UPDATED: All grand re-opening weekend activities RESCHEDULED

Monday September 17 update: All grand re-opening activities are now scheduled THIS WEEK! Join us for the YAMs’ opening party for MAINFRAME on Thursday Sept. 20, 7-11 PM; “Perspective” aerial dances by Caroline Calouche & Co. on Friday & Saturday, Sept. 21 & 22; Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night Friday, 7-11:30 PM; and a FREE community day this Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM! More details at mintmuseum.org/events.

Sunday September 16 update, 5 PM ET: Both locations of the museum will be closed to most staff on Monday September 17, and the scheduled Board of Trustees meeting is postponed. NEW UPDATE: The Delhom Service League has decided to postpone its Tuesday program at Mint Museum Randolph. A new date will be scheduled soon. We will continue to monitor the situation and post any relevant updates here.

Friday September 14 update, 9:45 AM ET: The Mint Museum plans to open its galleries today, 11 AM-6 PM ET, but will close to the public on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 to ensure the safety of the public, our visitors, and staff. Check back here for further updates.

Thursday September 13 update, 12:15 PM ET: The Mint Museum’s galleries remain open today (Thursday) observing normal hours, and at this time, the museum plans to open galleries normally at 11 a.m. ET on Friday. Assuming nothing changes, the Mint is postponing its originally scheduled plans to extend Friday operating hours at Mint Museum Uptown, and will close at 6 p.m. ET. (Beginning on Friday Sept. 21, weather permitting, Mint Museum Uptown will be open to the public until 9 p.m. each Friday). Of course check back here or on our Facebook or Twitter accounts before heading out, and please stay safe!

Wednesday September 12, 1:30 PM ET UPDATE: The Mint Museum staff hopes to announce an entire new schedule for all events listed as part of our previously scheduled lineup for September 14/15/16, but we will wait until after the hurricane passes to publicly post most dates. Right now our focus is on ensuring the public and our own staff and art collection remain safe in the days to come. The museum’s public hours of operation will be updated day to day in the coming days. New event dates will be announced as soon as weather conditions permit.

Wednesday September 12, 8 AM ET PREVIOUS POST: The Mint Museum’s staff has been working diligently since the weekend to monitor forecasts and evaluate all of the many activities scheduled for the public this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Most of them will be re-scheduled to later dates, so please keep an eye on this space for details, as we expect things to be confirmed soon. (Hint: We hope you are keeping Sept. 20, 21, and 22 open).

If the museum can safely operate, we will continue to observe our scheduled operating hours this weekend. Those decisions will be made day-to-day. And assuming the museum is open, we do expect local muralists Owl + Arko (pictured here) to be starting their mural, which must be finished in time for the community-wide Talking Walls Charlotte mural festival, coming up October 10-13. They’ll be inside the museum periodically between now and then working on the wall just inside Mint Museum Uptown’s main entry, so please plan more than one visit to check their progress.


The Mint Museum acquires Russell Young Work ‘Nina Simone’

Screen print painting depicts North Carolina native and Hall of Fame inductee.

The Mint Museum has acquired a painting of North Carolinian and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nina Simone.

Nina Simone is by British artist Russell Young. “Having such a beautiful portrait of a N.C. native who was such a strong African-American woman, activist, and performer will add to our contemporary art collection here. Plus, I think it will be such a popular piece with our audiences,” said Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, the Mint’s senior curator of American, Modern, & Contemporary Art. He made the choice with former Assistant Curator Adam Justice, now Director of Galleries at UNC Charlotte.

Russell Young was born in 1959 in Northern England. From an early age, he was drawn to the idea of the quintessential “American dream,” which he thought represented freedom and possibility. Known for his bold, iconic silkscreen paintings of pop imagery turned upon themselves to explore the nature of the American counter culture as seen through the eyes of his youth, his bold ground breaking screen print renditions present a visual journey that bears witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the American Dream. His prints are a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorize and chastise in equal measure. Whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.

His body of work includes paintings, screen prints, sculptures, installations and film. He has shown in galleries and museums in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of Aby Rosen, The Qatari Royal Family, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Liz Taylor, Barack Obama, The Albertina Museum, The Saatchi Collection and Brad Pitt.

The screen print painting, embedded with diamond dust, is not yet on view but will go out in the coming months, following a grand re-opening celebration for Mint Museum Uptown this fall; watch mintmuseum.org for updates.

Three cheers for Pottery + Beer! Top reasons to attend this year’s Potters Market Invitational

When I first arrived on the staff of The Mint Museum, I didn’t quite “get” the passion of my friends who collect pottery. All it took was my first experience at a Potters Market Invitational on the lawn in front of Mint Museum Randolph, and I was hooked. To the uninitiated, here are a few reasons why the event is worth a visit:

  1. Museum-quality art: You may already be aware that North Carolina is one of the top destinations for pottery-making in the world, and that the Mint is a leading collector of this art form. It’s been a thrill to snag beautiful finds by potters whose work is featured prominently in the museum’s collection.
  2. And it’s affordable: You can find plenty of options under $100 by these museum-worthy artists – it’s one of the easiest ways to get started as an art collector.
  3. More than pots! My purchases have included a lamp, a wall clock, Christmas ornaments, candleholders, and much more – my home is filled with functional pieces I enjoy using daily.
  4. The most pottery ever: Each year the number of participating potters has increased – it used to hover around 50, but this year they’re tallying over 65.
  5. Make a day of it: Yes it appeals to shopaholics, but it’s also just fun to listen to the live music, catch a pottery-making demonstration, grab lunch, stroll the museum galleries, and people-watch. My daughter’s been going with me every year since she was 3 and she loves it too.
  6. Enjoy the community: There are opportunities to meet and get to know the potters, and though you may find yourself competing with other shoppers to grab a one-of-a-kind piece before it’s gone, it’s always fun to compare purchases with each other later!
  7. Support the museum: Proceeds from the event support The Mint Museum’s collecting, scholarship, and public programming. Every year you’ll see placards on extraordinary works that have been selected as gifts from the Delhom Service League, organizers of the event, to join the Mint’s collection.
  8. Did we mention the beer? For the first time, the Delhom organizers have decided to include a “beer garden” with craft selections from Birdsong Brewing along with wine and snacks from Delectables by Holly. Sounds like a perfect addition to the day, and I can’t wait to check it out!

Visit PottersMarketattheMint.com for more info and tickets!

American Idol visits Mint Museum Uptown Friday August 31

ABC show to conduct auditions at Levine Center for the Arts

Producers from the ABC show “American Idol” have scheduled auditions for Friday August 31 on Levine Center for the Arts Plaza, in the 500 block of South Tryon Street. Mint Museum Uptown’s galleries will remain open to the public on Friday and the Mint encourages both auditioners and non-auditioners to stop by the museum for the excitement! Here are some things to know:

PARKING: Auditioners and their guests are encouraged to use light rail (Stonewall and Convention Center stops are just 2-3 blocks away) and/or look for paid public lots throughout uptown. Levine Center for the Arts parking garage has LIMITED visitor parking for those who plan to visit museum galleries during museum operating hours.

LINE: Check-in for the audition line is on Levine Avenue. The line begins at 6 a.m. and auditions begin at 9 a.m.

EXTENDED HOURS: Mint Museum Uptown’s Shop will open to the public at 9 a.m. and the museum galleries will open to the public at 10 a.m. (The early openings are Friday only, Uptown location only). The Shop will have bottled water and some snacks available.

IDOL SPECIAL: Auditioners and their guests will receive coupons valid for 2-for-1 museum admission on Friday.

MUSEUM ADMISSION: Guests to the museum galleries may be subject to additional security procedures on Friday; visitors are asked to leave bags at the museum Coat Check. Prohibited items in museum galleries include: Artificial noise makers; fireworks; glass bottles, aluminum cans, flasks, and water bottles containing liquid of any kind; hard-sided containers including coolers and thermoses; laser pointers; lighters; outside food and beverages including water bottles; portable chairs (exceptions for guests with disabilities); projectiles including Frisbees, footballs, or inflatable balls; radios; “selfie sticks” or poles of any size (exceptions for guests with disabilities); still cameras with lenses longer than 3″ (except escorted media); weapons of any kind.

Mint Museum Uptown to re-open this week, ready for a spectacular fall schedule

Public is invited to join our grand re-opening and exciting fall lineup

Following a five-week closure for floor refinishing and other improvements, Mint Museum Uptown will re-open its doors to the public Wednesday August 15, and is inviting the public to join a jam-packed lineup of special events in the coming weeks to celebrate its grand-reopening; welcome its new President & CEO, Todd A. Herman PhD; and enjoy a new fall lineup of exhibitions, as well as new features in its permanent collection galleries. Upcoming events include:

  • September 5, Community Coffee : From 8:30-10:30 a.m., the public is invited to Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, to join the Mint’s new President & CEO, Todd A. Herman PhD, for a light breakfast and conversation. The free event will be held in the Morrison Atrium. RSVP at mintmuseum.org/events .
  • September 8, Potters Market Invitational : The traditional kickoff to the fall season, sponsored by the Delhom Service League, will bring more than 65 renowned North Carolina potters – the highest number in the 14-year history of the event – to the lawn at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road, to sell their wares from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $12 and proceeds support the Mint’s ceramics collection. More at PottersMarketattheMint.com .
  • September 12, special screening of “ The Gospel According to André :” Mint Museum Randolph hosts a public screening of the documentary chronicling the fashion career of North Carolina native André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for American Vogue and curator of The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta (closing after August 19), with a special appearance by Talley himself. Tickets are $10 or $7.50 for Mint members; more at mintmuseum.org/events .
  • September 14-15-16, Grand Re-Opening of Mint Museum Uptown: The community is invited to join this FREE event on Friday September 14 and Saturday September 15 to celebrate the unveiling of Lumisonica , an interactive light and sound installation on the Grand Staircase by international artist Vesna Petresin; the opening of Mainframe, the newest art show organized by Young Affiliates of the Mint (and on view through October 17); a live-painting mural project from local muralists Owl + Arko on Saturday September 15; and a spectacular aerial performance by dancers from Caroline Calouche & Co. , launched from the roof of Mint Museum Uptown and occurring on the façade above the staircase, on September 15 and 16 . The performance, entitled “Perspective,” marks the first “vertical” aerial dance performance of its type in Charlotte. The weekend event will also include live music, cash bar, and food trucks. Details at mintmuseum.org/events .
  • Expanded operating hours – soon Friday evenings at Uptown: The grand re-opening weekend marks the debut of new, extended operating hours at Mint Museum Uptown. Beginning September 14, Mint Museum Uptown will remain open until 9 p.m. on Fridays (the Randolph location will maintain the existing schedule of closing at 6 p.m.). The museum is extending Friday hours in response to visitor feedback to make its galleries and programming more accessible and convenient to the public.

Fall exhibition lineup ahead

In the permanent collection galleries, visitors will encounter new frames on signature works of art, as well as newly installed works in the Schiff-Bresler Family Fiber Art Gallery on Level 3. Following the September events, the community is invited to mark its calendars for the Mint’s spectacular fall exhibition lineup, which includes:

African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, & Style : October 7, 2018-April 28, 2019 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road; Mint member-only hours Friday October 5, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday October 6, 1-5 p.m.; two fashion designers, Titi Ademola and Alexis Temomanin, speak at 2 p.m. on Sunday October 7. This exhibition introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: “popular” garments created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa’s newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational and youth styles favored in Africa’s urban centers. All feature the colorful, boldly designed, manufactured cotton textiles that have come to be known as “African-print cloth.” The exhibition is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA in association with Vlisco Netherlands B.V. It is guest curated by Suzanne Gott with Kristyne S. Loughran, Betsy D. Quick, and Leslie W. Rabine. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts with the additional support of R.L. Shep, DutchCulture, and the Pasadena Art Alliance. It is presented in Charlotte by PNC Financial Services, with additional support by Wells Fargo Private Bank.

Michael Sherrill Retrospective : October 27, 2018-April 7, 2019 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street; Mint member-only hours 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Friday October 26; Sherrill gives a free public talk 11 a.m. Saturday October 27. In his delicately rendered sculptures Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers, and to make them see things fresh. Working with clay, glass, and metal, his exquisite floral forms have the allure of Martin Johnson Heade’s passion flower and orchid paintings and the botanical engravings of John James Audubon, at the same time they are remarkably new. This retrospective will illustrate the artist’s evolution over his more than 40-year career and highlight his contributions to contemporary art, craft, and design. 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 and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum. Generous support for the exhibition catalogue and tour provided by the Windgate Foundation; additional funding from the Founders’ Circle Ltd. and Bank of America.

Under Construction: Postwar Collage at The Mint Museum : December 1, 2018-Aug. 18, 2019 at Mint Museum Uptown. This is The Mint Museum’s first large-scale exhibition to explore the dynamic medium of collage. Mint member-only hours 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday November 30. Although this artistic technique, in which materials are cut, torn, and layered to create new meanings and narratives, gained acclaim in the early twentieth century through the groundbreaking work of such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Kurt Schwitters, and Jean Arp, it experienced a renaissance (particularly in America) after World War II. Charlotte native Romare Bearden is widely credited with rejuvenating and reinvigorating the technique. His work, which has long been a highlight of The Mint Museum’s collection, serves as the point of departure for this fascinating exhibition featuring more than 50 international artists and more than 100 works of art.

Sixty-six outstanding potters to sell their ceramic art at Mint Museum Randolph

14th annual Mint Museum Potters Market Invitational set for Saturday, September 8

Collectors and pottery lovers will have access to the latest works by leaders in the rich tradition of North Carolina pottery when potters from across North Carolina and surrounding areas return to Mint Museum Randolph for the 14th annual Mint Museum Potters Market Invitational on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Sixty-six outstanding North Carolina potters have been invited to participate in this year’s event presented by the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of The Mint Museum, promoting ceramic arts and education. They’ll come from Seagrove, Western N.C., the Catawba Valley, and the Piedmont, and set up their booths in a tent on the lawn of the museum with remarkable works in clay – useful wares including mugs, teapots and jars, as well as oversized pots, contemporary art pottery, and sculptures. It’s like a shopping tour of the state’s best potteries all under one tent in one day. Attendees have the opportunity to get to know the potters as well as their work.

This year’s show will introduce ten potters new to this event, as well as 12 potters who participated in prior years but were not present in 2017.  Well-known participating potters include Donna Craven, Akira Satake, Ben Owen III, Eric Knoche, Mark Hewitt, and Cynthia Bringle. Every year, hundreds of pottery enthusiasts line up in advance of the opening to gain access to the day’s best treasures.

The Delhom Service League has named Sarah Belk Gambrell Honorary Chairman of the 2018 Potters Market Invitational. Mrs. Gambrell was a Charter Member of the Delhom Service League and her strong support for the Delhom, The Mint Museum, and the Potters Market Invitational has been instrumental in each of these institutions’ success.  The Delhom-Gambrell Library, named to honor Mrs. Gambrell, is one of the Mint’s many important resources, and is considered to be one of the top ceramics libraries in the country.

Established in 1975, the Delhom Service League has grown from a few students of ceramics to over one hundred men and women who not only study the history of ceramics but also work to present educational programming, support the ceramics collection, add volumes to the Delhom-Gambrell Library, and provide funds for the purchase of objects to enhance the collection. Their most recent projects include funding the publication British Ceramics 1675-1825, a catalogue of the collection edited by Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts, as well as support for the new installation of the European ceramics collection throughout Mint Museum Randolph.

The admission fee ($10 through September 1; $12 after that) includes access to the potters’ tent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as free admission to the museum and docent led gallery tours. “Thirty-one of the participating potters are represented in the Mint’s permanent collection, which is a reflection of the high quality of work that will be available at this show,” says Vince Long, who chairs the project this year for Delhom Service League. “Potters Market Invitational is such a great opportunity to connect with artists as real, live people, and then see their art inside the museum.”

Additionally, there are folk musicians, pottery-making demonstrations, and food, and new this year, a beer garden serving local craft beer as well as wine and other beverages. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

Individual sponsorships of $100 include Early Admission at 9:15 a.m. in advance of the general public. Special parking and continental breakfast are also included. Individual sponsorships of $150 also include attendance at the Meet the Potters Party being held Friday, September 7 from 6:30-9 p.m. Sponsors will enjoy dinner, music, and an opportunity to mingle with the potters and other pottery enthusiasts. Funds raised by Potters Market Invitational provide acquisitions of pottery and library materials for the Mint.

Potters Market Invitational admission tickets and sponsorships are available at the door and in advance at PottersMarketattheMint.com , where you can also find detailed information on all the participating potters. For questions, please email info@PottersMarketattheMint.com or call 704.337.2000. Find Potters Market Invitational on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

The Mint Museum selects internationally-renowned artist Vesna Petresin to create interactive light/sound staircase installation

The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that it has selected internationally-renowned artist Vesna Petresin to create a Link. The project is being funded through a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which challenged museums to use technology to enhance the visitor experience.

“Ever since Mint Museum Uptown opened in 2010, we have sought ways to interface more directly with Levine Center for the Arts plaza, by enlivening the front of the building to be more welcoming to our visitors,” said Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American, Modern, & Contemporary Art.

“After a careful review of more than three dozen applicants, our team felt that Vesna’s proposal was a perfect blend of interactivity, innovation, and aesthetics. We are excited to work with her to bring her vision—and the entrance to the museum—to life!” said Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion.

Petresin, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a trans-disciplinary artist who has exhibited and performed at the Tate Modern; ArtBasel Miami; the Royal Academy of the Arts; the Venice Biennale; the Institute of Contemporary Arts London; and the Vienna Secession. She is represented by Bonnie Hall Fine Art Asset Management. Her installation, Lumisonica, will map the physical movements of people on the museum’s steps, responding with a changing canvas of ambient light and sound.

Petresin will work with her team, including regional and city of Charlotte consultants, to design, test, and create the installation throughout the spring and summer. Work will continue while Mint Museum Uptown closes from early July through mid-August for a floor refinishing project (Mint Museum Randolph will remain open). It is scheduled to debut at a public celebration in September (details to be announced closer to the date).

Creating a multisensory landscape

This public art project transforms the museum’s main entrance into an unparalleled immersive experience that will be choreographed by the visiting public. Based upon the idea of the smart city, this multisensory landscape makes invisible space visible, audible, and tangible while aiming to increase people’s awareness that they can and do shape their own place, perceptions and reality. Lumisonica assures a daring and playful experience like no other in the heart of Charlotte’s flourishing art district. Juxtaposed near the large reflective Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture Firebird in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, this light and sound sculpture provides another dynamic feature to highlight entropic experiences, moiré patterns and other optical and perceptional illusions in this cultural area.

The “smart city” concept of this dynamic datascape is drawn from two components that change the form to an accessible visual/audio display based upon public movement and engagement:

Visual content is created by programmable LED light features embedded into the staircase and railings. The light effects include subtle, safe and non-intrusive animated patterns, designed to work interactively based on data captured from the environment as well as on presets of visual effects. The light effects are programmed along a 24/7 schedule with pre-rendered sets at specific times of the day, combined with responsive effects based on criteria such as visibility, program of events at the museum, and the number of visitors.

Audio content permeates ambient sound loops designed to respond and support the light effects. These amplify the visitor’s feeling of presence in the environment and assist their spatial navigation, by amplifying the ranges of frequencies that translate to embodied sensations. The audio content includes composed soundscapes and loops of sonic textures as well as key framed musical motifs on specific days and at specific times to announce events.

Additionally, the project plan is to expand from installation to an online digital experience through a contextual component set to provide an immersive experience exclusive to each visitor entering the website. In this way, Petresin allocates access to a wider public and allows the Mint visitor an ability to take with them a direct experience from their museum outing.

“My work tries to offer a moment to remember we inhabit and co-create a multisensory symphony,” said Petresin. “The piece for the Mint has been inspired by the idea that matter is information under constant transformation, bringing memory, human connection, wonder, and innovation.”

Petresin will also create a special sound and light sequence for Lumisonica as part of The Mint Museum’s exhibition Immersed in Light (Fall 2020 – Spring 2021). The exhibition will feature experiential lighting installations by four contemporary artists and designers in the Gorelick Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.

Staircase to enhance museum experience, visitation

The Mint was among 12 recipients of $1.87 million in funding from the Knight Foundation for new ways of using technology to immerse visitors in art. Institutions in cities including Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City are joining Charlotte in creating new tools ranging from chat bots to augmented reality apps to engage new audiences.

Funding for this project is part of a Knight Foundation initiative to help museums better meet new community demands and use digital tools to meaningfully engage visitors in art. Knight, which promotes informed and engaged communities, has helped institutions—from newsrooms to libraries—adapt to and thrive in the digital age. This funding expands the foundation’s use of its digital expertise to help art museums build stronger, more vibrant communities.

“The arts have the rare power to bring diverse communities together, provoke personal reflection, and inspire new ways of thinking,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts. “Our hope is that by integrating technology, museums can better reach and engage audiences in ways that connect them to the art.”

Above image: Concept rendering for Mint Museum Uptown Grand Staircase installation titled Lumisonica, courtesy of Vesna Petresin.


Vesna Petresin is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Amsterdam University of the Arts and a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths (University of London). She has been an Artist in Residence at ZKM in Germany and created a London-based trans-disciplinary art collective whose exploration of optics, acoustics and psychology takes the format of performance, installation and artifact.

As a time architect, non-object based designer, space composer and performer, her practice utilizes an alchemy of media and senses (sound, film, space, interaction, and performance) to take art out of the white cube and bring it into an immersive experience. The key concept is transformation—of the material, the immaterial and the self.

Petresin seeks elements to link cultures rather than separate them and pays attention to archetypal formal constants and patterns existing in nature, human perception and the creative process. Her work in immersive light is ground-breaking and has been featured at Tate Modern, ArtBasel Miami, Venice Biennale, The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Academy of Arts, ICA, The Sydney Opera House, Vienna Secession, Cannes International Film Festival and Kings Place among others.

Petresin’s academic background in classical music and architecture has propelled her as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Member of the Architectural Association, a keynote speaker at symposia including “SuperLux: Smart Light Art, Design and Architecture for Cities” (Technical University of Munich, 2016), the XR Summit ( ISE at RAI, Amsterdam 2018)  and a print author of internationally notable publications. She has written on smart cities (Thames & Hudson, Black Dog) and on Leonardo da Vinci’s creative methods in relation to 21st century view of morphogenesis in art and design for Springer Publications.


Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

Designer Emilio Sosa to visit the Mint this month

From “Project Runway” to Broadway fame, Sosa inspired by both William Ivey Long and Oscar de la Renta

Like Oscar de la Renta, designer Emilio Sosa is originally from the Dominican Republic. And like William Ivey Long, he is known for designing Broadway costumes. Now, Sosa will join those other two famous names in visiting The Mint Museum this spring as part of the “Year of Fashion.”

Teens and educators are invited to register for a FREE event on Saturday May 19, ” From Page to Stage with Emilio Sosa ,” from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mint Museum Uptown. And the public is invited to a FREE public lecture on Sunday May 20 from 2-4 p.m. at Mint Museum Randolph. The events are part of the Mint’s celebration of national Art Museum Day .

When first approached by the Mint to pay a visit to Charlotte, Sosa’s reaction was immediate: “Both Oscar de la Renta and William Ivey Long have influenced my work in ways too numerous to mention,” he said. So it’s fitting that his plans bring him to the Mint when both designers’ work will be on view in the Mint’s galleries.

Sosa’s name first hit the mainstream thanks to the hit Lifetime TV show hosted by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. On the seventh season of Project Runway, Sosa gained international notice when he won five challenges on his way to a runner-up finish. He made his return to the small screen on season 2 of Project Runway All Stars where he also finished as runner-up. The seemingly tireless Sosa has a fashion line, ESOSA, which has been seen on stars including Uzo Aduba, Taraji P. Henson, and Wendy Williams.

The New York-raised Sosa has been designing since he was 14. He attended the Pratt Institute to study fashion design and it was a part-time job in the famed costume shop Grace Costumes that introduced him to costumes and theater. Upon graduation, Sosa worked in dance for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as an assistant wardrobe supervisor. Next, he worked for Spike Lee at his advertising agency doing costumes for commercials and as the costume designer for Lee’s independent film, Red Hook Summer. Like William Ivey Long, Sosa is a devoted follower of couturier Charles James; Sosa also calls The Wiz director and costume designer Geoffrey Holder a mentor and credits Holder with teaching him the practical art of designing.

“I learned the practical art of design from Geoffrey, I learned how to speak actor from Geoffrey. Fast forward 30 years and it was refined now with my relationship with William Ivey Long. Those are my bookends as far as how I came into this business,” said Sosa in an interview earlier this year.

Sosa has designed costumes for Broadway productions of Top Dog Underdog (2002), Porgy and Bess (2012), Motown the Musical (2013), and, most recently, On Your Feet: the Emilio and Gloria Estefan Story (2015), currently on its national tour which included a stop in Charlotte this fall. He received a Tony Award nomination for his work on Porgy and Bess.

And following his record on Project Runway, Sosa hasn’t always been a runner-up. In designing the costumes for the Off-Broadway production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2012), Sosa won a Lucille Lortel Award, awards which recognize excellence in New York Off-Broadway theatre. The second-place finisher that year? None other than William Ivey Long.

Young Affiliates of the Mint’s third annual juried art show, “Mainframe”

Call for artists to explore technology through art experience

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) announce their Third Annual Juried Art Show, ‘Mainframe,’ a participatory compilation of works that explore the role of technology in society and/or how technology overstimulation has impacted the world’s youngest generations. The dawn of the mainframe computer marked a turning point in society. Technology advancements occur constantly and turn new products obsolete in a matter of months. Ironically, technological devices elicit an array of reactions and emotions from the user. Whether it is nostalgia, innovation, or possible obsession, we are all influenced in some way by the advances the world has encountered.

The YAMs call for artists making work that is participatory, immersive, experiential, interactive, and/or multi-sensory that explores the use and effect of technology in society. The YAMs are calling for submissions now through May 31, 2018 and are accepting works made within the United States. Artists must submit high-resolution images of the works submitted, an artist statement, and a CV. Artists must include installation or artwork specifications to aid in curating and installation for the show. The entry fee is $40 for up to 8 works of art.

‘Mainframe’ will be held in the Level 5 expansion space of Mint Museum Uptown from September 14 – October 17, 2018. The submissions will be juried by a distinguished panel of jurors: Lia Newman, Curator of Director/Curator of the Davidson College Art Galleries, Ivan Toth Depeña, an Charlotte-based new media artist, and Kelly McChesney, Public Art Director of the city of Raleigh and Director of Lump, a non-profit alternative art space in Raleigh, North Carolina. ‘Mainframe’ is the Third Annual Young Affiliates of the Mint Art Show, following the 2016 inaugural exhibition, “80×80: An Art Show,” heralded as the best Charlotte exhibition of 2016 by Creative Loafing, and the 2017 art show, “Gendered,” drawing in over 2500 attendees for a politically and culturally relevant exhibition.

For submissions and more information about ‘Mainframe’, visit youngaffliates.org/artshow

For questions regarding ‘Mainframe’, email: youngaffiliatesartshow@gmail.com


The Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum is the longest running young professional group and the premier social arts organization for young professionals in Charlotte, North Carolina. For 28 years, the YAMs have supported the Mint Museum through a variety of social, cultural, leadership and fundraising activities and events. The YAMs have made substantial donations of tangible and intangible goods to the Mint Museum since 1990.