A Q&A With Stacy Lynn Waddell

 

Q&A with Stacy Lynn Waddell

In 2021, Art Papers published an article about a new series of works by Durham-based artist Stacy Lynn Waddell in which she examines the history of landscape through the work of 19th-century English American painter Thomas Cole and self-taught Black Pittsburgh-based sculptor Thaddeus Mosley. The Mint’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, took notice. As an extension of the series influenced by Cole and Mosley, Waddell created Landscape with Rainbow as the Sun Blasts the Sky (for R.S.D.) 1859/2022: an homage to American artist Robert S. Duncanson’s 1859 painting Landscape with Rainbow, which is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and was displayed in the United States Capitol Rotunda in 2021 in honor of the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden. Duncanson was one of the most important Black artists of the 19th century. This event brought significant national attention to Duncanson, who remains little known beyond art history circles. The Mint Museum is pleased to have acquired Waddell’s tribute to Duncanson: Landscape with Rainbow as the Sun Blasts the Sky (for R.S.D.) 1859/2022, which will be a part of an upcoming reinstallation of the American galleries at Mint Museum Uptown in 2023. Mint curators Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, and Jennifer Sudul Edwards, PhD, caught up with Waddell to discuss her inspiration behind the work. Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD: We are doing a rotation in the Mint’s permanent collection galleries next summer, shifting focus from different approaches to portraiture to different approaches in landscape. I am really looking forward to including Landscape with Rainbow as Sun Blasts the Sky
(for R.S.D.) 1859/2022 in that. There are earlier works in this series dedicated to Thomas Cole and Thaddeus Mosley. What made you decide to extend it beyond them to Duncanson and to this painting in particular?

Stacy Lynn Waddell: I was given an opportunity to show work in a four-page spread in the publication Art Papers. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to examine the core of the romantic idea of how we have come to be as a country. We know there are holes in all of that — it is moth-eaten— but thinking about Thomas Cole and Thaddeus Mosley was really about access. How do I reconfigure
or have people take another look at some of Cole’s most important paintings by inserting Mosley and his works into the scene and drawing parallels between the lives of the two men as naturalists. The other thing was to bring forward an interest in landscape. One of the things that I have thought a lot about, especially during 2020, was access. You couldn’t go places. Once we realized that outside was a safe space to convene, then I feel like the doors were blown off in terms of how people thought about being outside.

JS: Suddenly, everyone is an outdoorsman.

SLW: Everybody! So, I was thinking about that, too: how we do not necessarily consider the space
that we have. We do not consider our dependency upon nature and how we have disrespected that
relationship.

JS: Then you shift from the Cole/Mosley series to Duncanson. Was it because of his importance as the first and best-known Black American landscape painter?

SLW: Yes. When the painting was rededicated, I thought, “yeah, this is the moment.” Think of the biblical significance around a rainbow and the promise just this idea of a promise. Another thing that the pandemic did was push us to keenly focus on political discourse. To have this painting emerge during the inauguration as a kind of promise, it just struck me as something that seemed important. Also, the fact that here is a Black man (Duncanson) at a time when Black people had no access. This painting was made in 1859, American slavery was still the order of the day, yet Duncanson was able to access and occupy spaces in America and abroad. I found that to be fascinating. It stood as an emblem of possibility for the onlooker and me as a Black woman from the South functioning as an artist.

JS: Duncanson’s painting, and the rainbow’s landing on the cabin in the wilderness, has been interpreted as symbolizing divine blessing on westward expansion, yet we were doing so at the expense of all the people who originally lived on the land. There is an irony there as he was a Black artist painting on the eve of the Civil War. Duncanson soon thereafter just got the heck out and went to England by way of Canada and left the country for several years. So, to me, it is a painting that is loaded with so many tensions and ironies. What led you to pick the tondo (circular) format for these works and the details in the way that you have done — piecing in the panels in the sky with the rounded swirl. To me, it calls to mind the arc of the rainbow, but I’d love to know more about how you landed on the bit of the picture you chose and the way that you put it together.

SLW: I started thinking about how I would intervene upon the original painting. What would make the most sense for me, someone who loves to appropriate. I do a lot of that in my art. I find photographs and other images that I take and insert a different meaning or myself into the work. Tondos are typically formats of paintings that we ascribe to religious works. The circle points to an internal way of connecting to something. My pieces are works on handmade paper made in India that is very irregular with deckled edges, but still round. So, you still fall into that place. My drawings are created by burning paper. I am burning paper and then I am adding gilded (gold) material. I love surface texture. I thought, “why don’t you just reinterpret paintings in your materials that are all about surface interest?” The paintings I am referencing in this also call attention to the environment. Gold leaf is tough on the environment. It is metal. It is gold pounded into sheets with a decorative pattern inlaid. All the alchemy and all the gathering of metals happen before I get the material to use it. So, when I’m using this material, I’m thinking about science, the environment, and the optical illusion of seeing a rainbow. It is interesting to me to overlay a lot of our contemporary concerns onto a painting that was about an ironic look at a promise. What is it that we really stand for as a country? What is it? What direction are we really going in? It is natural for me to take what I do and lay it on top of something else and then hope that someone gathers something from it. Hopefully, what the viewer can extract from looking at this series is going well beyond looking at a landscape and even beyond the Duncanson references. The materials may lead them back to some of the concerns: the environment, the landscape, their relationship to it, and what, if anything, are they doing to protect these spaces.

Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD: One of the things that I find so interesting about Duncanson is that with romanticism over the last 100 years, we have been much more critical about it as a practice, of it being nostalgic to avoid reality, whitewashing history to erase crimes against humanity that were going on at the time. You mention the irony that is embedded in Duncanson’s treatment of it, but I also find a kernel of a reminder in Duncanson, and in your series, that romanticism was also created because of a need for hope. Was that a consideration of your series, which was started during the pandemic and has the
need for a rainbow at the end.

SLW: Artists are romantics, especially the idea of romanticism as a longing or looking at something lovingly or looking back at something and thinking that there is always hope. It is what we do every day in the making of the work. To be an artist, you are pulling things out of thin air with the hope that someone will come along and find interest in it — just to create a relationship with it through the eye and through the gut. But then also, to maybe buy it and show it and talk about it and write about it. I think that at the heart of all of us, we are all romantics. I mean, for me, I grew up in the rural South. I ran through fields and grew up on a farm and have a clear relationship to the out of doors, to the land, to owning land. It is not a foreign idea for me to know that people can own land and own large parts of it. My great grandfather, Zollie Coffey Massenburg, owned hundreds of acres at a time when a Black man in rural North Carolina, did not. When he passed, his 14 children all got large plots of land, one of them being my maternal grandmother. When I pass an open field, immediately, there is something that is pricked in me about remembering, longing, and wanting that to be kept whole. No one’s going to buy this and build on it. If we could just have green spaces. The idea of romanticism is deeply embedded in me. I think when people stand in front of work, there is a romantic gesture that is happening internally with whatever work they are looking at. You bond with it. You are creating a relationship. Whether you realize it or not, you are siphoning through your personal and psychic experiences. It is a romantic way of engaging with something. So yes, I come to everything as a romantic, as someone who has a longing. I think my interest in appropriation is a romantic gesture to see something and want to make it not better, but to make conditions better and add my voice to that, to envision a better world. The only way that I know how to do that is just with the materials and things that I love working with.

Journey through two centuries of American art and artists in American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, presented by PNC Bank, at The Mint Museum

Journey through two centuries of American art and artists in American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, presented by PNC Bank, at The Mint Museum

For Immediate Release | Images Here

Charlotte, North Carolina (August 16, 2022) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the opening of American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, which features more than 100 works of art by renowned American artists, such as Benjamin West, Sarah Miriam Peale, Thomas Cole, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henri, and Charles Alston. The exhibition will be on view September 10 through December 24 at The Mint Museum’s uptown location (known as Mint Museum Uptown). Drawn entirely from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, the exhibition beautifully illustrates distinctive styles and thought-provoking art explored by American artists over the past two centuries.

Though many objects from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection have been on view at other museums, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and Saint Louis Art Museum, this is the first exhibition to see the best of the collection brought together in one location.

“Private collections by definition reflect the tastes and focus of the collector. In the case of Diane Jacobsen, we are fortunate that not only does she have a keen eye for quality, condition, and the appropriate frame, but she has actively collected works by female artists and artists of color, often overlooked in surveys of American art, offering our visitors a broader understanding of artistic production in America from its early days as a young country to the 20th century,” says Todd Herman, Ph.D., president and CEO at The Mint Museum.

The exhibition, presented by PNC Bank, begins with portraits by masters including Rembrandt Peale and Thomas Sully, before moving on to highlight the development of mid-19th-century landscape painting with works by Asher B. Durand, John Frederick Kensett, and others. Enticing images of fruits, flowers, and other delights by Severin Roesen, John Francis, Ferdinand Richardt, Elizabeth Williams, and Adelaide Coburne Palmer will be featured alongside trompe l’oeil (“deceives the eye”) examples by William Michael Harnett, John Haberle, and John Peto. Twentieth-century modernism and realism can be seen in works by artists ranging from Patrick Henry Bruce and Marsden Hartley to Paul Cadmus, Charmion von Wiegand, Suzy Frelinghuysen, Elizabeth Catlett, and Earnie Barnes.

The mission of The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation to “carefully research and obtain American masterpieces” is abundantly represented in American Made, says Jonathan Stuhlman, Ph.D., senior curator of American art at the Mint.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Jacobsen and her team to bring this exhibition to life over the past few years,” Stuhlman says. “Dr. Jacobsen has built this collection with not only an incredible passion for teaching the public about American art, but with a sense of exploration and discovery, a keen eye, and incredible connoisseurship.”

The September 10 opening-day celebration will include a panel discussion with Diane Jacobsen, Ph.D., distinguished scholar, art collector, and chair of the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation, along with Herman and Stuhlman.

American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection is generously presented in Charlotte by PNC Bank. Additional generous support is provided by The Dowd Foundation, Windgate Foundation, U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, and The President’s Cup. The national tour of American Made is made possible by Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Schoelkopf Gallery, and Sotheby’s. Media partners are SouthPark magazine and WDAV 89.9.

“Since establishing a presence in North Carolina one decade ago, PNC has invested heavily to support the arts and the region’s thriving cultural community,” says Weston Andress, PNC Bank regional president for Western Carolinas. “Through our frequent collaborations with The Mint Museum, we’ve helped bring world-class exhibitions to the city of Charlotte, and we’re delighted to continue that tradition with American Made.”

Accompanying the show is a catalogue of the DeMell Jacobsen Collection of fine art that is principally authored by Elizabeth Heuer, Ph.D., with contributions from other leading scholars, edited by the Mint’s Jonathan Stuhlman, Ph.D., and published by D. Giles Ltd. It is available in The Mint Museum Store or online at store.mintmuseum.org.

Following its run at the Mint, the exhibition will travel to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee; the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida; the San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas; and the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama.

Ticket Information
The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17. For museum hours, visit mintmuseum.org.

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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 at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

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 www.pnc.com.

The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation
The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting American art by carefully researching and obtaining American masterpieces, providing restoration, if necessary, and facilitating long-term loans to accredited major museums and traveling exhibitions. Created in 2011 as a 501(c)3 private operating foundation, the Foundation educates and stimulates creativity and teaches viewers about our nation’s rich artistic heritage with the goal of celebrating American art.

Media
For interviews, digital images, or additional information, please contact:

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

‘Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes’ retells African American histories and connects American craft traditions through powerful woven art

Diedrick Brackens (American, 1989–). survival is a shrine, not the small space near the limit of life, 2021; cotton and acrylic yarn, 92 x 98 inches.

‘Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes’ retells African American histories and connects American craft traditions through powerful woven art

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (June 23, 2022)The Mint Museum is pleased to present Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes, displaying large-scale textiles, handwoven basket boats, and performative photography by internationally recognized artist Diedrick Brackens. Originally curated by Lauren R. O’Connell for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Mint Museum iteration installs the SMoCA exhibition alongside works from The Mint Museum’s collection of quilts and weavings, many of which are on view for the first time, and a survey of contemporary North Carolina weavers. ark of bulrushes will be on view July 16–December 11, 2022 at Mint Museum Randolph. 

Brackens is best known for his weavings that explore narratives about queerness, masculinity, and the Black experience in the United States. His work incorporates elements of West-African weaving, American quilting, and European tapestry-making, as well as histories associated with craft. 

In ark of bulrushes, colorful weavings are encoded with patterns, constellations, and Black figures to form a mythology that combines past stories about liberation, from the Bible to the Underground Railroad, with current narratives of freedom and remediation. Additionally, Brackens first basket boats consider how craft can activate narratives for self-deliverance.

“I really started to think about how I could employ baskets as a tool for self-liberation. For me the question was: Could you make a basket big enough to float away, and is this something that one could do in a clandestine manner or in plain sight? I want the baskets to make some of these myths feel possible, that these aren’t just stories we tell ourselves, but that there is possibility through making, through craft, to actualize these things,” Brackens says.

In the performative photography, Brackens brings the baskets back into nature. “It speaks to how folks have been dispossessed from nature. I think there is so much power in it and so much peace,” he says.

Brackens and O’Connell worked with the Mint’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, and Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion Annie Carlano to expand the original SMoCA version with related objects from the Mint’s collection of quilts, weavings, and Native American baskets.  

“The sensation of feeling lost and the yearning for guidance — physically, spiritually, emotionally, historically — is a state of existence humans have felt for as long as they have wandered the Earth, and Diedrick Brackens gives us an entirely new way to consider this experience through his poignant, potent imagery that Lauren O’Connell has assembled into this powerful constellation of works,” Sudul Edwards says.  

Contemporary regional artists who have works in the exhibition, include Charlotte-based artists Renee Cloud, Katrina Sanchez, and Andrea Vail, along with Edwina Bringle of Penland, North Carolina, Andrea Donnelly of Richmond, Virginia, and Martha Clippinger of Durham, North Carolina.

Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes is organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and curated by Lauren R. O’Connell, curator of contemporary art at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Support is provided by the S. Rex and Joan Lewis Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Learning & Engagement and Community Outreach programming for this exhibition is generously supported by Windgate Foundation.   

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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 at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

Media 

For interviews, digital images, or additional information, please contact: 

Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c) 

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds debuts February 2023 at The Mint Museum

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds debuts February 2023 at The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum is the first, and only venue on the East Coast, to feature the traveling exhibition that includes many of Picasso’s greatest landscape paintings

For Immediate Release

Charlotte, North Carolina (May 19, 2022) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, a major traveling exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts, will debut at Mint Museum Uptown February 2023. Comprised of approximately 45 paintings spanning Pablo Picasso’s full career, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is the first traveling exhibition to explore the breadth of the artist’s lifelong innovations in the landscape tradition.

The Mint Museum is the first of only three venues in the United States — and the only venue on the East Coast — to feature this exceptional exhibition filled with works from private collections and international museums together for the first time.

Assembling some of Picasso’s greatest landscape compositions in one traveling exhibition, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds coincides with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. The dynamic grouping of works in the exhibition offers visitors an unparalleled window into the artist’s creative process, from his earliest days in art school (1896 when then artist was just 15 years old) to months before his passing in 1973.

“This is the first time these Picasso paintings will be seen together and is the first time an exhibition of this magnitude will be held at The Mint Museum,” says Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “We also recognize the enormous opportunity to collaborate with other local arts organizations and artists to take the magic and energy around this exhibition beyond the walls of The Mint Museum.”

Partnering cultural organizations working with the Mint to create a multilayered experience of innovative programming, include the Charlotte Symphony, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Theater Charlotte, JazzArts Charlotte, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and Charlotte Ballet.

The museum plans to host free school group tours in conjunction with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, in addition to numerous free community days at the museum.

A special component to the Mint’s iteration of the exhibition is Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations, which examines the impact of Picasso and his artistic influences on Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden’s work. The works in Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations will be drawn from the Mint’s deep holdings of Bearden’s work, as well as from private collections and selected museum collections.

“The AFA is delighted to organize the first traveling exhibition of Picasso’s engagement with landscape, offering a new perspective on the artist’s oeuvre in this important show that will debut at The Mint Museum,” says Pauline Willis, director and CEO of the American Federation of Arts (AFA). “Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is curated by the brilliant curator and Picasso scholar Laurence Madeline, with whom we are pleased to again collaborate following the great success of the acclaimed AFA traveling exhibition Women Artists in Paris 1850-1900.”

Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds at The Mint Museum is presented with the generous support of Bank of America and Duke Energy, and numerous individual contributors.

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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 at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

The American Federation of Arts
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.

The Mint Museum presents ‘The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters’

The Mint Museum presents The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters

Installation represents the rich history of North Carolina pottery through 60 works by six generations of the Cole family of potters

For Immediate Release | Images available here

Charlotte, North Carolina (May 13, 2022) —  For more than 200 years, members of the Cole family have been potting in central North Carolina — Randolph, Moore, Lee, and Montgomery counties. Six generations of Coles, and no fewer than 18 individuals, are represented in The Mint Museum’s permanent collection. More than 60 highlights of their wares are included in the new installation The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters, on view at Mint Museum Randolph.

From crocks, jars, and jugs to pitchers, candleholders, and vases, “turning pots” is one of the oldest and richest craft traditions in North Carolina. The deep-rooted legacy of the Cole family of potters began with Raphard Cole, born in 1799. He and his sons produced utilitarian stoneware, such as crocks, jugs, and urns, that were needed in an agrarian economy. Following generations distinguished themselves from their forebears by training their daughters, as well as their sons, on how to “turn pots.”

As the North Carolina tourist market for decorative ceramics evolved, the Cole family produced an impressive variety of colorfully glazed vases, pitchers, candleholders, and other ceramic pieces. Examples of all these wares also are on view in the installation.

“In a state filled with multigenerational families of gifted potters, the Coles stand out as one of North Carolina’s most enduring and prolific. For more than two hundred years, they have contributed enormously to the state’s ceramic traditions through their well-potted objects and their exceptionally beautiful glazes,” says Brian Gallagher, senior curator of decorative arts at The Mint Museum.

The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters presents a visual history of “turned pots” and the family that helped turn North Carolina into one of America’s centers for handmade, traditional pottery.

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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 at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Contact
Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

 

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things opening weekend celebration

The Mint Museum celebrates the re-installation of The Mint Museum Craft + Design Collection — with FREE admission and a weekend full of conversations with internationally acclaimed artists and makers

For Immediate Release | Images available here

Charlotte, North Carolina (May 12, 2022) — The Mint Museum is excited to announce the opening weekend of Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things May 21–22 at Mint Museum Uptown with complimentary admission throughout the weekend. As part of the celebration, highly acclaimed makers and educators Joseph Walsh, Hideo Mabuchi, and Silvia Levenson will present on their design inspirations, processes, and practices.

Examined through the lens of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, Craft in the Lab tells the story of how makers and designers use knowledge from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math in their artistic processes.

From 2 to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 21 internationally acclaimed and Ireland-based maker Joseph Walsh and Stanford University professor and maker Hideo Mabuchi discuss how science, technology, engineering, and math are used in their design processes, followed by an artists reception. From 2-3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, renowned international glass artist Silvia Levenson highlights her use of glass and printing techniques to reflect tensions in daily life, domestic violence, discrimination, and refugee issues. These conversations are being presented in partnership with Müller Corporation and the Craft & Trade Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing trades and craft in Charlotte.

The installation, which officially opened February 12, 2022, represents highlights from more than 3,000 works in The Mint Museum’s world-renowned collections of regional, national, international handmade glass, wood, jewelry and metal, fiber ceramic, and design objects. Presented by Müller Corporation, Craft in the Lab also celebrates the reinstallation of The Mint’s highly acclaimed Craft + Design galleries — the first since its opening in 2010 at Mint Museum Uptown.

Co-curated by the Mint’s Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion Annie Carlano and Assistant Curator for Craft, Design, and Fashion Rebecca Elliot, the installation includes 100 objects organized by material and subject throughout the galleries, touchable material panels, and videos of makers at work in their studios.

“The reinstallation of the Craft + Design galleries allow us the opportunity to bring new works out on view and to interpret the collection through new pairings and themes,” says Todd Herman, president and CEO at The Mint Museum. “Craft in the Laboratory examines how investigation, experimentation, and critical thinking are common to both science and art, and the correlation of art with science, technology, engineering, and math that effectively changing STEM to STEAM concepts.”

The installation is accompanied by an important and timely catalogue on the topic, with contributions by several scholars and a lead essay by Elliot. The fully illustrated catalogue of the same name, published by Dan Giles Ltd., also includes contributions from museum staff, and guest essayists.

Craft in the Laboratory is the first publication in over 20 years to discuss The Mint Museum’s Craft and Design collection in depth,” Elliot says. The book is available for purchase at The Mint Museum Store or at store.mintmuseum.org.

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things is generously presented by Müller Corporation. Generous individual support provided by Beth and Drew Quartapella, Mary Anne (M.A.) Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, and Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The catalogue is supported by the John and Robyn Horn Foundation.

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 at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Müller Corporation
Founded in Germany, and family owned and operated, Müller provides commercial surface installation, and cleaning and maintenance services to the solar, hospitality, automotive, food and beverage, and other industries. European standards and in-house trained craftsmen ensure superior results and unmatched client service. To learn more, visit mullercorporation.com.

Craft & Trade Academy
Founded in 2019, the training programs and apprenticeships are based on the international recognized German model. In order to develop apprentices into quality craftsmen, the Academy runs classroom and workshop training, as well as on-the-job training recognized by the Department of Labor. The Craft & Trade Academy is a public 501(c)3 nonprofit higher education institution committed to providing paths and expanding skills within the construction industry. To learn more, visit craftandtradeacademy.org.

Contact:
Clayton Sealey, senior director of marketing and communications
clayton.sealey@mintmuseum.org | 704.534.0186 (c)

Michele Huggins, associate director of marketing and communications
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

Staff spotlight: Rebecca Elliot

Rebecca Elliot, assistant curator of craft, design, and fashion.

‘Art can be a source of joy for people, and I like to make those experiences happen’

Rebecca Elliot is one of the creative minds behind the new exhibition Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things and lead author of the catalogue by the same name.

 

Rebecca Elliot is the assistant curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion at The Mint Museum. Her journey with art has taken her around the globe, from her student days studying abroad in London and frequenting the British Museum, to her jobs at the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and finally to the Mint in 2012, where she’s currently the assistant curator of craft, design and fashion. Here, Elliot shares a glimpse into her life inside the museum, from the glamorous (handling 18th-century men’s suits and thrifting with iconic fashion designer Anna Sui) to the decidedly unglamorous (copy editing and emails). — As told to Caroline Portillo. Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

I grew up in central Ohio in a town called Delaware, Ohio, about 30 or 40 miles north of Columbus. I loved to read fiction and liked writing. I loved art, especially drawing. My sister and I — she’s three years older than me — would have coloring contests. I even tried to design clothes. I would play with my Barbies and have them do fashion shows. For me, it was more about Barbie having a job, a career, and wearing stylish outfits.

For undergrad, I went to Smith College, a women’s college in western Massachusetts. I took art history during my sophomore year, and then I spent my junior year studying abroad at University College London, where I took a lot of art history classes. UCL was close to the British Museum and I would often go after school. In London, I also visited the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Tate Gallery. It was really cool actually seeing the scale of the paintings and what the texture looked like, knowing what it felt like to stand in front of it, and noticing what other people did when they were there. That’s when I first started thinking about working with museums. The interface between the art and the public was interesting to me.

Here’s a snapshot of a recent day in my life. First, I helped Annie [Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator for craft, design, and fashion] lay out the jackets from two 18th-century gentlemen’s suits for a Zoom call with a curator from the V&A in London. Because I’m the copyeditor for all the Mint’s exhibition texts, my afternoon was spent answering emails and reviewing exhibition label proofs. I spent the evening on one of my hobbies: ushering for a show at Actor’s Theater. I enjoy theater, and ushering is a great way to help out and see a show for free.

I love thrifting and actually got to join fashion icon Anna Sui on a thrifting expedition. Anna was in Charlotte in November last year for the opening of The World of Anna Sui at Mint Museum Randolph. After lunch, we ventured to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. I have admired Anna Sui’s style ever since her clothes started appearing in my favorite ’90s teen magazine, Sassy. I was thrilled when I got to join her entourage and go thrifting in Charlotte. I walked around with Anna and Vogue’s Senior Fashion News Editor Steff Yotka, observing which items they gravitated to and occasionally commenting about things that reminded me of Anna’s style. I was with them as Anna found and inspected a tablecloth — the three of us unfolded it together — and decided it was worth the $20 price. It’s fun to know that I was there when she found a small souvenir to take back and enjoy in her home.

Speaking of Sleepy Poet, I made a point to go there just before they moved out of their old location, knowing there would be bargains. Sure enough, I found a Heywood-Wakefield wood headboard and footboard, possibly mid-century modern, for $25. Whenever I’m thrifting or antiquing, I look for interesting mid-century modern items. I like old stuff, decorative stuff, fashion, and art.

When I’m visiting a museum, I nerd out. I look at the objects and the labels — how are they written? Would I do it the same way? I look at what objects are next to each other, how they play off each other. I look at what’s in the room, how the wall colors are, the pathway.

I love working at a museum because museums give people so many different kinds of experiences. Art can be a source of joy for people, and I like to make those experiences happen. Art can also be something that makes people uncomfortable, that makes them question and think about things they may not have before. We are facing many difficult issues, everything from the environment to social justice to politics. The work I do matters in those areas. We’re not trying to be political, but we are trying to make society better.

‘Coveted Couture’ Gala 2022 Auction Items

2022 Coveted Couture Gala Auction Items

INSPIRATO CLUB MEMBERSHIP

$15,000 Starting Bid

  • One complimentary year of Club Membership and ability to book anywhere within Inspirato’s luxury portfolio of exclusive vacation homes, resort and hotel partners, and one-of-a-kind experiences.
  • Includes a Complimentary vacation from Inspirato’s Bonus Trip List for a 3–4-night stay at your choice of many luxury destinations. Airfare not included. After you have enjoyed your complimentary vacation, travel as little or as much as you like, paying nightly rates as you go. Amenities include personalized trip planning, daily housekeeping, and dedicated on-site concierge services during your stay. Membership benefits will begin on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Generously donated by Ann and Michael Tarwater

ULTIMATE RACING PACKAGE

$10,000 Starting Bid

  • Jimmie Johnson Racing Package includes four tickets to a 2022 IndyCar Series race or a IMSA Endurance Cup race (excludes the Indy 500). VIP access to the paddock, pit road, and meet-and-greet with seven-time NASCAR champion and current IndyCar Series driver Jimmie Johnson. Enjoy a high-speed ride in an IndyCar Experience race car (depending on racetrack and availability) and an autographed gift. Generously donated by Chandra and Jimmie Johnson.
  • Indianapolis 500 Package: 2 grandstand tickets, credentials for garage area, and gift bag.

Generously donated by PNC Bank.

STEPHEN WILSON WORKS

$1,500 Starting Bid

  • Butterfly Swarm, 2021 — 12-by-12 inch, mixed media
  • Byzantine Purple Butterfly Tree Variation, 2020 – 12-by-12 inch, mixed media

Generously donated by Toshkova Fine Art Gallery + Advisor.

KRISTIN HEINRICH CLOSET EDIT

$500 Starting Bid

  • A 3-hour closet edit with Kristin Heinrich, a Charlotte-based professional fashion stylist for women and men.
  • Includes assessing wardrobe dilemmas and style goals, editing, organizing, and re-styling existing clothing and accessories, and de-cluttering by determining what is dated, unflattering or worn out. She will also arrange pulled together looks for all occasions mingling existing items with new purchases to make getting dressed fun!

Generously donated by Kristin Heinrich.

ANNA SUI AUTOGRAPHED COLLECTORS BOHO BARBIE

$300 Starting Bid

  • Autographed Anna Sui collector’s item Boho Barbie to commemorate The Mint Museum’s 2022 exhibition The World of Anna Sui, presented by PNC Bank.

Generously donated by Anna Sui.

2022 COVETED COUTURE GALA PADDLE RAISE ITEMS

TRAVEL TO BARCELONA AND PARIS WITH THE MINT MUSEUM & SAPPHIRE CIRCLE

$50,000

  • Trip for two to Barcelona and Paris in June 2023 with Todd A. Herman, PhD., Mint President & CEO. Enjoy exclusive access to Picasso museums and private collections. Including luxury hotel accommodations (excludes airfare).
  •  Individual sponsorship recognition for Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds.
  • Sapphire Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition for one year, including an invitation to the exclusive Diamond Circle Dinner.
  • Named brick on Mint Museum Randolph’s front façade terrace.

GALLERY DINNER & DIAMOND CIRCLE

$15,000

  • Cocktails & a sit-down dinner for 10 with Todd A. Herman, PhD in Mint Museum Uptown’s Craft + Design galleries
  • Includes curator-lead tour of your choice
  • Diamond Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition for one year, including an invitation to the exclusive Diamond Circle Dinner.
  • Named brick on Mint Museum Randolph’s front façade terrace.

PRIVATE TOUR, RECEPTION & DIAMOND CIRCLE

$10,000

  • Curator-led tour and reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for 25
  • Diamond Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition for one year, including an invitation to the exclusive Diamond Circle Dinner.
  • Named brick on Mint Museum Randolph’s front façade terrace.

PRIORITY TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES & PLATINUM PLUS CIRCLE

$7,500

  • Priority invitation to all international and domestic travel opportunities with The Mint Museum.
  • Platinum Plus Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition for one year.
  • Named brick on Mint Museum Randolph’s front façade terrace.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND ACCESSIBILITY (DEIA) SUPPORT & PLATINUM CIRCLE

  • Support the Mint’s DEIA initiatives including underwriting internships for college students.
  • Platinum Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition for one year.
  • Named brick on Mint Museum Randolph’s front façade terrace.

PRIVATE TOUR & GOLD CIRCLE

$2,500

  • Private tour for up to 10 people for the exhibition or collection of your choice
  • Gold Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition for one year.
  • Named brick on Mint Museum Randolph’s front façade terrace.

CHILDREN’S STUDIO PROGRAMS & SILVER CIRCLE

$1,200

  • Support Summer Crafts on the Lawn by contributing towards teaching instructors and art materials as well as enhanced seating opportunities on Mint Museum Randolph’s grounds.
  • Silver Circle Crown Society benefits and recognition.

ART KITS & CHAMPION MEMBERSHIP

$500

  • Support museum outreach by helping to provide materials for 150 free Mini Art Kits.
  • Mint Champion membership benefits and recognition.

WILD WEDNESDAYS & SUPPORTER MEMBERSHIP

$250

  • Underwrite costs of instructor fees, demonstrating artist honoraria, and materials for Wild Wednesday family nights at Mint Museum Randolph.
  • Mint Supporter membership benefits and recognition.

Charlotte SHOUT at The Mint Museum

5 things to shout about at The Mint Museum

While uptown Charlotte is alive with events during Charlotte SHOUT, there is also a lot to shout about at The Mint Museum. Mark your calendar for these don’t-miss happenings.

 

Wednesday Night Live: Rothko Becoming Rothko

April 13, 5–9 PM, 6:30 PM
Mint Museum Uptown
Free

To celebrate the two Rothko paintings on view at Mint Museum Uptown, Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, presents a lecture about the life and works of Mark Rothko as part of the Wednesday Night Live Series presented by Bank of America. Enjoy free admission and a cash bar.

Dance it out at Mint 2 Move

April 14, 7-11 PM
Mint Museum Uptown
$9 members; $12 nonmembers with $1 off before 8 PM

Feel the rhythm, dance, laugh, and enjoy sizzling salsa, cha cha, bachata, line dancing, live musicians, and a live DJ playing Latin rhythms and Afro-beats, plus free dance lessons, a cash bar, complimentary party favors, and live painting at Mint 2 Move. Museum galleries open until 9 PM.

 

 

Coined in the South: 2022

See works by more than 40 artists, all hailing from the Southeast. An array of mediums, some less conventional than others, make up the collective body of work that converges to become a mellifluent symphony of styles, perspectives, and approaches in the exhibition. On view: Level 4 Brand Galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.

 

 

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things is the first project of its kind in the Southeast to examine how artists and scientists think and work alike, and how designers of all types use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in their making. It also celebrates the first re-installation of the Mint’s Craft + Design Collection in more than 10 years. Organized by medium, more than 100 objects from the Mint’s permanent collection are featured. On view: Level 3 Craft + Design galleries at Mint Museum Uptown.

 

 

www.theplaidpenguin.com www.lunahzon.com

Have your cake and eat it too at Mariposa at the Mint

Stop by Mariposa at Mint Museum Uptown for dessert, a cocktail, or to share a plate before or after visiting the museum.

And of course, be sure to take a turn on the Impulse illuminated seesaws on Levine Avenue of the Arts, all part of Charlotte SHOUT!

 

Paintings by Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko debut at The Mint Museum for first time in the museum’s history

FROM LEFT: Mark Rothko (American, born Russia, 1903–70). No. 17 [or] No. 15 1949, oil on canvas, 51 7/8 x 29 1/8 inches. Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc. National Gallery of Art, Washington 1986.43.142. Mark Rothko (American, born Russia, 1903–70). Untitled 1951, oil on canvas, 44 1/4 x 37 3/8 inches. Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc. National Gallery of Art, Washington 1986.43.157.

Paintings by Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko debut at The Mint Museum for first time in the museum’s history

For Immediate Release

Charlotte, North Carolina (March 10, 2022) — For the first time in its 85-year history, The Mint Museum has not one, but two, Mark Rothko paintings on view. Through a long-term loan with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., two paintings by the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko are on view in the Modern Contemporary galleries at Mint Museum Uptown. The two works — No. 17 [or] No. 15 and Untitled 1951 — are the only paintings by Rothko currently on view in North Carolina.

To celebrate, Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., presents “Rothko Becoming Rothko” 6:30 p.m. April 13 at Mint Museum Uptown about the life and works of the famed artist. The lecture is part of the Wednesday Night Live Series, presented by Bank of America, and includes free admission to the museum, plus a cash bar, 5:30-9 p.m.
Rothko’s serene floating blocks of color, typical of his mature work in the 1950s and 1960s, are considered a pivotal moment in the move from figural painting to Abstract Expressionism, says Todd A. Herman, president and CEO.

“Influenced by the tragedies of World War II, Rothko felt that painting needed to reach deeper into our shared subconscious where humanity can be connected through emotional responses to color and shape. He worked in a vertical format to reflect the human form and encouraged people to stand just a few feet in front so that the work could fill their vision and maximize the effect.”

The paintings will be on view through March 2023 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts.

Ticket Information
Admission to The Mint Museum is free for members and children ages 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors ages 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth ages 5–17.

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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 at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

 

More information, contact: Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)