural world.”Each object in New Days, New Works celebrates the relationships with individual donors, corporations, foundations and support groups that are all part of The Mint Museum community.

New Days, New Works is an opportunity for us to show some of the new works that have come into the collection in the last few years, as well as to highlight those donors who have generously shared their treasures with the Charlotte community by donating them to the Mint,” says Todd A Herman, PhD, President and CEO of The Mint Museum. “The work is diverse and demonstrates the many areas of interest among our supporters. We also hope that by reading about the various collectors, it will inspire others to begin their own collections, which can start at a wide range of price points, styles and materials.”

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.