American Idol Poster. Charlotte Auditions August 31

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.

Floor Refinishing Project To Close Mint Museum Uptown To Public For Several Weeks This Summer

Visitors, staff will focus on Mint Museum Randolph during interval

Mint Museum Uptown, a soaring architectural marvel in the heart of Levine Center for the Arts, must close its doors to the public from July 10 through approximately August 17, 2018. The closure is necessary to refinish the building’s heavily-visited hardwood floors for the first time since the building opened to the public in 2010. Read More

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.

ABOUT 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.

ABOUT THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION

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 20 – 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

ABOUT THE YOUNG AFFILIATES

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.

‘The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta’ To open at Mint Museum Randolph this month

Exhibition’s VIP preview coincides with ‘Coveted Couture’ gala April 28; public access begins April 29

Following a blockbuster run at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Mint Museum is preparing to welcome a new, custom-curated version of The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta this April. The exhibition celebrates the illustrious life and career of the influential fashion designer, and will contain new additions never seen in previous incarnations at other museums. It will pay tribute to a Mint supporter and Charlottean who created the first archives for the late designer, as well as featuring dresses from the Mint’s own Fashion Collection.

The exhibition opens to Mint supporters at the museum’s annual Coveted Couture gala on April 28 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road in Charlotte (see mintmuseum.org/gala for more information). Mint members have exclusive access on April 29 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; the general public can visit from 2-6 p.m. on April 29 and during regular museum hours afterward, including four FREE hours of access from 5-9 p.m. each Wednesday. It remains on view through July 29. NEW: The exhibition has been extended and will be on view through August 19, 2018!

Presented in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta, LLC, the exhibition features approximately 50 ensembles sourced from de la Renta’s personal archives, the archives of French label Pierre Balmain, private lenders, and the Mint’s collection. It is curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for American Vogue magazine and lifelong friend of the designer, with assistance by fashion historians Molly Sorkin and Jennifer Park. Talley curated a previous incarnation, entitled Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2016.

From the start of his award-winning career, which spanned more than five decades and two continents, Oscar de la Renta set out to design beautiful clothes for every occasion in a woman’s life. The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta highlights recurring themes throughout his career. Themes to be explored include the influence of the garden on his designs; Spanish influences; and Eastern European influences. The creations on view offer a window into de la Renta’s world through a range of looks, from elegant daywear to resplendent evening gowns.

The exhibition will also pay tribute to Marianna Sheridan of Charlotte, who befriended de la Renta and became the first archivist for Oscar de la Renta LLC. She was instrumental in bringing the designer to Charlotte for a 2011 appearance and fashion show at Mint Museum Uptown, and helped bring a dress from the designer’s archives into the Mint’s collection. She passed away in 2017.

“We are thrilled that the Mint is showcasing Oscar’s extraordinary contributions to the world of fashion, with the help of Oscar’s dear friend André Leon Talley,” said Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, LLC. “We are honored to pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague Marianna Sheridan and the incalculable contributions she made to the creation of our archive.”

The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with the collaboration of Oscar de la Renta, LLC. It is presented to the Charlotte community by Wells Fargo Private Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary, Moore & Van Allen, and Dickens-Mitchener. It is accompanied by a slate of educational programming, including a FREE public lecture by famed fashion designer Emilio Sosa on May 20. Details are available at mintmuseum.org/happenings. A catalogue and other accompanying merchandise will be on sale in the Mint Museum Shops.

Media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition on Friday April 27 at 10 a.m. Talley and Mint curators and staff will be available for interviews, and refreshments will be served. To attend, RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org .

ABOUT OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Oscar de la Renta (1932–2014) began his career in the 1950s as an apprentice to the renowned Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. In 1961, he left Madrid to join Antonio del Castillo in Paris as an assistant in the couture department of Lanvin. Shortly after, he relocated to New York, establishing his own eponymous label in 1965. Lauded by fashion press, he quickly gained prominence on the international fashion scene. Considered among the world’s greatest fashion designers, de la Renta created award-winning ready-to-wear and evening wear for customers ranging from everyday women to first ladies and celebrities. In 1992, de la Renta became a designer for French label Pierre Balmain. He was the first American designer to helm a French couture house, a position he held until 2002.

‘Art of Reading’ tours to add ‘The Lacuna’ By Barbara Kingsolver

Popular tours by Docents of The Mint Museum bring Mint’s collection to bibliophiles

Docents of The Mint Museum are launching a third Art of Reading tour, now incorporating The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver brings to life the Mexico of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as well as the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. Set partially in 1940s Asheville, it is a powerful tale of the forces that shape national as well as personal identities.

Tours will highlight objects in the collection at Mint Museum Randolph illustrating the multiple cultures and historic periods Kingsolver deftly weaves together.

Previously launched tours are also available featuring Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. They are available for private reservation for book clubs or other groups, and occasional public tours are listed at mintmuseum.org/happenings. See mintmuseum.org/visit/group-tours/ for more information.

Members of the media and special guests are invited to experience the latest Art of Reading tour at Mint Museum Randolph on March 8 from 10-11 a.m. RSVP to aross72@carolina.rr.com to attend.

Attendees of the March 8 preview will also have the opportunity to receive new details about the highly anticipated upcoming exhibition The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta , set to open at Mint Museum Randolph in late April and remain on view through July 29.