Light the Barricades

Light the Barricades

Mint Museum Randolph and Levine Avenue of the Arts | Through July 25, 2021

Light the Barricades is an interactive public art installation that coincides with W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine. The installation, located at Mint Museum Randolph, reimagines the wall as a site for contemplating our inner obstructions. Shining a light on the difficult emotions which thwart our progress, this project is inspired by the ancient I Ching, a philosophical system of diagrams first carved into the wall of a prison cell 3,000 years ago.

By reconfiguring the experience of contemplative Chinese landscape scrolls, luminaries, and private devotional images, Light the Barricades provides a modern ritual for distracting times and offers an engaging opportunity to contemplate walls both physically and emotionally.

Illuminated from within, similar to a photographer’s lightbox, the wall represents an emotional barrier – resentmentjudgment, and doubt – and offers an introspective site for visitors. It begins with a walk along its façade where a short fable on the subject leads the viewer along before they turn the corner to sit and reflect on their experience and emotional wellbeing.

The walls made their collective debut in September 2019 across Los Angeles, at Grand Park in Downtown LA, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park, and the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. Now, one of the walls is located in the park at Mint Museum Randolph and can be visited at any time. 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

For over a decade, Candy Chang and James A. Reeves have collaborated on internationally recognized projects that connect storytelling with contemporary rituals for self-reflection. They both grew up without any kind of faith or ritual in their lives. After reckoning with the trials of life and the dark alleys of the mind—death, depression, addiction, anxiety—they began to channel these concerns into their work, pursuing philosophy, psychology, and contemplative practices, both in their daily lives as well as their art-making practice. Their projects are inspired by a range of classical and contemporary rituals which feel increasingly resonant in our distracted age, from the devotional images of Catholicism to the ancient I Ching.

Their work has been described as “a wake-up call in our fast-paced digital age” (Ad Age), a “remarkably poignant, accessible, and affecting brand of art” (Pelican Bomb) with writing that offers a “unique point of view that is quirky, beautiful, disturbing, humorous, and at times unexpectedly and achingly moving” (Photo Life). Their most recent collaborative work, A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful, functioned as a year-long catalogue of the ways in which we relate to the uncertainty of tomorrow and collected over 50,000 anxieties and hopes at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City in 2018.

This Charlotte presentation of Light the Barricades is made possible by Charlotte Center City Partners and is part of the exhibition WALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine on view at Mint Museum Uptown until July 25, 2021. The exhibition is made possible by Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, California, and

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Mint Museum Auxiliary logo

Laura and Mike Grace, Deidre and Clay Grubb, Leigh-ann and Martin Sprock, and Betsy Rosen and Liam Stokes.

The World of Anna Sui

The World of Anna Sui 

  Mint Museum Randolph
November 20, 2021 – May 1, 2022

The World of Anna Sui  presents 100 looks from the iconic designer’s archive with a roll call of 12 archetypes that capture the Sui aesthetic

The World of Anna Sui at The Mint Museum
Designer Anna Sui. Photograph copyright Joshua Jordan
Anna Sui on a runway surrounded by models wearing her fashion at her Spring 1994 show.
Anna Sui on a runway surrounded by models wearing her fashion at her Spring 1994 show. Image by Raoul Gatchalian/Courtesy of Anna Sui

No other fashion designer captures the zeitgeist of a historic period, place, or artistic movement in such a timeless yet contemporary look as Anna Sui. She does so by designing the entire look — from dress to accessories, hair styles to makeup, and even sound and scent.

The World of Anna Sui shines a spotlight on the designer’s heroes from her youth and the importance of her collaborators, including the New York City Garment District. The exhibition gives insights into her process, allowing the viewer to step inside her imagination and watch it unfold.

The first iteration of this exhibition debuted at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, in the summer of 2017.

About the Artist

Anna Sui reinvented pop-culture fashion with her signature rock-and-roll romantic label in the 1990s. Unlike other popular American designers, Sui is driven by telling stories head-to-toe about the worlds of cowgirls, grunge girls, hippie chicks, hula girls, Mods, pirate rock stars, Pre-Raphaelite maidens, and surfer nomads.

Beginning with her premiere catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, cosmetics, and interiors that comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history by popularizing the boutique fashion look. Sui’s unique approach to creating narratives through her work is legendary. A self-taught historian of culture, art, and fashion, she  references music, books, exhibitions, movies, time periods, photography, and art movements in her designs.

Sui signature fashions, accessories, and products, explore wide-ranging materials and inspirations, including papier-mâché mannequin heads, linens by Vera, Claire McCardell sportswear, army surplus jackets, Japanese hankies, qipao dresses, wood-soled platforms from Goody Two-Shoes, the style of Jane Holzer, Zandra Rhodes, Nirvana, Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg, and Minnie Mouse. Her collections are replete with historicism, processed and creatively reimagined through her signature filter.

Organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, The World of Anna Sui was curated by Dennis Nothdruft. Annie Carlano is curator of The Mint Museum’s iteration. The exhibition has toured the globe from New York to Shanghai. The Mint Museum is the last stop for the current international tour. 

Craving more? Check out Mintwiki, The Mint Museum Library’s exhibition resource site for all things Anna Sui.

Models walk the runway during the finale of the Anna Sui spring 2004 collection shown in New York's Bryant Park, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

The exhibition organized by the Fashion Textile Museum, London is generously presented by PNC Financial Services. Generous individual support provided by Deidre and Clay Grubb, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

Additional individual support provided by Posey and Mark Mealy, Celene and Marc Oken, Kati and Chris Small, Ann and Michael Tarwater, Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach, the Fashion Task Force, and friends of fashion.

Special thanks to:

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Interventions

Interventions

Interventions is a new series at the Mint in which contemporary works are placed amongst permanent collection installations to create a critical dialogue between past and present.

Installation is on view now

Charlotte artist and muralist Irisol Gonzalez relocated with her family to the United States from Costa Rica. When they moved, their traditional gatherings and family heirlooms lost their geographical specificity. Gonzalez mines these traditions for the stories contained within the installation Unearthed Jade. Most often, the bedrock she finds there is machismo, the elevation and celebration of masculine strength and pride above all else. Gonzalez’s installation reminds us that art begins as a reflection of its time and engagement with culture, and, over time, becomes an artifact of that moment.

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Where to find it

“Art of the Ancient Americas” gallery on the second floor of Mint Museum Randolph

Lavarse Las Manos,2020, acrylic on linen. On loan from artist.

• Quinceañera #1 & #2, 2021, acrylic on linen.

• A Woman’s Cycle, 2021, acrylic on linen. On loan from the artist.

• A Cycle of Pain, 2021, acrylic on linen. On loan from the artist.

Adorning Value, 2021, Resin. On loan from the artist.

Machismo #9, 2021, acrylic on wood. On loan from the artist.

Machismo #10, 2021, acrylic on wood. On loan from the artist.

Burial axe, jadeite, On loan from the artist

Advertencia Mamás Machistas, 2020, screen print on plastic. On loan from the artist

Art of the Ancient Americas

Art of the Ancient Americas

  Mint Museum Randolph

The ancient New World, one of the illustrious cradles of human civilization, is featured at The Mint Museum, the wide-ranging collection showcasing more than 2,500 artworks from the ancient Americas.

About The Collection

The ancient New World, one of the illustrious cradles of human civilization, is featured at The Mint Museum. This wide-ranging collection showcases more than 2,500 artworks from the ancient Americas. The museum’s collection, the majority having been donated by Dr. and Mrs. Francis Robicsek, is one of the largest in the United States, spanning 4,300 years of artistic creativity from 2800 BCE to 1500 CE, and presenting more than forty of the major societies from ancient Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador), Central America (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama), and Andean South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile).

Two galleries are dedicated to the arts of the ancient Americas at Mint Museum Randolph , exploring the works from two viewpoints. First, the objects are viewed as windows into the society that created them, borrowing the “material culture” approach from anthropology and archaeology. As such, artworks reveal a people’s daily routines, social practices, politics, intellectual accomplishments, and spiritual beliefs. The museum equally views these pieces as art–that is, manifestations of human creativity and technical expertise that highlight the universal impulse to produce well-crafted, emotion-filled objects. The aesthetics and creative techniques developed by the ancient artists of the Americas are equally explored in the galleries. These works–in earthenware, jadeite and other stones, gold and silver, shell, and fiber–personify and preserve these now-lost civilizations whose descendants are the foundations of the modern nations of Latin America.

Want to see more? Click below to begin exploring and be inspired by The Mint Museum’s permanent collection of American Art.

Online Resources

Mint Wiki
Created by The Mint Museum Library Mintwiki provides online information on the special exhibitions and permanent collections of The Mint Museum

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A large bowl with the opening being the widest part. It has triangle and checkered designs on the inside as well as the outside.

Native American Art

Native American Art

  Mint Museum Randolph

The Mint Museum’s collection of modern and contemporary Native arts of the Americas showcases works from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala, from the nineteenth century to today.

About The Collection

Native peoples throughout the Americas have persevered five hundred years of colonization and persecution since the sixteenth century. Their arts have played a key role in survival, preserving cultural identity and the fundamental principles of society and spirituality that sustain all human civilizations. The Mint Museum’s collection of modern and contemporary Native arts of the Americas showcases works from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala, from the nineteenth century to today. They reveal the resilience of human creativity and the artists’ aesthetic responses to Native culture and our modern world. These artworks complement the museum’s comprehensive collection of the art of the ancient Americas, providing the rare opportunity to compare Precolumbian and modern Native expressions in a variety of media.

The Mint Museum’s Native Americas collection was donated by Gretchen and Nelson Grice who began collecting in the late 1980s. They admired the remarkable artistic expressiveness and marvelous craftsmanship of these works in clay, wood, and fiber. Four art forms are featured in the Grice Collection–Native American and Canadian basketry, performance masks from Mexico, Guatemala, the United States and Canada, Maya textiles from Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico, and contemporary ceramics from the Southwest and other Native peoples in the United States.

The Maya textile collection features the myriad traditional clothing styles that distinguish the different peoples and towns in southern Mexico and Guatemala. The performance masks, mostly from Mexico, illustrate the variety of dance pageants and their many characters that are essential to contemporary community life. The basket collection includes many early examples of the finest quality such as those from northern California. And the ceramics, primarily from the Southwest, feature pottery styles and artists mostly from New Mexico and Arizona. The Grices visited many of the artists in their workshops, becoming friends and acquiring their works before they became famous. Thus the collection not only presents an extraordinary range of artistic styles but also many early pieces from now-prominent Native artists.

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Interested in seeing more collections like this? Consider purchasing a ticket today to visit both of our museums.

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Decorative Arts

Decorative Arts

  Mint Museum Randolph

Perhaps more than any other art form, decorative arts have the remarkable power to connect with us almost instantaneously.

About The Collection

Perhaps more than any other art form, decorative arts have the remarkable power to connect with us almost instantaneously. We may not own a seventeenth-century Chinese teapot or a sideboard once owned by a North Carolina plantation owner, but we can view artifacts like those in the museum, and quickly associate them with objects of similar type or function in our own households. Perhaps the museum objects will even remind us of special occasions or daily routines in which our own possessions were utilized and enjoyed.

The Decorative Arts Collection at the Mint numbers over 12,500 objects, and includes fine furniture, silver, and glass. Its greatest strength, however, is in the field of ceramics. The museum has significant holdings in wares from England and continental Europe, as well as notable examples of American art pottery and Asian porcelain. The Mint also boasts the largest public collection of North Carolina ceramics in the country.

The Delhom Service League, a support affiliate of the Mint, sponsors the Potters Market Invitational each year to raise funds for the expansion of the decorative arts permanent collection. Find out more about the 14th annual Potters Market.

Purchase Tickets

Interested in seeing more collections like this? Consider purchasing a ticket today to visit both of our museums.

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Get early access to see exhibitions, attend member-only events, and more!