Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic

Mint Museum Uptown
April 17 – November 28, 2021

From the moment the Coronavirus pandemic forced people into their homes, art became a source of solace. When attention swerved from COVID-19 to a reckoning with the country’s injustices and systemic racism, many artists folded this urgent consideration into their work. Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic presents works of art by local, regional, national and international artists who used art to survey and tackle the challenging times. From comic strips to abstract painting, the exhibition embraces the potential of all art forms to grapple with the most urgent issues of our day providing viewers with both solace and insight.

The Mint Museum commissioned works by North Carolina artists Amy Bagwell of Charlotte, Stacy Lynn Waddell of Durham, and Antoine Williams of Greensboro for this exhibition. In addition to these original pieces, the exhibition includes:

• As the Boundary Pulls Us Apart, a video work by Charlotte artists Ben Geller and Matthew Steele.

Pandemic Comics, a selection of nationally syndicated comics that threw out months of material to create new strips directly addressing the pandemic.

• Diary of a Pandemic, a photography collaboration between Magnum Photos and National Geographic presenting photographers from around the world who made images of their lives and landscapes during the pandemic.

Commissioned Artists:

Amy Bagwell

Amy Bagwell is a poet and text-based mixedmedia artist. Her poems can be found in Free State ReviewNew Ohio ReviewHigh Shelf PressstorySouthwhere is the river, and Terminus Magazine. Her collage and assemblage work has been shown around the United States and the United Kingdom. Her public artwork includes two murals commissioned for the Charlotte Douglas Airport and 20 Charlotte-area poetry murals by Wall Poems, which she co-founded. Also a co-founder of Goodyear Arts, Bagwell’s individual and collective endeavors have received grants from the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, Knight Foundation, and Women’s Impact Fund. Bagwell teaches English at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Black and White photograph of Amy Bagwell smiling and looking off the side

Stacy Lynn Waddell

With a variety of transformative processes that include heat/laser technology, accumulation, embossing/debossing, interference and gilding, Stacy Lynn Waddell creates works that structure sites of intersection between real and imagined aspects of history and culture. These points of intersection, pose important questions related to authorship, beauty and the persuasive power of nationalistic ideology.

After earning her MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007, her work has been recognized and exhibited nationally. Waddell has participated in exhibitions, and is included in public and private collections, at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Franklin Humanities Institute and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, Georgia), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, among others.

Waddell most recently participated in State of the Art 2020 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with upcoming exhibitions that include Graphic Pull: Contemporary Prints from the Collection at Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Space at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2022, Waddell will end the year as a Civitella Ranieri Fellow in Umbria, Italy where she’ll spend six weeks producing works and conducting research in a 15th-century castle.

Stacy Lynn Waddell sits at a table in her studio, looking to the side of camera. A large work of art by Waddell is hanging behind her. The art depicts a woman covered in gold, with gold butterflies surrounding her.
Stacy Lynn Waddell. Image Courtesy of Briana Brough/Durham Magazine

Antoine Williams

Antoine Williams’ mixed-media work investigates themes of power, the body, and the monstrous. Williams created his own mythology of social monsters about the complexities of contemporary Black life. An artist-educator, Williams received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from UNC Charlotte, and his master’s degree in fine arts from UNC Chapel Hill. He helped start the God City Art Collective in Charlotte, North Carolina where he participated in a number of socially engaged, community-based art projects, such as pop-up art shows, after-school art programs, underground rap concerts, and film festivals.

He has exhibited in a number of places, including at The Mint Museum, Michigan State University, Columbia Museum of Art, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, 21c Museum, among others. He is also a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Award of Painters and Sculptors. Williams is an assistant professor of art at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Antoine Williams against a brick wall. Williams looks the right, off camera
Antoine Williams. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interested in learning more?

Funding for this exhibition is provided by Fifth Third Bank.

Additional support provided by North Carolina Arts Council and Arts & Science Council.

ASC arts and science council logo

It Takes a Village: Charlotte Artist Collectives

June 12–September 12, 2021

 

It Takes a Village is a celebration of the vibrant, grassroots art happening throughout Charlotte. For this exhibition The Mint Museum is collaborating with three of Charlotte’s innovative art collectives: BlkMrktCltBrand the Moth, and Goodyear Arts. The works of art in the exhibition are done by more than 25 collective members and recognizes local artistic talent across a broad cross section of demographics—economic, racial, ethnic, age, and education.

 

Join us for the opening celebration of It Takes a Village: Charlotte’s Artist Collectives on June 12 at Mint Museum Randolph. There will be music, food trucks, and an informal conversation with the artist collective co-founders of BlkMrktClt, Brand the Moth, and Goodyear Arts.

About the Collectives

"Blocked" by artist Will Jenkins

BlkMrktClt

BlkMrktClt was created to provide a safe creative environment for artists of color. The organization, located at Camp North End, focuses on developing emerging artists and creating a more diverse and robust community.

Meet the Collective
16th Street Bridge Part 1. Courtesy of Brand the Moth.

Brand the Moth

Brand the Moth uses public art programs and projects as a vehicle to spark creativity and connection, provide a trusting space for artists to grow, offer educational opportunities for professionals, and produce projects which reflect and empower the community around them.

Meet the Collective
Amy Herman, My Grandmother's Wedding Necklace. Courtesy of artist.

Goodyear Arts

Goodyear Arts is an artist-led residency program that supports visual, performing, and literary artists annually by providing time, space, money, and community in which to create. Alumni have formed a collective and continue using free studio space and volunteering their time to support the organization.

Meet the Collective

Funding for this exhibition is provided by ASC and NCAC

ASC arts and science council logo

A special thank you to our media sponsor Charlotte is Creative

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

PNC logo circular with three triangles in the middle
Mint Museum Auxiliary logo

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

W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine

Ami Vitale. Ripple Effect, 2009. Photographer @amivitale

Mint Museum Uptown | February 24, 2021 ⁠– July 25, 2021

This exhibition examines the historic use and artistic treatment of walls over the centuries—whether they are made of stone, steel, sand or wire. The exhibition brings together 67 makers from around the world with 132 images, the earliest from 1897 and the most recent from July 2019. There also is a 26-minute documentary film by award-winning director Jeremiah Zagar that accompanies the exhibition. The space is divided into six sections—Delineation, Defense, Deterrent, The Divine, Decoration, and The Invisible—with each section anchored by a central photo essay. This photography exhibition was made possible by Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, California.

Carol Guzy. Albanian refugee camp, March 3, 1999. © 1999, Carol Guzy/The Washington Post

About The Exhibition

W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine explores the various aspects of walls—artistic, social, political, and historical, as well as how there are literal walls or barriers, such as fences or sand berms. From antiquity to today, walls have been central to human history. Societies have built walls to delineate their borders, but the resulting structures define the civilizations on both sides. From east to west, north to south, walls have fortified cities, transformed ink lines on maps into stone, protected communities, and separated families.

On Nov. 9, 2019, the world celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. Most can easily call up images from that exhilarating evening in 1989: young Germans in T-shirts and jeans destroying the concrete dividers with sledgehammers, armed soldiers looking on with stoic reserve, people rushing through holes and rubble to embrace their counterparts on the other side. The world saw the joy of people uniting, and as the end of the 20th century approached, the toppled wall felt like the dawn of a new age of reason. 

As the violence of World War II receded into history, it appeared that so, too, was the ancient, simple brutality of dividing people with walls. And yet, the numbers offer a different narrative. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, there were 15 border walls around the world, in May 2018, there were nearly 80, according to Elisabeth Vallet, a geography professor at University of Quebec-Montreal. Over one-third of the world’s nation states now define their borders with a barrier.

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, there were 15 border walls around the world. In May 2018, there were nearly 80. 

SHAN Wallace. The Makeover of Progress, 2019.

 

Walls aren’t limited to a particular culture, region or era. The exhibition includes images that span six continents from photographers of all stripes: commercial photographers, documentarians, photojournalists, artists, protestors, explorers, and in one case, a Tibetan Buddhist monk. 

The exhibition, which runs from February 24 to July 25, 2021 in the Level 4 gallery space at Mint Museum Uptown, explores various aspects of “walls,” whether they are made of stone, steel, sand or wire. The space is divided into six sections—Delineation, Defense, Deterrent, The Divine, Decoration, and The Invisible—with each section anchored by a central photo essay. Two of those essays were commissioned for the exhibition by the Annenberg Space for Photography. Magnum photographer Moises Saman documented the Peace Walls in Northern Ireland, while SHAN Wallace photographed Detroit’s Eight-Mile Wall, a painted-over wall that was originally built to segregate a black community from an adjacent white community.  

We constantly contend with walls, whether they are solid, porous, real or imaginary. This photography exhibition invites you to reflect on the omnipresence of walls and to consider your own. Where do the barriers start in your life? And do you need them to live the life you want?

Interested in learning more?

W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine is generously presented by PNC Financial Services.

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With additional support from The Mint Museum Auxiliary

Mint Museum Auxiliary logo

Individual support from Laura and Mike Grace, Deidre and Clay Grubb, Leigh-Ann and Martin Sprock, and Betsy Rosen and Liam Stokes.

Patterns of History

Patterns of History text graphic

On view February 2–Fall 2021
Mint Museum Randolph

One of the most popular collections of The Mint Museum is its quilt collection. The bulk of the collection came as a single donation by Fleur Bresler for whom the Fiber Gallery at Mint Museum Uptown is now named. Two Mint Museum special exhibitions have featured those quilts and others have been displayed at both museum locations over the years.

Unknown artist, 19th century. “Love Apple” applique pattern, circa 1876, Brookville, PA. Paper, cotton thread, newsprint . Gift of Frances Parrack.

The appeal of quilts is widespread. Quilts made by a family member or ancestor are handed down and cherished. Quilts tell stories; sometimes literally, and their execution can be simple or elaborate; plain or extravagant; and their purpose practical, or not. Quilter and scholar Carolyn Mazloomi noted that quilts have traditionally been viewed as a folk-art tradition of self-taught artists. But “quilting artists blurry the line between “high” art and “low” art, and allow for artists who have been habitually marginalized to participate in the contemporary Western art world.”  The remarkable new addition to the Mint collection, Elizabeth Talford Scott’s Shield, is a testimony to this.

 

Quilting patterns infuse the work of artist of all types. John Biggers ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Wheel in Wheel and Michele Tejoula Turner’s Babalawo in galleries at Mint Museum Uptown reveal how embedded these patterns and designs are in American culture.

Michele T. Turner (American, 1956–). Babalawo, circa 2006, paint, gourd. Gift of Dana Martin Davis in honor of DVA Charlotte. 2015.14

To quote historian Cuesta Benberry: “The history of America runs like a thread through the American quilt patterns.”  Primarily considered woman’s work, quilting is part of so many American communities – African American, Native American, European immigrant, and influenced by even more. A ripe area of research still being mined, quilt patterns reflect our shared experience and the unique contributions of communities of quilters.  The changing names of the patterns reveal that history as we learn more of name origins and how those names changed over time and why. Dr. Carolyn Ducey of the International Quilt Museum in Nebraska lamented in a recent email that historically, “unfortunately, most women’s objects are not documented!” However, the patterns are documented, and are documentation themselves.

The Mint Museum Library has been gifted with a wide variety of resources on quilting over the last decade. Donors, like Fleur Bresler mentioned previously, have donated references for quilts along with the quilts themselves. A fellow quilter and friend of Bresler, Frances Parrack, in particular has been a generous donor to the library of quilting exhibition catalogs, how-to manuals, quilt histories, pattern references and patterns themselves. The items on display just skim the surface of the Mint library’s materials on quilting available to the community.

Coined in the South: 2022

Coined in the South: 2022

March 26–July 3, 2022

 

The Young Affiliates of the Mint, in collaboration with The Mint Museum, presents  Coined in the South: 2022. This juried exhibition, highlighting artists from across the Southeast, will be on view March 26, 2022-July 3, 2022 at Mint Museum Uptown.

Works selected for Coined in the South: 2022

(hover over each image to view artist and read more about the work)

The winner of the $10,000 Atrium Health Best in Show Award went to Donte Hayes of Kennesaw, GA for his work Breath. The $5,000 Young Affiliates of the Mint Choice Award went to King Nobuyushi Godwin of Raleigh, NC for his work The Camel is having a good day because it’s with the seal and the water ’99. The People’s Choice Award winner will be announced at the June 1 Wednesday Night Live! Congratulations to all of these artists, and to all of the artists featured in the show!

Jurors for Coined in the South: 2022

Special thanks for your time and effort in helping us build this show.

Hallie Ringle

HALLIE RINGLE
Curator of Contemporary Art
Birmingham Museum of Art

Lydia Thompson

LYDIA THOMPSON
Mixed-Media Sculptor and Professor of Art
Art & Art History Department

UNC Charlotte

Ken West

KEN WEST
Photographer, Digital Experience Designer
& Winner of the Inaugural
Coined in the South People’s Choice Award

Coined in the South: 2022  Presented by

Generous Individual Support Provided by:

Kelley Brackett
Abigail Buckner
Michelle Cottrell
Katie Harrington
Chelsey Lance
Patwin Lawrence

Mary Anna & Brian Marley
Kaitlyn McElwee & Thomas Marley
Kate Mattox
Josh Mensinger
Jasmyne Mundy
Satie Munn

Claudia Pascual
Chelsea Ravitch
Amorette & Preston Reid
Hannah & Juan Rios
Sharon Scarborough
Julia & Virginia Wooten

Thank You to Our Media Partner:

Charlotte Magazine

Women R Beautiful – Online Exhibition

Mary C. Curtis (Journalist), Charlotte, North Carolina. Friday, November 22, 2019, 4:21 PM, (56 degrees). © Ruben Natal-San Miguel. The Mint Museum. Gift of Dana Martin Davis, 2020.
Mary C. Curtis (Journalist), Charlotte, North Carolina. Friday, November 22, 2019, 4:21 PM, (56 degrees). © Ruben Natal-San Miguel. The Mint Museum. Gift of Dana Martin Davis, 2020.

Expanding the Pantheon:
Women R Beautiful

November 24, 2020–December 31, 2021

We are pleased to present The Mint Museum’s first online exhibition. This exhibition features 26 photographs from Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s Spring 2020 exhibition at Postmasters Gallery, New York City. Please click on the photographs below to read Natal-San Miguel’s caption, but be sure to click the quotation icon to see the full image on your screen.

For the last two decades, Ruben Natal-San Miguel has been challenging the expectations of who gets memorialized and celebrated in our art spaces. His portrait Mama (Beautiful Skin) has been one of the most impactful photographs in the Mint galleries in recent years. The woman—arms crossed, shoulders back—stares at us, the viewer, with confrontation that may outshine her own confidence. The bold red backdrop—a van, with slight reflections in the refulgent surface—highlights not only her stalwart posture, but also, her skin, an effect of vitiligo. The details—her skin, her cornrows, the white Tshirt, even the red van—are not elements often seen in an art gallery or museum. This is Natal-San Miguel’s mission: to introduce a new range of venerated beauty for our consideration.

Originally trained as an architect, Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s obsession with photography began in 2002. With his affinity for distinctive personalities, he amassed a collection of powerful portraits, often positioning assured faces in distinctive surroundings. Highly crafted coiffure, fabulous fashion accessories, and a bold background hue distinguish his images. Primarily, he photographs while exploring New York City, traveling wherever the subway will take him, from Staten Island through Manhattan and far north into the Bronx. Each encounter leaves a distinct impression in his mind, as well as on his camera. His extensive captions record the details that locate the image in a specific place and time.

As he builds his massive archive, Natal-San Miguel broadens the range of visages museum have historically presented, redefining expectations of beauty, value, and representation. Some he does with subtle strength as in Mama; other times, he is cheekily obvious with titles, as in Not Just Another Vanilla Portrait. Some have direct art-historical references as in The Kiss, which introduces displays of homosexual affection where we usually see heterosexual. Consider Chinese Girl Without the Pearl Earring: it confronts the Eurocentric history and features that dominate high culture, but also, tackles class distinctions as symbolized by the pearl, an object of prestige and luxury in the East and the West, and out of reach for most people in both places.

Natal-San Miguel constructed his latest series, Women R Beautiful, as a critique of Garry Winogrand’s 1975 series Women Are Beautiful. Both are, in theory, a census of women on the streets of New York City, but Natal-San Miguel highlights Winogrand’s narrow perspective.

Shot over the 1960s and 1970s during the swell of the sexual revolution, Winogrand’s Women are Beautiful presents women owning their identity and position in the public space. His tilted angles and hurried compositions, clearly captured in an instant, introduce a feeling of movement and vitality, allowing the photograph to transcend a static image: he brought the energy of a crowd into photography. This feeling of now made him a favorite with magazines and museums. The Museum of Modern Art’s renowned photography curator, John Szarkowski, who compiled Winogrand: Figments from the Real World, the definitive catalogue on Winogrand’s career, summed it up:

Winogrand’s pictures realize a conception of photography that is richer, more complex, and more problematic than any other since the Second World War. They also provide a picture of America during those years—of the flavor and texture of life since Truman—that seems to me so true, clear, and tangible that it almost persuades me that I stood where he stood.¹

But that perspective was a very specific, very privileged one. While there is a range of ages, body types, and “looks,” Winogrand’s women are white, fit in the Greco-Roman statuesque tradition, and are often seen in moneyed spaces—Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue, tony restaurants. Winogrand said he wanted to capture his subjects’ sexual freedom, which in turn, inevitably sexualized the women he was celebrating. There was also a parasitic relationship between Winogrand and his subjects; as he would take the picture quietly and publish it widely without the subject’s consent. Winogrand described his dissembling approach to a Cambridge audience in 1974:

 

There’s all kinds of games you can play when you’re shooting. I do when I’m shooting; I take advantage. People are generally innocent about how a camera operates. I can aim a camera at people and if I look like I’m giving my attention over there, they don’t think I’m taking their picture. Fascinating.²

 

While Winogrand’s project has a certain mastery and magic, it also perpetuates a white straight male’s manipulative view of the world. “I found them dated, and they disturbed me, to some extent,” Natal-San Miguel remarked. “I knew that he was a little intrusive with women, and misogynistic in a way. I wanted to do an update.”³

Natal-San Miguel expands the world of beautiful women. His portraits of femininity span all body types, ages, skin tones, and definitions. While he still controls the images and the choices, he shares agency. Most of his women know they are subjects; their names and Natal-San Miguel’s detailed captions personalize the personalities emanating from his photographs. Because of this, any sexuality or personification emanating from the subject is just as much a projection from the sitter as an imposition by the photographer.

Negesti is a celebration of African ancestry and power, her powerful hands crossed in front of her bare torso in a gesture of resistance instead of defense. Three Muslim Women, in resplendently patterned robes and headscarves, stand with their hands clasped, their stability mirrored by the elevated steel train tracks in front of them. Similarly, the award-winning journalist Mary C. Curtis emerges statuesque from the autumnal change around her, the organic frisson of her beaded Joyce J. Scott necklace emphasizing the balanced poise of her person.

Natal-San Miguel also expands the definition of woman, including drag and trans beauty in his splayed fan of femininity. Ongina (Dragcon) has a face composed of such painterly construction, it could be an Ingres nymph. In the electrified texture of her tinseled backdrop, her iridescently speared crown, and her glittery tulled top, her smooth, cinnamon skin and placid expression become an island of contrived repose. If it weren’t for the hints of tattoos on her skin, one could mistake her for a statuesque deity. What is undeniable is her spectacular, careful articulation of femininity.

When Natal-San Miguel brought the idea to me of distilling his Women R Beautiful project into an online exhibition, it seemed the perfect way to recognize a number of markers. Of course, there is the critical positioning of his series with the 50th anniversary of Winogrand’s Women Are Beautiful, but it is also the centennial celebration of the 19th amendment, when women achieved the right to vote in the United States. Unplanned, but equally elevating: the online exhibition opens the month that the United States elected Kamala Harris, the first female, African-American, and Asian-American Vice President. But he was less compelled by the historic markers than the personal ones.

It is a difficult anniversary for the photographer: November 2020 marks one year since his beloved mother passed away in Puerto Rico. Also in November 2019, his neighbor, Jennifer Schlecht, a tireless advocate for women’s reproductive health rights at the United Nations Foundation, and her 5-year old daughter were brutally murdered by her abusive husband. In an effort to heal personally and to memorialize the memories of these lost powerful women, Natal-San Miguel assembled the Women R Beautiful portfolio.

Originally opening in March at Postmasters Gallery, New York City, the show was immediately shuttered by COVID. Bringing it to an online platforms ensures many can appreciate the strength and beauty conveyed by his Women R Beautiful images.

—Jen Sudul Edwards, chief curator and curator of contemporary art

Please visit Mint Museum Uptown’s American and Contemporary permanent collection galleries to see Natal-San Miguel’s Mama, 3 Muslim Women, Boxers, and Mary C. Curtis-Journalist, in person beginning January 2021.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel is an architect, fine art photographer, curator, creative director and critic. His stature in the photo world has earned him awards, features in major media, countless exhibitions and collaborations with photo icons such as Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas. Gallery shows include: Asya Geisberg, SoHo Photo, Rush Arts, Finch & Ada, Kris Graves Projects, Fuchs Projects, Whitebox Gallery, Station Independent Projects Gallery and others. His work has been featured in numerous institutions: the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Griffin Museum of Photography, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, African American Museum of Philadelphia, The Makeshift Museum in Los Angeles, University of Washington, El Museo Del Barrio and Phillips Auction House. International art fair representation includes: Outsider Art Fair, Scope, Pulse, Art Chicago, Zona Maco, Mexico, Lima Photo, Peru, Photo LA, and Filter Photo Festival in Chicago, IL.  His photography has been published in a long list of publications, highlights: New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Time Out, Aperture, Daily News, Out, American Photo, Artforum, Vice, Musee, Artnet and The New Yorker. In 2016 Natal-San Miguel’s Marcy’s Playground was selected for both the billboard collective and website for Apple. His photographs are in the permanent collection of El Museo Del Barrio (New York City), The Center For Photography (Woodstock, NY), The Mint Museum, The Bronx  Museum for the Arts, and The Museum of the City of NY.

Above: From A World History of Photography. ed. Naomi Rosenblum. (New York: Abbeville, 1997), 527.

In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art

October 16, 2020-February 28, 2021
Mint Museum Uptown

To celebrate Mint Museum Uptown’s tenth anniversary, In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art brings together four innovative contemporary artists—Gisela Colon, Spencer Finch, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Summer Wheat—who create works celebrating the power of color and its transformative ability to permeate the space around us. Their work is juxtaposed with a selection of paintings and works on paper drawn primarily from The Mint Museum’s permanent collection that explore artists’ exploration of color in more traditional ways.

Spencer Finch (American, 1962–). Sunset, South Texas (detail), 6/21/03, 2003, fluorescent lights, filters. Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition uses color as an opportunity to investigate how people perceive a non-fixed reality: the ever-shifting environment in which we must discern the real from the illusionary. The installations by Wheat, Finch, Colon, and Steinkamp are highly experiential, creating an environment that will engage each viewer uniquely, determined by the personal nature of color perception. Despite this subjective element, audiences experience the immersive installations simultaneously, fostering a sense of communion: we are united while remaining apart. This dichotomy replicates the sensation many feel as the COVID-19 pandemic requires much of our human contact to be mediated by technology, the media used by Colon, Finch, and Steinkamp.

Jennifer Steinkamp, Daisy Bell, 2008. Video installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.

Suspended in this state of near-but-apart, the works of
In Vivid Color remind us of the community in which we all belong, to which we all contribute.  

Summer Wheat’s Foragers spans four stories and 3,720 square feet in Mint Museum Uptown’s Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium. A myriad of vibrant panels give the illusion of stained glass, and fills the atrium’s 96 windows and weave a story of the people and workforce that have made Charlotte a thriving metropolis.

In contrast to the grand scale of the initial four installations, the 11 paintings and works on paper in the adjacent gallery allow for more intimate considerations of color’s potency. Whether abstract or figurative, each composition allows for different investigations into how color intersects with the work’s subject and meaning, in addition to affecting the  viewer’s space even when confined to a two-dimensional patch of wall.

Peter Halley (American, 1953–). Six Prisons, 2004, acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, and Roll-a-Tex on canvas. Gift of Ginger Kemp in honor of Mark Richard Leach. 2004.67
T.J. eddy (American, 1945–). Oh Say Do You See, 2008, acrylic on canvas. Museum Purchase: Exchange Funds from the gifts of Dr. and Mrs. Francis Robicsek, Mr. and Mrs. Elliott J. Neal, Charles McMurray, and Mrs. L. L. McMurray. 2008.65. © T.J. Redd Ry
Donald Sultan (American, 1951–). Aqua Poppies Dec 10, 2002, 2002, enamel, flocking, tar, spackle, tile, Masonite. Museum Purchase:  Charlotte Garden Club Fund and Exchange Funds from the Gift of Harry and Mary Dalton. 2003.90A-F. © Donald Sultan, 2002
Julian Stanczak (American, 1928–2017). Summer Inspite of Blue, 1967, acrylic on canvas. Gift of Bruce and Margo Evans. 2001.8. © Julian Stanczak

Interested in learning more?

Visit the In Vivid Color Resources page or the Mintwiki for In Vivid Color. Mintwiki is provided by The Mint Museum Library

In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art is generously sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank and the Mint Museum Auxiliary

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Mint Museum Auxiliary logo

Additional generous individual support provided by Mary Anne (M.A.) Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, and Mozelle DePass Griffith in loving memory of Edward Colville Griffith, Jr.

Special thanks to Bank of America for loans of art for the presentation of this Mint-organized show.

Scholastic Art Awards

Scholastic Art Show

Mint Museum Uptown
Level 5

The Mid-Carolina Region of the Scholastic Art Awards, showcases art from students in 26 counties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It is on view on Level 5 of Mint Museum Uptown. Admission to see the show is free.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards date back to 1923. Over the years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious program for creative teens in the U.S. and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and John Updike.

Scholastic Art Awards : 2022

Scholastic Art Show

  Mint Museum Uptown – Level 5
On view from March 13 – April 10

The Mid-Carolina Region of the Scholastic Art Awards, showcases art from students in 26 counties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards date back to 1923. Over the years, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious program for creative teens in the United States, and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.

A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and John Updike.