Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

By Rubie Britt-Height, director of community relations at The Mint Museum

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1963) was a major American icon whose life, though cut short far too soon, profoundly impacted the state of our country in the 1950s, 1960s, and today. He was an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday that marks the birth of this profoundly courageous leader who addressed the challenges existing in the United States relative to poverty, racism, and war.  

The Mint observes the official Martin Luther King Jr. holiday throughout the month of January with goals ongoing throughout the year to invoke dialogue and transformative programming, exhibitions, and equity for diverse artists, vendors, and staff. The museum is committed to its mission, vision, and strategic plan, of which diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are a part.  

Throughout 2022, the Mint will provide members and guests opportunities to view and have dialogue about meaningful works of art, attend performing arts programming, read historical nuggets about artists of color, and recount through socially conscious works of art the ongoing challenges identified by Dr. King’s speeches, writings, and sermons that continue to illuminate “the dream still deferred” in many ways.  

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech spoke metaphorically and strategically to an environment that blighted African Americans, with the hope of a transformed country of equity, equality, justice, and fairness. 

The Jim Crow Museum notes that “the civil rights movement reached its peak when 250,000 blacks and whites gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which included the demand for passage of meaningful civil rights laws when Dr. King, Jr. delivered his famous speech.”  Among those words, throughout his ministry are many other notable quotes that raise our consciousness and speak to courage, community, and commitment to a better America for all. 

Here are just a few of his thought-provoking and enlightened perspectives as one influenced by his Christian faith, Ghandi’s non-violence philosophy, and his commitment to balance the scale of humanity in America: 

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” 

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” 

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” 

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but it comes through continuous struggle.” 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” 

We invite you view this curator video featuring Senior Curator of American art Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, about the painting Selma by artist Barbra Pennington that focuses on the events that unfolded 55 years ago in Selma, Alabama. 

A Q&A With André Leon Talley

André Leon Talley and Oscar de la Renta at Book Signing, Rizzoli Books, New York
Created: July 2005
Shareif Ziyadat, © Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

Q&A with legendary fashion icon André Leon Talley 

The curator of the Mint’s exhibition The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta and star of the fashion world spoke to the Mint’s director of public relations and publications in 2018 just before the opening of the exhibition. Following is the article that published in the Winter 2018 INSPIRED member magazine.

By Leigh Dyer  

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU GOT TO KNOW OSCAR DE LA RENTA? 

My first meeting with Oscar was in December 1975, when he and his first wife, the late Francoise de la Renta, invited me at the last minute to their table for two at the annual Met Costume Institute dinner. It was held in December in those days, and it was a very small, intimate society dinner and celebrity-filled. Diana Vreeland had spoken so highly of me to the de la Rentas that he simply made space for me at his already seated table. 

 WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF HIM? 

My first impression and my lasting impression, was he was a great man of impeccability, elegance, well-groomed, and polite. He also had a wonderful charm and smile. His whole being simply exuded a natural nobility of goodness and sunshine, warmth, laughter, and generosity. All the real things that matter. I miss him every day and his second wife, Annette, was also a close friend of the first Mrs. de la Renta. They both love beauty and comfort, nothing over the top, as the late Bunny Mellon said, “nothing should be noticed.” 

 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF HIM? 

 I loved watching Oscar dance and sing. He was the best dancer and did the best merengue. He was so soigné, even dancing. And swimming, in his native Dominican Republic. He also had a voice that was as rich and warm as his heart. He was kind, but he also had a wicked sense of humor, loved telling the anecdotal historical narrative of French high society in fashion-for example he went to some of the famous Paris society balls. And I loved him telling the narrative of those glamorous women. 

WHY DO YOU THINK HIS DESIGNS WERE SO SUCCESSFUL AT CONNECTING WITH THE PUBLIC AND POPULAR CULTURE? 

 His designs impact everyone, from the 8-year-old girl to the 80-year-old grand dame. I fondly remember a young girl being brought by her parents to de Young in San Francisco for the retrospective on Oscar, and she was so impressed by the pale pink tulle dress and hat and veil, inspired by Madame Bovary. It was actually a wedding dress in a Pierre Balmain collection in Paris, designed beautifully by Oscar. So romantic, so rich in romantic history. Oscar always wanted to make women beautiful; he didn’t care about being an artist, he wanted to make dresses that were worn and admired by the women who loved them. Embedded in every bow and every nuance of taffeta flourish, every flounce of velvet edged in sable and embroidery, was his sense of romance. The body of work from his beginnings at Lanvin Castillo to his early youth in Spain anchor him in the historical context of romantic and glamorous design. He loved so much to realize clothes that were exuberantly baroque in surface, yet weighted in elegant simplicity. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HIS MOST IMPORTANT LEGACY IN THE FASHION WORLD? 

There are three designers I think of who have left a lasting mark in the realm of modern fashion that is romantic: Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent. All three of these titans of talent, I know or knew personally. In the hands of each, a dress, a coat, or a suit became a poem! 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH LONGTIME MINT SUPPORTER MARIANNA SHERIDAN? 

I worked closely with Marianna and she was quiet, yet fiercely passionate about Oscar de la Renta. She loved the designer so much, she had a family home built in the Dominican Republic. I always looked forward to her e-mails with another glorious find. She frequently would seek my advice on if she should or should not acquire certain looks, but she was somehow drawn to the glorious pieces that always reflected the best of Oscar’s designs. Under her direction, the de la Renta archives became a wonderful resource, a literal goldmine of offerings in every category. We were friends, and I had a deep respect for her dedication and her work. She had a love of beauty, luxury, and elegance.  

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THAT VISITORS TO THE EXHIBITION WILL COME AWAY WITH? 

I hope visitors wi11 take away a breathtaking sense of Oscar’s love of texture and fabric, color, and complex layerings of details of the world of couture conceits. Romantic ruffles and the glory of Spain’s culture in the arts, and flamenco, the bullring, and the idea of the warmth of the sun in Sevilla on a beautiful day is somehow in the very cut of the cloth. More than anything, he was a true romantic and loved life, and he showed that in his love of gardens, garden motifs, flowers. 

THIS EXHIBITION HAS COINCIDED WITH THE PREMIERE OF YOUR NEW DOCUMENTARY, “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE.” 

I am proud the documentary opens at the same period this spring as the exhibit. Kate Novack, director, narrates brilliantly my humble beginnings in Durham, N.C. and how I soldiered through the “chiffon trenches” for decades to arrive at the heights of my career, landing at Vogue for nearly two decades. I am still aligned to Vogue as a contributing editor and consider Dame Anna Wintour a close friend. She has supported me throughout my career and I am blessed to have her [in my life]. The documentary received the Whistler prize last December at the Whistler Film Festival, as World Documentary. 

 It’s a great honor to curate this, my third exhibition since Oscar de la Renta died. I considered Oscar one of my close friends and I think of him every day as I do so many wonderful people who have passed away: Yves Saint Laurent, Diana Vreeland, Andy Warhol (who gave me my first job in fashion in 1975), and Azzedine Alaia. I am also proud of the books I published in collaboration with SCAD in Savannah, Georgia, published by Rizzoli, Little Black Dress and Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style. 

24 hours in the life of artist Lydia Thompson

Lydia Thompson in her studio
Artist Lydia Thompson at work in her home studio.

On the daily: 24 hours in the life of artist Lydia Thompson

For Lydia Thompson, a working artist and professor of ceramics at UNC Charlotte, the past is always present. She is fascinated by “our abodes,” and how we interact with them. Inside these spaces, we carry our own stories, as well as those of former inhabitants and vestiges from our lives elsewhere. Thompson’s recent work focuses on issues such as forced displacement, gentrification, and what gets left behind when a home is abandoned. 

“You can see the emotions of a structure when it starts to deteriorate, especially when it’s been abandoned,” Thompson says. “You can see layers and layers of cultures that lived in there.” 

As Thompson wraps up a three-year term as UNC Charlotte’s chairperson of the department of art and art history, she’s also looking toward the future. After spending much of her career in leadership positions at universities throughout the United States, she is eager to return to a schedule with more time for teaching, studio work, and leading community workshops. 

“I really love working with the community,” she says, “because the artwork just sits in the gallery and I want to bring it alive.”  

While her weekdays have been mostly filled with administrative duties she finds time for studio work on the weekend. Take a look at a typical Saturday for the renowned ceramic artist, filled with her sketchbook, the kiln, and some thought provoking documentaries. 

Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

5 AM: I wake up and start my day with some personal reading. The books I’m reading are always centered around projects I’m working on. Books I’ve recently read include Feeding the Ghosts by Fred D’Aguiar, Root Shock by Mindy Thompson Fullilove, and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

6 AM: I check emails, maybe look at Instagram, and have two cups of coffee, followed by a full breakfast of pancakes or eggs. I reserve the yogurt and oatmeal for Monday through Friday. I keep a sketchbook nearby at all times. Because I don’t have a lot of time to work in the studio, I’m always making lists.

7:30 AM: I head down to my basement studio — I am happy to finally have a dedicated studio space — and open the kiln. Even though I know what the result is going to be, I love the anticipation. The excitement of seeing a fired piece never goes away. 

Because slabs are heavy, I work on them while I have the most energy of the day. I spend a couple of hours focused rolling out and flipping slabs. I use a template and make a cardboard model before I actually cut anything out to be sure it’s going to work when I put it together.  

While working, I usually put on the television show “Columbo” or listen to a podcast. I feel like detective Columbo is the underdog who is misunderstood. I think of myself and my career in terms of being misunderstood sometimes. People see me and never think I’m the director or the person in the leadership role at UNC Charlotte because I’m an African American woman. They’re always surprised when they find out who I am. 

I also enjoy listening to podcasts. I love Brené Brown’s “Unlocking Us,” and “Business of HYPE,” with host Jeff Staple. 

9:30 AM: If I have slabs set up, I start building the interior structure and putting the walls together. I start busting up things, making rubble so I can dip all of it in glaze and put it in the piece.  

11:30 AM: It’s time to glaze. I look at the wooden bases and check the inventory of what needs to be done before setting up. I usually glaze my pieces three or four times. 

Noon: I take a lunch break, which is usually leftovers — homemade pizza, maybe a salad or a tuna sandwich — and enjoy time in my backyard with a quick stretch and check on the garden my fiancé planted. We have green beans, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, lettuce, and green peppers.

1:30 PM: Back to the studio. I set up the piece a little more and then do some glazing. This takes time and can be tedious because I put masking tape where I want another color to appear. But it gives me the result I’m after. I glaze for an hour and a half and then let it dry.

2 PM: I get another cup of coffee that I don’t really need.

3 PM: I’m always working on two or three pieces at the same time, so it’s helpful to review where I am with projects. I go back to my sketchbook and then I repeat the cycle I began at the start of the day, except for the slab rolling. 

Studio time is so important. It’s dedicated time to work and to review work you’ve done, especially the work that wasn’t successful. Even though you want to throw it in the trash, you’ve got to look at it and say, “Why did this not work?”

6 PM: It’s time to get dinner ready. We try to eat healthy, and I walk every day after dinner and sometimes in the morning, too. I also stretch. It helps to keep your body in tune, especially if you’re doing ceramics.

7:30 PM: My fiancé and I unwind watching movies, but I’m sketching all the time — at night, when I’m in bed or while I’m looking at the TV. I look through the sketches and pull out the ones I think will work. 

We like to watch suspense, thriller, love stories, and futuristic movies. I love documentaries. With the Black Lives Matter movement in focus, I’ve been watching documentaries, such as Black Wall Street, Amend, Coded Bias, and I Am Not Your Negro about African American history. They’re tear jerkers for me because this is reality. I think we’ve come really far, but the only way we can change certain mentalities is to start when people are very young. It’s hard to understand unless you actually walk in someone else’s shoes. I just don’t want people’s eyes to roll when we continue to have these conversations because it really has impacted lives. The way you treat a certain group of people still has an impact on their life and where they are in this country. There’s just no way around it.

9:30 PM: I go to bed fairly early. By 9:30 or 10 o’clock, I’m out. I’m done.

Liz Rothaus Bertrand is a writer and editor based in Charlotte who is passionate about the arts.  

The Mint Museum announces ‘Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things’ — the first installation in the Southeast to explore how creative ingenuity melds with STEM concepts

The MInt Museum
Simone Elizabeth Saunders (Canada, 1983– ), She Holds the Key, 2019, cotton and linen ground cloth; wool threads. 62 x 60 inches. Collection of The Mint Museum. Museum Purchase with funds from the Charlotte Debutante Club. 2021.14. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist.

The Mint Museum announces ‘Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things’ — the first installation in the Southeast to explore how creative ingenuity melds with STEM concepts

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte (January 7, 2022)Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things, presented by Müller Corporationopens February 12 at Mint Museum Uptown. The installation is the first of its kind in the Southeast to explore how craft artists and designers use science and math concepts, and celebrates a revitalizing and reinstallation of the Mint’s highly acclaimed Craft + Design permanent collection.

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, Craft in the Laboratory includes 100 works from the Mint’s collection that are made from precious metals, wood, steel, polymers, and even agricultural waste, that emphasize the preciseness of science used to craft works of art. Made by nationally and internationally renowned artists, the objects are organized by material and subject throughout the galleries.

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,” Carlano says.

The Mint’s head of school and gallery programs, Joel Smeltzer, worked with Carlano, Elliot, and educators from other museums across the United States to enhance the reinstallation with gallery features, including videos of makers showing and describing their processes, touchable material tiles hand-crafted by STARworks in Star, North Carolina, and detailed gallery labels that convey the technical aspects of the materials and processes used by the artists.

Smeltzer is also working with a team of eight Charlotte teachers to develop future gallery interactives and lesson plans for field trips to The Mint Museum to experience Craft in the Laboratory.

In partnership with Müller Corporation and the Craft & Trade Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing trades and craft in Charlotte, a series of future workshops featuring local and international artists related to the Craft in the Laboratory are also being planned.

“During these workshops the Craft & Trade Academy will seek to immerse participants and apprentices in the art of craftsmanship and in the beauty of working with natural materials. This will show the arc of suspense between craft and trades, and how everything is connected with each other,” says Frank Müller, president and CEO of Müller Corporation and president of the Craft & Trade Academy.

New acquisitions in the installation include She Holds the Key by artist Simone Elizabeth Saunders, Nyala Chair by Jomo Tariku, and Rainbow Chair by designer Patrick Norguet. Other works in the installation from the Mint’s collection include artist Kate Malone’s stoneware vessels with crystalline glazes Mr. And Mrs. Tutti Atomic; artist Brent Kington’s forged and welded Weathervane; artist Susan Point’s carved and painted red cedar work Salmon Spawn Running; and designer Laura Kishimoto’s Yumi Chair II made of wood veneer and steel.

“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 Rebecca Elliot. The fully illustrated catalogue of the same name, published by Dan Giles Ltd., also includes contributions from Carlano, Smeltzer, and guest essayists

Zoe Laughlin, PhD, materials scientist and director of the Center of Making at University College London; and Hideo Mabuchi, PhD, a physicist at Stanford University who is also a weaver and potter.

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 will be available for purchase at The Mint Museum Store in February 2022.

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science on 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.

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. 

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 on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

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: 

Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum 

michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704-564-0826 

‘Daytona Vortex’ sculpture memorializes NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s 2006 Daytona 500 victory

E.V. Day (American, 1967–). Daytona Vortex, 2020, neoprene, filament, metal. On loan from Jimmy and Chandra Johnson.

The Mint Museum debuts Daytona Vortex sculpture commemorates NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s 2006 Daytona 500 victory

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte (December 22, 2021)Daytona Vortex by New York-based artist EV Day makes its public debut December 23, 2021 at The Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte. On loan from Jimmie and Chandra Johnson, the sculpture is made from the fire suit Jimmie Johnson wore when he took the win at the 2006 Daytona 500. 

Made from the winning fire suit, monofilament and hardware with a mirrored stainless steel base, Jimmie Johnson commissioned Day to create the sculpture that stands more than 12 feet tall. For decades Day has constructed sculptures that question social structures and perceptions around gender and sexuality, as seen in her Exploded Couture series that includes Transporter, which is on view in the Mint’s permanent collection galleries on Level 4 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

Bold forms and colors found in the sculpture generate notions of speed, technology, and celebratory confetti. The reversed engineering of the suit pays homage to Karuta, the complicated armor worn by samurai warriors. Day also considers Jimmie Johnson’s racing suit in the lineage of space exploration, tracing its fiber genetics to the suit that allowed Major Arthur Murray to become the first pilot to leave the Earth’s atmosphere in 1954.  

“It celebrates the power and heroism of humankind’s innovation,” Day says. “Tectonically the language of the piece highlights the friction between man and machine — softness of the highly tailored fabric to the rigid structure of the hardware. It may seem that these forces are at odds, but they are interdependent on one another,” Day says. 

When Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator ofcontemporary art at the Mint, learned about the commissioned piece, she knew she wanted to have it on view at the Mint.  

Like TransporterDaytona Vortex is visually stunning and conceptually powerful as it pushes us to rethink ideas around gender, dress, social interactions, expectations and popular culture,” Sudul Edwards says. “It’s also a poignant reconsideration of sports heroes like Jimmie Johnson and the tension that must be maintained between the physical and intellectual, assurances and risk, in order to succeed.” 

Daytona Vortex is on view December 23, 2021-June 5, 2022, in the Gorelick Gallery on Level 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

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. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021. 

About The Mint Museum  

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

Contact: 

Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum 

michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704-564-0826 

‘Daytona Vortex’ sculpture memorializes NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s 2006 Daytona 500 victory

E.V. Day (American, 1967–). Daytona Vortex, 2020, neoprene, filament, metal. On loan from Jimmy and Chandra Johnson.

The Mint Museum debuts Daytona Vortex sculpture memorializing NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s 2006 Daytona 500 victory

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte (December 22, 2021)Daytona Vortex by New York-based artist EV Day makes its public debut December 23, 2021 at The Mint Museum in uptown Charlotte. On loan from Jimmie and Chandra Johnson, the sculpture is made from the fire suit seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson wore when he took the win at the 2006 Daytona 500. 

Jimmie Johnson commissioned Day to create the sculpture using the fire suit. For decades Day has constructed sculptures that question social structures and perceptions around gender and sexuality, as seen in her Exploded Couture series that includes Transporter, which is on view in the Mint’s permanent collection galleries on Level 4 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

Bold forms and colors found in the sculpture generate notions of speed, technology, and celebratory confetti. The reversed engineering of the suit pays homage to Karuta, the complicated armor worn by samurai warriors. Day also considers Jimmie Johnson’s racing suit in the lineage of space exploration, tracing its fiber genetics to the suit that allowed Major Arthur Murray to become the first pilot to leave the Earth’s atmosphere in 1954.  

“It celebrates the power and heroism of humankind’s innovation,” Day says. “Tectonically the language of the piece highlights the friction between man and machine — softness of the highly tailored fabric to the rigid structure of the hardware. It may seem that these forces are at odds, but they are interdependent on one another,” Day says. 

When Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator ofcontemporary art at the Mint, learned about the commissioned piece, she knew she wanted to have it on view at the Mint.  

Like TransporterDaytona Vortex is visually stunning and conceptually powerful as it pushes us to rethink ideas around gender, dress, social interactions, expectations and popular culture,” Sudul Edwards says. “It’s also a poignant reconsideration of sports heroes like Jimmie Johnson and the tension that must be maintained between the physical and intellectual, assurances and risk, in order to succeed.” 

Daytona Vortex is on view December 23, 2021-June 5, 2022, in the Gorelick Gallery on Level 3 at Mint Museum Uptown. 

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. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021. 

About The Mint Museum  

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

Contact: 

Michele Huggins, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum 

michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704-564-0826 

The Mint Museum presents ‘The World of Anna Sui,’ a retrospective of the iconic fashion designer

The Mint Museum presents The World of Anna Sui, a retrospective of the iconic fashion designer

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (November 2, 2021) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition The World of Anna Sui, a major retrospective of the iconic fashion designer, on view November 20, 2021- May 1, 2022, at its Mint Museum Randolph location. The exhibition — presented by PNC Bank — provides a look inside the creative process of Sui, who recently was featured in T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s 2021 Greats issue and is known for her mastery of street-chic style from mod to punk, surfer to bohemian.

The World of Anna Sui is organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and curated by Dennis Nothdruft, head of exhibitions at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London. The first iteration of the exhibition debuted at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London in the summer of 2017, and has toured the globe, from New York City to Shanghai to Tokyo. The Mint Museum’s iteration — curated by Annie Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion — is the last stop for the exhibition’s current international tour. It presents more than 100 looks from the designer’s archives, with a roll call of archetypes that capture the Sui aesthetic, such as rockstar, Americana, fairytale, grunge, retro and nomad. It is the first full fashion exhibition at The Mint Museum to be devoted to a woman’s body of work, as well as the first dedicated to an Asian American designer. As the museum celebrates the 85th anniversary of its founding, the exhibition brings to life aspects of The Mint Museum’s evolution.

“One of the rare women-owned fashion brands, Sui and her innovative spirit are a fitting complement to the pioneering spirit of the donors who launched the Mint’s notable fashion collection in 1972,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum.

Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors that comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history. This fun and raucous exhibition takes the visitor through the many phases and influences of Sui’s career that have made her such a darling of both street fashionistas and the runway, says Herman.

“In addition to capturing the output of Sui’s creativity and artistic vision, this exhibition celebrates what it takes to build a successful business — entrepreneurship, innovation, determination and hard work,” says Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “PNC is excited to help the Mint bring this meaningful exhibition – the first of its kind — to Charlotte.”

Part autobiography and part cultural commentary, Sui uses her fashion to reflect her experiences as part of a vibrant New York City art and music scene in the late 1970s. Her designs point to her friendships with fellow Parsons School of Design students Steven Meisel and Marc Jacobs; and models Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. Her fashions are a product of her own high-fashion-meets-thrift store and biker-meets-princess style, as well as an ongoing fascination and study of London’s art and music world, from Aubrey Beardsley to The Beatles.

“Through her meticulous research of history, art and design, Anna Sui creates not simply fashions, but an entire gesamtkunstwerk, with head-to-toe touches: earrings, sunglasses, coats, bags, socks and shoes, and even bottle carriers,” says Annie Carlano, senior curator for craft, design & fashion at The Mint Museum. “Our installation brings the world of Anna Sui alive, with a killer soundtrack and vibrant interiors.”

The exhibition is organized by the Fashion Textile Museum, London and presented by PNC Bank. Generous individual support is provided by Deidre and Clay Grubb, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary. Additional individual support is provided by Posey and Mark Mealy, Celene and Marc Oken, Kati and Chris Small, Ann and Michael Tarwater, Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach, the Fashion Task Force, and friends of fashion.

Ticket Information

The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children age 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors age 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth age 5–17. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021.

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About The Mint Museum 

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

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.

Anna Sui

Anna Sui’s collections take people on a creative journey that is unparalleled in the world of fashion. Mixing vintage inspiration with current cultural obsessions, she effortlessly designs hip and exuberant original clothing. Anna Sui’s first fashion show in 1991 earned her international acclaim. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recognized Anna Sui with its Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1993 and honored her again in 2009 with the prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. She received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design at the New School in 2017. Anna Sui’s products are sold in over 300 stores in 30 countries. The Anna Sui line also includes her very popular fragrance and cosmetic collections, as well as successful footwear, eyewear, and jewelry licensees. Anna Sui designs and manufactures directly from her New York City studio. Her runway shows continue to inspire and set trends through her signature lens. The Anna Sui brand has been independently owned since its inception in 1981.

The Fashion and Textile Museum

The Fashion and Textile Museum is the only museum in the UK dedicated to showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design. The Museum is committed to presenting varied, creative and engaging exhibitions, alongside an exciting selection of educational courses, talks, events and workshops. In place of a permanent collection is a diverse program of temporary exhibitions, displaying a broad range of innovative fashion and textiles from designers and makers around the world. The Fashion and Textile Museum was founded in 2003 by icon of British design, Dame Zandra Rhodes. Today, the Museum is operated by Newham College, London — one of Europe’s largest further education colleges. Situated in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Village, the Museum is housed in a beautiful and distinctive building designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta.

Contact: 

Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org| 704.488.6874 (c) 

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

The Mint Museum celebrates its 85th anniversary with a weekend of festivities and complimentary museum admission

The Mint Museum celebrates its 85th anniversary with a weekend of festivities and complimentary museum admission 

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (October 12, 2021) — October 22, 2021 marks the 85th anniversary of The Mint Museum. A weekend celebration is planned October 22-24 to commemorate the opening of North Carolina’s first art museum. Festivities, presented by Chase, kick off 5-9 PM October 22 at Mint Museum Randolph. Events include the opening of the newest Interventions installation by local artist and muralist Irisol Gonzalez and an artist talk with Gonzalez at 6:30 p.m., live painting by local artists Elisa Lopez Trejo and Arthur Rogers, plus a cash bar, food trucks, music by DJ Claudio Ortiz, cupcakes, and giveaways with free mini art kits compliments of Chase. 

The celebration continues at Mint Museum Uptown noon-4 PM October 23, and includes live music by Groove Masters and Orquesta Mayor, live painting by local artist Arthur Rogers, a cash bar, cupcakes, raffle prizes, docent tours of the John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition, and giveaways. Museum admission is free throughout the weekend at both museum locations. 

“We are excited to help the Mint Museum celebrate 85 years of being a key part of the Charlotte community,” says Justin Brovitz, Chase’s Consumer Banking Market Director in the Carolinas. “This past year and a half has taught us so much about the value of art and the arts to boost our spirits, to inspire our creativity, and to strengthen our communities. It is with that in mind that we are supporting a free weekend of the Mint Museum’s new exhibitions, installations and other fun activities in celebration of this milestone.” 

The Mint Museum was established in 1936 thanks to the efforts of many women who were devoted to bringing art to the Charlotte community, especially Mary Myers Dwelle. As chairperson of the Charlotte Woman’s Club Art Department, Dwelle arranged art exhibitions and lectures that were eagerly received by Charlotte audiences. Recognizing the need for a free-standing arts institution, she and other arts advocates identified the historic U.S. Mint building on Tryon Street as a viable location. Despite financial hurdles, Dwelle and her team of arts advocates marched forward ultimately inspiring funding for the purchase and relocation of the building to the Mint’s current Randolph Road location. In 2010, Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts opened at 500 South Tryon Street. 

The Mint Museum recognizes that throughout its history it has not always been the welcoming place for all people that it aspires to be today. Through initiatives, such as showcasing works by diverse groups of artists, providing added accessibility through special events and free museum days, and special programming, the museum strives to be inclusive for all people, races, and backgrounds. 

“The Mint has connected generations through the power of art,” says Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “As we look forward to the next 85 years, we are guided by a commitment to welcome and inspire artists and visitors of all backgrounds with the amazing art in our collections and through special exhibitions and programming.” 

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About The Mint Museum 

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

Contact: 

Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org| 704.488.6874 (c) 

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c) 

Four uptown Charlotte cultural institutions partner to launch new event series Wednesday Night Live

Four uptown Charlotte cultural institutions partner to launch new event series Wednesday Night Live

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (October 25, 2021) — The four institutions that comprise the Levine Center for the Arts in uptown Charlotte — The Mint Museum, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the Knight Theater — are partnering to launch a new weekly event series known as Wednesday Night Live. Presented by Bank of America, Wednesday Night Live will include free admission to the three museums between 5-9 p.m. every Wednesday, as well as live entertainment or programming at one of the four institutions each week. The special programming, which will rotate among the partners, includes everything from Brazilian dance performances to spoken-word artists to film screenings. The first Wednesday Night Live will be October 27 at Mint Museum Uptown, as the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte perform a series of Halloween-themed nocturnes — a nod to the Impressionist nocturnes on view in the Mint’s John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition, currently on view.

While cross-collaborations and after-hour programs are not new to these cultural institutions, the idea of Wednesday Night Live grew out of a desire to further solidify partnerships between four of the city’s key arts institutions and to rebuild engagement within the heart of uptown Charlotte, an area hit particularly hard by the economic impact of Covid-19. The concept was developed in conversations with Bank of America and the chief executives of each institution: Todd D. Smith of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Todd A. Herman of The Mint Museum, David. R. Taylor of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Tom Gabbard of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Knight Theater.

All organizations will follow CDC guidelines, as well as state and local regulations, with regard to Covid-19 protocols. In accordance, all attendees of indoor events must wear a mask. “We believe in the power of the arts to help communities thrive and to create greater cultural understanding,” said Kieth Cockrell, president of Bank of America Charlotte. “Extending the hours and offering complimentary admission on Wednesday nights offers our community even more access to the city’s best art and programming.”

Wednesday Night Live 2021 Schedule
October 27: The Mint Museum and the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte present a series of Halloweenthemed nocturnes — a nod to the Impressionist nocturnes on view in the Mint’s John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition, currently on view. Cash bar.

November 3: The Mint Museum presents a performance and videos by Cherrie Yu, a fall 2021 McColl Center artist-in-residence, in collaboration with the McColl Center and the dance department at UNC Charlotte dance. Cash bar.

November 10: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art presents a Brazilian dance performance and drop-in tours of Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement.

November 17: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture presents an evening of Spoken Word featuring Boris “Bluz” Rogers that will include a writing workshop and a live performance from several esteemed poets and spoken word artists.

November 24: Head to the Knight Theater lobby as Blumenthal Performing Arts shows off some of its nerdiest content from its new Nerdy Night Out series. Enjoy a sampling of the Heroes Debate show, the Ladies Who Rocked History Show and the new Science for Comedians Show. Start off with a little Biology 101 with Professor Andrew Goff as he discusses the biology of hops and barley, and then get a taste of history with Jenny Kabool and Tiffany Bryant Jackson, as they share about the unknown women from the first Thanksgiving. Then round out the night with a fun-filled debate about which superhero would host the best Thanksgiving meal featuring Charlotte’s top local comedians.

December 1: The Mint Museum film showing of Sisters with Transistors, the remarkable story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to transform how we produce and listen to music today. Enjoy popcorn and a cash bar.

December 8: The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art features music and performances and drop-in tours of all exhibitions.

December 15: Join Blumenthal Performing Arts for outdoor, holiday cheer at the Knight Theater Plaza and on Levine Avenue of the Arts. The evening will include Christmas carols performed by a local traditional choir, a local trap choir, and a few Blumenthal Performing Arts Acoustic Grace alumni performers. Stroll along Levine Avenue and do some “reverse caroling,” where you visit different performance stations, rather than have carolers ring your doorbell. Make the experience complete with a cup of apple cider or hot chocolate.

December 22: No programming. Free admission 5-9 p.m. at the three museums.

December 29: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will celebrate Ujamaa (or cooperative economics), the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, with a candle-making workshop, an African dance class, and an informational session about the history and traditions of Kwanzaa. The Gantt will also feature local artisans and an array of hand-crafted treasures for sale during the evening.

For 2022 programming, visit mintmuseum.org, bechtler.org, ganttcenter.org, or blumenthalarts.org

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About the Wednesday Night Live Partners

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is the only museum in the Southern United States exclusively dedicated to European and American Modern Art and its legacies. Capturing a remarkable era of art history from the collection of the Zürich-based Bechtler family, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection includes works by some of the most important and influential figures of modernism, including Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Edgar Degas, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Jasper Johns, Paul Klee, Alfred
Manessier, Joan Miró, Kenneth Noland, Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley, Nicolas de Staël, Andy Warhol and a wealth of other 20th-century notables. The museum, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, prominently features the Niki de Saint Phalle’s iconic Le Grand Oiseau de Feu sur l’Arche on its entrance plaza. Located in the heart of Uptown, the Bechtler is a light-filled community space created to inspire and engage firsttime visitors and long-term supporters alike.

Blumenthal Performing Arts
Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call 704.372.1000 or visit BlumenthalArts.org. Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is a multidisciplinary arts institution located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1974, the Gantt Center’s mission is to present, preserve, and celebrate excellence in the art, history, and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent through visual and literary arts, dance, music, film, educational programs, theatre productions, and community outreach. The Gantt Center features fine art exhibitions from around the world and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America, and is accessible online. Named for Charlotte civic leader and former mayor Harvey Bernard Gantt, the Gantt Center is housed in an iconic, award-winning structure designed by architect Philip Freelon, co-designer of the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). For more information about the Gantt Center, visit ganttcenter.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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 welcomes all to be inspired and transformed through the power of art and creativity. mintmuseum.org

Media contacts

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Hillary Hardwick, Deputy Director for Marketing and Communications
hillary.hardwick@bechtler.org | 704.353.9204 (o)

Lauren Bunch, Assistant Director for Marketing
lauren.bunch@bechtler.org | 704.353.9208 (o)

Blumenthal Performing Arts
Stephanie Dowds, Director of Programming
sdowds@blumenthalarts.org

Danny Knaub, Vice President of Marketing
danny.knaub@blumenthalarts.org

Rebecca Bereiter, Communications and Creative Content Producer
rbereiter@blumenthalarts.org

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
Bonita Buford, Chief Operating Officer
704.547.3700

The Mint Museum
Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at The Mint Museum
caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org | 704.488.6874 (c)

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum
michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)

Curator’s Pick: “Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing” John Leslie Breck

Curator’s Pick: Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing by John Leslie Breck

Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, was created in 1888 by American artist John Leslie Breck. Breck was born in 1860, grew up near Boston, and trained in Germany, Belgium, and France. In 1887, he and seven of his colleagues visited the village of Giverny which lies approximately 40 miles northwest of Paris where the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet had settled in 1883. 

Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing was painted in the summer of 1888, not long after Breck had converted to Impressionism. In the painting, Suzanne sits in dappled sunlight under a leafy tree and in front of a field of golden hay. Breck’s skill at capturing the play of light and shadow is on full display. A canvas by Monet, completed at the same time, features his stepdaughter Blanche at work at her easel and in the distance, Suzanne, who peers over Breck’s shoulder as he, too, works on a painting.   

See this painting and 70 others by John Leslie Breck in the exhibition John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist on view at Mint Museum Uptown through January 2, 2022.

Credit: John Leslie Breck (American, 1860-99). “Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing,” 1888, oil on canvas. Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary and courtesy Heather James Fine Art. 2016.25

The Mint Museum from Home is Presented By Chase.