Fall into fashion with these seasonal picks from The Mint Museum Store

Fall into fashion with these picks from The Mint Museum Store

Our fun and funky Peruvian Trading Company hats, gloves, arm warmers, ponchos and headbands, and even dog sweaters make the perfect gift and are always a seasonal favorite. Celebrate the coming chilly weather, and one of our favorite vendors, with a special pop-up sale. Enjoy 25% off Peruvian Trading Company’s handmade wonders through the end of October.

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit CLT Hat with Pompom, $22 / CLT Hand/Arm Warmers, $18

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit Peace Sign Hat with Pompom, $22

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit Headbands, $22

Peruvian Trading Company Hand-Knit Spider Hat, $58

Klimt Silk Artist Tie, $58 / Klimt Cufflinks, $72 / Newgate Drummer Watch, $208

Bracken Explorer’s Hat, $72

Fair trade, hand-embroidered clutch from Thailand and fair trade hand-embroidered mask from Mexico (assorted designs and colors), $32 / $22

Sarah Cavender Metalworks jewelry and scarf. Each piece is hand crafted in Oxford, Alabama and made by local artisans under the supervision of Jewelry Designer Sarah Cavender. Square Cobra Necklace (Bottom Right), $174 / Knotted Snake Necklace (Bottom Left), $130 / Long Gold Chain, $120 / Short Gold Chain, $68 / Short Rose Chain, $68 / Interlocking Disk Earrings, $92 / Open Weave Metal Scarf, $250

Fair trade from Nepal felted oversized bag with three interchangeable felted flowers, $118

Kevin Cole studio tour with Young Affiliates of the Mint

Kevin Cole YAM’s Studio Tour

Young Affiliates of the Mint join Kevin Cole (virtually) for another studio tour. Cole was featured in the Young Affiliates juried show “Coined in the South” in 2019. His work is included in more than 3,600 public, private, and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad (Michael Jordan owns one of his pieces!). Watch to hear about some of Kevin’s latest work and the inspiration behind some of his best known pieces.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra inaugurates installation of ‘Foragers’

Women’s artistry shines as Charlotte Symphony Orchestra concertos inaugurate Mint Museum Uptown’s newly installed Foragers

By Michael Solender

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra violinist Jenny Topilow could barely contain her enthusiasm when she learned she’d be performing in a special filmed concerto in the Mint Museum’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium uptown earlier this fall.  

 Topilowalong with three of her symphony colleagues, were part of a unique celebration showcasing the space and the brilliant newly installed 96-panel “stained glass” installation, Foragers, by contemporary American artist Summer Wheat.

“The beauty of great art is of importance to all of us,” Topilow says,I love spending time at the Mint, go there often, and am excited to be part of this collaboration between two of Charlotte’s favorite cultural institutions.” 

Bringing people together to enjoy beautiful artistry is at the core of the museum’s mission. As part of the Mint Museum’s 10th anniversary year uptown and in recognition of the challenges many in our community face getting out of their homes during the time of Covid, the Mint partnered with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in creating a short film featuring a pair of duets performed by symphony musicians.  

 The collaboration came at invitation of the Wells Fargo Foundation, longtime supporters of both cultural institutions. “Our foundation uses different mediums to help tell the story of impact and reach into the communities we serve,” says Jay Everette, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. “The film represents a celebration of the power of women in art presented at the intersection of architecture, art and music. The film will ultimately be made available at no charge to the entire community.” 

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra players, cellist Sarah Markle and violinist Alaina Rea, teamed up for a performance that was filmed in front of “Foragers.” Photo courtesy Kelso Communications

Each duet is performed under the backdrop of Summer Wheat’s transformative atrium window installation. Bathed in glowing jewel-toned light, the compelling musical performances are elevated by the sublimity of the space. Topilow and CSO harpist Andrea Mumm Trammell paired to play contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Part’s Fratres, an enthusiastic set of frenetic activity juxtaposed against contemplative stillness. Charlotte Symphony Orchestra players, cellist Sarah Markle and violaist Alaina Rea, teamed for the contemplative and reflecting duet Limestone and Feltby contemporary North Carolina composer and Pulitzer Prize for music recipient Caroline Shaw.  

“During this time of COVID, we want to provide content that is uplifting, hopeful, positive, and optimistic,” says Hillary Cooper, Chief Advancement Officer for The Mint Museum. “It’s a gift to our donors and partners and comes with a promise of a brighter future.”

Foragers was realized through the generous support of the Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund, a special fund developed to support broader representation of women artists in museum collections. The work showcases Wheat’s commitment to telling the stories of women as laborers and makers. She redefines historic artistic gender representation in ways that make her work resonate loudly today. 

We asked our musicians to find inspiration in Foragers, and to select music that would complement it,” says David Fisk, president, and CEO of Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.To continue our focus on the impact of women in the arts, we feature two duets by female musicians, and one work by a contemporary female composer. I am pleased to highlight musicians from the Charlotte Symphony here at The Mint Museum for a performance that is at once classical and contemporary.” 

 For Topilow, the performance is a joyful experience at a happy junction of art and music.  

Everything right nowduring Covidhas unique aspect,” Topilow says, “We wanted to create a large amount of powerful music with a small number of players and the result is truly special.”

Michael J. Solender is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, American City Business Journals, Metropolis Magazine, Business North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer, and others. He develops custom content and communications for businesses and organizations.

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Members of the Metrolina Native American Association dressed in tribal colors and costume. Photo by Lance Bradshaw

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Compiled and written by Rubie Britt-Height and Kurma Murrain

 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples, and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October.

In 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in North Carolina. Cooper’s proclamation states “American Indians, who have inhabited this land since long before their first contact with English settlers, share their knowledge of the land and its resources, and have continued to play a vital role in the development of our local communities, the state of North Carolina and the nation.”

North Carolina has several indigenous peoples, including the Catawba, Eastern Band of  Cherokee‎, Chickasaw‎, Choctaw,‎  Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Meherrin, Muscogee‎, Occaneechi Band Saponi, Sappony, Waccamaw Siouan Seminole tribe, Lumbee‎, and‎ Pamlico‎.

Governor Cooper noted, “Our state has enjoyed a positive relationship with the indigenous people of North Carolina and continue to grow in our shared progress. We honor and respect the heritage and the many cultural and economic contributions of our American Indian tribes and people.”

Dancers from the Metrolina Native American Association perform at a Sunday Fun Day and Community Conversations event at The Mint Museum. Authentic costumes with feathers, bells, leather, and beads brighten ceremonial and celebratory dances.  The dances are a form of storytelling. Photo by Lance Bradshaw

The History of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day began in 1989 in South Dakota, where then Governor  George S. Mickelson backed a resolution to celebrate Native American day on the second Monday of October. It was a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of  Columbus Day, which honors Italian explorer  Christopher Columbus. Some in the United States reject celebrating Christopher Columbus, saying that he represents “the violent history of the colonization in the Western Hemisphere” and that Columbus Day overshadows Columbus’ dismal actions, including enslaving Native Americans.

According to the Cherokee One Feather news, “Columbus’ landing in the Caribbean marked the beginning of decline among Native American tribes and the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade.” Columbus Day is still celebrated the same day in many states, including by numerous Italian-American communities.

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day at the Mint

The Mint Museum joins North Carolina’s celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ day and embraces the idea of acknowledging the historic sacrifices of indigenous people and their contributions to the United States. The museum is proud of its relationship with the Metrolina Native American Association in presenting cultural history, heritage, dance, storytelling, and music during Native American Heritage Month.  It also has presented programming with Catawba artists.

A diverse audience of parents, children, and the Native American community enjoyed circle and tribal dance to the rhythms of indigenous musical instruments at a Sunday Fun Day event in 2019. Photo by Lance Bradshaw

Print making patterns inspired by Textiles

Draw & Print Patterns Inspired by Textiles

Find patterns in the textiles around your house, then turn them into a series of prints inspired by the glass panel installation Spin, Weave, Gather by Nancy Callan. In her patterned glass panels, Callan references North Carolina’s rich history of textile manufacturing. From twisted threads, to woven patterns, to designs of stripes or dots, the fabric around us can prompt some pretty cool design ideas!

Nancy Callan (American, 1964–). Spin, Weave, Gather, 2018, glass. Gift of lead donors Lorne Lassiter and Gary Ferraro; Judy and John Alexander, Sandy Berlin, Linda and Bill Farthing, The Founders’ Circle, Libba and Mike Gaither, William Gorelick, Barbara Loughlin, Jancy and Gilbert Patrick, Mark Ridenhour, Vicki Jones, Yvonne and Richard McCracken, Sara and Bob McDonnell, Britt and Greg Hill, and Deborah Halliday and Gary Rautenstrauch. 2019.81A-O

“I think art is both a question and an answer. We ask the question ‘What if?’ and we answer that question through the process of making.”

-Nancy Callan

Photo by Russell Johnson

About the Artist:

Glass artist Nancy Callan lives in Seattle, Washington, where she works among many skilled glassblowers. She created the piece above while working at STARworks in Star, North Carolina.

Supplies:

• Scratch art printing foam (or recycled foam trays from the grocery store)
• Paper to print on
• Water soluble printing ink or tempera paint (also known as poster paint)
• Paint brush, pencil, or blunt end to use as a stylus (you can use more than one size tip to create different line thicknesses)
• Brayer (or small paint roller or foam brush)
• Washable, flat container for rolling ink
• Tarp or table covering that can get dirty
• Damp and dry paper towels for wiping hands
• Ruler – optional

Steps:

Choose tissue paper colors that best represent you, and cut into small squares. Wrap the squares (one at a time) over the eraser end of a pencil to create a flower-like shape. Dab a small amount of glue to the bottom of the tissue paper, and lightly press onto your cardboard. Repeat the process until your cardboard is covered. The closer you place them together, the fuller the effect.

You can clump colors together or go with a random approach – either way, have fun! This process is simple, but you will find that it helps with focus and relaxation.

Start by gathering fabrics to use as your inspiration. Find pillows, towels, or pieces of clothing with textures or patterns that interest you. Pictures from the internet can also be used as inspiration for the project. Printing them and having them next to you as you work can help.

Use your stylus or pencil to scratch patterns into foam boards, also called “plates”. Press hard enough to make an indentation, but not so hard as to cut through the foam. Mixing large and small patterns and using various sizes of foam boards helps create contrast and interest in your prints.

To create even borders around your print, or to plan a layout of multiple prints on one large piece of paper, draw light pencil marks where you plan to print your design. This will help with positioning. You can use a ruler or straight edge, or trace around the non-inked styrofoam plates.  You don’t have to be this precise if you don’t want to.

After you have covered your work area with a tarp or disposable covering, decide what color you would like your print to be. Put ink into the flat container and roll the brayer back and forth to cover the entire roller with ink. Roll over your foam plate several times until there are no bare spots. If you are using a foam brush, dab the ink on as evenly as you can. If you get ink on your hands, be sure to wash and dry them before touching your paper to keep from getting fingerprints on it.

Place foam plate, ink side down, on a piece of paper. Gently press and rub your fingers over the foam making sure the entire surface of the plate is in contact with the paper. You can use a paper towel or extra piece of recycled paper to lay over top of your foam plate before rubbing to help keep the edges of your print clean.

Carefully lift the foam plate off the printed paper. Remember, perfection isn’t the goal. If you would like to use the same foam plate with a different color, just gently wash the foam plate and the brayer with warm soapy water and dry with an old towel. Have fun; make more than one! Why not make multiple prints to share with friends and family?

Option:
If you like the way your foam plate looks with ink on it, let it dry and then glue it to a piece of paper ink side up. The plates will have a darker tone than the prints themselves.

 

Challenge:
Have friends or family each create their own unique patterns. Make a larger collage with all the prints.

 

Simplify:
If you don’t have styrofoam, try printing with a plastic sandwich bag! Brush one color of paint onto a bag, doodle designs into the paint with a Q-tip, and flip it onto a piece of paper. Gently pat, then peel off, and you’ll have a print.

 

Learn More:

Watch Nancy Callan and her team create Spin, Weave, Gather for The Mint Museum (3.25 minutes)

 

This idea brought to you by Maggie Burgan.

Turn simple knots into macramé

Simply Tie Knots to Create Macramé

Macramé is an ancient fiber art that uses knots to create items that are both useful and beautiful. This activity inspired by Wall Hanging 3 by Tanya Aguiñiga uses only square knots. It is easy for beginners and for young children, with help from parents.

About the Artist:

Growing up in Mexico and California, Tanya Aguiñiga discovered a passion for making things with her hands. As a child, she got her start in fiber art by turning shredded palm fronds into jewelry and selling it to her neighbors! Today, she uses her artist/designer/activist voice to address social issues with creativity and compassion.

Tanya Aguiñiga. Mexican (active United States), 1978– Wall Hanging 3 2015, Cotton, wool, copper electroplated terracotta, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Board of Directors of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in honor of Fleur Bresler.

Supplies:

• Scissors
• Tape
• Cardboard or clipboard for holding your work
• Macramé cord- this can be rope, twine or yarn cut to desired length (3 feet is a good length for beginners/young children)
• Support, something to tie your cords to- dowel, branch, straw or ruler (Your yarn will be attached to this)

Start by cutting your cord or yarn. Three foot pieces (3’) are a good length to start with. You will need at least two pieces to practice tying square knots. Tape your support to the cardboard then anchor pieces to it using a simple loop called a Larks Head.

You’ll need 4 cords or strands to make a square knot.

Steps:

Bring the ends of each cord together to find the middle. Loop it midway over your support then feed the ends through. This is called a Lark’s Head knot. Repeat with each cord. You’ll be using the Left and Right strands for knotting; the two center strands don’t move.

Take the Left strand and make a loop over the center strands, then the Right one goes over the Left’s “tail” and through the loop in back. Then tighten. Now you’ve made a Half Square knot.

Now do the reverse! Loop the Right strand, Left strand goes over the tail and through the loop in the back. Tighten the Square Knot you just made. You can keep repeating the same knots to make a chain. Here is a little trick to help you as you work:

Left over Right, tuck under. Right over Left, tuck under.

Option:

Using just square knots, you can make a chain for a bracelet or keychain. Add a few more strands and you can make a wall hanging. You can even add beads to your work!

Simplify:

Even young children can experiment with freeform knotting. Get them started and let them go!

Challenge:

Try a more advanced approach using 5 cords. Start your knots lower and skip the outer cords after the first knot, then add them back. Then use all the cords to make a large square knot. Feel free to experiment, you can always untie and start again!

Learn More:

“Meet” the artist in this Craft in America video (13 minutes)

Personalize your space with a tissue paper initial

Personalize your space with a tissue paper initial

Use small squares of tissue paper to create a colorful, textured initial to personalize your desk or room. This project is inspired by Pilar Albarracín’s Ceiling of Offerings, a sculptural installation made of 724 flamenco dresses suspended from the ceiling. From below, the ruffled material looks like a floating bouquet of colorful flowers.

Pilar Albarracín (Spanish, 1968–). Ceilings for Offerings, 2004, fabric (flamenco dresses). Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection. 2011.80.1.1-724

About the Artist:

Spanish artist Pilar Albarracín creates performance, video, and installation art. She often creates challenging art about identity, culture, gender, and heritage.

Supplies:

• Cardboard cut-out of your favorite initial (or other symbol/shape)

• Colored tissue paper squares (1” and 2” work well)

• Glue

• Pencil

• Tarp or table covering that can get dirty

Steps:

Choose tissue paper colors that best represent you, and cut into small squares. Wrap the squares (one at a time) over the eraser end of a pencil to create a flower-like shape. Dab a small amount of glue to the bottom of the tissue paper, and lightly press onto your cardboard. Repeat the process until your cardboard is covered. The closer you place them together, the fuller the effect.

You can clump colors together or go with a random approach – either way, have fun! This process is simple, but you will find that it helps with focus and relaxation.

Option:
Draw a block-letter initial or a symbol onto a piece of cardboard, instead of cutting out a shape. Fill in the shape first, and then fill in or paint the background area.

 

Challenge:
Glue a smaller size tissue square inside of a larger one to create dimension. Use a complementary color for variation.

 

Simplify:
Purchase pre-cut tissue paper squares.

 

Learn More:
• Brush up on your Spain facts with National Geographic Kids
• Watch superstar singers, musicians, and dancers in the 1995 documentary, Flamenco

 

This idea brought to you by Maggie Burgan.

Voices heard: ‘Foragers’ underscores Mint’s ongoing commitment to women artists

Summer Wheat (American, 1977–). Foragers, 2020, colored vinyl on mylar, 805.5 x 738.5 inches. T0263.1a-qqqq. Photo credit: Chris Edwards

Summer Wheat’s monumental Foragers underscores the Mint’s ongoing commitment to women artists, perspectives historically underrepresented in museums

By Michael J. Solender

Uptown visitors meet with a fresh sensory experience this fall as Mint Museum Uptown reopens its doors following the Covid-mandated lockdown. As guests enter the towering glass-paneled Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium, they’re enveloped in warm jewel-toned light bathing the space of the new 96-panel “stained glass” installation Foragers by contemporary American artist Summer Wheat.

And while the quiet beauty of hand-drawn, collaged and placed colored vinyl panels encourage many to slow their pace and reflect in the grandeur, the imagery of strong, powerful women, taking on traditional male roles of hunters and providers, makes a clear and confident statement—women are represented on their own terms, making vital contributions.

The messaging is not accidental. Wheat’s work is deliberate in pushing back on gender objectification and unidimensional portrayal often depicted in museum collections. “Histories we tell, and the histories told to us are never really true,” Wheat says, her slight Oklahoma drawl elongating her cadence. “They’re only telling one side of the story, and there’s a lot that’s left out.”

Wheat, a mid-career artist whose work has been displayed in museums only within the past few years, is bucking a trend unfavorable to women. Just 11 percent of all acquisitions and 14 percent of exhibitions at 26 prominent American museums over the past decade were of work by female artists, according to a recent study by art market information company Artnet.

Recognizing this historical underrepresentation of women’s voices on public display, the Mint is leading the way to better balance the scales. “We have a strong community partner and advocate in Wells Fargo whose values align so closely with the museum on this important social and cultural issue,” says Todd Herman, Mint Museum President & CEO, “Something  we really admire and treasure in the relationship we’ve had with Wells Fargo is they collaborate with us and push us further in ways that make the community better. Their Women Artist Fund and their support of our Foragers installation is a wonderful example of that.”

Charlotte knows Wells Fargo as a significant community partner and stalwart investor in our region’s diversity and success. Their foundation focuses on projects and innovation at the community level such as awareness and social change, increasing housing affordability, and access to capital for businesses. Last year, they contributed more than $14 million in support of projects and programing in the Charlotte region. In addition to programmatic work with quantitative measure, like the number of low-income individuals placed into safe and affordable housing, a component of the foundation’s work focuses on bringing perspectives and understanding to social issues through the arts.

“As company, we’re one of the largest small business lenders to women owned businesses,” says Jay Everette, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. “With the arts and culture sector of our [philanthropic] work, we realize putting a focus on female artists helps elevate and escalate women’s voices through promoting their artwork. Not only is Foragers a significant work by an important female artist, it’s also public art that anybody can come in and access without having to pay a fee.”

It was the Mint Museum’s 80th anniversary celebration and the 2016 Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibition that served as a catalyst for the formation of the Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artist Fund according to Everette. “We were beginning to formulate some of the strategies on this and through the exhibition discovered there were a group of other women artists leading the way in the movement.  But they did not have gallery representation. They were not being picked up by museums after the abstract expressionist movement.”

Inspired, the Wells Fargo Foundation set about to address and help reconcile the imbalance of female representation in museum collections. “The Women Artist Fund was established three years ago, and we’ve been successful in helping to place and acquire seminal pieces of art in permanent museum collections across North Carolina,” says Everette. Other museums benefiting from the program include the Cameron Museum of Art in Wilmington, The Weatherspoon Museum of Art in Greensboro, and The Blowing Rock Art Museum in Blowing Rock.

Admirers of Summer Wheat’s Foragers, on display through September 6, 2022, will be pleased to note that through the generosity of The Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artist Fund, the artist’s work With Side, With Shoulder, a large painting where Wheat’s technique extrudes paint through wire mesh, has been acquired for the Mint’s permanent collection.

Mary Myers Dwelle, one of the Mint’s female founders would undoubtedly be pleased.

Foragers is part of the exhibition In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art that opens Oct. 16 at Mint Museum Uptown.

Michael J. Solender is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, American City Business Journals, Metropolis Magazine, Business North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer, and others. He develops custom content and communications for businesses and organizations.

Make your own collaged memory box

Collaged Memory Box

In this collage project inspired by Romare Bearden’s Evening of the Gray Cat, you can create an artistic Collaged Memory Box to celebrate a special person, place, or journey. Cut, paste, and collage your story on the lid, and keep favorite mementos inside the box.

Romare H. Bearden (American, 1911–88). Evening of the Gray Cat, 1982, collage on board. Gift of Bank of America. 2002.68.3. © 2020 Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

As a child, Romare Bearden traveled to Charlotte each summer to visit his great-grandparents. Many years later, he created a series of art called “Mecklenburg Memories,” inspired by his recollections of North Carolina in the early decades of the 1900’s.
Can you find the gray cat in this scene?

“A work of art can always keep growing. You can always add something to it each time you see it.”

-Romare Bearden

Bearden’s Studio on Canal Street, New York City, October 23 1976 Photography © Blaine Waller, 1976

About the Artist:

Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1911. At a young age, he moved with his parents to Harlem, in New York City to seek opportunities that weren’t available to African Americans in the south. As an adult, Bearden became known as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century.  Combining images from magazines, prints, and colored and textured papers to create collage “paintings,” his art told many stories about the Black experience, classical literature and art, and cultural history.


SUPPLIES:

• Shoe box, or any box with a lid
• Piece of paper cut the size of the box lid
• Scissors
• Glue
• Pencil
• Small paintbrush to paint glue onto paper
• Small container for glue (add a drop or two of water)
• Collage material cut from magazines, catalogs, recycled artwork, envelopes, photos, greeting cards etc.
Optional: White paper and markers or paint to create your own collage paper


Instructions:

To make some of your own hand-painted papers like Bearden did, use markers or paints to create patterned and colorful papers. When they dry, cut them into shapes or add to the background. Check out the other Mint Museum Create at Home projects for some inspiration.

Gather your supplies. Look through the collage materials for images and patterns that appeal to you or bring back a memory. Draw out any elements you would like to add.

Cut out your shapes and elements, and start arranging them onto the box lid, or onto a piece of paper the size of your lid that you’ll glue down to the lid. Layer and overlap the pieces to add more depth to your collage, and play with different placements.

Once you’ve chosen your final arrangement, it’s time to glue. Put some glue in a small container and add a few drops of water to thin it. Using a paintbrush to apply the glue, paint a thin layer of glue to the back of each piece or to the surface, making sure to secure the edges.

When you’re finished gluing, look at your collage and think about the images you chose and how they relate to your memories. What feelings come up? This gray cat feels proud that his picture made it into our collage!

 


 

Option: Write a note, short story, or poem about your project inspiration and drop it in the box. Our project was inspired by fun memories of traveling with a good friend.

Challenge: Fill the background with a grid of horizontal and vertical rectangles of different sizes and colors, then build your collage on top of it.

Simplify: Instead of a box, collage onto a colorful piece of paper.  This makes it easier to fill your space.

 


Learn More: There are so many great resources about Romare Bearden! Below are a few. As you view his art, look for some of these themes:

Trains, large hands, birds, musicians, windows, cats, roosters, the sun, the moon

The Romare Bearden Foundation

• YouTube Video: Trains, Snakes, and Guitars- The Art of Romare Bearden

Family Guide for Southern Recollections, a 2012 Mint Exhibition

A look back at the Mint through the years with Herb Cohen

Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museum (left) with Herb Cohen.

A stalwart supporter of the arts and dedicated staff member at the Mint, Herb Cohen provides an oral history of The Mint Museum

Herb Cohen, a well-respected potter, has been a part of the Mint family since the late 1950s and is still an active member of the Mint and the Delhom Service League.  First working with clay at the age of 6 at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Herb earned two degrees in ceramics at Alfred University before becoming a designer for Hyalyn Porcelain Company in Hickory, North Carolina.

After two years at Hyalyn, he moved to Charlotte in 1958, and immediately became involved with the Mint Museum Drama Guild. He and his husband, José Fumero, a textile artist and painter, designed and built sets and costumes, as well as appearing onstage. This was the beginning of Cohen wearing many hats on the Mint staff, including exhibition designer, ceramics teacher, interim museum director (twice!), and exhibits director. In 1972, he and Fumero moved to Blowing Rock to pursue their art full-time, but never lost touch with the Mint.   

During the 38 years in Blowing Rock, Cohen made his living as a potter, was a founder of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, and served on the boards of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Piedmont Craftsman, and the American Craft Council. After he and Fumero returned to Charlotte in 2010, Cohen became active with the Delhom Service League and the Potters Market Invitational. In 2012, the Mint celebrated his work with the exhibition, Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen. 

The following interviews were conducted by Brian Gallagher, curator of decorative arts, and Ellen Show, archivist at Mint Museum Randolph during the summer of 2017. Cohen discusses his career at the Mint Museum, his life as a potter and artist, his experiences with the Mint Museum Drama Guild, and, during a walking tour, describes what the Mint Museum Randolph building was like before and after the 1967 expansion. 

 

Interview 1 – June 12, 2017: Cohen’s roles at The Mint Museum

 

Gallagher talks with Cohen about his years on staff at the Mint Museum, which ran from 1958 to 1972. Cohen began as a volunteer exhibition installer and Mint Museum Drama Guild technician and actor, and went on to become exhibition designer, interim museum director (twice!), ceramics instructor, and exhibits director. 

 

Interview 2 – June 26, 2017: Cohen’s Life in the Arts

Cohen discusses his relationship with the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and its contribution to his studying ceramics at Alfred University, his singing at Madison Square Garden and on Broadway as a child, and his work as a potter in North Carolina. 

 

Interview 3 – July 10, 2017: The Mint Museum Drama Guild

Ellen Show talks with Cohen about his experiences working with the Mint Museum Drama Guild. Highlights of their conversation include stories about Drama Guild founder Dorothy Masterson, and memories of other guild members, including Jan Karon, Leon Rippy, and his husband, artist Jose Fumero. 

 

Interview 4 – Aug. 18, 2017

 

A walk-and-talk through the original staff areas of Mint Museum Randolph. Cohen remembers the spaces as they were in the late 1950s to 1960s. 

 

Interview 5 – Sept. 12, 2017 

 

A walk-and-talk around the original gallery spaces of Mint Museum Randolph. Cohen describes the spaces before and after the 1967 building expansion.