Artist Anne Lemanski talks life in the mountains, ‘gin and tonic season,’ and her epic life-size tiger on a ball

The inimitable Anne Lemanski talks life in the mountains, ‘gin and tonic season,’ and her epic life-size tiger on a ball

Multidisciplinary artist Anne Lemanski, based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, creates everything from two-dimensional collage to three-dimensional sculptures. An artist of the natural world, she focuses on the complex, sometimes tense relationship between humans and animals, and her work is part of the Mint’s permanent collection. Here, she shares her favorite creation to date, how her mountain life influences her work, and the way Mother Nature always “will take care of business.”

Studio location: Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

Describe the artwork you create and medium your use

I make sculpture that is constructed by hand stitching a skin, often paper, unto a copper wire framework. I also transform small hand-cut collages into large format digital prints.


Who are artists that inspire you and your work?

Joseph Cornell is always a go-to when I need a pick me up. Contemporary peers whose work I greatly admire include Adonna Khare, Josie Morway, Walton Ford, Hilary Pecis, Alex Dodge. I also find kindred spirit in quilts and folk art.


What is your favorite piece or artwork that you created and why?

To date, it is Tigris T-1, a life size tiger balancing on a ball. It was an engineering feat. I wanted it to be freestanding, and it is. I also love the color and pattern of the skin, which consists of a print that I created using straws. It has many cultural references without being specific.

How does your environment influence your art?

I live and work in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I see something in nature on almost a daily basis that is beautiful, surprising, or even tragic. I am hyper-tuned to my immediate surroundings. There is really no separation between the way I live my life and my artwork.


Tell us about your morning routine right now. 

My morning routine is the same: coffee and the New York Times.


Are you finding new inspiration for your art during this shift of perspective in the world?

No. I have been raising alarm via my artwork regarding environmental issues and the exploitation of resources and man’s impact on the earth for years. Eventually, Mother Nature will take care of business.

Tell us about your afternoon. Are you working from home, going to your studio?

My studio is right next to my house, so my routine hasn’t really changed. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate.


What positive perspective changes in society would you like to see come from the pandemic?

I’m a bit of a pessimist, so I’ll keep my thoughts to myself for now.


How are you winding down your day? Have any recommendations for stress relievers to settle after another day done?

In my house, gin and tonic season has officially started.


What are you cooking? What’s your comfort food of choice?

My cooking habits haven’t changed. Last night I made a delightful asparagus and mushroom risotto. We make everything from scratch, and that won’t change. My favorite comfort food is fettuccine alfredo with homemade pasta.


What are you currently reading?

The news. I listen to audiobooks when I work, but I am not currently listening to any.

The Mint Museum’s history is women’s history

The Mint Museum’s history is women’s history 

By Ellen Show


A postcard of the founding women of The Mint Museum
L-R: Susie Van Landingham, Katherine Clark Pendleton Arrington, Mary Myers Dwelle, Sadie Burwell, October 1936, unknown photographer. Image courtesy of The Mint Museum Archives.

When the Mint Museum opened its doors on Oct. 22, 1936, it was thanks to the efforts of a passionate sisterhood devoted to bringing art to the Charlotte community. At the helm was the Mint’s fairy godmother Mary Myers Dwelle. Hailing from a family who made it their mission to advance culture in Charlotte, it was fitting that she was the driving force behind the creation of the first art museum in North Carolina. As Charlotte Woman’s Club art department chair, Dwelle organized art exhibitions and lectures that were eagerly attended. 

Recognizing the need to give the arts a permanent Charlotte home, sights were set on the historic-but-condemned U.S. Mint building on Tryon Street. The task of transforming the Mint into an art museum was daunting until a passionate speech for saving the U.S. Mint building was presented in February 1933 at a luncheon hosted by Dwelle. The speech inspired a spontaneous donation, and a significant sum was given toward the purchase of the building—that was already in demolition—for rebuilding on another site. The generosity was contagious. Within two days, the required funds were raised and paid to the demolition contractor.

A developer donated the Eastover neighborhood land on which Mint Museum Randolph sits today. Dwelle continued with her determination to establish the art museum. She tirelessly wrote letters to government aid agencies from Raleigh to Washington, D.C. lobbying for reconstruction funds. In her Mint Museum Association leadership roles, she coordinated the rebuilding process, built relationships with other arts organizations and garnered public support. She also courted art acquisitions, including the now iconic portrait of Queen Charlotte donated by Jane Hall Liddell Battle. The Mint Museum opened its doors three years later with an inaugural gala. Dwelle’s determined efforts made what seemed impossible, possible, and her devotion to the arts is the perfect way to celebrate Women’s History Month this March.  


This story first appeared in Spring 2020 issue of Inspired, the Mint Museum’s member magazine. 

The most important issue the Mint faces right now

A Note from Our CEO, Todd Herman, PhD

The citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have an opportunity to invest in the quality of life we enjoy and improve our collective well-being. When you vote FOR the upcoming sales-tax referendum during early voting or on Election Day, you are voting to transform YOUR county and community by improving PARKS and GREENWAYS, investing in TEACHERS and classroom support staff, and supporting a thriving ARTS & CULTURE sector.

The Mint needs your help to make this a reality. If you have ever enjoyed an exhibition, program, or lecture at either of our locations, been moved by a work of art, or watched your children or grandchildren light up with excitement when engaging with the arts, vote to allow that experience to be shared! When arts, culture, history, literature, and science are an integral part of kids’ lives, it improves their academic and social skills and creates thoughtful citizens. There are many important social issues that face our community, from domestic violence to the need for more affordable housing. But the arts—which touch the soul, grow the spirit, and offer hope—are a critical component if we are to improve our communities. The Mint Museum enthusiastically endorses this referendum, and I ask you to join us in investing in our future through a simple action: VOTE YES.



The revenue (approximately $50 million per year) will be invested in Mecklenburg County in four ways:

  • 45 percent ($22.5 million) to restore and expand arts, science and history education in public schools, enable cultural programs that reach deep into neighborhoods and ensure residents have access to arts and culture regardless of where they live or what they can afford.
  • 34 percent ($17 million) in increased funding for our parks and greenways to revitalize our system, which was ranked near the bottom of a recent national study of metropolitan parks systems.
  • 16 percent ($8 million) for increased teacher supplements and additional classroom support, such as psychologists and teacher assistants.
  • 5 percent ($2.5 million) for arts and culture programs and parks in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville

For more information please visit, A Better Mecklenburg’s website.


By state law, the ballot will not mention arts, parks, and education. To give your support, vote FOR the quarter-cent sales tax increase in Mecklenburg County.
Early voting begins Oct.16 and Election Day is Tuesday, NOV. 5 (polls open 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM).

Show your support now by picking up a yard sign at Mint Museum Randolph, and by sharing this with your friends!
We can win this!

Todd Herman, PhD
President & CEO,  The Mint Museum

Thank you for your hard work – A note on the Nov. 5 tax referendum

Dear friends and supporters of The Mint Museum,

I want to personally thank each of you for the work you did on behalf of the Mint and the cultural sector in Charlotte, from setting out yard signs to having conversations with friends to volunteering at polling stations. The proposed sales tax for arts, parks and education launched an effort that galvanized the arts community and its supporters. This collaborative teamwork is a building block we can use as we move forward to enrich the community through the arts.

While we are clearly disappointed by the outcome of the referendum last night, one thing was made clear in conversations with those who were voting against the tax increase: it wasn’t a negative reflection on the importance of the arts. They appreciate and value the arts, and many have enjoyed our programs. The support is there, we need to work out the right funding model. This, too, is an important building block as we create a strategy that allows us to reach our goals for increasing equity, inclusion, and quality of life for Charlotte.

The Mint is committed to breaking down barriers to the arts and we will continue to work in as many communities as our resources allow. But it will take a commitment – of time, money and advocacy – to reach our potential and be a leader in the country in arts engagement and education.

Thank you again, and we ask you to walk alongside us in the journey ahead.


Todd A. Herman, PhD
President & CEO,  The Mint Museum

Major juried exhibition with $16,000 in cash prizes to open on Oct. 10

Major juried exhibition with $16,000 in cash prizes to open on Oct. 10 at The Mint Museum

Charlotte, NC (October 1, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming presentation of Coined in the South, a major juried exhibition with $16,000 in cash prizes that will showcase some of the most innovative and emerging artists in the Southeast. Organized in partnership with the Young Affiliates of the Mint, the show will be on view from October 10, 2019 through February 16, 2020 in Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 4 Brand Special Exhibition Galleries.

Ken West. Black Boys Cry, 2018, metallic paper. Courtesy of the artist.

The purpose of the exhibition is simple: to bridge the gap between the museum, gallery and studio, and to present fresh and innovative works that have not yet been seen by a broader audience. Nearly 2,000 works of art were submitted for consideration; 65 were selected. The artists range in age from 23 years old to 82 years old, and hail from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Unconfined to any aesthetic, the works of art are made from materials ranging from the traditional (oil on canvas and collage) to the decidedly untraditional. Consider one piece made from concrete, brass-plated chains, and human hair, or another made from steel saw dust, alpaca fur, and alligator skin. Some explore personal and familial histories, while others explore notions of place and identity. Some are gurative, others abstract. They evoke humor, tenderness, whimsy, and awe.

The 65 works were selected by jurors Adam Justice, Jonell Logan, and Marilyn Zapf—all well respected in uencers in the southeast’s art scene. On the night of the opening, Oct. 10, the jurors will announce the $10,000 Atrium Health Prize, and the Young Af liates of the Mint (better known as the YAMs), will award a $5,000 winner. Over the next few months, visitors will have the opportunity to vote in the gallery on the $1,000 “People’s Choice” award, which will be named at the end of the year.

“One of the roles of a museum is to reflect the pulse and energy of the artistic community where it resides,” says The Mint Museum’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD. “Coined in the South shines a spotlight on the quality, themes, and diversity of narratives that are being generated by artists in our own backyard.”

The name Coined in the South refers to both The Mint Museum’s origins as the first branch of the U.S. Mint, as well as to the act of inventing. Many of the artists have created works so unforgettable they’re in a class all their own.

Adrian Rhodes. Searching for Callisto (detail), 2018, woodcut print installation with dyed paper and sky chart wall collage. Courtesy of the artist.

This is the fourth juried exhibition put on by the YAMs, following on the successes of 80×80 (2016), Gendered (2017), and Mainframe (2018). These exhibitions revived a tradition of the museum—from the 1950s through the 1990s, the Mint hosted a number of juried shows, highlighting the work of talented local artists.

“When we sat down and cooked up the idea for 80×80, the Young Affiliates’ inaugural art show in 2016, we had no idea what would unfold,” says Lauren Harkey, former president of the YAMs and co-creator of the YAMs inaugural art show.

“We were instantly humbled by the response and energy our ‘little show that could’ created. And today, in its fourth iteration, it is a proud moment to see the YAMs partner with The Mint Museum and witness this show really grow up and into its own.”

Senior Curator of American Art Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, served as the Mint’s curator of the show. Kaitlyn McElwee and Anna Hamer served as the YAMs art show co-chairs.


Coined in the South is generously sponsored by Atrium Health, with additional support from Cran ll Sumner & Hartzog LLP.


Interested in interviewing artists, show organizers, jurors, or anyone from the museum? Reach out to the Mint’s Director of Marketing & Communications, Caroline Portillo, at or call 704-337-2009.

About The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s rst 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 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.

About the Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAMs)

The Young Af liates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) is a diverse group of young professionals promoting and supporting The Mint Museum through cultural engagement, social leadership, and fundraising events. Established in 1990, the YAMs are the premier social arts organization for young professionals in Charlotte. All proceeds raised by the YAMs sponsor free tours of The Mint Museum for local school students to inspire a new generation of artists, art enthusiasts, and leaders.

Artists selected for this year’s show:

Deighton Abrams (Seneca, SC)
Eleanor Annand (Penland, NC)
Yvette L. Cummings Arendt (Conway, SC)
Austin Ballard (Charlotte, NC)
Johannes Barfield (Winston-Salem, NC)
Ivana Milojevic Beck (Raleigh, NC)
Susan Brenner (Charlotte, NC)
Amanda Britton (Athens, GA)
Danielle Burke (Asheville, NC)
Thomas Campbell (Penland, NC)
Erin Canady (Durham, NC)
Micah Cash (Charlotte, NC)
Erin Castellan (Penrose, NC)
Kevin Cole (Fairburn, GA)
Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo (Carrboro, NC)
Travis Donovan (Banner Elk, NC)
Robert Fritsche (Huntersville, NC)
Riley Hammond (Richmond, VA)
Caroline Hatfield (Carrolton, TX (formerly Claiborne County, TN)
Donna Cooper Hurt (Charleston, SC)
Joyce Watkins King (Raleigh, NC)
Kenn Kotara (Asheville, NC)

Nathaniel Lancaster (Charlotte, NC)
Jasper Lee (Birmingham, AL)
Elizabeth Lide (Atlanta, GA)
Jackson Martin (Asheville, NC)
Rachel Meginnes (Bakersville, NC)
Chieko Murasugi (Chapel Hill, NC)
Claire Pope (Hickory, NC)
Chloé Rager (Durham, NC)
Adrian Rhodes (Hartsville, SC)
Kristi Ryba (Charleston, SC)
Katie St. Clair (Davidson, NC)
Tom Schmidt (Charlotte, NC)
MJ Sharp (Durham, NC)
Beverly Smith (Charlotte, NC)
Tema Stauffer (Johnson City, TN)
Denise Stewart-Sanabria (Knoxville, TN)
Stephanie Sutton (Buford, GA)
Harrison Walker (Athens, GA)
Jan-Ru Wan (Chapel Hill, NC)
Shane Ward (Chattanooga, TN)
Ken West (Mableton, GA)
Fletcher Williams, III (North Charleston, SC)
Stephanie J. Woods (Charlotte, NC)

Mural slam Battle Walls to launch at Mint Museum Randolph June 22

A mural by arko and owl. It is of a person in a spacesuit floating

The Mint Museum and Southern Tiger Collective have partnered to launch Charlotte’s first “mural slam” on Saturday, June 22 at Mint Museum Randolph, starting at 2 PM.

The event, known as Battle Walls, is a street art project focused on bringing Charlotte’s best street artists to compete as they create. The Mint is just the first stop in a five-week tournament, which is expected to draw hundreds of spectators of all ages and backgrounds.

The mural slam will take place on the lawn of Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road.

It’s free to attend, and viewers will be able to vote on their favorite piece of art, sending the winner to the final championship round, says Southern Collective co-founder Alex DeLarge. The competing artists are Arko + Owl, Dammit Wesley, Matt Moore, and Bree Stallings.

The collaborative effort of The Mint Museum and Southern Tiger Collective is call to action to break down the barriers of traditional mindsets that say classical and scholarly works of art can’t mingle with street art. It’s also the opportunity to make new friends and bring diverse communities together.

The Southern Tiger Collective was established in 2017 by local artists Alex DeLarge and Dustin Moates. The collective works to bring artists together to enhance vehicular and pedestrian traffic exposure to street art, murals, and creative marketing and branding. Since 2017, the number of artists at Southern Tiger Collective has grown, and their work can be seen throughout Charlotte in areas such as the Peculiar Rabbit, Abari, Pure Intentions and many other walls in the Queen City.

Battle Walls kicks off at a time during the public opening of Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical World of Tony DiTerlizzi, a retrospective exhibition featuring more than 150 magical works of Tony DiTelizzi (@diterlizzi). Most may know DiTerlizzi as a designer for Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Spider & The Fly, Kenny and the Dragon, and the WondLa trilogy.

DiTerlizzi himself will be on site June 22, giving a public talk on how he became an artist at 1 p.m., followed by a book signing at 2 PM.

Museum admission will be free that day, so visitors can experience both the new exhibition and the excitement of Battle Walls without pulling out their wallet.

There will be music by DJ AHUF (@djahuf), local craft beer, and food trucks such as Scratch Kitchen CLT (@scratchkitchenclt) and The Chimi Spot (@thechimispotnc).

Meet the four artists in round one of Battle Walls:

Arko + Owl | @arko83art + @owl.clt

Arko + Owl were the first artists to be featured in Constellation CLT, a museum-wide project designed to connect visitors with the universal talent found directly from the community of Charlotte. Arko + Owl’s murals were housed in Mint Museum Uptown in Fall 2018 but their work can currently be found at Common Market (South End), Wooden Robot Brewery, Spirit Square, and more.

Dammit Wesley | @dammit_wesley

Wesley’s most notable mural, Strange Fruit can be found at Spirit Square. He is an artist, graphic designer, and the Creative Director at BLKMRKTCLT, an 800 sq. ft gallery and studio space located at Camp North End. On Wesley’s Behance portfolio he states, “I am a bold individual and it speaks through my work, its more flashy colors and subject matter but strong composition and structure that accomplish a harmony thunderous visuals.”

Matt Moore | @puckmcgruff

Most may know Matt Moore as one of “The Matts” who tackled the infamous five-story mural of Neptune along the wall of The Nook apartments on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. Moore’s work can be found in many other locations, including Camp North End, Townsquare Interactive, and Revolve Residential.

Bree Stallings | @breequixote

A multimedia artist, activist, writer, and illustrator, Stallings has done work at  Camp North End, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, C3 Lab, and more. On her website, she states that she uses “art as her vehicle to raise awareness for many causes that affect her life and those closest to her such as economic mobility, sexual health advocacy, displacement and homelessness and environmental consciousness.”

Be sure to stop by Mint Museum Randolph on Saturday, June 22 to enjoy all these activities, and stay tuned on The Mint Museum website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future Battle Wall updates.

Credits to promo designer: @hello.soto