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

New exhibition will highlight the career of bestselling author and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi

Charlotte, N.C. (April 3, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce that works from across the career of New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi will be on view in the upcoming exhibition  “Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi” from June 22 to November 3, 2019 at Mint Museum Randolph.

Tony DiTerlizzi – Photo credit “Jim Gipe photo / Pivot Media”

DiTerlizzi is widely recognized as one of this generation’s leading authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults, and the exhibition—the most extensive look at the art of book illustration The Mint Museum has ever done—will feature more than 150 of his original works.

The exhibition will showcase paintings and sketches from DiTerlizzi’s popular picture books, including The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), chapter books Kenny and the Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, as well as The Spiderwick Chronicles, a middle-grade series he co-wrote with Holly Black that has sold more than 20 million copies, has been translated in over 30 countries, and was made into a feature film.

Tony DiTerlizzi, 2003.
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
Cover illustration for The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone, 2003.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

It will also highlight the early years of DiTerlizzi’s career, when he got his start designing for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. The breadth of the artist’s career is expected to draw audiences of all ages and backgrounds, from young children to young-at-heart adults, gamers to artists of all mediums.

DiTerlizzi is known for creating compelling characters—think fantastical creatures, monsters, and heroes—that draw viewers into new worlds, and so the exhibition itself will be designed to bring his works to life. There will be interactive elements where visitors can engage with beloved characters, an area where visitors can lounge and curl up with one of DiTerlizzi’s books, and spots where inspired visitors can even do their own sketches.

“The Mint Museum design team has taken its cues from Tony’s fantastical world of characters and created an experience for visitors of all ages, unlike anything you have seen at the Mint before,” says The Mint Museum President and CEO Todd A. Herman, PhD.

Tony DiTerlizzi
Created: 2001
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
Illustration from Ted, 2001.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.

The “Never Abandon Imagination” exhibition name comes from DiTerlizzi’s personal motto. “Imagination is so key to us as a people,” says the 49-year-old artist. “All the breakthroughs in humanity were by imaginative thinkers.”

During the run of the exhibition, the museum will also present a selection of works by local illustrators in an adjacent gallery, celebrating the tremendous talent right here in the Charlotte region.

“Tony’s boundless energy, enthusiasm, and desire to engage his readers and viewers are infectious,” says Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman. “Our team has greatly enjoyed getting to know his characters and finding ways to bring them to life in the galleries.”

There will be a VIP launch party open to Mint members only on Thursday, June 20 with DiTerlizzi, and the exhibition at Mint Museum Randolph will be open to the public Saturday, June 22.

The exhibition was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where it broke attendance records in 2018. It is presented in Charlotte thanks to the generous support of the Triad Foundation.

For more details and to become a Mint member, visit

Tony DiTerlizzi, 1999.
Cover illustration for Dungeon Adventures magazine #262, 1999.
Materials: Acryla gouache on Bristol board.
©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.




Silvia Levenson posing against a simple backdrop

Argentinian glass artist Silvia Levenson to speak on her craft, domestic violence

Photo by Marco Del Comune

Charlotte, N.C. (March 18, 2019) Argentinian glass artist Silvia Levenson will be at Mint Museum Uptown 2 – 4 PM Sunday, March 24 to discuss her career and how the theme of domestic violence plays out in her work—particularly in her sculpture Until Death Do Us Part, recently acquired by The Mint Museum.

Levenson’s work is known for starting conversations about difficult topics, such as violence against women inside the home. Her show-stopping Until Death Do Us Part—installed in February at Mint Museum Uptown—is anchored by a 330-pound hollow glass cake, topped by a plaster hand grenade.

Behind the translucent, three-tiered cake, on a striking red wall, are the words “until death do us part,” formed from metal wire. It’s a metaphor for the fragility of relationships and the domestic violence many women worldwide face every day.

“The family is often equated with sanctuary…but the evidence shows that it is also a place that imperils lives,” says Levenson. “One-third of murdered women in the world are killed by a husband or partner.”

Levenson was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina but emigrated to Italy in 1981 with her husband and young children to escape the oppressive regime of military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. During his rule from 1976 to 1981, members of Levenson’s family “disappeared.” Her experience over that intense and frightening time continues to inform her work. She currently divides her time between Buenos Aires and Lesa, Italy.

The event is open to the public and included in the price of museum admission. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Levenson questions and meet with her after the discussion while enjoying light refreshments, including cookies, coffee, and tea. Mint Museum members get in free. Price for non-members is just museum admission: $15 for adults, $10 for college students and seniors (65+), $6 for children ages 5-17, and free for children ages 4 and under.


Questions? Contact Caroline Portillo, Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum:, 704.337.2009.

Silvia Levenson (Argentinian, 1957–). Until Death Do Us Part, 2013, kiln-formed glass, metal structure, plaster, wire. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Mint Museum of Craft + Design Collections Board and the Charles W. Beam Accessions Endowment. 2018.64
A crowd at the Potters Market Invitational. There are large tents set up on Mint Museum Randolph's lawn to host the event

Potters Market at The Mint Museum to return in 2020

Potters Market at The Mint Museum to return in 2020

Charlotte, N.C. (March 8, 2019)  After much thought and deliberation, the Delhom Service League of the Mint Museum has decided to postpone its signature event, the Potters Market, until 2020, when the festival will be reimagined to be bigger and more robust than ever.

“We want to re-do it, reinvent it,” says Phil Sciabarrasi, president of the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of The Mint Museum, which promotes ceramic arts and education. “We want to spend time revisiting all aspects of the Potters Market to help us produce an experience that that will continue to grow and highlight North Carolina ceramics, while also delighting potters and attendees.”

One of the major changes in store: Rather than continue as an invitational, the 2020 Potters Market will be a juried show, a move that will bring even more diversity to the beloved affair.

The event will also coincide with the 10th anniversary of the opening of Mint Museum Uptown. “This will be a very celebratory year for the museum, and our intention is to make the 2020 Potters Market a large part of that celebration,” says Sciabarrasi.

Started in 2004, the annual Potters Market is beloved by ceramics collectors and pottery fans alike for the opportunity it provides to get to know dozens of the state’s best potters and shop the latest works in the rich tradition of North Carolina pottery. Wares range from mugs, teapots and jars to oversized pots, contemporary art pottery and sculptures.

Funds raised by the festival help support acquisitions to The Mint Museum’s ceramics collection and help to promote interest in ceramic arts. Delhom Service League hosts many public programs and hands on experiences throughout the year using these funds, relating to all types of ceramics, from ancient to contemporary. As the group works to reimagine the Potters Market, they hope enthusiasts will continue to engage with ceramics and clay by taking advantage of these programs.

“Delhom Service League is thankful for the corporate sponsors, individual sponsors, and attendees who have been so supportive over the years, and for the exceptional potters who have brought their best work to sell,” says Sciabarrasi. “Potters Market has grown into one of the most important ceramics event in the state, and we want to return in 2020 with an enhanced experience worthy of their continued support in our exciting new chapter.”

For questions, email

About Delhom Service League

The Delhom Service League was founded by M. Mellany Delhom as an affiliate organization of The Mint Museum in 1975. The group—credited with boosting interest and funding for The Mint Museum’s vast ceramics collection—is comprised of a diverse group of artists, teachers, corporate leaders, writers, librarians, doctors, and collectors. Over the last 40 years the focus of the group has expanded, but the mission of the group is the same: to promote ceramic arts and education. Today the league presents nationally and internationally known speakers, and supports the Delhom-Gambrell Reference Library for the decorative arts. It has funded the acquisition of numerous objects for the Mint’s ceramics collection.

Find Delhom Service League on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. See the Delhom Service League rack brochure with calendar.

Top Five Reasons to Take an Art of Reading Public Tour at Mint Museum Randolph

Top Five Reasons to Take an Art of Reading Public Tour at Mint Museum Randolph

1. Meet Fellow Bibliophiles.
The only thing better than reading a book you love is the opportunity to discuss it with others. Art of Reading public tours give you a chance to explore characters and analyze plot turns. The discussion is followed by a visit to the galleries to view art works that connect to the book.

2. The Sunday Afternoon Tours are Less Expensive than Panther Game Tickets.
Public tours take place on selected Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm and Sundays, 2-3:30 pm. During football season, it’s an alternative activity for a Sunday afternoon. Off season, it’s a great way to spend selected Sundays. [And remember Wednesday evening options too: admission to the museum is free after 5:00.]

3. It’s a New Way to View Mint Art. Just Imagine:
Mr. Darcy holding that Derby Porcelain coffee cup and saucer in the Portals to the Past Exhibition (Pride and Prejudice). Or, Frida Kahlo wearing a distinctive necklace similar to the jadeite one in the Ancient American Galleries (The Lacuna). Or, Tree-ear admiring the 12th Century Korean porcelain bowls in the Wares of the World Exhibition (A Single Shard). Or, Sarah Grimke learning plantation social customs by using the Staffordshire miniature tea and coffee service in the Portals to the Past Exhibition (The Invention of Wings).

4. Tours are Free.
Free to museum members; free after admission for non-members.

5. There’s A Tour for All Interests.
Choose from four current book tours: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen); The Invention of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd); The Lacuna (Barbara Kingsolver); or A Single Shard (Linda Sue Park).

More information on group tours can be found here.
A fifth tour for Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns will launch at Mint Museum Uptown April 2019.

Michele Allen and Alice Ross, Docents and Members, Public Tours Task Force