Visitors can use SMARTIFY on their phones to learn behind-the-scenes info on selected works of art
If you’re a fan of visual arts and you own a smartphone, you’ll want to download the free SMARTIFY app before your next visit to The Mint Museum – or more than 30 other participating art museums worldwide.
The Mint Museum is the latest to enter works of art in its collection into the database used by SMARTIFY, a global mobile app also in use at museums worldwide including National Gallery (London); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); and The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). Using image recognition technology, the app allows gallery visitors to scan and identify works of art in using their smartphone, to access rich interpretation, and build a personal collection. The Mint’s participation officially launches November 22, though visitors can now test the app on the first group of objects in the database.
“We at The Mint Museum decided to join SMARTIFY because it’s a great way for visitors to learn more about the art we have on view,” said Lyndsay Kibiloski, the Mint’s digital media specialist who is overseeing the effort. “I often look at our works on view and want to know more, and with this app, you can do just that. We hope that visitors will find SMARTIFY to be both a useful and fun way to interact with the Mint’s collection.”
The Mint started with providing information about signature works from its Craft + Design Collection – specifically, Project Ten Ten Ten , a group of works of art by leading artists and designers around the world commissioned in conjunction with the opening of Mint Museum Uptown in 2010. Most are permanently installed at Mint Museum Uptown. Additionally, visitors can scan the famous Chihuly chandelier in the entryway and the monumental Sheila Hicks sculpture in the atrium. Those objects plus Tom Joyce’s “Thicket” sculpture on the terrace are accessible without paying museum admission, and the remainder are accessible free each Wednesday evening from 5-9 p.m. Additionally, hard copies of the supplemental content will be available at the Mint’s front desks by the November 22 launch for anyone who does not use a smartphone.
The Mint is in the midst of adding new objects to the database each quarter moving forward, with a group of objects on view at Mint Museum Randolph in the next installment. In the coming weeks, labels will be added to works of art that appear in the database so visitors will know which ones to scan.
Working across a growing network of museums, SMARTIFY is becoming a global platform for art. Using advanced image recognition technology, SMARTIFY instantly identifies works of art by scanning them on your smartphone. Simply by holding the phone up to a work of art, detailed information about the work is instantly shown onscreen. Glimpses of curatorial research, links to video or audio content, or hidden stories behind the work can all be brought to visitors in a seamless experience, in the presence of the work itself.
The app is currently available at: Royal Academy of Arts, UK; The National Gallery, UK; National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; The Wallace Collection, UK; The Bowes Museum, UK; Turner Contemporary, UK; Ben Uri Gallery, UK; Sculpture in the City, City of London, UK; Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, UK; Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, UK; Deutsche Bank at Frieze Art Fair, UK; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Netherlands; The Rijksmuseum, Netherlands; Mauritshuis, Netherlands; Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Italy; Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia (Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr etc.), Italy; Museo San Donato, Italy; Le Musée en Herbe, France; Spray Collection, France; Little Beaux-Arts, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain; Laguna Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, USA; The State Hermitage Museum, Russia; The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Russia; The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, USA; The Getty, USA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA; LACMA, USA, and The Mint Museum, USA.
Coming soon: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), Greece; Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg, Germany; Musée National des Beaux-arts de Québec, Canada, and many more.
New Tom Joyce sculpture commemorates both history and future
Five years ago, Mint Museum Uptown opened its doors and completed the transformation of a block of South Tryon Street into the international cultural destination known as Levine Center for the Arts. This October, in honor of that anniversary, the Mint will celebrate a new addition to the uptown streetscape—a sculpture by renowned artist Tom Joyce on the Sally and Bill Van Allen Terrace overlooking the museum’s South Tryon plaza.
The sculpture, Thicket, will complete Project Ten Ten Ten, a series of commissions of ten major works by leading international artists and designers in honor of the museum’s opening in the tenth month of 2010.
Thicket, a seven-and-a-half-foot square block composed of stainless steel rods passing through cast iron hammer heads, is a fitting tribute to the community impact of the Mint and Levine Center for the Arts (which is also home to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Knight Theater).
The abstracted hammers are a metaphor rooted in Joyce’s practice as a blacksmith that began 45 years ago with an apprenticeship at age 14. To the artist, hammers symbolize “an inherent potential embodied within all tools employed in the hands of makers. This timeless tool seemed an apt emblem with which to greet visitors and ‘hammer home’ The Mint Museum’s mission of championing all art through educational outreach to encourage creative acts of every imaginable form.”
Accordingly, the sculpture is based on the hammer that Joyce uses most frequently, chosen from among the hundreds that line the walls of his studio, each shaped slightly differently to strike metal in a unique way. Cast in clusters, the hammer heads in the sculpture evoke “cells in the process of dividing” and the stainless steel rods “a kind of creative energy or life force moving out from its source in unpredictable ways.”
As a teenager in New Mexico, Joyce met one of the few remaining blacksmiths in the country and was captivated by the craft and its history. After completing an apprenticeship, Joyce left high school to become a full-time blacksmith, setting up his studio in Santa Fe in 1977. He’s now based in Santa Fe and Brussels, Belgium, and will travel to the Mint with an assistant to install Thicket in late September.
Joyce’s work over the years has included repairing farm implements as well as creating sculptures ranging from tabletop-sized to monumental that have been exhibited throughout the world and collected by museums. He has completed hundreds of commissions for entities including churches, museums, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which awarded him its prestigious five-year fellowship in 2003.
Uniting all of Joyce’s endeavors is his deep interest in the history of iron and the social, political, and economic implications of working with it. Through extensive reading and close study of objects, Joyce has become an expert on historical and contemporary metalwork, particularly African blacksmithing traditions.
Informed by Joyce’s deep cultural knowledge, the very substance of his sculptures embodies memories important to their communities. Throughout history, blacksmiths have continually forged old iron into new objects. As Joyce points out, blacksmiths today rarely use “virgin” iron mined directly from the earth; most iron “has lived another life.”
Joyce uses this practice to imbue his sculptures with meaning. For the Catholic church of Santa Maria de la Paz in Santa Fe, Joyce forged a baptismal font in 1994 from keys, chains, and other objects of personal significance given to him by parishioners. More recently, Joyce was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to forge steel from the World Trade Center into letters spelling out a phrase from Virgil’s Aeneid: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”
Thicket, generously funded by the Mint Museum Auxiliary, tangibly connected to these and other cultural memories. Its cast iron is made from a unique alloy that includes steel filings and iron grindings reserved from those commissions and nearly every other project Joyce has completed in his career, numbering in the hundreds. This metal, in turn, was often sourced from recycled objects. In the artist’s words, Thicket carries “the ferrous ‘DNA,’ or in essence, the molecular ‘memory’” of his life’s work, and with it, the memories of individuals and cultures around the world.
Thicket also enabled Joyce to push his work in new directions. The hammer head clusters are cast in molds created by 3-D printing, marking the first time Joyce has used this process in a public art project. “Before this technology was introduced, deeply undercut molds such as these would have been all but impossible to cast using conventional foundry methods,” said Joyce.
Further, the process to assemble Thicket is a new challenge. The steel rods will be inserted into the hammer head clusters to make individual asterisk-like forms that the artist will combine into a densely packed cube. It will be his first time creating “a complicated structure that cannot be precisely determined beforehand, but must be intuitively woven together one piece at a time,” he said.
“By selecting my most frequently used hammer to create a model for the ‘nucleus’ of each cluster,” said Joyce, “I position it as a seed, poised for a future germination and as a still point at the center of an explosive potential.”
By Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/pJya3yFaFN4″ title=”Tom Joyce: ‘Thicket'”][vc_empty_space][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p__06tnGPv4″ title=”Timelapse of ‘Thicket’ installation”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Institutions are broadening access to Charlotte’s cultural treasures
For the first time since the completion of Levine Center for the Arts in uptown Charlotte five years ago, the presidents of the four member cultural institutions will appear in a joint public discussion to introduce their institutions’ future plans and collaborative strategies to the larger community.
On Monday, September 28 at 10 a.m., members of the media are invited to hear from Charlotte’s cultural leaders, each of them president and CEO of their respective institutions: John Boyer of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art ; Tom Gabbard of Blumenthal Performing Arts which oversees the center’s Knight Theater ; David Taylor of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture ; and Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson of The Mint Museum. The discussion, to be held at Wells Fargo Auditorium at Levine Center for the Arts, is the first time the four leaders have spoken together to the media. It marks a new phase of collaboration among the partners, following in the footsteps of such established arts centers as the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York City and the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.
Levine Center for the Arts, named for local philanthropists Sandra and Leon Levine, was completed in 2010 through the support of the Campaign for Cultural Facilities, 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. Each of its member institutions has elevated its own visibility on the local and national stage, but now a generous grant from the THRIVE Fund is enabling the four institutions to work more closely together than ever before to increase visibility and access to the unified center. The $250,000 award from the THRIVE Fund over two years will make possible the center’s first-ever joint marketing campaign, as well as a free community festival to be held in May 2016 and free docent-led museum tours to be offered during lunch hours monthly beginning in early 2016. The THRIVE Fund was established in 2013 to provide financial stability for Charlotte’s cultural sector under the leadership of Hugh McColl, former Bank of America chairman and CEO, and is currently administered by the Foundation For The Carolinas.
The Mint Museum spearheaded the grant and is managing the project in collaboration with the other institutions. It is one of two collaborative grants awarded this year – the second, led by the Bechtler, is enabling the three museums’ staffs to train together for enhanced membership development efforts and database management. “This grant is providing, for the first time, the funds needed to effectively launch a creative and strategic marketing campaign for this incredible community asset. Increased collaboration and communication across the campus will build visitation, membership, and support while also realizing valuable efficiencies for each organization,” said Hillary Cooper, the Mint’s Director of Advancement & Communications.
Representatives of the four institutions conducted a competitive process over the summer to select a marketing firm to create and administer the joint campaign. The selected firm will be announced at the September 28 media event. Representatives of each museum’s volunteer docent program will also be available to give interviews about the upcoming plans for free public tours. “This is the first time the docents of the three museums have collaborated on a public tour program,” said Laura Hamelau, a Mint Museum docent who is helping to lead the effort. “All three museums want to find new ways to engage the tens of thousands of uptown workers and residents who gather in and near Levine Center for the Arts, so we are thrilled this grant is enabling us to offer free lunch-hour tours to serve as the perfect introduction to the museums’ offerings for a wide audience.”
Following the discussion, members of the media are invited to schedule one-on-one interviews or gallery tours at each institution.
In addition to discussing their collaborative efforts, the four cultural institution presidents plan to offer media and the public a preview of their upcoming offerings this fall and winter. Among the highlights:
At Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Sam Francis was a peripatetic artist, moving swiftly through geographies, cultures, and artistic circles. His monumental canvases coupled with his ebullient enthusiasm inspired artists and audiences around the world. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art exhibition Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision, on view September 18, 2015, through March 7, 2016, will not only present the distinctive art Francis created, but will position him among the various artists whom he celebrated and influenced. The anchor of the show is the 1¢ Life portfolio that Francis edited with the poet/painter Walasse Ting in 1964. Collapsing geographical borders and stylistic differences, Francis and Ting assembled artists as varied as Joan Mitchell, Roy Lichtenstein, Asger Jorn, Robert Indiana, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Jim Dine to illustrate Ting’s poetry in this portfolio.
On view will be selections from Francis’s diverse output: mid-1950s abstraction, experiments in printmaking, and his various series including Edge paintings and Mandalas. Whether working in oil, acrylic, watercolor or lithograph, Francis exploited his media to service his unique treatment of composition and color.
Meanwhile, on view through January 18, 2016 is Portraying the Patron: Andy Warhol and the Bechtlers. On June 3, 1968, the militant feminist writer Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol at The Factory, his famous studio/club house in New York City. Although two bullets missed Warhol, the third went through his spleen, liver, stomach, and esophagus. He almost died during the five-hour surgery that followed, and remained bedridden for three months afterward. While at home, he painted small portraits of Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller, marking his return to portraiture, a theme that had preoccupied him since the 1950s and dominated his output for the remainder of his life. Through commissioned portraits, Warhol could control his public interactions and reliably earn a living.
The Bechtler family were serious collectors who filled their homes and offices with art, making personal connections with artists whenever possible. Although the Bechtlers and Warhol did not have a friendship, they intersected at a pivotal moment in Warhol’s life: a time of great vulnerability and uncertainty as Warhol sought to recover perspective and equilibrium. This exhibition celebrates that personal interaction between Warhol and the Bechtlers. Andy Warhol’s silkscreen portraits of the family hang alongside corresponding Polaroid photos, along with ephemera contextualizing that time in Warhol’s career.
At Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
This fall, Blumenthal Performing Arts brings one of the most anticipated events yet to Knight Theater. Breakin’ Convention – An International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre, created by London’s Sadler’s Wells, comes to Charlotte October 9-10. This two-day event is sponsored by Sprite and will feature the best hip hop artists from around the world, as well as artists from Charlotte and the surrounding region.
Dance Theatre of Harlem takes the Knight Theater stage for incredible performances January 22-24, 2016, as part of a multi-event collaboration between Blumenthal Performing Arts, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts+Culture, and Wells Fargo. All performance tickets will also include admission to the five month long exhibition on the history of the world-renowned dance company opening January 2016 at the Gantt Center.
Blumenthal Performing Arts also brings PNC Broadway Lights and Broadway Extras shows to Knight Theater. This season, Broadway productions at Knight Theater will include the Tony Award® winner for best book and best musical score, Ragtime; the explosive and inventive percussion sensation, Stomp; and the stunning new Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County.
Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater is also home to the Charlotte Symphony, which brings KnightSounds, the Symphony’s most innovative series, offering unexpected collaborations and post-concert parties to Levine Center for the Arts. And many of Charlotte Ballet’s masterworks led by internationally acclaimed President and Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux come alive at Knight Theater each year. Charlotte Ballet is known for its strong dancers and versatile repertoire, ranging from classical ballet to bold, contemporary works.
At Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
Activism — exercised through art and culture — is the yearlong programming theme of the Harvey B. Gantt Center. Four exhibitions illustrate the long lasting legacies that use the visual arts as a tool for activism and social change. The first, AfriCOBRA Now: An Aesthetic Reflection, on view through December 31, consists of two parts. The first section, AfriCOBRA: Art for the People, contains work from various AfriCOBRA members who joined in 1968 — when the group was founded in Chicago — to year 2000. AfriCOBRA Now looks at work by the current membership, revealing the shifting aesthetic of the influential group over their 40-plus year existence.
Charlotte Collects Elizabeth Catlett: A Centennial Celebration, on view through December 31, commemorates renowned visual artist Elizabeth Catlett’s life and work. The exhibition includes examples of her two-dimensional and three-dimensional works (including some loans from the Mint’s collection), as well as photographs of Catlett. The narrative also highlights the show coming from, and reflecting, Charlotteans’ appreciation and collection of her work.
I’m Walkin’ For My Freedom: The Selma March and Voting Rights opens October 9 and remains on view through December 31. The exhibition of images captured by photojournalist Matt Herron depicts moments of the march as the protesters traveled across Alabama. Based in Mississippi in the early 1960s, Herron covered the Civil Rights struggle for Life Magazine, Look Magazine, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post. He also provided photographs and support for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. This exhibition is presented by Bank of America.
And the collaborative effort with the Blumenthal, Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts opens January 22, 2016 and runs through June 26. This majestic exhibition of dazzling costumes, set pieces, and video excerpts celebrates the iconic company and its corps who defied prejudice, and gravity itself, in pursuit of their talent. In the process, the company made history and shattered barriers for future generations of aspiring performers. Dance Theatre of Harlem is a celebration of courage, and of the magic and uplifting power of the performing arts. The cultural collaboration is presented to the community by Wells Fargo.
At Mint Museum Uptown
Thursday, October 1 marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of Mint Museum Uptown – and the completion of Levine Center for the Arts. Mint supporters will gather for an invitation-only VIP celebration on the evening of October 1, and then the community is invited to commemorate the anniversary at a FREE weekend celebration October 3 and 4 during regular museum hours. Visitors will receive both free general admission and free special exhibition admission to America the Beautiful: Works on Paper from The Mint Museum, as well as enjoying free hands-on art activities, music, and other special offerings.
The centerpiece of the celebration will be the unveiling of a new public sculpture by internationally renowned artist Tom Joyce, titled Thicket. It is being installed during the week of September 28 on the Sally and Bill Van Allen Terrace, where it will be visible to the public from the plaza in front of the museum as well as from South Tryon Street and Levine Avenue of the Arts. The sculpture, generously funded by the Mint Museum Auxiliary, represents the completion of the Mint’s Project Ten Ten Ten – a series of commissions of ten major works by leading international artists and designers in honor of the museum’s opening in the tenth month of 2010.
Thicket is a seven-and-a-half-foot square block composed of stainless steel rods passing through cast iron hammer heads, based on the hammer that Joyce, a trained blacksmith based in Santa Fe and Brussels, Belgium, uses most frequently. Its cast iron is from a unique alloy that includes filings from most of Joyce’s previous projects, including his commission for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to forge steel from the World Trade Center into letters spelling out a phrase from Virgil’s Aeneid: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” Joyce will be available for one-on-one interviews following the media event.
On October 31, the Mint will open VIVA MOSCHINO! which is the first U.S. retrospective of celebrated Italian designer Franco Moschino’s work between 1983-1994. The brand is currently well-known thanks to its current Creative Director Jeremy Scott, whose designs have appeared at Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance, Madonna’s latest videos, and the MTV Video Music Awards, but this exhibition, on view through April 3, 2016, will be the first to comprehensively explore the work of the man who launched the brand and first made it an international sensation. The exhibition is organized by the Mint and presented by Novant Health and has received additional sponsorship support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Neiman Marcus.
And on November 21, the museum will complete its fall lineup with the opening of From New York to Nebo: The Artistic Journey of Eugene Thomason, a retrospective of the North Carolina native’s work organized by The Johnson Collection, one of the most comprehensive collections in the South. It remains on view through March 27, 2016.
For additional exhibitions and events taking place this fall at Mint Museum Randolph, check mintmuseum.org.
Special partnership: Local news website Charlotte Five is joining in the Mint’s anniversary celebration with an exclusive C5 Underground event on Friday, October 2. Participants will be among the first in Charlotte to mingle on the terrace with Thicket during a reception with beer and bites from 5:30-7 p.m. A $5 admission fee will support the Mint’s Annual Fund. Participants can register to attend at Eventbrite. (or use bit.ly/C5UndergroundMint).
MEDIA: To RSVP to the September 28 media event, request interviews or tours, or for more information, contact:
Director of Public Relations, The Mint Museum
ABOUT LEVINE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Levine Center for the Arts is one of Charlotte’s key cultural destinations, comprising Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 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.
ABOUT BECHTLER MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to the exhibition of mid-20th-century modern art. It is named after the family of Andreas Bechtler who assembled and inherited a collection created by seminal figures in modernism. More information: www.bechtler.org.
ABOUT BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS
Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council and North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights. More information: blumenthalarts.org.
ABOUT HARVEY B. GANTT CENTER
Founded in 1974, Charlotte’s Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Center) exists to present, preserve and celebrate the art, history and culture of African-Americans and people of the African Diaspora through dance, music, visual and literary arts, film, educational programs, theatre productions and community outreach. Named for Harvey Bernard Gantt, the prominent architect, community leader and former mayor of Charlotte, the Center is housed in an inspired and distinguished award-winning structure and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America. More information: ganttcenter.org.
ABOUT THE MINT MUSEUM
The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. Established as the first art museum in North Carolina in 1936, The Mint Museum has grown to include two dynamic facilities, Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph, and currently boasts one of largest collections in the Southeast. Mint Museum Uptown houses an internationally renowned Craft + Design Collection, as well as collections of American and Modern & Contemporary Art. The five-story, 175,000 square-foot facility was designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston. Historic Mint Museum Randolph is located three miles to the south. More information: mintmuseum.org.
Click here for new hires, new Happenings, and more at the Mint!
Here’s a sampling of our latest news releases:
–An update on the Mint’s Project Ten Ten Ten
–Three new hires: An accomplished educator; an experienced Chief Registrar; a versatile Latino Community Education Liaison
–Winners in the Mint’s innovative “Vote for Art” project
–Upcoming 2013 exhibitions
And much more!
Stay tuned for more exciting updates in 2013!
Above image credit:
Kate Malone. British, 1959-
Mr. and Mrs. Tutti Atomic 2012
Project Ten Ten Ten commission. Museum Purchase: Founder’s Circle 2011 Annual Cause with additional funds provided by Suzu and David Neithercut, Libba and Mike Gaither, Carol and Shelton Gorelick, and Adrian Sassoon. 2012.13A-B
Photograph by Andrew Smart
Three new works join the Mint’s Craft + Design collection
To commemorate the opening of Mint Museum Uptown in October 2010, the Mint commissioned ten works from ten of the world’s leading Craft + Design artists. Here are updates on the three latest works to be completed in what is known as Project Ten Ten Ten:
Kate Malone. British, 1959-
Mr. and Mrs. Tutti Atomic 2012
Project Ten Ten Ten commission. Museum Purchase: Founder’s Circle 2011 Annual Cause with additional funds provided by Suzu and David Neithercut, Libba and Mike Gaither, Carol and Shelton Gorelick, and Adrian Sassoon. 2012.13A-B
Photograph by Andrew Smart
After making their debut at Mint Museum Uptown in the acclaimed exhibition Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear (3 March – 8 July 2012), Mr. and Mrs. Tutti Atomic are spending some quality time at Mint Museum Randolph. When commissioned to create work for Project Ten Ten Ten, Kate Malone envisioned two large-scale, brilliantly glazed pots as metaphors for people—a husband and wife team, with their own personalities, who would travel back and forth between the two Mint Museum locations. Malone comments: “So, I hear that Mr. Atomic and Mrs. Tutti are off on a trip to the other side of town. They love to travel and meet new folk, so knowing the collection there I am sure all the pots at Randolph will be getting down to fine parties when the doors are closed at night…Imagine all the pots from those cabinets escaped and animated and dancing through the night…pots, like people from all walks of time and life…what a hoot!”
Cristina Córdova. Puerto Rican (active United States), 1977-
Preludios y Partidas 2012
Ceramic, concrete, steel, resin
Cristina Córdova with Preludios y Partidas in her studio (come to Mint Museum Uptown to see what it looks like in the gallery!)
Photograph courtesy of Cristina Córdova
Cristina Córdova’s figural sculpture, Preludios y Partidas, now commands a wall at one end of the ceramics gallery on Level 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. Of this subtle yet powerful psychological work, Córdova says: “In understanding this piece as a metaphorical topography, I wanted to use the title to hint as to what that corresponding psycho-emotional space would be. This landscape is one of transition and like the reference to the distillment of reason and logic from uncertainty and chaos, these figures are in the preliminary charged states (preludios) before a great action (partidas /departures). Although the floating concrete elements could hint of the residual vestiges of a previous reality, I am not thinking of it as further leading to an ending but to the beginning of a new cycle. Common to the human experience are profound shifts where the ground gives way and one is thrust into powerful periods of self-reflection, growth, and renewed vision; this is how this space looks in my mind right before the next grand launch.”
Ayala Serfaty. Israeli, 1962-
Joy of Transition 2012
Glass filaments in polymer membrane with light bulbs
Project Ten Ten Ten commission. Museum Purchase: Founders’ Circle 2011 Annual Cause.
DVD produced with additional funds from The Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts (AIDA).
Photograph courtesy of Ayala Serfaty
Ayala Serfaty’s evocative light sculpture, Joy of Transition, now adorns a corner of the Design Gallery on Level 3 of Mint Museum Uptown. Delicate, ethereal, and fragile, this sculpture is made from glass rods individually heated with a torch and formed into abstract shapes that evoke the natural world. The glass forms are sprayed with a polymer coating and lit from behind so that they glow from within. Joy of Transition is part of a series of light sculptures called SOMA—the Greek word for the human body, chosen to suggest the sculptures’ connection to living beings. The title has many possible interpretations, including the evolution of art, craft, and design, and the opening of the new building at Mint Museum Uptown.
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.
ALSO ENDING THIS MONTH
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.