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.

 


THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

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

The Mint Museum launches new free Wednesday night event series that showcases Charlotte’s vibrant cultural scene

The Mint Museum launches new free Wednesday night event series that showcases Charlotte’s vibrant cultural scene.

Charlotte, NC (October 14, 2019): 

After years of being free to the public on Wednesday nights, The Mint Museum is launching a new free event series at its uptown location called Live at the Mint, which will celebrate and highlight Charlotte’s dynamic arts community. Live at the Mint, presented by Fifth Third Bank, launches this Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 6 PM to 9 PM.

The Live at the Mint lineup will feature everything from performance art to conversations with leading artists, provocative films to gallery tours with community leaders. And with a variety of hands-on activities—and a cash bar that opens at 5:30 PM—it’s the perfect way to wind down after a long day.

Live at the Mint, presented by Fifth Third Bank, will launch with an initial eight-week run at Mint Museum Uptown, with plans to continue the series in 2020. The programming runs the gamut: The Oct. 16 night features a jazz band and conversation with celebrated SC artist Dr. Leo Twiggs and Rabbi Judy Schindler about how art can offer a safe space to discuss uncomfortable issues. The following week, Oct. 23, is all about swing dancing, with no-experience-necessary lessons from Gottaswing Charlotte.

Many of the Live at the Mint nights feature local groups and artists who are helping shape the cultural fabric of Charlotte, from renowned jazz vocalist MercuryCarter (Dec. 4) to latin fusion band Chócala, who will perform on the heels of their new album release (Dec. 11).

And it’s all happening on Wednesday nights, which are free and open to the public thanks to the ongoing support of generous sponsors Bank of America, the Mint Museum Auxiliary, and Publix Supermarket Charities.

“Live at the Mint is a project that the museum has initiated in order to create layered and diverse cultural programs for our visitors in collaboration with arts partners throughout the city,” says The Mint Museum President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD. “It was important to us that these happen on Wednesday nights, when the Mint is free to the public, so that we can become a positive cultural destination for anyone and everyone.”

It’s the perfect time to come to Mint Museum Uptown, as two new special exhibitions have opened in the last month. Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint features breathtaking sculptures that show the intersection of art, technology and nature (think: massive glass wings that imitate the movement of a bird). And Coined in the South, which opened Oct. 10, features 64 works from some of the most innovative and emerging artists in the Southeast. Organized in partnership with the Young Affiliates of the Mint, Coined in the South features everything from the traditional (oil on canvas and collage) to the decidedly untraditional (one sculpture is made from steel saw dust, alpaca fur, and alligator skin).

“Fifth Third is proud to be the presenting partner for this exciting new series,” says Lee Fite, Fifth Third Bank regional president of the Mid Atlantic. “Live at the Mint represents the same values we do – collaboration, inclusivity, and community.”

 


Interested in interviewing the artists, musicians, or anyone from the museum? Reach out to the Mint’s Director of Marketing & Communications, Caroline Portillo, at caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org or call 704-337-2009.


Here’s a look at the Live at the Mint lineup:

October 16
Enjoy a conversation with SC artist Dr. Leo Twiggs and Rabbi Judy Schindler, as they discuss how art can offer a safe space to discuss uncomfortable yet urgent current issues. Jazz ensemble Conversation Piece will play before and after the discussion. Twiggs made headlines for his work in the aftermath of the tragic 2015 murders at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

October 23
Ever wished you knew how to swing dance? Join Gottaswing Charlotte for free instructions, followed by an evening of dancing.

October 30
The 90-piece Youth Orchestra of Charlotte will perform a selection of spooky symphonic masterpieces, followed by a screening of the 1982 horror film Poltergeist.

November 6
Couldn’t score tickets to Sir Elton’s farewell tour at Spectrum Center? Catch the next best thing on the same night, as Elton John impersonator Carl Rosen of Yellow Brick Road tribute band performs the Rocketman’s classics. Rose-colored glasses included.

November 13
Enjoy Buster Keaton’s classic silent film The Freshman, as the brilliant and award-winning Ethan Uslan accompanies on piano. In partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

November 20
The lauded Charlotte Storytellers will perform four original works created in response to pieces on view in Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint and Coined in the South. This one-of-a-kind experience will help you bring fresh eyes to the stunning exhibitions.

November 27
No programming – Happy Thanksgiving!

December 4
Relax and unwind with internationally renowned jazz vocalist MercuryCarter. It will be an evening of old standards and new songs destined to become classics.

December 11
Enjoy the inventive sound of Latin fusion band Chócala, as they ride the tide of their new record release this fall.

 

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 Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, an Ohio-chartered bank. As of June 30, 2019, Fifth Third had $169 billion in assets and operated 1,207 full-service Banking Centers and 2,551 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida,

Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2019, had $399 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $46 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for- pro t organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC.

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 caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org 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)

Studio Drift’s first U.S. museum exhibition opening Sept. 20 at The Mint Museum

Photo: JW Kaldenbach. Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn. Courtesy of Studio Drift.

Charlotte, NC (September 9, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that uses technology in art to illuminate the power and beauty of nature. The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 20, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation making its international premiere at the Mint. PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor.

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has grown to more than 20 artists, technologists/engineers and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. Studio Drift’s work is lauded in art circles worldwide for using man-made technology to show the beauty of nature. And they do it in a way that inspires awe and meditation, a way to invite the viewer to consider technological possibilities.

At Burning Man in 2017, Studio Drift unveiled its Tree of Ténéré, a towering, lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights that people could climb. At NASA’s 50th-anniversary celebration for the Apollo 11 moon landing, Studio Drift presented its performance piece Franchise Freedom, which consisted of 600 Intel drones soaring through the night sky, simulating the flight pattern of starlings. Iconic ‘80s rock band Duran Duran played during the performance.

A room-sized art instillation made of pipes and dandelions curing from the floor to the ceiling
Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2018, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

One of Studio Drift’s most iconic works, Fragile Future—which will be on display at the Mint—is comprised of natural elements. The Fragile Future installation is made from hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds hand-glued, seed by seed, onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. Nearby will be Amplitude, an installation made of 20 large but delicate glass wings that moves smoothly to suggest a giant bird in flight—another nod to the ability of manmade technology to highlight the beauty of nature.

The exhibition also will include the world premiere of Studio Drift’s new work: Coded Coincidence on Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 5 expansion space. Museum visitors will be able to walk through a massive plexiglass chamber, while more than a dozen steerable wind blowers direct and lift elm seeds to swirl around the viewer. The project was inspired by the many elm trees in Amsterdam and is also a fitting nod to Charlotte’s vast tree canopy.

Immersed in Light has also inspired a local partnership with the Charlotte Ballet. For the ballet’s annual Innovative Works performance Jan. 25–Feb. 6, artistic director Hope Muir has commissioned two choreographers to create an experimental ballet inspired by Studio Drift’s exhibition at the Mint. The dancers will perform in the galleries, and a video presentation of the dance will be broadcast at the Innovative Works shows.

“I am so excited for this opportunity for Charlotte Ballet to collaborate with The Mint Museum and Studio Drift,” says Hope Muir, Charlotte Ballet’s artistic director. “We are always searching for ways to connect with different art forms, and we can’t wait to see what emerges from this innovative partnership between dance and visual art.”
Guests attending the opening-day celebration for Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint on Sept. 20 at Mint Museum Uptown, will be able to meet Drift co-founders Gordijn and Nauta. Godijn will discuss her work and inspiration at 6 PM Friday at Mint Museum Uptown.

Undulating glass pipes forming repetitive geometric figures. The pipes hang from the ceiling in a large spacious room.
Studio Drift. Amplitude, 2017, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

The exhibition is presented by PNC Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Duke Energy – Piedmont Natural Gas. This program is also supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA  program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

Immersed in Light also benefits from media partnership and in-kind support from Wheelhouse Media, The Charlotte Observer, QC Exclusive, Le Meredien Charlotte, Peachy the Magazine, Pride Magazine, and Rite-Lite.

 

 


About Studio Drift

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has since grown to more than 20, including artists, technologists/engineers, and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. In their installations and interactive sculptures, the relationship between nature, humans, and technology is key. Studio Drift is represented by Pace Gallery taking part in the gallery’s Future\Pace program, and is also represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery.


About 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.


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 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.


The Mint Museum to reopen on Tuesdays at both locations

Charlotte, N.C. (June 25, 2019): The Mint Museum will be reopening its doors on Tuesdays as part of its ongoing commitment to be more available and accessible to all members of the community  

The Mint’s decision, which takes upeffect on July 1 at the start of its new fiscal year, will allow members of the community to view the museum’s new crop of innovative exhibitions during daytime hours. The reopening marks the first time in over six years that the museum has been open on Tuesdays.  

The reopening serves as one of many strategic initiatives spearheaded by The Mint’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, Ph.D, less than a year after he assumed the role. The overarching goal: to broaden the museum’s accessibility.  

 In fall 2018, the museum added Friday date-night hours at Mint Museum Uptown, extending regular hours until 9 PM. The Friday evening hours cater to those who may not be able to visit the museum during the week, and offer a variety of creative ways for people to experience the Mint.  

 “Through these changes, we’re building a better Mint,” says Herman. “We want to give the community more opportunities to take advantage of all the Mint has to offer, and we’re excited for more people to join our family.”  

 The decision to add Tuesday hours comes at the same time as a bevvy of breathtaking and inspiring exhibitions and events are making their way to Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.  

 One exhibition, Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizziopened Saturday, June 22 at Mint Museum Randolph and presents paintings and sketches from the career of author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, whose bestselling works include The Spider and the FlyThe Spiderwick Chronicles (co-written by Holly Black), and Kenny & the Dragon. 

 On view until November 3, the exhibition highlights 150 original works across DiTerlizzi’s career, from his school-age sketches to his early days of illustrating for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, his children’s book illustrations to his fantastical middle-grade works. The galleries also are interactive, giving kids the opportunity to make their own works of art. 

 The Mint is also organizing and hosting the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. 

 The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 21, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation premiering at the Mint.  

Lauded in art circles worldwide for its innovative approach to art through technology, Studio Drift entered the general public’s eye in the U.S. in 2017, when its Drifter — a gravity-defying monolithic block of concrete — wowed at the Armory Show. The Dutch artist collective again made headlines a few months later when its Tree of Ténéré — a towering lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights — debuted at the Burning Man festival. The group’s critical reception across the globe has continued to grow, and most recently, the group was included in the 2019 Venice Bienniale. 


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 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. 

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

The Mint Museum hires Jen Sudul Edwards as new Chief Curator

Jen Sudul Edwards standing in front of a brick wall
Photo by Carey King

Charlotte, N.C. (June 11, 2019): It is with great pleasure that The Mint Museum announces the newest addition to the Mint family: Jennifer “Jen” Sudul Edwards, PhD, will serve as new Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art, beginning July 1.

There was an impressive pool of candidates for this position, and ultimately, Sudul Edwards stood out for her vast experience, fresh perspectives, and deeply integrated role in the cultural fabric of Charlotte. “Jen’s passion for the arts and for quality exhibitions and programs is a perfect match for the talent already at the Mint,” says The Mint Museum’s President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD. “Together, the Mint can boast one of the strongest curatorial teams in the region with a shared vision of community engagement and expert scholarship.”

In addition to organizing fresh and provocative exhibitions, Sudul Edwards has seemingly boundless high energy. Her curatorial vision will help the institution move forward and explore new ways to engage with the community.

“I have long admired the Mint’s commitment to diverse art forms, from craft and design to fashion, painting to sculpture,” says Sudul Edwards. “I am excited to bring my own expansive curatorial approach to that respected team.”

She received her doctorate from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and held curatorial positions at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif. and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, before serving as the curator at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. At the Bechtler, Sudul Edwards won numerous awards for her publications, exhibitions and curatorial work, including Charlotte Magazine’s “Best Curator” award in 2017.

Sudul Edwards also is an experienced fundraiser and is active beyond the walls of the museum in the local arts community. She is the chairman of the board at Goodyear Arts, a nonprofit residency and events program that utilizes underused spaces to showcase local visual, performing, and literary artists. And she’s the co-founder and co-organizer of Sphere Series, an art speaker series that brings together local, national, and international leaders in the arts to discuss the value of cultural exchange. Sudul Edwards also serves on the AFA Advisory Committee at Central Piedmont Community College.

Sudul Edwards joins the Mint team at a key point in the institution’s evolution. Herman, who is approaching his one-year anniversary as president and CEO, is committed to expanding the museum’s engagement and involvement with the city, as well as improving accessibility.

A year after extending Friday hours through 9 p.m. at Mint Museum Uptown, both museum locations will be opening again on Tuesdays, beginning July 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. It’s part of a broader initiative to provide enhanced access for the community.

“I’ve only been in Charlotte for four years, but I’ve fallen in love with it — the passionate people, the scrappy creativity,” says Sudul Edwards. “Making sure as many people as possible make their way in the doors of Mint Museum Randolph and Mint Museum Uptown to see what we’re doing is imperative.”

Sudul Edward’s first day at the Mint will be July 1. To see some of her work before she joins the Mint team, she’s currently organizing A Face in the Crowd for SOCO Gallery, opening June 26.

She also is curating W|ALL: Defend, Divide, and the Divine for the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles — an examination of the historic use and artistic treatment of walls over the centuries — opening Sept. 21. She is also currently contributing to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery collections catalogue and contributing to Magnum journal.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with the Mint,” says Herman. “It’s a new chapter.”


About The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. The Mint Museum is dedicated to leadership in collecting, exhibiting, conserving, researching, publishing, interpreting, and sharing art and design from around the world.

These commitments are central to the museum’s core values of leadership, integrity, inclusiveness, knowledge, stewardship, and innovation, promoting understanding of and respect for diverse peoples and cultures.


 

7 unexpected items, from human hair to coffee filters, in Jan-Ru Wan’s The Noise We Make installation at Mint Museum Uptown


Visitors can find larger-than-life art installations with a variety of unexpected materials in a special project housed in the level-five expansion space at Mint Museum Uptown. 
 

Known as The Noise We Make by artist Jan-Ru Wan, the installation is a study in art created with found materials from industrial sites. The installation was organized by independent curator and arts advocate Jonell Logan, who met Wan at the Greenhill Arts Center in Greensboro, N.C. after learning about her work. Logan says she was enthralled by the complexity and beauty of Wan’s creations, which use everything from human hair to coffee filters, chanting boxes to spoons.  

The Noise we Make, on view until June 14 at Mint Museum Uptown, came to fruition a year later. Here’s a look at a few of the materials used to create Wan’s stunning works of art:  

  1. Chanting boxes: The type of chanting boxes in Wan’s Kneeling (2019) are common in Taiwan.  While there are several prayers recorded on the boxes, the one Wan selected was a chant for the bodhisattva (a sanskit mantra) of compassion. It is used mainly for praying for one who is suffering in life.

  2. Coffee filters: When Wan came to the United States 20 years ago, it was her first time seeing coffee filters. She was shocked that people would use them and dispose of them every day. The filters seen in her A Tangle of Hopelessness (2006-2019) also represent something more to her: the idea of filtration in our society—how we filter information, how it influences our individual realities. Wan began to see the coffee filters as symbols of individuals’ memory and mind. The two-sided nature of A Tangle of Hopelessness represents the act of filtering certain aspects of one’s life, and in turn, only seeing small pieces of others’ lives.

  3. Spoons: In Kneeling (2019), Wan uses previously manufactured items and manipulates them so that they stand in for new ideas. In this piece, the small spoons represent Buddha spoonfeeding people religion, not necessarily spirituality.

  4. Wax: Many of the pieces in the show incorporate wax—a substance Wan says reminds her a tears and skin. She also uses wax to freeze objects in time, creating a protective seal on the object.

  5. Pink plastic: In the titular piece, The Noise We Make (2019)the pink plastic used was originally found by the artist in the trash. Wan washed, cut, screen printed, folded and sewed each piece herself. Also used in Kneeling (2019), the magnificent size of each of the plastic pieces captures the audience’s attention and draws focus to the everyday, repurposed items.


  6. Bean sprouts: Grown in Wan’s own kitchen, bean sprouts are used repeatedly in the artist’s work. They represent the life cycle and Wan’s interest in impermanence. 

  7. Human hair: In each of the small, silk, smiley-face-adorned pouches that Wan uses in her Residue of Separation (2019)there is a bundle of human hair.  Collected from salon floors across the world—from the Netherlands to Taiwan to several cities in North Carolina — the hair represents physical separation to Wan. The prayer bench centered in the same piece was acquired in Charlotte, specifically for this installation.  



    About The Mint Museum

    The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. The Mint Museum is dedicated to leadership in collecting, exhibiting, conserving, researching, publishing, interpreting, and sharing art and design from around the world.

    These commitments are central to the museum’s core values of leadership, integrity, inclusiveness, knowledge, stewardship, and innovation, promoting understanding of and respect for diverse peoples and cultures.

Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta with Fragile Future art piece

Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint

Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta with Fragile Future art piece
Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta with Fragile Future, from an article by Freunde von Freunden

“People find the time to look at art within a gallery setting, but the world is one big exhibition if you only care to look.” –Studio Drift, 2017.

The Mint Museum is organizing the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, a design group based in the Netherlands that creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. Dutch artists Ralph Nauta (b.1978) and Lonneke Gordijn (b.1980) established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven. Their work emanates from their distinct, yet complementary and intertwined interests. Whereas Nauta has long been fascinated by science fiction and futuristic thinking, Gordijn has an abiding interest in nature, which she views as more hi-tech than anything humans could create. Accordingly, in bringing their ideas to life, they approach technology from “an intuitive and emotional perspective,” as Gordijn puts it, often using it to emulate nature and ultimately to create an emotional experience for the viewer. Frequently new technology must be developed to realize their ideas, requiring ongoing collaborations with scientists, university research facilities, computer programmers, and engineers. Over the years Studio Drift has grown to 20 employees, who manage a busy schedule of commissions, gallery shows, and other projects around the world.

In 2018 the studio had their first solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. They have won numerous international design awards and have participated in group shows such as Design Society at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in 2016 and What is Luxury?, a collaboration between the V&A and the Crafts Council in 2015. Studio Drift’s work has been featured at several major design fairs including Design Miami/Basel, Art Paris Art Fair, Dubai Design Week, artmonte-carlo, FOG Design + Art, and ZONA MACO. Their design works and site-specific installations are included in the permanent collections of the Rijksmuseum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, SF MoMA, and others.

This exhibition will feature five works by Studio Drift dating from the last decade to today, most of which have been customized for the Mint, and one installation, Seeds (working title only), premiering here. This blog post is the first in a series that will explore each of the works in the exhibition and offer a behind-the-scenes view of the exhibition’s development.

Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2015, installation at Cidade Materrazo, Brazil

The story of Studio Drift starts with its lighting installation Fragile Future, a network of bronze electrical circuits and dandelion puffs made of LED lights to which dandelion seeds have been individually hand-glued. It is a profound and poetic reflection on the fact that light is the basis and sustenance of all life as well as a testament to the transience of our life and times. Delicate dandelion puffs are the ultimate symbol of ephemerality, yet here they are frozen in time, unable to fulfill their original purpose. Instead, they filter the LED lights and appear to either give power to them or derive power from them.

Studio Drift. Fragile Future Chandelier (Detail). Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Fragile Future began as Gordijn’s graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven after she noticed the similarity between LED lights and the centers of dandelions and realized that the seeds could be used to filter light. As she told Modern magazine in its spring 2017 issue, “It worked out perfectly and the hard light was spread so organically and softly. This was the first time that I realized that nature and technology did not have to be enemies, but could also be connected with each other and even share a similar size and aesthetic.”

After graduating, Gordijn and Nauta, who had been friends since their first days at Eindhoven, founded Studio Drift and developed Fragile Future further. Early versions were individual light fixtures, but the concept soon evolved into modules—just as dandelions are weeds, notorious for spreading everywhere, Fragile Future can expand in any direction. Essentially a three-dimensional circuit board without the board, it can be mounted on walls, hung from a ceiling, or spread across the floor. Lonneke and Ralph describe the development of the work in this video:

Studio Drift showed Fragile Future in 2007 at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, the major international design fair, and immediately received accolades.  This success enabled them to show the work at Design Miami the following year, leading to representation by the Paris-based Carpenters Workshop Gallery. A show of Fragile Future by that gallery at the PAD design fair in Paris in 2009 sold out the edition of eight plus four artist’s proofs. Since then, Studio Drift have continued making new iterations of Fragile Future while also exploring ever more ambitious ideas in other sculptures, which will be described in upcoming blog posts. Their exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum included the largest installation of Fragile Future to date, shown below; the version shown at The Mint Museum will be of similar size.

Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2018, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij