Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things

Mint Museum Uptown
February 12, 2022-Ongoing

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things is the first installation in the Southeast to explore how craft artists and designers use science and math concepts when creating works of art. Presented by Müller Corporation, Craft in the Laboratory also celebrates a reinstallation of the Mint’s Craft + Design Galleries—the first since 2010. 

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. 

Recent acquisitions in the installation include She Holds the Key by artist Simone Elizabeth Saunders, Nyala Chair by Jomo Tariku, and Rainbow Chaiby designer Patrick Norguet. Other works in the installation 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. 

Craft in the Lab is accompanied by a catalog published by Dan Giles, Ltd.

Craft in the Lab Opening Celebration

May 21-22, 2022 | 11 AM-6 PM Saturday; 1-5 PM Sunday
Mint Museum Uptown

Craft in the Lab Artists Conversation
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.

SUNDAY, MAY 22 | 2–3 PM
Artist Talk: Silvia Levenson
Renowned international glass artist Silvia Levenson highlights her use of glass and printing techniques to reflect social narratives. 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.

Mr. and Mrs. Tutti AtomicThresholdA Dark TaleRainbow ChairJute SquarePike Basking

Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Thingis generously presented by Müller Corporation and the Craft & Trade Academy.

Generous individual support provided by Beth and Drew Quartapella, Mary Anne (M.A.) Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, and Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach. Craft in the Laboratory is also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition catalogue is supported by the John and Robyn Horn Foundation. Special thanks to STARworks Ceramics for hand crafting materials to help enhance this Mint Museum-organized exhibition. 

Under Construction: Collage from The Mint Museum to open December 1 at Mint Museum Uptown

Drawing together nearly 100 works from the museum’s Modern & Contemporary Collection, Under Construction: Collage from The Mint Museum is the museum’s first exhibition to focus on this dynamic, engaging medium. This technique, in which materials from different sources are cut, torn, and layered to create new meanings and narratives, experienced a renaissance after World War II, due in large part to Charlotte native Romare Bearden, whose work plays a special role in this exhibition.

The exhibition will be open to Mint members only on Friday, November 30; it opens to the public on Saturday, December 1. A party celebrating the exhibition and featuring artists, lenders, donors, and Mint members is scheduled for January 31, 2019 – check for details.

Bearden has long had a special place at The Mint Museum, which maintains a gallery dedicated to his work at Mint Museum Uptown. In this special exhibition, he and his work serve as a point of departure to explore the medium for which he is best known.

“It was great fun pulling together Under Construction,” noted Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art. “This is the first time that the museum has examined this fascinating technique in depth in a special exhibition. It also was exciting to think about how the work of Romare Bearden (which is found throughout the exhibition) relates to that of so many other artists in the collection. Under Construction is filled with dynamic, thought-provoking objects that are sure to inspire and delight our visitors.”

Under Construction explores not only classic collages including those by Bearden, but also the wide range of ways in which the technique has inspired artists and impacted other forms of art, from painting and printmaking to photography and assemblage. Featuring more than 30 international artists, Under Construction will explore the growth and impact of the collage technique from the 1950s to the present. It will include more than a dozen works by Bearden, as well as examples by such notable artists as Sam Gilliam, Robert Motherwell, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Shepard Fairey, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist.

Visitors will be able to discover how eight inventive contemporary artists have continued to mine the medium recent years in a section titled “New Directions.” Although drawn primarily from the rich holdings of The Mint Museum, this exhibition will also include special loans from private collections.

The exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum. Media partners are The Charlotte Observer, Pride Magazine, and Peachy.

Media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 AM on Friday, November 30 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street. Light refreshments will be served and interviews with the curator and select artists will be available. RSVP to