Studio Drift’s first U.S. museum exhibition opening Sept. 20 at The Mint Museum

Photo: JW Kaldenbach. Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn. Courtesy of Studio Drift.

Charlotte, NC (September 9, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that uses technology in art to illuminate the power and beauty of nature. The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 20, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation making its international premiere at the Mint. PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor.

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has grown to more than 20 artists, technologists/engineers and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. Studio Drift’s work is lauded in art circles worldwide for using man-made technology to show the beauty of nature. And they do it in a way that inspires awe and meditation, a way to invite the viewer to consider technological possibilities.

At Burning Man in 2017, Studio Drift unveiled its Tree of Ténéré, a towering, lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights that people could climb. At NASA’s 50th-anniversary celebration for the Apollo 11 moon landing, Studio Drift presented its performance piece Franchise Freedom, which consisted of 600 Intel drones soaring through the night sky, simulating the flight pattern of starlings. Iconic ‘80s rock band Duran Duran played during the performance.

A room-sized art instillation made of pipes and dandelions curing from the floor to the ceiling
Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2018, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

One of Studio Drift’s most iconic works, Fragile Future—which will be on display at the Mint—is comprised of natural elements. The Fragile Future installation is made from hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds hand-glued, seed by seed, onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. Nearby will be Amplitude, an installation made of 20 large but delicate glass wings that moves smoothly to suggest a giant bird in flight—another nod to the ability of manmade technology to highlight the beauty of nature.

The exhibition also will include the world premiere of Studio Drift’s new work: Coded Coincidence on Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 5 expansion space. Museum visitors will be able to walk through a massive plexiglass chamber, while more than a dozen steerable wind blowers direct and lift elm seeds to swirl around the viewer. The project was inspired by the many elm trees in Amsterdam and is also a fitting nod to Charlotte’s vast tree canopy.

Immersed in Light has also inspired a local partnership with the Charlotte Ballet. For the ballet’s annual Innovative Works performance Jan. 25–Feb. 6, artistic director Hope Muir has commissioned two choreographers to create an experimental ballet inspired by Studio Drift’s exhibition at the Mint. The dancers will perform in the galleries, and a video presentation of the dance will be broadcast at the Innovative Works shows.

“I am so excited for this opportunity for Charlotte Ballet to collaborate with The Mint Museum and Studio Drift,” says Hope Muir, Charlotte Ballet’s artistic director. “We are always searching for ways to connect with different art forms, and we can’t wait to see what emerges from this innovative partnership between dance and visual art.”
Guests attending the opening-day celebration for Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint on Sept. 20 at Mint Museum Uptown, will be able to meet Drift co-founders Gordijn and Nauta. Godijn will discuss her work and inspiration at 6 PM Friday at Mint Museum Uptown.

Undulating glass pipes forming repetitive geometric figures. The pipes hang from the ceiling in a large spacious room.
Studio Drift. Amplitude, 2017, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

The exhibition is presented by PNC Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Duke Energy – Piedmont Natural Gas. This program is also supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA  program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

Immersed in Light also benefits from media partnership and in-kind support from Wheelhouse Media, The Charlotte Observer, QC Exclusive, Le Meredien Charlotte, Peachy the Magazine, Pride Magazine, and Rite-Lite.



About Studio Drift

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has since grown to more than 20, including artists, technologists/engineers, and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. In their installations and interactive sculptures, the relationship between nature, humans, and technology is key. Studio Drift is represented by Pace Gallery taking part in the gallery’s Future\Pace program, and is also represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit

About The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

The Mint Museum to reopen on Tuesdays at both locations

Charlotte, N.C. (June 25, 2019): The Mint Museum will be reopening its doors on Tuesdays as part of its ongoing commitment to be more available and accessible to all members of the community  

The Mint’s decision, which takes upeffect on July 1 at the start of its new fiscal year, will allow members of the community to view the museum’s new crop of innovative exhibitions during daytime hours. The reopening marks the first time in over six years that the museum has been open on Tuesdays.  

The reopening serves as one of many strategic initiatives spearheaded by The Mint’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, Ph.D, less than a year after he assumed the role. The overarching goal: to broaden the museum’s accessibility.  

 In fall 2018, the museum added Friday date-night hours at Mint Museum Uptown, extending regular hours until 9 PM. The Friday evening hours cater to those who may not be able to visit the museum during the week, and offer a variety of creative ways for people to experience the Mint.  

 “Through these changes, we’re building a better Mint,” says Herman. “We want to give the community more opportunities to take advantage of all the Mint has to offer, and we’re excited for more people to join our family.”  

 The decision to add Tuesday hours comes at the same time as a bevvy of breathtaking and inspiring exhibitions and events are making their way to Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.  

 One exhibition, Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizziopened Saturday, June 22 at Mint Museum Randolph and presents paintings and sketches from the career of author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, whose bestselling works include The Spider and the FlyThe Spiderwick Chronicles (co-written by Holly Black), and Kenny & the Dragon. 

 On view until November 3, the exhibition highlights 150 original works across DiTerlizzi’s career, from his school-age sketches to his early days of illustrating for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, his children’s book illustrations to his fantastical middle-grade works. The galleries also are interactive, giving kids the opportunity to make their own works of art. 

 The Mint is also organizing and hosting the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. 

 The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 21, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation premiering at the Mint.  

Lauded in art circles worldwide for its innovative approach to art through technology, Studio Drift entered the general public’s eye in the U.S. in 2017, when its Drifter — a gravity-defying monolithic block of concrete — wowed at the Armory Show. The Dutch artist collective again made headlines a few months later when its Tree of Ténéré — a towering lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights — debuted at the Burning Man festival. The group’s critical reception across the globe has continued to grow, and most recently, the group was included in the 2019 Venice Bienniale. 

About The Mint Museum  

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

The Mint Museum hires Jen Sudul Edwards as new Chief Curator

Jen Sudul Edwards standing in front of a brick wall
Photo by Carey King

Charlotte, N.C. (June 11, 2019): It is with great pleasure that The Mint Museum announces the newest addition to the Mint family: Jennifer “Jen” Sudul Edwards, PhD, will serve as new Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art, beginning July 1.

There was an impressive pool of candidates for this position, and ultimately, Sudul Edwards stood out for her vast experience, fresh perspectives, and deeply integrated role in the cultural fabric of Charlotte. “Jen’s passion for the arts and for quality exhibitions and programs is a perfect match for the talent already at the Mint,” says The Mint Museum’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD. “Together, the Mint can boast one of the strongest curatorial teams in the region with a shared vision of community engagement and expert scholarship.”

In addition to organizing fresh and provocative exhibitions, Sudul Edwards has seemingly boundless high energy. Her curatorial vision will help the institution move forward and explore new ways to engage with the community.

“I have long admired the Mint’s commitment to diverse art forms, from craft and design to fashion, painting to sculpture,” says Sudul Edwards. “I am excited to bring my own expansive curatorial approach to that respected team.”

She received her doctorate from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and held curatorial positions at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif. and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, before serving as the curator at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. At the Bechtler, Sudul Edwards won numerous awards for her publications, exhibitions and curatorial work, including Charlotte Magazine’s “Best Curator” award in 2017.

Sudul Edwards also is an experienced fundraiser and is active beyond the walls of the museum in the local arts community. She is the chairman of the board at Goodyear Arts, a nonprofit residency and events program that utilizes underused spaces to showcase local visual, performing, and literary artists. And she’s the co-founder and co-organizer of Sphere Series, an art speaker series that brings together local, national, and international leaders in the arts to discuss the value of cultural exchange. Sudul Edwards also serves on the AFA Advisory Committee at Central Piedmont Community College.

Sudul Edwards joins the Mint team at a key point in the institution’s evolution. Herman, who is approaching his one-year anniversary as president and CEO, is committed to expanding the museum’s engagement and involvement with the city, as well as improving accessibility.

A year after extending Friday hours through 9 p.m. at Mint Museum Uptown, both museum locations will be opening again on Tuesdays, beginning July 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. It’s part of a broader initiative to provide enhanced access for the community.

“I’ve only been in Charlotte for four years, but I’ve fallen in love with it — the passionate people, the scrappy creativity,” says Sudul Edwards. “Making sure as many people as possible make their way in the doors of Mint Museum Randolph and Mint Museum Uptown to see what we’re doing is imperative.”

Sudul Edward’s first day at the Mint will be July 1. To see some of her work before she joins the Mint team, she’s currently organizing A Face in the Crowd for SOCO Gallery, opening June 26.

She also is curating W|ALL: Defend, Divide, and the Divine for the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles — an examination of the historic use and artistic treatment of walls over the centuries — opening Sept. 21. She is also currently contributing to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery collections catalogue and contributing to Magnum journal.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with the Mint,” says Herman. “It’s a new chapter.”

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. The Mint Museum is dedicated to leadership in collecting, exhibiting, conserving, researching, publishing, interpreting, and sharing art and design from around the world.

These commitments are central to the museum’s core values of leadership, integrity, inclusiveness, knowledge, stewardship, and innovation, promoting understanding of and respect for diverse peoples and cultures.


New exhibition will highlight the career of bestselling author and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi

Charlotte, N.C. (April 3, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that works from across the career of New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi will be on view in the upcoming exhibition  “Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi” from June 22 to November 3, 2019 at Mint Museum Randolph.

Tony DiTerlizzi – Photo credit “Jim Gipe photo / Pivot Media”

DiTerlizzi is widely recognized as one of this generation’s leading authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults, and the exhibition—the most extensive look at the art of book illustration The Mint Museum has ever done—will feature more than 150 of his original works.

The exhibition will showcase paintings and sketches from DiTerlizzi’s popular picture books, including The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), chapter books Kenny and the Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, as well as The Spiderwick Chronicles, a middle-grade series he co-wrote with Holly Black that has sold more than 20 million copies, has been translated in over 30 countries, and was made into a feature film.

Tony DiTerlizzi, 2003.
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
Cover illustration for The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone, 2003.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

It will also highlight the early years of DiTerlizzi’s career, when he got his start designing for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. The breadth of the artist’s career is expected to draw audiences of all ages and backgrounds, from young children to young-at-heart adults, gamers to artists of all mediums.

DiTerlizzi is known for creating compelling characters—think fantastical creatures, monsters, and heroes—that draw viewers into new worlds, and so the exhibition itself will be designed to bring his works to life. There will be interactive elements where visitors can engage with beloved characters, an area where visitors can lounge and curl up with one of DiTerlizzi’s books, and spots where inspired visitors can even do their own sketches.

“The Mint Museum design team has taken its cues from Tony’s fantastical world of characters and created an experience for visitors of all ages, unlike anything you have seen at the Mint before,” says The Mint Museum President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD.

Tony DiTerlizzi
Created: 2001
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
Illustration from Ted, 2001.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

The “Never Abandon Imagination” exhibition name comes from DiTerlizzi’s personal motto. “Imagination is so key to us as a people,” says the 49-year-old artist. “All the breakthroughs in humanity were by imaginative thinkers.”

During the run of the exhibition, the museum will also present a selection of works by local illustrators in an adjacent gallery, celebrating the tremendous talent right here in the Charlotte region.

“Tony’s boundless energy, enthusiasm, and desire to engage his readers and viewers are infectious,” says Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman. “Our team has greatly enjoyed getting to know his characters and finding ways to bring them to life in the galleries.”

There will be a VIP launch party open to Mint members only on Thursday, June 20 with DiTerlizzi, and the exhibition at Mint Museum Randolph will be open to the public Saturday, June 22.

The exhibition was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where it broke attendance records in 2018. It is presented in Charlotte thanks to the generous support of the Triad Foundation.

For more details and to become a Mint member, visit

Tony DiTerlizzi, 1999.
Cover illustration for Dungeon Adventures magazine #262, 1999.
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.




Silvia Levenson posing against a simple backdrop

Argentinian glass artist Silvia Levenson to speak on her craft, domestic violence

Photo by Marco Del Comune

Charlotte, N.C. (March 18, 2019) Argentinian glass artist Silvia Levenson will be at Mint Museum Uptown 2 – 4 PM Sunday, March 24 to discuss her career and how the theme of domestic violence plays out in her work—particularly in her sculpture Until Death Do Us Part, recently acquired by The Mint Museum.

Levenson’s work is known for starting conversations about difficult topics, such as violence against women inside the home. Her show-stopping Until Death Do Us Part—installed in February at Mint Museum Uptown—is anchored by a 330-pound hollow glass cake, topped by a plaster hand grenade.

Behind the translucent, three-tiered cake, on a striking red wall, are the words “until death do us part,” formed from metal wire. It’s a metaphor for the fragility of relationships and the domestic violence many women worldwide face every day.

“The family is often equated with sanctuary…but the evidence shows that it is also a place that imperils lives,” says Levenson. “One-third of murdered women in the world are killed by a husband or partner.”

Levenson was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina but emigrated to Italy in 1981 with her husband and young children to escape the oppressive regime of military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. During his rule from 1976 to 1981, members of Levenson’s family “disappeared.” Her experience over that intense and frightening time continues to inform her work. She currently divides her time between Buenos Aires and Lesa, Italy.

The event is open to the public and included in the price of museum admission. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Levenson questions and meet with her after the discussion while enjoying light refreshments, including cookies, coffee, and tea. Mint Museum members get in free. Price for non-members is just museum admission: $15 for adults, $10 for college students and seniors (65+), $6 for children ages 5-17, and free for children ages 4 and under.


Questions? Contact Caroline Portillo, Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum:, 704.337.2009.

Silvia Levenson (Argentinian, 1957–). Until Death Do Us Part, 2013, kiln-formed glass, metal structure, plaster, wire. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Mint Museum of Craft + Design Collections Board and the Charles W. Beam Accessions Endowment. 2018.64