Mint Museum announces the opening of spotlight exhibition Matthew Weinstein

Artist to visit museum with acclaimed author Robert Goolrick prior to premiere of Charlotte Symphony�s Bolero Comes Alive; museum adopts new policy of opening all lectures free to college students

 Fans of visual art, multimedia art, film, dance, and symphony will all find something to love when The Mint Museum unveils the spotlight exhibition Matthew Weinstein, featuring four paintings and a short film by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based multimedia artist Matthew Weinstein.

The exhibition opens Saturday, April 28 and remains on view through August 19. It runs concurrently with Colorbind: The Emily and Zach Smith Collection, another spotlight exhibition paying tribute to beloved local patrons of both the Mint and Charlotte Symphony, on view April 28 through August 12.

Weinstein has achieved notoriety in the art world as the first artist to focus exclusively on 3D animation.  Beginning with a self-written dialogue or lyrics, Weinstein uses musical scores and written text to develop characters which he then renders by means of the animation program MAYA. Weinstein then casts actors to vocalize the dialogue, and musicians to create an auditory backdrop for the already visually-developed environments. 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 Mint-organized exhibition includes Weinstein’s short film Chariots of the Gods, which features a mechanized female koi, voiced by Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson, who dangles from a golden chain in an empty restaurant.  While she seems to carelessly meander through her environment with a smiling disposition, she offers discourse on such weighty subjects as the future, devolution, technology, aliens, and the impossibility of progress.

“Matthew Weinstein’s video invites the viewer to enter a mesmerizing environment, which is entirely manufactured through computer animation. His unique ability to combine his many talents as screenwriter, director, and digital animator results in a video that is visually stunning as the narrator lulls the viewer to follow her epic tale,” said Carla Hanzal, the Mint’s curator of contemporary art. “Weinstein’s paintings, often inspired by the digital environments he creates, are seamlessly rendered. Their refined surfaces and rich detail coax one to take a closer look at the worlds he brings to fruition.”

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, Weinstein will participate in a special dialogue with Robert Goolrick, acclaimed author of the novel A Reliable Wife, at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street. After a viewing of Weinstein’s short film The Childhood of Bertolt Brecht (recommended for ages 13 and up), the artist and the author will discuss the importance and the role of narrative in art. This event is a cultural partnership between The Mint Museum and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, which also celebrates the Symphony’s production of Bolero Comes Alive, featuring digital animation by Weinstein. After the lecture at 6:30 p.m., the museum will host a reception and opportunities to view both the Weinstein and Colorbind exhibitions (other galleries will be closed during the evening). The cost is $10 for Mint members and $20 for non-members. And in a recently-adopted policy, all college students with valid ID can be admitted free to this and all other lectures hosted by the Mint.

Any non-members who attend can receive a $10 discount off a new Mint membership. In addition, ticketholders to the Symphony’s May 4 Bolero Comes Alive performance can receive free admission and $10 off a new Mint Membership from May 3 through May 6, and Mint members can receive $10 off Bolero Comes Alive tickets by contacting the Charlotte Symphony Box Office at 704-972-2000. This cultural partnership is reminiscent of similar partnerships the Mint has joined in with Opera Carolina and North Carolina Dance Theatre. In January, the Mint unveiled a spotlight exhibition by artist Jun Kaneko, which remains on view through April 29, in conjunction with a Kaneko-designed production of the opera Madama Butterfly. And in March, the museum offered free admission to Sleeping Beauty ticketholders and Mint members received a ticket purchase discount to NCDT’s Sleeping Beauty performance in conjunction with the museum’s Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear exhibition, which remains on view through July 8.

“Exploring innovative ways to maximize opportunities for Charlotte audiences through cultural partnerships continues to be a core value of the Mint, and we’re pleased to be able to further this goal through the work of an artist as talented as Matthew Weinstein,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, president & CEO of The Mint Museum. “As we have said before, thanks to this deepening spirit of collaboration, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a follower of the arts in Charlotte.”

Symphony premieres Bolero Comes Alive

At Bolero Comes Alive, a KnightSounds performance on May 4, the Charlotte Symphony will feature the world premiere of Weinstein’s latest digitally animated work of art. Weinstein’s commissioned piece is a 16-minute original animated video to be displayed on a screen suspended above the orchestra. The audience will experience the brilliant animation in sync with the hypnotic music of Ravel’s Bolero.

This is the first commissioned work under the leadership of Music Director Christopher Warren-Green. It will be performed during the Symphony’s new multi-sensory KnightSounds series, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is becoming part of a new national model for the modern concert-going experience.

Warren-Green will lead the Charlotte Symphony in this exciting venture that represents a marriage of classical music, digital art, and modern dance. In order to make his non-human characters live on screen and appeal to a human audience, Weinstein works with actors, dancers and choreographers to capture human movement which he then applies to his animations. For this piece, he worked closely with a choreographer to translate his ideas into a modern dance.

“The application of digital animation to the frequently performed and well known Bolero exposes aspects of the work in a way that an aural performance alone cannot,” said Charlotte Symphony President and Executive Director Jonathan Martin.

Commissioning a piece of multimedia artwork is representative of the forward-thinking vision of the orchestra. As the commissioning agency, the Charlotte Symphony aims to give the work a continued existence in the orchestra world beyond the premiere. The Charlotte Symphony will license the work to other orchestras to help offset the cost of the commission. A post-concert street festival will follow the May 4 performance, featuring local food vendors, artisans and continued entertainment from the high-octane PROJECT Trio.

Since its inception in 2010, the KnightSounds series has been met with full houses and critical success. A tenet of the KnightSounds mission, multimedia is used to enhance and intensify the musical experience. The concerts are one hour in length and include a beverage and hors d’oeuvres in the ticket price, along with engaging pre- and post-concert activities.

Event list:

Saturday, April 28: Spotlight exhibitions Matthew Weinstein and Colorbind: The Emily and Zach Smith Collection go on public view at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street.

Thursday, May 3:  6:30 p.m. Matthew Weinstein and author Robert Goolrick community discussion and reception at Mint Museum Uptown. Visit for more information and to RSVP (required; hit “calendar”). $10 Mint members and Bolero Comes Alive ticket holders; $20 non-members; free to college students.

Friday, May 4: 5 p.m. Free admission to Mint Museum Uptown begins for all concert ticket holders, continuing through Sunday, May 6.

6:30 p.m. Pre-concert reception with Dean & Deluca hors d’oeuvres at the Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts, 430 South Tryon Street.

7:30 p.m. Charlotte Symphony KnightSounds Bolero Comes Alive concert premieres Weinstein work. Tickets to the KnightSounds performance and premiere are $39, available at 704.972.2000 or

8:30 p.m. Post-concert street festival outside the Knight Theater featuring vendors, artists and musical entertainment.


New college student ticket policy


While The Mint Museum frequently has offered free or discounted admission to college students to lectures and other special events, museum officials recently decided to officially open all lectures to college students with a valid student ID. This includes the May 3 Weinstein/Goolrick event and the Mint’s Contemporary Architecture + Design (CAD) series, bringing a lecture from influential graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister at 7 p.m. on May 24 (cost is $5 to Mint members and $10 to non-members).

This admission policy reflects the museum’s recently adopted mission statement which includes “engaging and inspiring all members of our global community.”

“A major initiative of The Mint Museum is to create innovative and engaging public programs relevant to our various communities — and one of our large communities is college and university students,” said Laura Everett, adult programs coordinator for the Mint. “The Mint Museum’s programming consistently features nationally and internationally renowned experts — offering students perspectives on the world which will only enrich their education.”

For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit and click “Calendar.”


Charlotte Symphony

Founded in 1932, the Charlotte Symphony aspires to serve the whole community through classical music that educates, entertains and enriches. The orchestra’s recently launched New American Orchestra Campaign will provide the financial stability for the Symphony to build a renewed and sustainable funding model. A non-traditional venture, the New American Orchestra Campaign seeks to address the immediate nature of the need through community-wide operating support. Through education, innovation and relentless passion, the Charlotte Symphony has served the community for 80 years and is a vital organization that fervently believes in the artistic enrichment of the human spirit.

Christopher Warren-Green

Music Director of the Charlotte Symphony and London Chamber orchestras, Christopher Warren-Green has formed an international career that has included appearances with the London Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Camerata Resident Orchestra of the Megaron Athens.Warren-Green has been personally invited to conduct on many occasions for the Royal Family in the last thirty years. In April 2011, Warren-Green conducted the London Chamber Orchestra during the marriage ceremony of HRH Prince William Duke of Cambridge and HRH Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey, which was televised to millions worldwide. Warren-Green is a regular on television and radio, and in summer 2008, he featured on the BBC’s high-profile television series ‘Maestro’. He has recorded extensively for Sony, Philips, Virgin EMI, Chandos and Deutsche Grammophon.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

Levine Center for the Arts and Knight Theatre

The Levine Center for the Arts is one of Charlotte’s key cultural destinations, comprised of Bechtler Museum of Modern Arts, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture, John S. and James L. Knight Theater and Mint Museum Uptown. The center was made possible through the Campaign for Cultural Facilities, the support of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and the generosity of the Leon Levine Foundation, one of the country’s largest and most impactful philanthropic organizations. Opened in 2010, the Knight Theater’s contemporary, flexible design of 1,150 seats provides for artistic grandeur in an intimate setting. The theater is the primary venue for the North Carolina Dance Theatre, and features performances by Opera Carolina and the Charlotte Symphony, as well as musical theater, popular music, touring productions, lectures and film.