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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exhibition sections and catalogue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New fiber art works in space named for Schiff-Bresler Family

The Mint Museum is pleased to announce a new named space in the Craft & Design Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown. Through the generosity of the Bresler Family Foundation, the Schiff-Bresler Family Fiber Art Gallery was inaugurated in recent weeks with a stunning installation including five new acquisitions in honor of Fleur Bresler, an initiative of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design Board of Directors. A longtime craft supporter, collector, quilt maker, donor, and friend of the Mint, Fleur and her late husband Charles Bresler gifted thirty-six historic American quilts to the Mint in 2001 and 2002. Fleur Bresler also donated a rare iconic Etruscan Chair by Danny Lane to the Mint in 2011.

As part of the Mint’s ongoing “Year of the Woman,” the museum is celebrating Fleur Bresler for all she has done to advance craft in this country, for her dedication to artists, at all stages of their careers, and for true philanthropy, raising the bar high, and leading by example. The “Year of the Woman” began in summer 2016 with the celebration of the museum’s 80th anniversary as an institution founded by women, led by women, and known for pioneering exhibitions of work by women artists.

Five of the new acquisitions demonstrate the museum’s collection development in Craft + Design to focus on 21st-century innovative international works. Highlights of the inaugural installation include Impala, a free standing sculpture by Anne Lemanski, designed and created in Charlotte during Lemanski’s residency at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation earlier this year and purchased by the Bresler Family expressly for the fiber art initiative. Wall mounted fiber art includes Chance of Flurries 2011, by another North Carolina-based artist, Nava Lubelski; Dream Year: 2015 by Mi-Kyoung Lee; Wall Hanging 3 2015, by Tanya Aguiñiga; and in between sculpture and wall hanging, displayed in a gigantic light box, Quilt Film Quilt 2015 by Sabrina Gschwandtner.

The inaugural installation also features a newly acquired furnishing panel designed by Anni Albers for Knoll, Eclat 1974, and a lace composition Fragments of My Dreams 3 1980, by fiber art pioneer Luba Krejci. Punctuating the new accessions are John Garrett’s Tales Told on a Sunday Afternoon Between Los Cordovas and the Pilar Landslide 1997, Claire Zeisler’s Blue Vision 1981, Ramona Sakiestewa’s Migration/9 2000, and the Project Ten Ten Ten installation  Urban Color Palette, Charlotte 2010, by Hildur Bjarnadóttir.

The works are expected to remain on view through October 2017 in the Level 3 galleries, which are accessible FREE each Wednesday evening from 5-9 p.m. and available via general admission during the remainder of regular operating hours.

Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle, leading collectors of decorative arts and founding members of the Mint’s The Founders’ Circle, assembled renowned collection over 53 years

Mint Museum Uptown will present the exhibition Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection, organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), from September 6, 2014 through February 22, 2015. The exhibition celebrates a remarkable group of 170 works of art — ceramics, fiber work, furniture, glass, jewelry, and works on paper — acquired by the MFAH in 2010. It will showcase 85 objects by 50 artists—including Olga de Amaral, Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, Sam Maloof, Richard Marquis, Albert Paley, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos, and Toshiko Takaezu—and highlight important studio objects made from the mid-1960s to the 2000s with a focus on the 1960s – 1980s, the collection’s great strength.

“The Mint’s world-renowned collection of contemporary craft is strong in late 20th-century work, and the Eagle collection provides an excellent survey of American studio craft from the preceding decades, providing our audience with the historical perspective,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint. “Moreover, Lee and Mel are inextricably tied to the advancement of craft and design at the Mint.  They were early advocates of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, and were instrumental in the creation of The Founders’ Circle, its national affiliate group. Passionate collectors and generous friends, they continue to support the museum’s collection development. We applaud the Eagles for their contributions to both the Mint and the MFAH.”

Works donated by the Eagles to the Mint in the past include an important group of seven ceramic vessels, c. 1900, by George E. Ohr, gifted as part of The Founders’ Circle inaugural gift to the Mint. “Ceramics are the heart and soul of Lee and Mel’s collecting, and their affinity for clay blurs boundaries of ‘fine’ and ‘decorative’ art. Across media, they have been trailblazers in recognizing the genius of makers such as Olga de Amaral, Ron Nagle, Bob Ebendorf, and Michael Cardew. And they continue to collect at the highest level, selectively, intentionally, inspiring us all,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion.

The Eagles continue to help the Mint build a major collection of contemporary decorative arts.  Most recently they gifted to the Mint a group of mid-20th century utilitarian forms by British potter Michael Cardew (1901-1983). “One of these is an extraordinary stoneware stool with incised abstract designs, and pulled straps, based on traditional Nigerian seating furniture. But it was made when Cardew was in the U.S. working with American studio potter Don Reitz, acclaimed artist and dear friend of the Eagles. Cardew is highly regarded – along with Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji he helped revive British slipware traditions.  For the Mint, and for North Carolina, Cardew is inextricably tied to our own ceramics history,” Carlano said, noting he was a teacher of Mark Hewitt, a potter who has been featured in the annual Potters Market Invitational events held at Mint Museum Randolph and will be again this year.

Special opening weekend activities and upcoming programs

As with previous special traveling exhibitions that have visited the Mint, special exhibition fees will be required to see Beyond Craft for non-members of the museum. Admission to Beyond Craft is always FREE to members of the Mint, and for adult non-members is $24 (which includes general admission to the permanent collections at both locations of the Mint). Holders of a Levine Center of the Arts pass, valid for general admission to all three Levine Center for the Arts museums, must pay an additional $12 fee to visit Beyond Craft. Admission fees include state sales tax. Members of the museum are invited to special members-only hours during opening weekend before the museum is open to the public: 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, September 6; and noon-1 p.m. on Sunday, September 7. For more information on becoming a museum member, visit or call 704.337.2034.

Beyond Craft opens on the same day as a 10-year tradition for ceramics enthusiasts at The Mint Museum, Potters Market Invitational (PMI), happening from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mint Museum Randolph on September 6. Presented by the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of the Mint, the event brings 50 North Carolina potters to sell their wares from a gigantic tent on the Randolph Road lawn, accompanied by demonstrations, food, live music, and more. Tickets to Potters Market Invitational are $10 and available for purchase at the door or at And as a special value for Potters Market ticket holders this year, PMI attendees will also receive complimentary special exhibition admission during Beyond Craft’sopening weekend. Admission passes to Beyond Craft, valid for Saturday and Sunday September 6-7, will be distributed at the door during Potters Market Invitational.

Other special events will include free or reduced admission fees to Beyond Craft. On Wednesday, October 15, from 5-9 p.m., community access will be completely free during the Mint’s recurring monthly ArtFusion program which also features free educational offerings. And on Sunday, October 19 from 1-4 p.m., adult non-members pay $6 and everyone under 18 is admitted free to Beyond Craft as part of the recurring Sunday Fun Day series, which includes hands-on art activities.

On January 15, 2015, Wendell Castle, who is also represented in the Mint’s collection, will present a talk as part of the museum’s lecture series, CAD (Contemporary Architecture + Design). And on the weekend of February 6 – 8, 2015, the museum will host a panel discussion with the Eagles as well as artists represented in their collection, as part of a weekend-long celebration of the Eagles with support from The Founders’ Circle. See details of these and other events at /happenings.

Media preview

Members of the media are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 4 at Mint Museum Uptown. Light breakfast will be served and interviews with curators will be available. RSVP to by Wednesday, September 3 to attend. Media photography will be permitted and high-resolution images are available on request.

The Eagles’ Lifelong Commitment to Collecting

Leatrice and Melvin Eagle began by collecting works of clay in 1960 and the medium remains at the heart of their collection to this day. Lee’s early training as a ceramist led to a lifetime devotion to clay, a passion that Mel has shared with her over the years. As the couple became sophisticated observers of the field and their preferences took shape, they successfully assembled a museum-quality collection of ceramics, fiber art, furniture, jewelry and prints, paintings, and drawings. Their passion grew beyond living with objects to encompass a deep respect for art and artists, as well as a lifelong commitment to promoting and supporting their work through institutional and personal involvement.

Beginning with the 1973 establishment of Eagle Ceramics — a business that provided the resources to make and teach ceramics — the Eagles immersed themselves in the art community and began forming relationships with many prominent artists. From 1979 to 1983, Montgomery College, Eagle Ceramics, and the American Hand Gallery in Washington, D.C., collaborated to present a series of workshops, lectures, and exhibitions called “Making It in Clay.” These events enabled the Eagles to meet prominent artists and the couple started collecting their works in depth. Ralph Bacerra, Don Reitz, Adrian Saxe, and Michael Cardew have remained touchstones for the Eagles and lasting friendships with the artists resulted from these initial meetings. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Eagles were inspired to acquire collection subsets in jewelry, fiber, and furniture and expand their significant holdings in West Coast ceramics, particularly those made in the 1960s and 1970s during the heyday of the Funk movement.

The Collection

The heart of the Eagle Collection is ceramics, particularly works made by California-based artists, such as Peter Voulkos and his students John Mason, Ken Price, Paul Soldner, and Stephen de Staebler, who revolutionized the field by advocating a sculptural and abstract aesthetic rather than the functional forms that had previously predominated contemporary clay. The Funk Movement of the mid 1960s and 1970s is amply represented by important clay works by Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Viola Frey, Michael Frimkess, David Gilhooly, Howard Kottler, and Marilyn Levine. Second-generation ceramic artists that further cemented California’s reputation as an incubator for innovation in the field, including Ralph Bacerra, Michael Lucero, Ron Nagle, and Adrian Saxe, are also featured. In addition, clay art by ceramists such as Rudy Autio, Jack Earl, Edward Eberle, Ken Ferguson, Wayne Higby, Don Reitz, Toshiko Takaezu, Robert Turner, and Betty Woodman provide an introduction to functional, narrative, and sculptural trends that were developed in other regions of America in the post-World War II period.

The Eagles collected selectively in other decorative arts media, homing in on artists whose innovations, aesthetics, and techniques established studio craft as a relevant and dynamic art form. Highlights include furniture by Wendell Castle and Sam Maloof, two of the most renowned American studio furniture-makers who are represented in the exhibition by early works from the 1960s and 1970s. Major abstract wall-hangings by the Colombian artist Olga de Amaral and American artists John McQueen and Cynthia Schira make up the fiber art in the collection. Jewelry and metalwork by Glenda Arentzen, William Harper, Eleanor Moty, Albert Paley, Earl Pardon, and Joyce J. Scott offer a view into the diverse work of pioneering American jewelry artists.

An aspect that sets the Eagle Collection and this exhibition apart from others is the presence of paintings on paper and prints by many of the artists, including Robert Arneson, Rudy Autio, Viola Frey, Richard Shaw, and Peter Voulkos. Adding this facet of these artists’ careers to the exhibition broadens the understanding of their aesthetic and creativity.


Beyond Craft is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue that includes a full list of the entire 170-piece collection. It features an essay by the distinguished scholar Janet Koplos on prevalent issues in the craft field during the 1960s-1980s and their intersection with contemporary art of that time as well as their relevance and legacy today. A general discussion of the Eagle Collection and its formation is authored by Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Approximately 45 featured works from the collection have in-depth entries written by Susie J. Silbert and Cindi Strauss.


Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection is organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and presented at The Mint Museum.


The Mint Museum is a leading innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. The Mint Museum opened in 1936 as the first art museum in North Carolina. Today, the Mint comprises two facilities, the historic Mint Museum Randolph and Mint Museum Uptown. The museum’s holdings are regarded as one of the premier collections in the nation, with approximately 35,000 objects. Opened in 2010, Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally known craft and design collections, as well as outstanding collections of American and contemporary art. In addition, Mint Museum Uptown has over 10,000 square feet of special exhibition galleries.  Highlights from the Mint’s Craft and Design Collection are installed in a series of galleries totaling over 5,000 square feet and organized by medium. These constitute a significant proportion of the museum’s programmatic focus. The Mint’s strengths include the Jane and Arthur Mason Collection of wood art; the Bresler Collection of American Quilts; two major collections of ceramics, the Marc and Diane Grainer Collection and the Allan Chasanoff Collection; a renowned collection of Czech glass; and a nationally-recognized collection of North Carolina pottery.

Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning center city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop.

Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood. Today, in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with Art of the Ancient Americas, Decorative Arts, North Carolina Pottery, Fashion, European Art, and African Art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions. For more information, visit


Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is among the 10 largest art museums in the United States. Located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, the MFAH comprises two gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, theater, two art schools, and two libraries, with two house museums, for American and European decorative arts, nearby. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH numbers some 65,000 works and spans the art of antiquity to the present. For more information, visit

Above image:

Olga de Amaral (Colombian, b. 1932). Tierra y Oro #2, 1986, fiber with gold leaf. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection, gift of Leatrice and Melvin Eagle. 2012.520. © Olga de Amaral. Image © MFAH

Jens Praet’s “Shredded Side Table” premiered at Design Days Dubai

Mint Museum Uptown visitors can now see the latest acquisition to join the Craft + Design galleries, “Shredded Side Table” by Jens Praet, a Belgian native now based near Siena, Italy.

Praet is internationally recognized for work that values traditional craftsmanship, innovative techniques, and conceptual sophistication in equal measure. “Shredded Side Table” comes from the “Shredded” series that Praet initiated as a research project in 2007-2008. The series was inspired by his observation of the amount of paper that is used and discarded in industrialized society. He embedded shredded paper in resin and formed it around a hidden aluminum frame to create furniture whose material origin is clearly visible. This particular “Side Table” was commissioned by Design Days Dubai and was produced on-site, part of a performance during the public programming of the fair, using copies of Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Arabia.

Praet said his goal is to give concrete form to the idea of waste. “What I always like is that people gradually find out what the material really is, as the surface might look like granite if you superficially observe the object,” he said. “Once people understand the material, their reaction is quite often an understanding of what else can be done with paper waste, or just waste in general… Waste can be turned into something useful and hopefully aesthetic.”

The acquisition was announced in March during the latest edition of Design Days Dubai 2014, an event featuring acclaimed international and regional galleries dedicated to collectible design which takes place every year at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. The commissioned piece was donated to The Mint Museum by the fair organizers, and the artist’s presence was possible thanks to Industry Gallery of Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

“The proliferation of paper is a global challenge and speak to the international nature of contemporary design,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion. “The Mint museum’s collection echoes the diversity of contemporary design today, and Jens Praet’s work resonates perfectly with our goals. Made by a Belgian designer active in Italy, during a performance at a design fair in the United Arab Emirates, and acquired through an American gallery, it truly allows us to bring the world to Charlotte. The ‘Shredded Side Table’ will engage viewers from the city, the region, and beyond in thinking about paper as a material and about the role of designers in society.”

“A big part of Design Days Dubai’s mission is to give its visitors and collectors the chance to discover regional and international design with a focus on contemporary creations,” said Cyril Zammit, Design Days Dubai Fair Director. “Each year, we commission pieces from emerging designers to support contemporary design and focus buyers’ and media attention on alternative or new techniques. We are delighted to see that the UAE’s thriving market is reaching out to great institutions such as The Mint Museum, reconfirming Dubai’s position as a platform for art and design attracting a dynamic and diverse audience.”

Last fall, the museum announced the launch of a three-year Collections Initiative with the help of Bank of America, which donated a monumental canvas by California artist Sam Francis to the museum. The painting, Untitled (Seafirst) 1979, at approximately 19 feet tall by 38 feet wide, is one of the largest by size in the Mint’s collection and is one of the first works seen by visitors to the atrium of Mint Museum Uptown. Many other significant acquisitions have arrived or are in the process of arriving at the museum as a result of the Initiative, and more announcements will follow soon.

For further information on the Mint’s Collections Initiative and how to get involved, contact Leigh Dyer at or 704.337.2009.



Jens Praet. Belgian, 1984-

Shredded Side Table (Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Edition) 2013

Paper, resin, aluminum

Donation of Design Days Dubai and the Artist through Industry Gallery, Washington DC and Los Angeles.



About Design Day Dubai

The fourth edition of Design Days Dubai – the leading fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectible design – will take place March 16-20, 2015. The fair features leading international designers and galleries alongside up-and-coming design from across the world. The fair also presents a strong non-commercial programm consisting of education, workshops, installations, and live performances. The fair’s 2014 edition welcomed 40 exhibitors and design galleries from 20 countries and showcasing more than 239 designers, confirming its position as the most diverse design fair in the world.  Design Days Dubai 2014 received more than 12,000 visitors. Design Days Dubai has become a meeting point for design collectors and enthusiasts to acquire unique design and gain a glimpse of the contemporary trends of the regional and global design industry.

Hoss Haley’s “White Ripple” was created in the North Carolina mountains

The Mint Museum’s internationally-renowned Craft + Design Collection is celebrating the acquisition of a work that further cements the museum’s reputation as a leader in the fields of craft and design.

Hoss Haley’s White Ripple (2013) was acquired with the help of a grant from the Windgate Foundation, and is currently on view on Level 3 in the Mint Museum of Craft + Design galleries of Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street in Charlotte. Haley is a self-taught artist who grew up on a farm in Kansas, where he learned machining and steel fabrication at an early age. He later studied blacksmithing in Texas and New Mexico, including an apprenticeship under the renowned metalwork artist Tom Joyce. Today, he is a highly respected teacher of his craft, having taught at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and elsewhere.

To create White Ripple, Haley used washing machines from his local scrap yard. He developed a way of stripping the metal from these large appliances, and custom designed a press die to form a sine wave pattern in the individual plates. White Ripple is an ode to these bright glistening surfaces of enameled steel with their embossed circular patterns, evocative of gentle ripples in water.

White Ripple is a significant work that belongs in a major museum where it will be preserved, exhibited, and interpreted for a large and diverse audience,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion. “This work greatly enhances the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary metalwork. Moreover, it underscores the institution’s deep commitment to regional and North Carolina craft.”

The public is invited to contemplate White Ripple along with other selected works from the Mint’s permanent collection this Saturday, April 12, as part of the international “Slow Art Day” movement. The global, all-volunteer event invites the public to engage in slow contemplation of works of art at local museums and galleries – five works of art for at least 10 minutes each – followed by informal discussions of the works with friends. Over 200 museums and galleries around the world are participating, including the Harvey B. Gantt Center of African-American Arts + Culture, the Mint’s neighbor in the Levine Center for the Arts. The Mint will provide handouts at both Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph this Saturday suggesting works of art to contemplate – free after museum admission. More information available at and

A significant acquisition, White Ripple is part of the Mint’s Collections Initiative. Last fall, the museum announced the launch of the three-year Collections Initiative with the help of Bank of America, which donated a monumental canvas by California artist Sam Francis to the museum. The painting, Untitled (Seafirst) 1979, at approximately 19 feet tall by 38 feet wide, is one of the largest by size in the Mint’s collection and is one of the first works seen by visitors to the atrium of Mint Museum Uptown. Many other significant acquisitions have arrived or are in the process of arriving at the museum as a result of the Initiative, and more announcements will follow soon.

For further information on the Mint’s Collections Initiative and how to get involved, contact Leigh Dyer at or 704.337.2009.

Exhibition examining trends in woodworking will greet visitors to the Democratic National Convention at Mint Museum Uptown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 28, 2012) – Featuring more than 60 installations, sculptures, furniture, and objects, Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design explores the most cutting-edge conceptual and technical trends in woodworking today. Organized by the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and debuting September 1, 2012, at Mint Museum Uptown and running through January 27, 2013, the exhibition emphasizes the ways artists, designers, and craftspeople have incorporated modernist approaches and strategies into woodworking—deconstructing vessel shapes, playing on the relationship between function and form, and utilizing woodturning and furniture techniques in the creation of sculpture. The works, all created since 2000, challenge traditional applications of wood within the design and craft worlds, and exemplify the wide-ranging, frequently unexpected approaches to the medium by contemporary artists and designers. The exhibition will subsequently be on view at the Museum of Arts and Design from March through July, 2013.

“It is very important for the museum to present world-class special exhibitions to complement our internationally-regarded permanent collection during the Democratic National Convention,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint. “Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design is a fascinating look at the way artists and designers use traditional woodworking techniques to create startlingly fresh work.  Organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, in consultation with the Mint, we are honored to premiere the exhibition in Charlotte.  On behalf of the Mint, I express my gratitude to Moore & Van Allen PLLC and the Founders’ Circle for their generous support of Against the Grain.”

The exhibition features 57 artists and designers from around the world, including influential sculptors Ursula von Rydingsvard, Courtney Smith, and Martin Puryear, who will display one of his furniture pieces for the first time; installation artists Gary Carsley and Alison Elizabeth Taylor; designers Maarten Baas, Sebastian Errazuriz, and Pablo Reinoso; and studio wood artists Wendell Castle, Andrew Early, and Hunt Clark, among others.

“Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design aligns beautifully with the Mint’s commitment to innovative 21st-century creative expression from a variety of cultural perspectives.  Moreover, the museum’s collection is very strong in both turned wood and studio furniture, most notably, the Jane and Arthur Mason Collection, as well as recent major acquisitions; Joseph Walsh’s Enignum from the Mint’s Project Ten Ten Ten series, and Silas Kopf’s Who’s Chicken, Now? will both be on view during the exhibition,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s Director of Craft + Design. “Beyond museum walls, Against the Grain has a particular connection to our community and region.  The American furniture industry is centered here, and until just a few months ago, the Furniture Society was based in Asheville. Designers and makers live amongst us.”

“Against the Grain is a complete immersion into the seemingly limitless world of contemporary woodworking, an imaginative experience where function is subsumed by fantastical forms and textures,” said Holly Hotchner, Nanette L. Laitman Director of the Museum of Arts and Design. “The creators featured in the exhibition exemplify the innovative practice that MAD is dedicated to supporting and bringing to the fore. Their work defies clear categorization and draws together traditionally disparate themes, ideas, and techniques into stunning and surprising works of art.”

Organized by MAD Curator Lowery Stokes Sims, Against the Grain is part of MAD’s ongoing “Materials & Process” series, dedicated to exploring contemporary innovations in traditional techniques and materials, and highlights the tremendous creative energy and fresh thinking that creators are bringing to wood today. “Wood is a ubiquitous material and a medium of basic function as well as tremendous versatility. In the last several decades, artists have truly begun to test its creative boundaries, expressing and expanding wood’s aesthetic and conceptual possibilities,” said Sims. “The artists featured in Against the Grain represent the forward-thinking approach that has spurred the medium’s renaissance.”

The featured works fall into seven thematic designations that encapsulate the breadth of creative production in wood. Many of the artists and designers are inspired by wood’s most natural state as trees, utilizing branches, logs, and planks and creating works that draw upon the wood’s grains, textures, and patterns. Others fuse a variety of wood elements together to create distinctly new visual forms, producing a more powerful experience than the individual parts might allow. Digital techniques have also transformed woodworking, allowing creators to manipulate materials and produce illusions that were previously impossible. The use of wood as a material to convey political and social content as well as humor and visual puns has also grown and been refined as artists experiment with the medium. Additionally, environmental issues will be woven throughout the exhibition as increased ecological consciousness is implicit in the work of all contemporary woodworkers.

Highlights from the exhibition include the following works:

• Mark Moskovitz’s fully-functional chest of drawers mimicking wood stockpiled for the winter exemplifies the type of camouflage and secret compartments that have long been an intriguing feature of furniture. His Facecord Chest, 2011, was inspired by the haphazard geometry of cordwood and the accidental poetry in its stacking.

• In Oddychająca, 2011, Ursula von Rydingsvard manipulates a field of flat 2-by-4 beams into an organic form that gently curves out into space.

• Designers Ian Spencer and Cairn Young are presenting their Roccapina V chair, 2012, a product of the Yard Sale Project, which produces furniture that combines computer-aided design and traditional construction techniques. The result is a richly patterned surface resembling a volumetric quilt.

• Alison Elizabeth Taylor’s installations of illusionistic marquetry, which recreate architectural elements of abandoned houses—including linoleum floors or painted and papered walls whose many layers have been worn away after years of water damage.

• Maarten Baas’ “smoked” version of a Marc Newson chair, which has been torched and rendered nonfunctional and yet maintains lyricism and elegance in its new sculptural form.

• A chest of drawers by artist Courtney Smith, whose functionality has been subverted by the insertion of arbitrary rectangles and boxes of plywood. The resulting sculpture challenges ideas of structural integrity and authorship as Smith intrudes on existing design elements.

• Ai Weiwei’s 2008 evocation of a cluster of grapes in his eccentric assembling of ten simple Qing Dynasty stools, rendering the group useless.

• Gary Carsley’s cabinet installation is part of an ongoing project of photographing parks and landscapes all over the world, printing them on vinyl, and then applying them to walls and IKEA furniture. He plays with our sense of space as the print blends the wall and furniture together into one landscape environment.

• Cameroon-born artist Barthélémy Toguo’s large-scale stamp, hewed out of a block of wood and engraved with “Who is the true terrorist?,” taps into the tradition of the woodblock-printed image and evokes the political paranoia infecting recent international relations.

• Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz, whose Porcupine Cabinet, 2011, is a candidate in the Mint’s “Vote for Art” project. It is one of six specially-chosen works by some of the world’s top artists and designers that will be on display throughout Mint Museum Uptown. Museum visitors will cast ballots for their three favorite works. Visitors to the museum during the Democratic National Convention will be offered ballots from September 1-7; voting opens to the general public October 1 through November 9.

All media are invited to preview the exhibition at Mint Museum Uptown from 3:30-5 p.m. on Thursday August 30 (curator’s tour and refreshments provided) or during a media drop-in from 3:30 – 5 p.m. on Friday August 31. In addition, admission is FREE to all members of the media throughout public operating hours during the Democratic National Convention (reservation required). See more information about operating hours at; email to RSVP.


Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design is organized the Museum of Arts and Design and curated by Lowery Stokes Sims, Charles Bronfman International Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, assisted by Elizabeth Edwards Kirrane, Assistant Curator at MAD and project manager for the exhibition. The exhibition has been curated at The Mint Museum by Annie Carlano, Director of Craft + Design. Against the Grain is made possible at The Mint Museum through generous support from Founders’ Circle Ltd. and Moore & Van Allen PLLC.

The exhibition tour includes The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina (September 1, 2012 – January 27, 2013), Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York (March – July, 2013), and other locations to be announced.

The catalogue, published by Monacelli Press, includes essays by Curator Lowery Stokes Sims, who writes on the conceptual framework of the exhibition; Assistant Curator Elizabeth Edwards Kirrane, who chronicles how history, environmental issues, and politics have predicated the use of various woods; and noted writer on art and craft Suzanne Ramljak, who will examine the enduring preoccupation with wood in human cultures. It is available in the Mint Museum Shops for $45.


The Museum of Arts and Design explores the blur zone between art, design, and craft today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to digital. The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum’s mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in a renovated 144-seat auditorium.

For more information, please contact:

Sophie Henderson, Museum of Arts and Design, 212.299.7762,,  or
Alina Sumajin, Resnicow Schroeder Associates, 212.671.5155,

Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell is assembling one of six works set to become part of the Mint’s “Vote for Art: Your View, Your Vote” project

Photographers and reporters are invited to Mint Museum Uptown beginning Thursday, July 26 to capture internationally-acclaimed artist Nacho Carbonell in the atrium assembling his work Wood Branches, Diversity n. 17 (prototype), 2010. Carbonell will be assisted by Paloma Castaño Sanchez, an emerging fashion and textile artist. They are scheduled to complete the work by Monday July 30.

Reporters and photographers are welcome to visit to observe the assembly in progress, but must schedule appointments beforehand with Public Relations Manager Leigh Dyer at 704.337.2009 or The artists will be working on Thursday July 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., on Friday and Saturday July 27-28 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on Sunday July 29 from 1 – 5 p.m. (Click here for more information.)

Carbonell’s work is one of six to be featured in the Mint’s “Vote for Art” project, a one-of-a-kind election taking place within the walls of Mint Museum Uptown.

“Vote for Art” is aimed at educating the public on both the electoral process and the process of building a world-class collection for Charlotte and the region. Six specially-chosen works of art will be on view in the museum, and the public can cast votes on their three favorites. The museum will acquire the three winners and add them to its permanent collection. The other five works will be installed within the museum in coming weeks.

Voting opens on September 1 to coincide with the beginning of the Democratic National Convention – and to allow the DNC delegates the first opportunities to cast votes, as they do during the nation’s real-life electoral process. Mint Museum Uptown, which is normally closed to the public on Mondays, will be open FREE all day on September 3, Labor Day, to coincide with CarolinaFest, a day-long party for the Democratic National Convention visitors to be held along Tryon Street. All visitors to the museum through September 7 will be offered ballots and the opportunity to cast votes. Voting then closes after the DNC and reopens October 1, running through November 9.

Election Day, November 6, will be a free admission day from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. so any interested voters can come to the museum to vote for art after they travel to the polls to vote for their candidates (the museum is always open for free from 5-9 p.m. each Tuesday). And unlike the Board of Elections, the Mint does not require voters to be 18 – children will be offered their own opportunities to cast ballots.

A committee consisting of curators and representatives of three of the museum’s affiliate groups nominated the six works of art. The Founders’ Circle, Mint Museum Auxiliary, and Young Affiliates of the Mint will collaborate on the project’s culminating event, the Ballot Ball, on November 9. At that gala, to be held at Mint Museum Uptown, the winners will be unveiled. Ticket registration for the Ballot Ball will begin September 1.

The Mint is in the process of discussing sponsorship of the project with local and national corporations. Each sponsor will contribute a sum toward the purchase of the works, and will be recognized on a large banner in front of Mint Museum Uptown, which will appear prior to the DNC and remain on view through the Ballot Ball, allowing the corporations to receive a lucrative marketing opportunity in addition to contributing toward this philanthropic project. Sponsors will also be permanently recognized within the museum as the donors of the works of art. Those interested in becoming a sponsor can contact May Nixon at

During the project, voters must be inside the museum to cast a vote; no online voting will be allowed, although an overview of the project is available on and visitors may use the website’s +INSPIRING button to show support for their favorites.

Only one ballot will be permitted per visit, but patrons can make multiple visits throughout the run of the project if they wish to cast multiple votes for their favorite candidates. For non-members of the museum, admission must be paid for each visit unless it is during the museum’s scheduled free hours. (See a complete news release about “Vote for Art” and descriptions of all six works of art here:




Nacho Carbonell. Spanish. 1980-

Wood Branches, Diversity n. 17 (prototype), 2010 (click to view image)

Metal armature, wood, branches, papier-mâché

On loan from Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Milan, Italy.


Extreme experimentation with materials and ideas is central to the work of Nacho Carbonell (known internationally as simply Nacho). The distinct gravel-, thorn-, or branch-covered surfaces of the combined desk forms in the Diversity series suggest a demographically diverse neighborhood and made Nacho the star of the 2010 Salone di Mobile in Milan. The chairs are handmade by a small team of assistants using laborious processes in Nacho’s studio in Eindhoven, The Netherlands; he is assembling Diversity n.17 inside Mint Museum Uptown himself. Nacho graduated from the Spanish University of Cardenal Herrera-CEU and the prestigious Design Academy, Eindhoven. He was nominated Designer of the Year in 2009 by the Design Museum, London, and designated as Designer of the Future by the Design Miami / Basel committee later that same year.

“With a reputation as an innovator in his use of various media, techniques, and as a provocateur par excellence, Nacho is one of the hottest young designers of the moment,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s director of craft and design.

High-resolution images of all six “Vote for Art” works are available on request.

Museum staffers will design and install a custom creation in a deserving local family’s home

December 2012 update: At right is an image of the completed family photo timeline featuring graphic design work by The Mint Museum and designer Elyse Frederick, to be featured on the December 17, 2012 broadcast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The Mint Museum is assisting in the local effort to give a deserving family an “extreme home makeover” as part of ABC’s Emmy award-winning television reality show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

As the show’s producers prepared to select a winning family from the Charlotte area to receive a new home, they approached The Mint Museum in recent weeks to ask for assistance creating and installing a graphic design project involving family photos that will be a focal point of the family’s new living room. Mint Museum Graphic Designer Elyse Frederick and Design & Installation Director Kurt Warnke are leading this effort with support from additional team members. Charlotte company Kenny Color Lab ( agreed to donate the necessary materials and services to produce the museum’s design. “Kenny Color Lab is thrilled to have an opportunity to help a deserving local family and collaborate with The Mint Museum on this project,” said Kenny Flippin, the company’s vice president.

The work will be installed during the build, which is taking place in Lincolnton December 11 through December 17 and is being spearheaded by local builder Bellamy Homes.

Museum staffers were touched by the winning local family’s story after learning they have taken in dozens of local foster children over the years, and recently adopted a group of five siblings. The museum’s contribution to the home will incorporate photos of the family to honor their love and generosity. The creation of the project will be documented and displayed at the museum’s website,, after it is completed. The build is scheduled to air in December 2012 with a two-hour special broadcast on ABC.

“The show’s design producer was impressed with our institution and felt confident that we would have the in-house talent needed to design and install this project,” said Hillary Cooper, Communications and Media Relations Director for the Mint. “This is another shining example of the museum giving back to the community in innovative and meaningful ways.”

Several finalists in the greater Charlotte area were considered for the build, and all were deemed worthy causes. The winning family, the Friday family of Lincolnton, received a knock on their door on Sunday, December 11, from team leader Ty Pennington and the show’s design team. The project has recruited more than 3,000 volunteers, and will be completed in one week. All products and labor are being donated by partnering trades and suppliers.

The Mint Museum Launches Exclusive New Fashion & Design Book

Oscar buzz was in the air on Monday as more than 420 people attended a celebration in honor of the upcoming 40th anniversary of The Mint Museum’s Historic Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection. The Fall EnrichMINT Forum: Passion for Fashion, hosted by The Mint Museum Auxiliary, served as a launch for a first-of-its kind book: Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum. The specially produced, commemorative publication documents the legendary designer’s 2011 visit to Charlotte to benefit The Mint Museum.

At the celebration, Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager of Wells Fargo’s Social Responsibility Group and a member of the Mint’s board of trustees, announced that The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded The Mint Museum a $15,000 Community Catalyst Grant to support the museum’s Historical Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection acquisition fund. The grant was made in honor of the members of The Mint Museum Auxiliary.  Funds from the grant will be used to acquire contemporary fashion from Oscar de la Renta’s collection.

The keynote speaker at the book launch event in The Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium of The Mint Museum Uptown was Jack Alexander, longtime producer of de la Renta’s runway shows, and he gave lots of behind-the-scenes insights into the production of the April 2011 fashion show at the Mint (it turns out the homegrown Charlotte models were a lot better than the imports from Atlanta!).

Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum is now on sale for $40 at museum gift shops at both the Uptown and Randolph Road locations. The hardcover book consists of 80 pages of color photos of the designer’s eye-catching fashions. All proceeds from book sales will benefit The Mint Museum.

The initiative is the latest twist in a wildly successful fundraising effort pairing Oscar de la Renta with The Mint Museum Auxiliary. De la Renta’s visit to Charlotte in April as part of the Auxiliary’s annual Room to Bloom celebration generated a record-shattering $400,000 in fundraising toward The Mint Museum and its programs.

The Mint Museum Launches Exclusive New Fashion & Design Book

Oscar buzz was in the air on Monday as more than 420 people attended a celebration in honor of the upcoming 40th anniversary of The Mint Museum’s Historic Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection. The Fall EnrichMINT Forum: Passion for Fashion, hosted by The Mint Museum Auxiliary, served as a launch for a first-of-its kind book: Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum. The specially produced, commemorative publication documents the legendary designer’s 2011 visit to Charlotte to benefit The Mint Museum.

At the celebration, Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager of Wells Fargo’s Social Responsibility Group and a member of the Mint’s board of trustees, announced that The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded The Mint Museum a $15,000 Community Catalyst Grant to support the museum’s Historical Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection acquisition fund. The grant was made in honor of the members of The Mint Museum Auxiliary.  Funds from the grant will be used to acquire contemporary fashion from Oscar de la Renta’s collection.

The keynote speaker at the book launch event in The Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium of The Mint Museum Uptown was Jack Alexander, longtime producer of de la Renta’s runway shows, and he gave lots of behind-the-scenes insights into the production of the April 2011 fashion show at the Mint (it turns out the homegrown Charlotte models were a lot better than the imports from Atlanta!).

Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum is now on sale for $40 at museum gift shops at both the Uptown and Randolph Road locations. The hardcover book consists of 80 pages of color photos of the designer’s eye-catching fashions. All proceeds from book sales will benefit The Mint Museum.

The initiative is the latest twist in a wildly successful fundraising effort pairing Oscar de la Renta with The Mint Museum Auxiliary. De la Renta’s visit to Charlotte in April as part of the Auxiliary’s annual Room to Bloom celebration generated a record-shattering $400,000 in fundraising toward The Mint Museum and its programs.

Through generous gift by Target Corporation

The Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts has acquired Sheila  Hicks’ monumental bas relief, May I Have This Dance?, through a generous gift by Target Corporation. Originally  commissioned by Target for their lobby headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2003, May I Have This Dance? has  been recently reimagined, and reconfigured, for exhibitions in Paris and Philadelphia, each metamorphosis informed by
the particular architectural setting.

With a redesign of Target Corporation headquarters, a search for a new, permanent home for the work began in earnest in 2010. Target consulted Sheila Hicks regarding where May I Have This Dance? might permanently reside. Some of the largest and most important art museums in the country were considered for this major gift.

With the new progressive initiative of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, a newly opened facility, new leadership, and a renewed focus on world-class acquisitions, exhibitions, and educational programs, The Mint Museum presented a unique
and compelling case. The Mint committed to install the work for an extended period of time in the Robert Haywood  Morrison Atrium, the largest public space and principal gathering area of the new museum uptown. In this prime location, Hicks’ powerful sculpture will command tremendous visual impact and set the tone for visitors’ experiences as they enter the museum. Similar to the original architectural setting for May I Have This Dance? at Target, The Mint’smMorrison Atrium provides a distinct opportunity to honor the integrity of the artist’s original intent and design.

“The Mint Museum is deeply grateful for this exceptional gift from Target Corporation,” said Dr, Kathleen V. Jameson, President and CEO. “Our permanent collection offers a strong complement to the themes and craftsmanship present in May I Have This Dance? The Mint Museum and Target Corporation also share the same core values of integrity in all we do, a commitment to excellence and making art and arts education accessible to diverse audiences throughout our
respective communities. We feel extremely proud and privileged to share this work with our city, region, and our national and international visitors.”

Annie Carlano, Director of Craft + Design, states, “While Sheila is a resident of Paris, she is a citizen of the world. The nomadic nature of May I Have This Dance? parallels the extensive global travels that have influenced and inspired Sheila’s work. Sheila finds innovation in tradition and contemporary expression in the hand-made. May I Have This
is the apotheosis of Hicks’ monumental bas relief creations. Transcendental in both concept and form, this ebullient installation was inspired by the natural light soaked space of the Mint’s atrium, the integration of the outside sky scape and the interior, the energetic vertical sweep to the high ceilings, and the modernity of the building materials and furniture. In fact, Sheila commented that standing in the atrium, reminded her of being inside Le Corbusier’s chapel
(Notre Dame du Haut) in Ronchamp, France.  It is not surprising to me that her initial ruminations about the reconfiguration, of May I Have This Dance?, for the west wall were about shapes and patterns from the natural world, for example streaking lightning bolts and a circling hurricane.”

The official unveiling of May I Have This Dance? will occur in unison with the preview of Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, an exhibition organized by The Addison Gallery of American Art, the art museum of Phillips Academy. This comprehensive exhibition, running 1 October 2011 through 29 January 2012, at The Mint Museum Uptown, marks the first retrospective devoted to this pioneering figure. Sheila Hicks is an artist who builds with color and thinks with line. From her earliest
work of the late 1950s to the present, she has crossed the boundaries of painting, sculpture, design, drawing, and woven form, and has been a critical force in redefining the domains of contemporary art-making.  While challenging the relationship of fine arts to commercial arts and studio practice to site-specific commissions, Hicks has, above all,
re-imagined the profound, vital connection of artist to artisan.

The Sheila Hicks: FiftyYears exhibition and the long-term installation of May I Have This Dance? will serve as important highlights of The Mint Museum’s 75th anniversary celebration beginning this October

Event marks closing week of landmark ceramics exhibition

A public symposium organized by the Mint Museum of Craft +Design will be part of a closing celebration for the inaugural exhibition, Contemporary British Studio
Ceramics: The Grainer Collection
during its final week on view. Featuring innovative discussions by leading international art scholars and artists on important trends and developments in contemporary British ceramics, the Symposium will be held Thursday, 10 March, 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum
Uptown (at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street) and is free with museum admission.

Drawn from the collection of Diane and Marc Grainer of suburban Washington, D.C., the landmark exhibition Contemporary British Studio Ceramics is the first to focus exclusively on this subject in the United States and Great Britain. The Symposium will feature talks by art scholar and critic Tanya Harrod
(keynote speaker); artist and scholar Julian Stair; artist Neil Brownsword; and Mint Museum Director of Craft + Design Annie Carlano. Following the talks, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Carlano featuring Harrod, Stair, and Brownsword, as well as Mint Museum Curator of Decorative Arts Brian
Gallagher and ceramic artist Kate Malone.

The schedule of events is: 1:00 p.m. – Exhibition walk-through and discussion with Diane and Marc Grainer in the Mint

Museum of Craft + Design special exhibition galleries 2:00 p.m. – Book signing by the authors of the exhibition catalogue in the Robert Haywood

Morrison Atrium
3:00 p.m. – Symposium begins in the James B. Duke Auditorium
4:30 p.m. – Break and reception hosted by The Founders’ Circle in the Atrium
5:30 p.m. – Symposium resumes; panel discussion begins
7:00 p.m. – Symposium ends

Keynote speaker Tanya Harrod is the principal essayist of the exhibition catalogue, Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection (Yale University Press: 2010), and Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art in London. She is co-editor of the Journal of Modern Craft and author of the award-winning study, The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century, and the forthcoming biography, Michael Cardew: A Life (both published by Yale University Press). Harrod will offer a survey of British
studio ceramics over the past 20 years with a focus on the “Englishness” of ceramic production.

Ceramic artist and scholar Julian Stair is the recipient of the 2004 European Achievement Award from the World Crafts Council and a regular contributor to craft journals and other prestigious publications. He holds a Ph.D. in Critical Writing on English Studio Pottery from the Royal College of Art
in London. Stair will be speaking on the topic of funerary ware, from urns to sarcophagi, related to his most recent work, which includes both thrown and hand-built vessels.

Born and raised near Stoke-on-Trent, ceramic artist Neil Brownsword began working at the Josiah Wedgwood factory at age 16. He studied ceramics at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, and received his Ph.D. from Brunel University in London following the completion of his groundbreaking series, Collaging History. Brownsword will be speaking on the development of his contemporary ceramic
installation art in historically significant Stoke-on-Trent.

Annie Carlano is the Director of Craft + Design at The Mint Museum and the exhibition curator of Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a master’s degree in art history from Università degli Studi in Florence, Italy. An internationally recognized scholar, Carlano has published and lectured on textiles, fashion, and decorative arts. Her recent books include Sleeping Around: The Bed
from Antiquity to Now
(University of Washington Press: 2006) and Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection. She will speak on the topic of collecting ceramics.

Brian Gallagher is the Curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museum and a graduate of the Bard Graduate Center in New York. Prior to joining the Mint, he served as Assistant Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Gallagher is a member of the
Indemnity Panel for Domestic Exhibitions at the National Endowment for the Arts and serves as a board
member of the American Ceramic Circle.

Born in London, ceramicist Kate Malone studied at Bristol Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. Known for her use of shapes inspired by natural forms and vivid crystalline glazes, this Barcelona-based artist is one of the most fearless innovators in the field of international studio ceramics. The Mint Museum of Craft + Design has commissioned Malone to create a ceramic work for the new Mint Museum Uptown as part of its Project Ten Ten Ten series. She will be the guest artist at the upcoming
10th Annual Mint Condition Gala sponsored by The Founders’ Circle.

Craft museum marks its move to the new Mint Museum Uptown with a farewell party

Charlotteans can enjoy their own “Night at the Museum” to bid farewell to the original location of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. The Mint Museum will invite the public for a final walk-through of the craft museum’s original location (220 North Tryon Street) at a “Last Look Friday” event, before relocating its collections to the new Mint Museum Uptown scheduled to open in October 2010. Enjoy a night of live entertainment, art activities and refreshments in an empty museum on Friday, March 5, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

The celebration will honor the art collections and past exhibitions housed at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, and provide a sneak preview of new additions at the Mint Museum Uptown. Guests of all ages can participate in do-it-yourself art activities from sculpture to interactive photography sessions, observe artist demonstrations and dance to live music by The Swingin’ Richards.

Prior to the celebration, guests can participate in the Last Look Friday Photography Contest by submitting photographs of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. Photos will be judged by museum staff in the categories of “Most Artistic Image,” “Best Dressed Museum-Goers” or “Best Architectural Image,” with winners to be announced the evening of the event.  All submissions will be projected on a slideshow in the galleries. The public can submit photographs by uploading them to The Mint Museum’s Facebook page ( or by e-mailing them to The deadline for submissions is March 4 at midnight.

The Mint Museum’s expansion project includes the construction of a five-story facility in uptown Charlotte and the reinstallation of the historic Mint Museum Randolph. When the expansion is complete, The Mint Museum’s total combined square footage will grow by more than 60 percent, allowing more opportunities to showcase works from the permanent collection and better accommodate significant traveling exhibitions. The new Mint Museum Uptown will house the collections from the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as significant collections of American art, contemporary art, and a selection of European art from the Mint Museum Randolph.

MMC+D collections prepare to move to new facility as part of Museum expansion

The Mint Museum of Craft + Design will close to the public on February 7, 2010 to prepare to move its collections to the new Mint Museum Uptown. Opening in October 2010, the Mint Museum Uptown will house the Mint Museum of Craft + Design collections, as well as significant collections of American Art, Contemporary Art and a selection of European Art in a new five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility located in the heart of Charlotte’s business district. The Mint Museum of Craft + Design Shop will remain open for several more months, with a firm closing date to be announced later this spring.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Mint Museum Uptown, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design has launched Project Ten Ten Ten, a series of commissions created especially for the new Mint Uptown galleries by 10 of the world’s most innovative craft and design artists. When the doors open in October, visitors will see spectacular works by glass artist/designer Danny Lane (United Kingdom), conceptual jewelry artist Ted Noten (The Netherlands), furniture maker/designer Joseph Walsh (Ireland) and fiber artist Hildur Bjarnadǿttir (Iceland). Equally striking commissions by Kawana Tetsunori, Kate Malone, Tom Joyce, Cristina Córdova, Susan Point and Ayala Serfaty are also being planned for the new facility.

The Mint Museum expansion includes the construction of a new building in uptown Charlotte and the reinstallation of the historic U.S. Mint facility on Randolph Road. When the expansion is complete, The Mint Museum’s total combined square footage will grow by more than 60 percent, allowing opportunities to showcase more works from the permanent collection and better accommodate significant traveling exhibitions.

The Mint Museum Uptown will be part of the new Wells Fargo Cultural Campus. In addition to the Mint, the completed campus will include the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Knight Theater (housing the North Carolina Dance Theatre) and the Duke Energy Center. Following the grand opening of the Mint Museum Uptown, collections at the Mint Museum Randolph will be reinstalled with a fresh new vision. Galleries there will feature the Mint’s superb Ceramics, Art of the Ancient Americas, and Historic Costume and Fashionable Dress collections.

The Mint Museum Uptown is scheduled to open just one year prior to the Mint’s 75th anniversary. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston (design architect), Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals of Charlotte (architect of record), and George Sexton Associates of Washington, D.C. (museum consultant), the new facility will combine inspiring architecture with groundbreaking exhibitions to provide unparalleled art experiences for its visitors. The Museum expansion will provide larger and more flexible space to showcase the permanent collections and Mint-organized special exhibitions, as well as major touring exhibitions organized by other venues. The new facility will also house a Family Gallery to reinforce the Museum’s dual priorities of art and education.

Exhibition on view July 25, 2009- February 6, 2010

Selections from a rich artistic tradition will be displayed at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design beginning this summer in the exhibition American Quilt Classics, 1800-1980: The Bresler Collection. From rare crib quilts to modern Amish textiles, the quilts on view reflect America’s diverse cultural and artistic heritage.

Between 2000 and 2001, Fleur and Charles Bresler donated to the Mint Museum of Craft + Design 36 American quilts from their collection. Ranging in date from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century, the quilts document the evolution of American quilting traditions, most notably the Baltimore Album Quilt and the Victorian Crazy Quilt. The exhibition explores the historical and cultural context of the quilts, as well as the economic and technological developments that influenced the textiles’ materials and designs.

Quilted bed covering and needlework traditions arrived in America with the first colonists. Each wave of immigrants would add to the development of the American quilt along with new technologies for printing brighter fabrics at lower prices. By the mid-1800s, an American style had emerged that was distinct from British and European influences.

Quilt making surged in popularity during the Great Depression as a source of relief from hard times. Hoping to jump-start the ailing economy, manufacturers created light and cheery fabrics, such as those seen in the exhibition’s Postage Stamp Quilt, which contains thousands of tiny pieces of cloth that were popular in the 1930s.

Despite declining during World War II and the postwar years, quilt making rebounded following the popular and critical reactions to two exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Abstract Design in American Quilts in 1971 and The Quilts of Gee’s Bend (Alabama) in 2003. Quilts gained in appreciation as works of art in their own right, and major public and private collections were formed throughout the country. Contemporary quiltmakers worldwide continue to explore and develop this time-honored tradition, combining colors, shapes and textures in new and exciting ways.

Organized by the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, American Quilt Classics, 1800-1980: The Bresler Collection was originally on view there in 2003. Since then it has traveled around the United States, and is returning to its home for an encore presentation. The exhibition will be accompanied a full-color catalogue available for sale in The Mint Museum Shops.