Final days: Landmark bamboo sculpture at Mint Museum Randolph set for demolition this month

Tetsunori Kawana’s “Passage: Waterway” is part of Mint’s Project Ten Ten Ten

When it was unveiled on the lawn in front of Mint Museum Randolph on August 14, 2011, Tetsunori Kawana’s remarkable bamboo sculpture “Passage: Waterway” was envisioned as a temporary work that would return to nature after it experienced four seasons.

And now, as the work approaches its one-year mark, it is scheduled for demolition on Thursday, August 16, 2012. Visitors are invited to Mint Museum Randolph to experience “Passage: Waterway” a final time in the coming days. (Parking is free at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road, and there is no charge to enter the grounds outside the museum).

The 20- by 20- by 80-foot passageway was commissioned by the Young Affiliates of the Mint as part of Project Ten Ten Ten, an effort launched in conjunction with the opening of Mint Museum Uptown in October 2010. The museum and its affiliates have commissioned 10 works by 10 of the world’s leading craft and design artists.

Kawana’s bamboo work is an example of the strength and beauty of the ancient art of Ikebana. The artist and community volunteers worked for weeks in some of the city’s hottest and wettest weather to assemble it from Madake bamboo. It was unveiled during a free-admission Community Day with a celebration of Japanese culture.

It began its life the bright green of fresh bamboo and has gently weathered to a yellow-gray color over the past year. The artist’s hope was for visitors to leave the installation with a sense of well-being and connectedness to the natural cycle of life. “Passage: Waterway” has now come full circle. It’s gone through the four seasons, its life cycle, and is coming to an end. How lucky we have been to live with it, walk through it, and experience it over the past year,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s director of craft and design.


Two exhibitions at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, are also coming to an end in August. The final day for Colorbind: The Emily and Zach Smith Collection is August 12. For over three decades, Charlotte and surrounding communities have benefited from Emily and Zach Smith’s tireless dedication to improving the cultural infrastructure of our region. This intimate display of works illuminates a personal side of the couple’s relationship to art––one that has enriched and informed their life together. Works by Pop artists Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Wayne Thiebaud play alongside geometric abstractions by Peter Halley, Sol Lewitt, and Sean Scully––vibrant color binding each creative voice into the collectors’ unified vision. This exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum.

The final day for Matthew Weinstein is August 19. Weinstein, a visual artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York, has achieved notoriety in the art world as the first artist to focus exclusively on 3D animation. Using precision airbrush techniques and single-hair paintbrushes, Weinstein also creates paintings, essentially abstractions of his animated worlds. These paintings accompany the digital installations and enable the artist to explore the often-tenuous boundary between the real and the virtual in contemporary culture. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra commissioned Weinstein to create a digital accompaniment to debut with their performance of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero on May 4. The Mint Museum organized a spotlight exhibition of Weinstein’s art, including four paintings and a video.