Silent Streets:
Art in the Time of Pandemic

Mint Museum Uptown
Opening April 17, 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.

Included Artists:

"Our Days," by Amy Bagwell. Image courtesy of the artist.

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. 

"Visitors (hide)" by Amy Bagwell. Image courtesy of the artist.
Stacy Lynn Waddell. Image Courtesy of Briana Brough/Durham Magazine

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.

Antoine Williams. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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.

Funding for this exhibition is provided by Fifth Third Bank.