5 podcasts that make us excited about art, even if we can’t see it
Love any and all museums? Museum Confidential gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of your favorite museums. From an interview with Killer Mike, High Museum Board Member, to chatting about visitor data with Colleen Dilenschneider, this one goes out to all the proud museum nerds out there. Listen on NPR
True Crime, rivals, and shock value? No, this isn’t the next Netflix docu-series. It’s ArtCurious, an art history podcast hosted by Jennifer Dasal that is sure to delight and awe like no school art history class ever could. Listen on the ArtCurious website or via Apple podcasts
Brought to you by Hyperallergic, an art forum and website created in 2009, Art Movements podcast brings you all the up-to-date happenings from across the art world. Hosted by Hrag Vartanian, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic, Art Movements talks about everything from what artists need to know about taxes, to art history, to arts pop culture and everything in between. Listen on the Hyperallergic website.
These documentaries will help you get your art fix from home
Movies are one sure-fire way to pass the time in our new don’t-leave-the-house era. And because our passion for art doesn’t fade away in a crisis, here are a few art and design documentaries to help you get your art fix until we are able to open our doors once again.
Craft in America
The Peabody Award-winning series on PBS explores America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade. The series takes viewers on a journey to the artists, origins and techniques of American craft. Two artists in our collection, Diego Romero and Cristina Cordova, are featured on the episode “Identity.”
Where it’s streaming: PBS. https://www.craftinamerica.org/episodes
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Talk a stroll through the ever-evolving world of street art. This documentary follows Thierry Guetta, a French native living in Los Angeles as he explores his own work, and the work of famous street artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey (whose work was featured in the Mint’s Under Construction exhibition). Street art also plays a huge role in our special exhibition Classic Black, which combines the work of local mural artist Owl with the basalt sculptures of Josiah Wedgwood.
Where it’s streaming: Amazon Prime, Google Play and digital rental services.
Abstract: The Art of Design
A look beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design, showcasing great designers from every discipline whose work shapes our world.
Where it’s streaming: Netflix.
Out of the Fire: The Art and Science of Ceramics
Join Dr. Alexis G. Clare, professor of glass science at the New York State College, Alfred University, on a journey of ceramics from past to present.
Where it’s streaming: PBS.
14 more books to delve into while staying in during COVID-19
Inspiration for great reads keeps coming from the Mint staff. Following are 14 more books to help fill the void and curiosity while you are at home. Order print copies from local bookseller Park Road Books for curbside pickup, or find digital copies on Audible, Hoopla, and Overdrive.
Old Masters, New World: America’s Raid on Europe’s Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman
“This book answers the question: How did big American art museums acquire so much European art? Wealthy Gilded Age American entrepreneurs jostled with one another to collect and bring known works of art across the Atlantic — Rembrandts, Raphaels, etc.
—Joel Smeltzer, Head of School and Gallery Programs
The Popes of Avignon: A Century in Exile by Edwin Mullins
As an Italian Renaissance scholar, I have usually looked at this period in the history of the Catholic Church from the Italian perspective and not the French. Well written and a good read.
—Todd Herman, President and CEO
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m spending lots of time reading to my kids these days. This week we started reading “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien to my eldest daughter. She may be a bit young for some of the material, but our family has been enjoying reading a “big girl book” nightly. It provides us all a chance to escape, and have an adventure without leaving our house — something that is becoming more challenging everyday. This copy actually belonged to my mother when she was a child, and she read it to me when I was young, so it has been well loved.
—Rebecca O’Malley, Exhibition Coordinator
The Hundred Story Home by Kathy Izard
I saw Kathy Izard speak and was so inspired by her story that I bought her book. I started reading it this week and was reminded of how helping others changes us. Her work with homelessness in the Charlotte area led to the city-wide effort to build Moore Place. This book has reminded me of the importance of listening to your inner voice. It’s helpful for us, especially now, to find ways to practice compassion – even if we have to do it with a mask on.
—Maggie Burgan, Public Programs Coordinator
Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood
The adventures of a sassy flapper in 1920s Australia who just happens to be a private detective. She’s daring, independent, and smarter than all the men around her. What’s not to like?
—Ellen Show, Archivist
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake is from the same author as A Handmaid’s Tale, and is centered around a man living in the post-apocalyptic ruins of a world he helped create, after humanity is near-entirely killed off by a bio-engineered plague. It’s the first book in the MaddAddam trilogy, and was a very good read.
—Benjamin Elrod, Graphic Designer
A Little History of The World by E.H. Gombrich
I keep this book on my nightstand. It was recommended to me by one of my favorite art history professors. It’s not filled with names and dates, but is a collection of 40 short chapters about human experience and achievement — a fairy tale-like history of the world. Perfect for young readers and fun to read aloud to smaller children.
—Maggie Burgan, Public Programs Coordinator
Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
This enchanting book uses a mouthwatering metaphor to unlock the magic in interior spaces. The chapters delve into the hidden life of the house, rooms, nests, shells, attics and cellars. Adult readers will enjoy sharing excerpts and helpIng their family to find and savor familiar spaces. Miniatures and shells are some of my favorite chapters. (Free download available.)
—Cynthia Moreno, Director of Learning and Engagement
On Looking by Alexandria Horowitz
A walker’s guide to the art of observation. I am enjoying it because Horowitz shows is how much more there is to see if we only take the time to look.
—Diane Lowry, Guest Services Associate
My 25 Years in Provence-Reflections of Then and Now by Peter Mayle
Easy, fun read that breaks up the more academic books. Wonderfully written.
—Todd Herman, President & CEO
Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
I always try to have one book of poetry going for when I need an escape from reality, but I only have five minutes to make the trip. Tracy K. Smith’s books have been in rotation for a while, but her Life on Mars collection is a favorite because it not only plays off her love for David Bowie, but the title is my favorite Bowie song. Also, rereading it, I’m surprised by how much it captures the hope in the bleak unpredictability of every day. Take the end of her poem, Sci-Fi:
. . . Weightless, unhinged,
Eons from even our own moon, we’ll drift
In the haze of space, which will be, once
And for all, scrutable and safe.
—Jen S. Edwards, PhD, Chief Curator and Curator or Contemporary Arts
Powership: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome by Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank
I have followed Daymond’s career and wanted to hear his advice on taking control of your destiny. So far it’s been lots of good tips and advice on how to make connections. It’s good listening while we work from home.
—Thesha Woodley, Associate Director of Visitor Experience and Membership
Just for Fun
The Dangerous Book for Dogs by Rex & Sparky
We have four legged “kids,” so just for fun we are reading The Dangerous Book for Dogs by Rex & Sparky.
—Lori Rogers, Visitor Experience and Membership Coordinator
I’ve not really been able to concentrate on a book, but I am loving magazines for a bit of respite from the surreal week we’ve had. The colorful and inspiring pages of House Beautiful, Artist magazine and Traveler from AAA have been a feast to the eye.
—Angela Lubincky, Guest Services Associate
Artist Katherine Boxall on virtual connections, mental blocks and 6 AM puppy cuddles in COVID-19 crisis
Katherine Boxall is the most recent artist to have an installation hanging at the Mint Museum Uptown as part of Constellation CLT. She’s also the first of many artists that we are asking about how the coronavirus — and shift in the world — is affecting their day-to-day lives, as well as the art they create.
Studio location: West Charlotte
Describe the artwork you create and medium your use.
I paint and draw using graphite, pastel, acrylic, oil, and spray paint. Although mostly abstract, I do work representationally as well.
What artists inspire you and your work?
I am inspired by lots of artists, dead and alive. They are not restricted to the visual landscape, writers and musicians are huge sources for me too. Right now I am thinking a lot about my MFA mentors from the Bay Area such as Alicia McCarthy, Brett Reichman, Maria Elena Gonzalez, Jeremy Morgan, Danielle Lawrence, Terry Powers, Felicita Norris … just to name a few.
What is your favorite piece or artwork that you created and why?
I don’t have a favorite piece(s). Everything that I make comes out of a certain time and context. Each work has it’s own stories and reasons, so it isn’t obvious to me how I would judge them on the same playing field.
How does your environment influence your art?
Environment influences your mind, body, and being all the time. I’ve heard people say you’re only as smart as the five people you surround yourself with. I don’t know if that’s true, but surrounding myself with other creative and inspiring people has helped me reach my highest potential in the past. It’s obviously very challenging to do that right now, so I am trying to connect virtually as much as I can with the people I love and keep my environment as uplifting as I can. Being a painter is about being aware of your ways of seeing, then learning to adapt and use them. Even though my environment is physically the same (in my studio) the psychological environment is different. So I’m working to find a way to level my emotions towards to the crisis and transform them into a positive output.
Tell us about your new morning routine, including when you start your day and how you spend the early hours.
I usually start my day with coffee and petting my golden retriever puppy Sophie. The pandemic hasn’t dawned on her so she continues to wake me up at the usual time (6am). Now that I don’t leave the house to exercise, we’ve been going on longer walks instead and calling family to check-in.
Are you finding new inspiration for your art during this shift of perspective in the world?
I feel grateful that my work is already self-directed and motivated, but the toll of this crisis is making it challenging to feel ‘inspired’. Right now, I am working to break down those mental blocks and use the opportunity to push myself and my work.
Tell us about your afternoon. Are you working from home or going to your studio?
Both. I am working from home for Jerald Melberg Gallery as much as I can and then spending the rest of my time in the studio. I am the only tenant in the warehouse, so my studio is literally the ultimate place to work while social distancing. I’ve also set up a space at home for small drawings and watercolors for a more low key/meditative creative vibe. I had a really busy winter with exhibitions and projects, so at the moment I am enjoying slowing own a bit.
How are you winding down your day? Have any recommendations for stress relievers to settle after another day done?
Lots of cuddling with the dog and spending time with my partner at home. I’ve added some exercise later in the day to fuel myself with endorphins and a few extra skincare steps because I no longer have any excuses. I guess my #1 recommendation (if you can) would be to eat chocolate while wearing a bathrobe on the couch watching your favorite show. In my experience, few things in life feel as luxurious. I’d also treat yourself to reading fiction and steeping some tea, anything to get a good night’s sleep.
What are you cooking? What’s your comfort food of choice?
I’m always cooking and we do it all. Breakfast has expanded beyond the smoothie to eggs, banana breads, muffins, etc. For lunch we have the leftovers from the previous night’s dinner which is usually salmon, cod, steak, chicken, homemade pizza, it just goes on. Cooking has always been a creative outlet for me so if anything the pandemic has just ramped that up. Watching my Instagram story will usually leave you hungry.
What are you currently reading?
The New York Times (it’s not for the weak)
What is your favorite music choice?
All kinds of things as the day goes, but Medasin, Future, and Lane 8 seem to be dominating my current playlists.
What is your favorite podcast(s)?
The Daily, The Journal, How I Made This
What positive perspective changes in society would you like to see come from the pandemic?
I know for myself that being a busy body can sometimes act as a distraction from the things I really need to work on or slow down to appreciate. Socially, I hope this will put in perspective our real values and help us prioritize them in more human way. Systematically, I am hopeful to see protection for those who need it most. Only a fraction of us have the luxury to work from home or take time off (and even fewer for long periods), so I hope that our government and community really pulls together to support one another.
Look inside Charlotte-based artist Katherine Boxall’s west Charlotte studio. Boxall was the Mint’s first Constellation CLT artist of 2020, and in partnership with the Young Affiliates of the Mint, the Mint’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, chats with Boxall to give us a glimpse into the artist’s creative process, her striking works of art, and the studio where it all comes together.