Vote for Art: Your View, Your Vote

The Mint Museum announces innovative project celebrating the democratic process, to coincide with the Democratic National Convention

The Mint Museum is inviting the public, and the tens of thousands of visitors preparing to travel to the city for the Democratic National Convention, to participate in a one-of-a-kind election taking place within the walls of Mint Museum Uptown.

Vote for Art” is a project aimed at educating the public on both the electoral process and the process of building a world-class collection for Charlotte and the region. The Mint will put six specially-chosen works of art on view in the museum and allow the public to cast votes on their three favorites. The museum will acquire the winner or winners and add them to its permanent collection.

“Vote For Art is an exciting and dynamic way for the museum to engage the public with the work of some of the best contemporary artists of our time, while leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint. “We welcome the community, nation, and world to join us in this innovative project.”

Voting opens on September 1 to coincide with the beginning of the Democratic National Convention (and with the opening of the Mint’s blockbuster new exhibition, Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design). 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 from an original field of 12 being offered by top galleries and artists from around the world. All six works are by contemporary artists from as far away as Denmark and Chile and as close as North Carolina, and three of the works represent the best current offerings from the field of craft and design, a particular focus for the Mint. “The strength and reputation of our curatorial team is the reason we received so many significant selections,” said Annie Carlano, director of craft + design for the Mint. Curators Carla Hanzal and Brad Thomas, who oversee the museum’s modern and contemporary collections, joined Carlano in the nomination process.

The Founders’ Circle, Mint Museum Auxiliary, and Young Affiliates of the Mint also participated in the selection, and 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.

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. “Would you marry someone just by seeing their picture?” asked Carlano. “Pictures can’t convey what the work really is.”

Only one ballot is 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.


(Follow links to see images, or click here for the Mint’s Vote for Art page:

Vik Muniz. Brazilian, 1961-
The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli (Pictures of Junk), 2008
Digital chromogenic print
3 parts: 92 x 153 ¼ inches overall
On loan from Sikkema Jenkins Gallery

Art © Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


Vik Muniz, born in Sao Paulo in 1961, has arguably become the most famous contemporary Brazilian artist. Muniz’s recreations of famous paintings are notable for their uncanny attention to detail and the non-traditional nature of the media he chooses. For the Pictures of Junk series, Muniz painstakingly gathers discarded objects such as tires, bolts, coils of wire, broken appliances, and soda cans, arranging them on a warehouse floor in piles and layers to create representations of iconic paintings by historical artists. After this labor-intensive process is complete, Muniz photographs the massive creation from a balcony above, thereby preserving the final appearance before the image is disassembled. The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli (Pictures of Junk), 2008, will be included in The Mint Museum’s exhibition, VantagePoint X/Vik Muniz: Garbage Matters, which will be on view August 25, 2012 through February 24, 2013 at Mint Museum Uptown. “This monumental triptych photograph, exemplary of Muniz’s style and methodology, would be a welcome addition to the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection, and its burgeoning photography collection,” said Carla Hanzal, curator for the Muniz exhibition.


Beverly McIver.  American, 1962-
Dora’s Dance, 2002
Oil on canvas
152 ½ x 122 inches
On loan from Craven Allen Art Gallery, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Attaining national recognition for her autobiographical paintings, Beverly McIver consistently examines racial, gender, and social identities through the lens of her own experiences as an African-American female artist.  A native of North Carolina who currently lives in Durham, McIver is renowned for her expression-filled, emotive canvases that commemorate her life and the lives of those closest to her — in particular, her mother, Ethel, who passed away in 2004, and her sister, Renee, who is mentally disabled.  Her solo exhibition, Reflections: Portraits by Beverly McIver, is on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art and will travel to The Mint Museum, where it will be presented October 20, 2012 – January 6, 2013. Among the portraits included in this exhibition is McIver’s masterful painting, Dora’s Dance, 2002.  “The addition of Dora’s Dance to the Mint’s Modern and Contemporary Collection would enable the Museum to increase its holdings of contemporary portraiture, as well as bolster its representation of nationally-recognized artists residing  within our state,” said Hanzal.

Mattia Biagi. Italian, 1974-
Before Midnight, 2012
Mixed media, tar
67 x 93 x 49 inches
On loan from Anna Kustera Gallery, New York City

Mattia Biagi attended the I.R.F.A., an Italian art and design school, and the illustrious Brera Academy of Art in Milan. He immigrated to Los Angeles in 2001 and became captivated by the La Brea Tar Pits and the idea of a primordial site in the midst of a bustling city. Since then, his tar-covered works transform discarded, everyday objects into interpretations of lost innocence. Dipped in the thick texture-rich substance, the underlying forms are fossilized in time and transport the viewer immediately back to childhood memories of fairytales. In the tar-and-fiberglass Before Midnight, the viewer re-lives the scene when the pumpkin has been turned into a carriage. One recalls the warning to be home before midnight, at which time the magical spell will be broken. The work was featured in the Mint’s exhibition Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear, on view at Mint Museum Uptown from March 3 through July 8.  “Before Midnight, a tour de force of Biagi’s use of tar, would enable The Mint Museum to increase its holdings of works by internationally-acclaimed contemporary artists,” said Thomas.

Sebastian Errazuriz. Chilean, 1977-
Porcupine Cabinet, 2011
Lacquered wood, steel, and glass; 5/6
20 x 26 ¾ x 63 inches
On loan from Cristina Grajales Gallery, New York

Sebastian Errazuriz was born in Santiago de Chile; raised between that city and London; and completed his artistic studies in art, film, and design in Washington, Edinburgh, and Milan, ultimately earning an MFA from New York University. Featured in over 40 exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the United States, Errazuriz’s objects demonstrate his belief that design can be a powerful way to impact our lives, through the dynamic interaction that his work demands. As Porcupine Cabinet opens before the viewer’s eye, it transforms from an elegant minimalist sculpture to an energetic anthropomorphic character. One knows that this is a cabinet — but much more, too. It is included in the upcoming exhibition Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design, on view September 1, 2012 – January 27, 2013 at Mint Museum Uptown. With the acquisition of Porcupine Cabinet, the Mint would be the first American art museum to have a work by Sebastian Errazuriz in its collection. “Errazuriz is a cutting-edge, 21st-century designer whose innovative and inspired works align with the Mint’s goal of building the finest collection of contemporary international design in the world,” said Carlano.

Mathias Bengtsson. Danish, 1971-
Slice Chair Paper, 2010
Paper, 1/2
On loan from Industry Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Born in Copenhagen in 1971, Mathias Bengtsson earned a BA in furniture design from the Danish College of Design and an MA in furniture and industrial design from the Royal College of Art, London. He established his own studio in 2002, after collaborating with other designers and gaining international acclaim for his Slice chairs in 1998. Bengtsson’s Slice Chair Paper blurs the boundaries between design and sculpture by combining inspiration from futuristic technology and nature. Made entirely from paper glued together in layers, using no screws or fasteners, the paper chair resembles a topographic map or a cliff face eroded by wind and water. Because of the labor-intensive process, the designer has decided not to make any more paper chairs. “If acquired, this would be the only paper chair by Bengtsson in a museum collection anywhere in the world,” said Carlano.


Nacho Carbonell. Spanish. 1980-
Wood Branches, Diversity n. 17 (prototype), 2010
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. The chairs are handmade by a small team of assistants using laborious processes in Nacho’s studio in Eindhoven, The Netherlands; he will assemble Diversity n.17 in The Mint Museum’s atrium beginning July 25. 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 Carlano.