Constellation CLT is designed to connect visitors of The Mint Museum with the universe of talent in the local community.
Constellation CLT is an exhibition series designed to connect visitors to The Mint Museum with artists in our community and to activate the public spaces of the museum. The installations rotate three times per year and can be seen in four places at Mint Museum Uptown: in the entrance; at the foot of the atrium escalator; and on the landings of the Mezzanine and 4th levels.
Constellation CLT is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
On View Now
Charlotte artists Marcus Kiser and Jason Woodberry are the artistic forces behind Intergalactic Soul, the story of two young Black astronauts, Pluto and Astro, traveling the universe, encountering and confronting social issues related to Blackness. In 2019, musician and poet Quentin Talley joined their storytelling collective, with each artist advancing the narrative within their specific medium: Kiser and Woodberry produce the visual components—illustration, typography, animation, graphic design, and augmented reality (AR) installations—while Talley creates performative elements, including the music composed with his band, the Soul Providers.
On View through September 6, 2022
Mint Museum Uptown
Brooklyn-based artist Summer Wheat’s Foragers is a monumental work of art spanning four stories and 3,720 square feet in Mint Museum Uptown’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium. A myriad of vibrant panels that give the illusion of stained glass fill the atrium’s 96 windows and weave a story of women who labor to build the communities that form the spine of modern society.
“In so many ways, Foragers is a monumental tribute to all those anonymous female makers and laborers who have made North Carolina the place that it is today: the Catawba clay workers, the Cherokee basket makers, the enslaved and freed African-American fishers and farmers, the countless woodworkers, weavers, and quilters,” says Jen Sudul Edwards, PhD, the Mint’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art.
Foragers is part of a larger exhibition, In Vivid Color, opening Oct. 16, 2020, that brings together contemporary artists Summer Wheat, Gisela Colon, Spencer Finch, and Jennifer Steinkamp who create works celebrating the power of color. Their work is juxtaposed with a selection of paintings and works on paper, drawn primarily from The Mint Museum’s permanent collection, which showcase artists’ more traditional exploration of color.
While standard admission rates apply to the museum’s Level 3 and Level 4 galleries, access to Mint Museum Uptown’s atrium and the Foragers installation is free.
Foragers is generously presented by Wells Fargo Private Bank
with additional individual support from Laura and Mike Grace, María-José Mage and Frank Müller, Kati and Chris Small, Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach.
The Mint is partnering with the Bechtler, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, and the Levine Museum of the New South to unroll a joint project known as Interactive CLT that brings augmented reality into museum galleries.
With support from the Arts & Science Council, AVO Insights have created an app that allows visitors to the museum the opportunity to see videos about select pieces in the galleries. After opening the app, hover your phone over the indicated works of art, and a video about the art appears. Senior Curator of American Art Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, and Community Relations Director Rubie Britt-Height lead visitors thorough the galleries to highlight works of art that speak to racial justice and the experience of being black in America.
by Leo Twiggs
by Augusta Savage
by Barbara Pennington
by Beverly McIver
Philip the Fair
by Kehinde Wiley
Mint Museum Uptown
September 18, 2021 – January 2, 2022 (traveling thereafter)
Inspired by The Mint Museum’s 2016 acquisition of John Leslie Breck’s canvas Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, this exhibition includes approximately 70 of Breck’s finest works, drawn from public and private collections as well as the illustrious Terra Foundation collection of American art. Many of the works in the exhibition have not been on public view in more than a century.
In addition to Breck’s landscape-inspired works, the exhibition highlights his exploration of new styles and approaches to painting in the years before his early death at the age of 38. More than 10 related paintings by Breck’s French and American Impressionist colleagues, including Theodore Robinson, Willard Metcalf, and Lila Cabot Perry, are also featured in the exhibition.
A look at the life of John Leslie Breck
In 1887, Breck was one of the founders of the American art colony at Giverny and was among the earliest American artists to embrace the Impressionist style. He was also one of the first to exhibit his Impressionist paintings in America and helped to popularize the style during his years working in the Boston area in the 1890s.
Between 1887 and 1888 he and a handful of his American colleagues began visiting the French village of Giverny, where they met Claude Monet and subsequently explored the new approach to painting that Monet had helped to pioneer. Breck’s canvases from this period, loosely brushed and filled with light and color, are a marked departure from his earlier works that are characterized by darker tonalities and tighter brushwork that typified the preferred style of the era. When Breck returned to America in 1892, he applied what he had learned to paintings of the New England landscape and frequently exhibited his work.
Along with his scenes of Giverny and America, this exhibition features a selection of paintings from his sojourn in Venice in 1897. Always interested exploring in new ways of seeing the world, Breck had begun to explore aspects of post-Impressionism and Asian aesthetics in the years before his early death, at the age of 39, in 1899.
Want a deeper dive? Learn more about Breck and the other artists in the exhibition on Mintwiki, The Mint Museum Library’s exhibition resource site.
Funding for this exhibition is provided by Bank of America, The Mint Museum Auxiliary, and The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts.
HB2 Squirrels shake up expectations of social norms, shine spotlight on LGBTQIA+ issues
HB2 Squirrels, a pair of gender-symbol-wielding squirrels covered in multicolored war paint greet visitors in the main entryway of Mint Museum Uptown. The squirrels, part of The Mint Museum collection, pose a striking opposition to expectations of social norms and what one expects to be met with in a museum.
The HB2 Squirrels were inspired by North Carolina’s House Bill 2, commonly referred to as the “bathroom bill.” HB2 required residents to use the bathroom in public facilities that matched the gender on their birth certificate, launching a national outcry over civil liberties. The bill was criticized for impeding the rights of transgender people and other people in the LGBTQIA+ community who do not identify strictly within the gender binary, and was later repealed by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper.
Artist Michelle Erickson, outraged, took to her potter’s wheel. The result: two salt-glazed stoneware squirrels, grasping the gender symbols—one drenched in the colors of the American flag, the other in the colors of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow flag. “Congressional acts are temporary,” she says “but art is forever.”
The composition of the squirrels also was crucial. The squirrels face each other, seemingly holding their assigned gender symbols as weapons used to fight one another. The female symbol, a circle with a cross stemming down, is inverted and held by the squirrel to mirror the way the male symbol is held. Erickson said inverting the symbol was a call to uprooting the traditional view of women as a shield.
The color of the squirrels is also indicative of the message being sent. Both have rainbow colored lines covering their face and body. Erickson said she wanted to use the rainbow motif instead of the colors of the transgender flag, to place a gentle reminder that transgender individuals are included as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The squirrels also have different base bodies. The choice to make one black and one white was a conscious decision to ground it in societal tensions involving race, and to highlight the different viewpoints that stem from race within the LGBTQIA+ community.
When working with a new piece Erickson says she “allows the work to take [her.]” She starts with a design, but as the piece of clay is being shaped, it gradually takes on a new form. The overall product is as much a reflection of the process as it is the original idea.
HB2 Squirrels are a part of the past and present, she says, representing the processes of the Moravian potters, as well as speaking to the heightened political atmosphere surrounding LGBTQIA+ issues, and specifically the HB2 bill that was introduced in North Carolina in 2016. The resulting work of art challenged norms through revitalizing old processes and questioning societal implications.
The idea that became the HB2 Squirrels began as a study of a set of figural bottles from the 18th or 19th century. Erickson says the bottles originally intrigued her due to their lack of clear function and their unique construction. The bottles’ unglazed interior and overall shape indicated that they were made using a cast or mold. During her artist residency at STARworks, Erickson began using traditional techniques with salt-glazed stoneware to see if she could create a similar design. The original designs of the squirrels were modified to be reflective of the modern era.
Mint Museum Uptown
The Mint Museum’s collection of American Art includes paintings, unique works on paper, prints, sculpture, and photographs created from the Colonial Era through the Second World War.
About The Collection
The Mint Museum’s collection of American Art includes paintings, unique works on paper, prints, sculpture, and photographs created from the Colonial Era through the Second World War. Within these chronological boundaries are three areas of strength: Federal portraiture, 19th century landscape painting, and early 20th century realism.
Portraiture was the dominant form of art in America until the middle of the 19th century. The museum’s collection includes portraits by many leading artists of this period, including John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, and Thomas Sully. Their paintings create a window through which to view the personalities, fashions, and cultural values of our ancestors. Featured sitters range from important historical figures to charming young children.
As the 19th century unfolded, landscape painting became increasingly popular. Through the Mint Museum’s collection you can trace the evolution of this genre from the work of the Hudson River School painters such as Thomas Cole and Sanford Gifford, who focused on the natural beauty of our country’s topography, through the rise of Impressionism: a movement whose artists celebrated a more abstract, subjective view of their surroundings.
By the 20th century, a new generation of American artists sought an alternative to Impressionism. These new realists, sometimes known as The Ashcan School focused on everyday life and the common man. The museum holds significant works by many of these artists, including their leader, Robert Henri, and his associates William Glackens, George Bellows, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and Ernest Lawson.
The American Art Collection has relocated for a featured space at the Mint Museum Uptown. In a suite of five galleries, old favorites, new additions, and works not seen for a decade or more will be reinstalled alongside furniture, ceramics, and historic costumes that, experienced as a whole, will provide viewers with a meaningful view into this country’s rich artistic and historical past.
Craft + Design
Mint Museum Uptown
This collection celebrates moments of artistic and design excellence in the areas of glass, fiber art, metal, studio jewelry, design, studio furniture, wood art, and clay.
About The Collection
The Mint Museum collects international contemporary decorative arts in the areas of glass, fiber art, metal, studio jewelry, design, studio furniture, wood art, and clay. The Craft + Design Collection celebrates exceptional moments of artistic and design excellence. While works range in date from the mid-twentieth century to the present, the museum’s collecting focus is on the twenty-first century. Mint Museum Uptown, which opened in October 2010, offers an incredible opportunity to exhibit more of the museum’s permanent collection with expanded exhibition space. The Mint Museum continues to build a collection of masterworks, produce scholarly publications, and collaborate closely with contemporary artists, keeping the museum at the forefront of the world of contemporary decorative arts.
The craft and design world has seen significant changes since the Mint Museum of Craft + Design opened its doors in 1999. In response to these changes the museum strives to become a forum for dialogues about current issues of concern in the field, such as craft theory, aesthetics, and technology. Forging alliances within Charlotte, North Carolina, nationally, and internationally, the museum is finding new ways to integrate craft and design into the broader conversation about art and society.
For more information on the Mint’s Craft + Design affiliate group visit The Founders Circle information page.
Mint Around Town
The Mint Museum’s collection extends well beyond museum walls. For many decades, the Mint has kept its commitment to sharing its art with the larger community. From the heart of Uptown to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), the Mint has installed significant works from its collection in public spaces. Click each image for more details.
Modern + Contemporary
Mint Museum Uptown
Contemporary Art is the art of our time; art that is recent, new or existing now, or art that reflects diverse societal values, identities, and pertinent issues within the public discourse.
About The Collection
The Modern & Contemporary Art collection consists of works of global significance and vision, representing a perspective that reflects our own diverse and vibrant community. The Mint Museum is committed to building upon a dynamic foundation of paintings, photography, works on paper, artist books, sculptures, installations, and new media (digital, video, and time-based works) that conveys important cultural developments and stylistic innovations and are available for the benefit of all.
Want to see more? Begin exploring and be inspired by The Mint Museum’s permanent collection of American Art.