From Colombia to Japan to Spain: Three globe-spanning exhibitions to open at Mint Museum Uptown

Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today; F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design); and Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto

The Mint Museum is preparing to open three exhibitions of international significance over the next two weeks, with subject matter spanning the range of the human condition, from simple pleasures to the most profound of emotions.

“We welcome the entire community, from Charlotte and beyond, to visit one of the strongest slates of exhibitions ever to appear simultaneously at The Mint Museum,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of The Mint Museum. “These shows illustrate the emerging position of the Mint as a leader on the national and global stage.”

The community is invited to celebrate all three exhibitions at a “First Look Friday” on March 1 from 6:30-11 p.m. at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street. The event is free for Mint members, $10 for non-members, and $15 for couples. It includes light hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, and curator tours along with a cultural dance celebration featuring salsa, cha cha and more.

F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design)
2 March-7 July 2013

The most delicious of the shows on the Mint’s agenda is F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design), co-organized by the Mint with research institute FoodCultura, Barcelona. It draws on the strengths of the Mint’s internationally-recognized Craft + Design Collection to present an innovative look at objects used to prepare, cook, and present food. The Mint’s Decorative Arts and Art of the Ancient Americas Collections are also featured.

The exhibition was conceived by Annie Carlano, the Mint’s Director of Craft + Design, as a way to combine her knowledge of art and food. “F.O.O.D. combines 21st-century design works by avant-garde designers and manufacturers with mass-market, popular culture works and everyday objects by unknown makers, and posits that brilliant or clever design solutions can be found in all types of objects, not just award-winning contemporary Western works,” said Carlano.

Antoni Miralda, known simply as Miralda, is an artist who specializes in art made from food that highlights food’s powerful influence on culture, politics, and the human psyche. He started FoodCultura with Barcelona chef Montse Guillén in 2000 as an archive of food-related objects and a vehicle for social performances. “FoodCultura is a concept based on communication, investigation, and the global history of food, objects, customs, cultural experiences, and art,” said Miralda. “The connection of FoodCultura with F.O.O.D. is obvious, from the interest in the relationship between diet and the constant evolution of object design, theories, techniques, tools, and practices. Throughout history, man has not stopped evolving and refining all the aspects related to food: researching, preserving, cooking, processing, presenting, and enjoying food.”

The exhibition is arranged into thematic sections: TABLE, KITCHEN, PANTRY, and GARDEN, followed by a LOUNGE where people can submit recipes for a community cookbook to be compiled and published by the Mint.

It is the first fully-bilingual exhibition organized by the Mint, joining Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today to offer an unprecedented opportunity to view two simultaneous exhibitions with all written materials appearing in both English and Spanish. The Mint Museum’s bilingual initiative is brought to the community through generous support from Duke Energy.

F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) is made possible through major support from PNC with additional support from Piedmont Natural Gas. Acquisition support was provided by the Design Committee of The Mint Museum.

The exhibition will be accompanied by several special events, including a co-curators’ dialogue on March 3 at 3 p.m. (free for Mint members or after museum admission, $10 for adults); a FREE ArtFusion event on March 12; a discussion entitled “F.O.O.D. Stories: Food Memories from Area Writers” featuring Andrea Cooper, Kali Ferguson, Rebecca McClanahan, and Dannye Romine Powell on April 7 at 3 p.m. (free for Mint members or after museum admission); an appearance by Michael Graves, noted architect and designer of  home products at 7 p.m. on April 25 (part of the museum’s Contemporary Architecture + Design series, $5 for museum members/$15 for nonmembers); a day-long F.O.O.D. conference featuring engaging presentations by food writers, chefs, historians, and designers on April 26 (prices $60-$100, see website for details); and a monthly “Taste of the Mint” program featuring small plate and beverage pairings from restaurants Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth and e2 emeril’s eatery followed by special museum tours ($30 mint members/$45 non-members). Details and registration links for all events are available at mintmuseum.org/happenings or by calling 704.337.2000.

Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today
23 February-16 June 2013

The Medellín-born painter Débora Arango, who died in 2005 at the age of 98, was one of the pioneers of modern Colombian art. She is considered one of the most important and controversial modern artists of her time. Although her work is well regarded today in her native country, Arango had to fight against the conservative elite’s prejudice throughout her life due to the political and social context of her paintings about the non-official civil war of the 1940s and 1950s, la época de La Violencia (1946-1963). Today, these paintings constitute an important site of collective memory.

Arango presented political events in Latin America as if they were sociales (society columns). This is the first show by Arango in the United States.  This exhibition includes the most emblematic works from every stage of her career and is accompanied by a scholarly bilingual catalogue with color illustrations.

“This exhibition focuses on the most productive and, at times, controversial period in Arango’s career,” said Brad Thomas, the Mint’s curator of Modern & Contemporary art. “As the exclusive Southeastern venue for this groundbreaking exhibition, The Mint Museum will lead vital initiatives to develop meaningful and lasting relationships within the burgeoning Latin American community in the Charlotte region and beyond. The presentation of this exhibition in both Spanish and English will further establish those connections to our growing community.”

The exhibition’s organizing curator, Oscar Roldán-Alzate of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia. will deliver a public lecture at Mint Museum Uptown about Arango and her works on Sunday February 24 at 2 p.m. The lecture will be in Spanish with English translation, and is free after museum admission ($10 general admission; free to Mint members). On March 5 at 7 p.m., Davidson College Professor Dr. Magdalena Maiz-Peña will give a FREE public lecture entitled “Débora Arango and Frida Kahlo: Women Artists/Activists of Latin America.”

Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today is made possible through generous support from Polymer Group Inc. The exhibition is organized by Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia, and Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California. This exhibition tour has been made possible through the generous support of the Ministry of External Affairs of Colombia and the Embassy of Colombia in the United States.

Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto
2 March-26 May 2013

The opening of this exhibition is being preceded by a historic event in the atrium of Mint Museum Uptown as Motoi Yamamoto creates a temporary saltwork, Floating Garden, from February 18 through March 1 which will then be disassembled by members of the community on March 3.

“In Japan, salt is a symbol of purification and is also used in funeral ceremonies. Motoi’s remarkable body of work was born out his grief following the death of his young sister in 1994 from brain cancer. It was at that point Motoi adopted salt as his primary medium and for almost twenty years, he has developed a unique artistic expression that celebrates both life and remembrance,” said Brad Thomas, the Mint’s curator of modern & contemporary art. “It is not until you experience Motoi and his work in person that the true impact of his singular, yet universal, journey is felt.”

Motoi was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima in 1966 and still calls Japan home. He received his B.A. from Kanazawa College of Art in 1995. He has exhibited his award-winning creations in such cities as Athens, Cologne, Jerusalem, Mexico City, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toulouse. He was awarded the Philip Morris Art Award in 2002 as well as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2003.

“Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory,” Motoi has said. “Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings. What I look for at the end of the act of drawing could be a feeling of touching a precious memory.”

The exhibition features a smaller saltwork in the Mint’s Level 4 galleries along with a series of recent works on paper, mixed media works, a video about the artist, and a 170-page color catalogue documenting twelve years of the artist’s saltworks around the world. The catalogue includes essays by Mark Sloan, director and senior curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at College of Charleston School of the Arts, and Mark Kurlansky, author of the New York Times best seller Salt: A World History.

The public is invited to view the atrium saltwork for FREE through March 3; museum admission must be paid to see it from higher vantage points within the building. On March 3 at 1:30 p.m., community members are invited to take away part of the elaborate work in specially designed containers and release it back into a body of water so it may re-enter the natural cycle. Pre-register for the community dismantling by clicking here.

Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto is presented to the community with generous support from Sapporo USA Inc. and Tryon Distributing. It was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts.

Desde Colombia a España y a Japón: Tres exhibiciones que atraviesan el planeta se abren en el Museo Mint Uptown
Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy; F.O.O.D. (Comida, Objetos, Objetivos, Diseño), y El Retorno al Mar: Trabajos de Sal de Motoi Yamamoto

CHARLOTTE, Carolina del Norte (Febrero 22, 2013):  El Museo Mint Uptown se prepara para la apertura de tres significativas exhibiciones de importancia internacional, a realizarse en las próximas dos semanas con temas que tocan la calidad de la condición humana y los placeres más simples de las más profundas emociones.

“Damos la bienvenida a toda la comunidad de Charlotte y sus alrededores, para que visiten algunas de las más importantes exhibiciones que aparecerán simultáneamente en el Museo Mint”, dijo la doctora Kathleen V. Jameson, presidenta y CEO del Museo Mint. “Estos programas ilustran la emergente posición del Mint, como líder en el escenario cultural nacional y mundial”.

La comunidad está invitada a celebrar la apertura de estas tres exhibiciones en un “Primer Vistazo”, el 1 de marzo de 6:30 a 11 pm, en el Centro de Artes Levine del Museo Mint Uptown, localizado en el 500 South Tryon Street. El evento es gratuito para todos los miembros del Mint, $10 para los no miembros y $15 para parejas. Incluye aperitivos ligeros, barra (pagando por las bebidas) y un largo recorrido con los curadores a través de una celebración cultural que incluye bailes de salsa, cha cha cha y mucho más.

F.O.O.D. (Comida, Objetos, Objetivos, Diseño)
2 de marzo – 7 de julio de 2013

El más delicioso de los espectáculo del Mint ya está en agenda, F.O.O.D. (Comida, Objetos, Objetivos, Diseño), coorganizado con el Mint y el instituto de investigación FoodCultura, de Barcelona. El fuerte reconocimiento internacional del Mint se basa en su gran colección de Artesanía + Diseño donde presenta una mirada innovadora a los objetos utilizados para preparar, cocinar y la presentación de alimentos.

La exhibición fue creada por Annie Carlano, directora de Artesanía + Diseño del Museo Mint, como una manera de fusionar sus conocimientos de arte y comida. “F.O.O.D. combina el trabajo del siglo 21 con los diseños vanguardistas y productos para el mercado masivo, trabajos de la cultura popular y objetos cotidianos de fabricantes desconocidos, que contribuyen a través de sus diseños con soluciones brillantes e inteligentes que se pueden encontrar en todo tipo de objetos, no sólo en las obras contemporáneas occidentales premiadas”, señaló Carlano.

Antoni Miralda, conocido simplemente como Miralda, es un artista que se especializa en el arte de la comida, que resalta influencia poderosa de los alimentos en la cultura, la política y la sicología humana. El comenzó con FoodCultura, en Barcelona, con el chef Montse Guillén en 2000, como un archivo de objetos relacionados con los alimentos y como un vehículo para las actuaciones sociales. “FoodCultura es un concepto basado en la comunicación, la investigación y la historia global de la comida, los objetos, las costumbres, las experiencias culturales y el arte”, expresó Miralda. “La conexión de FoodCultura con F.O.O.D. es obvia por el interés en la relación entre la alimentación y la constante evolución de diseño de los objetos, teorías, técnicas, utensilios y costumbres. Así, a lo largo de la historia, el hombre no ha dejado de evolucionar, sofisticando todos los aspectos relacionados con la alimentación: investigar, conservar, cocinar, procesar, presentar y disfrutar los alimentos”.

La exhibición está organiza en secciones temáticas: MESA, COCINA, DESPENSA Y JARDÍN, seguido por un SALÓN donde las personas de la comunidad podrán presentar recetas para un libro de cocina que el Mint recopilará y publicará.

Esta es la primera exhibición completamente bilingüe organizada por el Mint, uniéndose a Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy, ofreciendo una oportunidad sin precedentes, debido a que podrán ver dos exhibiciones simultáneas con todos los materiales escritos en inglés y español. La iniciativa bilingüe del Museo Mint es brindada a la comunidad gracias al generoso apoyo financiero de Duke Energy.

F.O.O.D. (Comida, Objetos, Objetivos, Diseño) es posible gracias al importante apoyo del Banco PNC junto con el apoyo adicional de la empresa de Gas Natural Piedmont. El apoyo para la adquisición fue proporcionada por el Comité de Diseño del Museo Mint.

La exposición estará acompañada por varios eventos especiales que incluye la conferencia con los curadores de las exhibiciones a realizarse el 3 de marzo a las 3 pm (gratis para los miembros del Mint y para todos los que entran al museo, $10 adultos); la charla titulada “F.O.O.D. Historias: Memorias de alimentos de los Escritores del Área”, con Andrea Cooper, Kali Ferguson, Rebecca McClanahan y Dannye Romine Powel, a realizarse el 7 de abril a las 3 pm (gratis para los miembros del Mint y para todos los que entran al museo); el evento Una Aparición de Michael Graves, arquitecto y diseñador de productos para el hogar, el 25 de abril a las 7 pm (parte de una serie del museo sobre el Diseño + Arquitectura Contemporánea, $5 para miembros del Mint y $15 para los no socios); una conferencia de un día de la exhibición F.O.O.D, con presentaciones atractivas de escritores de comida, chefs, historiadores y diseñadores, el 26 de abril (precios $60-$100, ver la página de internet para más detalles) y el evento mensual “El Sabor del Mint”, un programa en donde se ofrecerán platos pequeños y un par de bebidas de los restaurantes Halcyon, Sabores de la Tierra y e2 emeril, seguido de unas visitas especiales al museo ($30 los miembros del Mint y $45 no socios). La información y la registración para todos los eventos están disponibles en la página de internet www.mintmuseum.org/happenings o llamando al 704.337.2000.

Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy
23 de febrero – 16 de junio de 2013

La pintora Débora Arango, nacida en Medellín, que falleció en 2005 a la edad de 98 años, fue una de las pioneras del arte moderno colombiano. Ella es considerada como una de las más importantes y controversiales artistas modernas de su tiempo. Aunque el trabajo de Arango es muy reconocido en su país natal, la pintora tuvo que luchar a lo largo de su vida contra los prejuicios de la élite conservadora, debido al contexto de sus obras, las cuales tenían como tema el ambiente político y social de la guerra civil no oficial, que ocurrió en las décadas de los cuarenta y cincuenta, la época de La Violencia (1946-1963). Hoy las pinturas de Arango constituyen una importante memoria colectiva de aquel tiempo.

Arango presenta eventos políticos de América Latina como si fueran sociales (columnas de sociedad). Esta es la primera exhibición de Arango en Estados Unidos. En esta muestra se incluyen las obras más emblemáticas de todas las etapas de su carrera y es acompañada por un catálogo bilingüe con ilustraciones a color.

“Esta exhibición se centra en los más productivos y controversiales períodos de la carrera de Arango”, dijo Brad Thomas, curador de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo del Mint. “Es una exhibición innovadora y exclusiva de esta parte del sureste. El Museo Mint llevará a cabo iniciativas vitales para desarrollar relaciones significativas y duraderas con la floreciente comunidad latinoamericana de la región de Charlotte y sus alrededores. La presentación de esta exposición en español y en inglés busca establecer esas conexiones con nuestra creciente comunidad”.

El curador organizador de la exposición, Oscar Roldán-Alzate del Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia, ofrecerá una conferencia pública en Museo Mint Uptown sobre Arango y sus obras el domingo 24 de febrero a las 2 pm. La conferencia será en español con traducción al inglés y es gratuita al público después de ingresar al museo ($10 la entrada general, gratis para los miembros del Mint). El 5 de marzo a las 7 pm, Magdalena Maiz-Peña, doctora y profesora del Colegio Davidson dará una conferencia pública gratuita titulada “Débora Arango y Frida Kahlo: Mujeres Artistas/Activistas de América Latina”.

Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy es posible gracias al generoso apoyo económico de Grupo Polymer Inc. La exhibición es organizada por el Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia y el Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Long Beach, California. El tour de la exhibición ha sido posible gracias al generoso apoyo de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia y a la Embajada de Colombia en los Estados Unidos.

El Retorno al Mar: Trabajos de Sal de Motoi Yamamoto
2 de marzo – 26 de mayo de 2013

La inauguración de esta exhibición está precedida con un evento histórico creado en el atrio del Museo Mint Uptown, donde Motoi Yamamoto ha realizado temporalmente el Jardín Flotante, de Trabajos de Sal, el cual se exhibe desde 18 de febrero al 1 de marzo y que será desmantelada el 3 de marzo ante la presencia de los miembros de la comunidad.

“En Japón, la sal es un símbolo de la purificación y también es utilizada en las ceremonias fúnebres. Motoi se ha hecho un extraordinario trabajo, que nació tras su dolor por la muerte de su hermana menor en 1994, de cáncer al cerebro. A partir de ese momento Motoi  ha adoptado la sal como su medio principal y por casi veinte años a desarrollado una expresión artística única que celebra la vida y la memoria”, explicó Brad Thomas, curador de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo del Museo Mint. “No es hasta ver la experiencia de Motoi y su obra en persona que se siente el verdadero impacto de su singular y universal viaje”.

Motoi nació en Onomichi, Hiroshima en 1966 y todavía llama a Japón su hogar. Recibió su bachillerato en arte en el Colegio de Artes de Kanazawa en 1995. Ha expuesto sus creaciones premiadas en ciudades como Atenas, Colonia, Jerusalén, Ciudad de México, Seúl, Tokio y Toulouse. Fue galardonado con el Premio de Arte Philip Morris, en 2002 y con una beca otorgada por la Fundación Pollock-Krasner, en 2003.

“Dibujar un laberinto con sal es como seguir el rastro de mi memoria”, declaró Motoi. “Los recuerdos parecen cambiar y desaparecer con el tiempo, sin embargo, lo que busco es capturar un momento congelado que no se puede lograr a través de imágenes o escritos. Lo que busco al final del acto es dibujar lo que puede ser una sensación de tocar un precioso recuerdo”.

La exposición cuenta con pequeños trabajos de sal a lo largo de la galería del nivel 4 del Mint, donde se exhiben una serie de obras recientes sobre el papel, trabajos de técnica mixta, un vídeo sobre el artista y un catálogo a color de 170 páginas documentando los doce años de trabajos de sal del artista alrededor del mundo. El catálogo incluye ensayos de Mark Sloan, director y curador del Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo de Halsey de la Escuela de Artes del Colegio de Charleston y Mark Kurlansky, autor del best seller de la lista del New York Times “Sal: Una Historia del Mundo”.

El público está invitado a ver el trabajo de sal en el atrio del museo, GRATIS hasta el 3 de marzo, la entrada al museo se debe pagar para verlo desde los puntos de vista más altos dentro del edificio. El 3 de marzo a las 1:30 pm, los miembros de la comunidad están invitados a quitar parte del trabajo elaborado en contenedores especialmente diseñados y que lo convertirá nuevamente en un cuerpo de agua que puede volver a entrar en su ciclo natural. El público debe preregistrarse para asistir al desmantelamiento en la página de internet www.mintmuseum.org/happenings.

El Retorno al Mar: Trabajos de Sal de Motoi Yamamoto será presentado a la comunidad con el apoyo generoso de Sapporo USA Inc. y Tryon Distributing. Fue organizado por el Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo Halsey de la Escuela de Artes del Colegio Charleston.

A ‘Taste’-ful experience at the Mint

Special guests join the latest ‘Taste of the Mint’ tour

With a menu well-seasoned by salt, 22 people enjoyed the latest installment of the “Taste of the Mint” program on Wednesday evening – among them, the inspiration for the evening’s dining, artist Motoi Yamamoto of Japan.

“Taste of the Mint” allows participants to sample small plate and drink pairings at two world-class restaurants housed within Mint Museum Uptown: Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth restaurant and e2 emeril’s eatery. Then, the group heads inside the museum for a special tour. Future dates are scheduled for March 20, April 20, May 15, and June 26 and will be themed around the Mint’s upcoming F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) exhibition. The series will resume monthly dates in fall 2013, and “Taste of the Mint” experiences are also available by appointment for groups of 10 to 25 people with at least 30 days’ notice. (Click here for details on group tours and click ‘Experiential tourism’).

In addition to Motoi Yamamoto, special guests during Wednesday evening included Brad Thomas, the Mint’s curator of Modern & Contemporary art; and Oscar Roldán-Alzate, organizing curator of the upcoming exhibition Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today, from Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia. After dining with guests, Motoi resumed work on his large-scale saltwork, Floating Garden, in the museum’s atrium and answered a few questions from participants.

The evening began inside Halcyon, where Chef Marc Jacksina led a presentation entitled “Interactive Tomatoes,” demonstrating the difference in taste between three varieties of salt. The same tomatoes tasted remarkably different when paired with lava salt from Hawaii, Jurassic salt from Utah, and fleur de sal from Portugal. The course was paired with a Tarragon Salty Dog cocktail (in a salt-rimmed glass, of course).

Next, Jacksina introduced cabbage fermented in kosher salt (resembling simplified sauerkraut) paired with salmon, and for dessert, guests lingered over a scoop of rich salted caramel ice cream. But the evening had just begun, because it was soon time to head downstairs to e2 emeril’s eatery.

There, manager Jeff Wakem led demonstrations including a lesson in how to shuck an oyster, and chefs explained the process for curing bacon (in salt, of course), and braising it to be served on top of crostini. The signature cocktail for the evening, Zydeco Punch, included a splash of South American pisco liquor. Finally, it was time for the evening’s second dessert – a chocolate ganache tart with a light sprinkling of grey salt on top. “Salt balances, and it’s very necessary in any form of cooking,” said Stephanie Nikolic, the restaurant’s pastry chef. A dry Zinfandel wine was the perfect pairing to bring out the chocolate taste.

Once inside the museum, guests marveled at both the atrium installation and the smaller one being installed on Level 4 to remain in place during the run of Motoi Yamamoto’s exhibition, through May 26. One guest asked how Motoi developed his process for applying salt to the floor. His response: His parents owned a motorcycle repair shop, and all his life he was accustomed to the small plastic bottles they filled to oil the machinery. Those same bottles are what he uses to create his works of art.

A ‘Floating Garden’ of salt to take shape at Mint Museum Uptown

Community is invited to watch artist Motoi Yamamoto create a temporary large-scale saltwork at the Mint from February 18-March 2, then help dismantle it on March 3

The public is invited to take part in an unprecedented event at Mint Museum Uptown as internationally renowned artist Motoi Yamamoto visits to create a temporary large-scale work out of salt in the building’s atrium over two weeks in late February.

Motoi, who calls his native Japan home, will be in the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium creating his saltwork, to be entitled Floating Garden, from February 18 through March 1 and the public is invited to watch him at work during regular museum hours. Atrium access is free, although visitors must pay admission to experience the saltwork from higher vantage points within the five-story space. The museum is normally closed on Mondays but will also grant free public access to the atrium level on February 18 and 25 (no other areas of the museum will be open those days). The museum will also continue to grant free access to all levels each Tuesday from 5-9 p.m., the Mint’s normally scheduled free hours. The work will be celebrated at a “First Look Friday” on March 1 at 6:30 p.m., remain on view March 2, and then be dismantled on March 3.

“Japanese installation artist Motoi Yamamoto’s residency here in Charlotte is another opportunity for the Mint to present to our community innovative works by an international roster of artists,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint.

“In Japan, salt is a symbol of purification and is also used in funeral ceremonies. Motoi’s remarkable body of work was born out his grief following the death of his young sister in 1994 from brain cancer. It was at that point Motoi adopted salt as his primary medium and for almost twenty years, he has developed a unique artistic expression that celebrates both life and remembrance,” said Brad Thomas, the Mint’s curator of modern & contemporary art. “It is not until you experience Motoi and his work in person that the true impact of his singular, yet universal, journey is felt.”

The “First Look Friday” from 6:30-11 p.m. on March 1 is free to Mint members and tickets are available to non-members for $15 per person. The night will also celebrate the openings of two other special exhibitions at Mint Museum Uptown, F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) and Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today, as well as including a multicultural “Mint to Move” dance party.

The community is also invited to help dismantle the saltwork at a special ceremony on March 3 at 1:30 p.m. Visitors may collect salt in specially designed containers to be released back into a body of water so that it may re-enter the natural cycle. Participants are encouraged to document their own personal ceremonies and upload images to Motoi’s website at www.motoi.biz, and the Mint’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mintmuseum.

Motoi Yamamoto was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima in 1966 and received his B.A. from Kanazawa College of Art in 1995. He has exhibited his award-winning creations in such cities as Athens, Cologne, Jerusalem, Mexico City, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toulouse. He was awarded the Philip Morris Art Award in 2002 as well as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2003.

The saltwork’s creation leads up to the opening of the exhibition Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto, which will be on view in the Modern & Contemporary galleries of Mint Museum Uptown from March 2 through May 26. The exhibition features a smaller saltwork along with a series of recent works on paper, mixed media works, a video about the artist, and a 170-page color catalogue documenting twelve years of the artist’s saltworks around the world. The catalogue includes essays by Mark Sloan, director and senior curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at College of Charleston School of the Arts, and Mark Kurlansky, author of the New York Times best seller Salt: A World History.

Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto is presented to the community with generous support from Sapporo USA Inc. and Tryon Distributing. Organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts. Learning and engagement programming for the exhibition is generously underwritten by the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

Media photographers are welcomed to capture Motoi at work on the installation at the Mint. Contact Leigh Dyer at leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org to schedule a time. Images of Motoi’s works are also available upon request.

SAVE THE DATE: Members of the media are invited to see the Mint’s three new exhibitions, Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto, F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design), and Sociales:Débora Arango Arrives Today at a special media preview on Friday, March 1 at 10 a.m. at Mint Museum Uptown. RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

Above image: Artist Motoi Yamamoto making Floating Garden in the Morrison Atrium at Mint Museum Uptown on February 18, 2013. Photo: James Martin.

The Mint Museum: 2012-2013 Upcoming Exhibition Schedule

An Inspiring, Engaging, and Innovative Array of Shows

Following are highlights of the exhibition lineup at The Mint Museum for the coming year. High-resolution images for each exhibition are available upon request; email leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

European Art, 1750-1900
Mint Museum Randolph
17 November 2012 – Ongoing

Following the closure on 28 October of Celebrating Queen Charlotte’s Coronation, the upcoming reinstallation of the Alexander Gallery at Mint Museum Randolph will feature an inspiring selection of fine and decorative European arts from The Mint Museum’s collection, created between the mid-eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. These paintings and objects trace the wide range of styles and subjects popular in Western Europe during the period. Familiar audience favorites, such as Allan Ramsey’s majestic portraits of Queen Charlotte and King George III and the elegantly decorated sedan chair, will remain on view, and will be joined by other highlights from the collection including pastoral French Barbizon landscapes and light-filled impressionist scenes by artists including Eugène-Louis Boudin and Henri Martin.

A number of fascinating juxtapositions will link the fine and decorative arts, including a case containing ceramics adorned with images of Queen Charlotte, the city’s namesake, installed near her portrait by Allan Ramsay, and a black basalt sculpture by Josiah Wedgwood displayed near a portrait of his cousin, Thomas Wedgwood. Other objects on view showcase a combination of fine and decorative traditions, such as miniatures integrating painting and jewelsmithing, and the stately sedan chair, which incorporates elements of architectural design, fine woodworking, painting, and upholstery. This installation also highlights the generosity of local collectors and patrons and their importance to the museum, as many of the objects on view were donated by area families over the past fifty years.

Throughout 2013, visitors can expect to see many other installations celebrating The Mint Museum’s permanent collection at Mint Museum Randolph, including unique displays of American Art Glass, African Art, and Contemporary Fashion. Some will include collection items that have never before been on public view. Details of these installations will be announced in the coming months.

Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today / Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy
Mint Museum Uptown
23 February – 16 June 2013

The Medellín-born painter Débora Arango, who died in 2005 at the age of 98, was one of the pioneers of modern Colombian art. She is considered one of the most important and controversial modern artists of her time. Although her work is well regarded today in her native country, Arango had to fight against the conservative elite’s prejudice throughout her life due to the political and social context of her paintings about the non-official civil war of the 1940s and 1950s, la época de La Violencia (1946-1963). Today, these paintings constitute an important site of collective memory.

Her work displays a sharp, perceptive, and courageous attitude, as she presented any political event in Latin America as if they were sociales (society columns). Her work clearly does not make use of “political correctness” as a strategy of dissemination and permanence.

This is the first show by Arango in the United States. Arango did not consider herself liberal or revolutionary, but she was critical of the society of her time and believed that art should be involved with the real world. Arango referred to herself as an “expressionist” to describe her strong desire to interpret reality through her own uncensored personal sensitivity and sensibility. At the beginning of the 1940s, Arango started to produce works about social concerns exploring themes such as prostitution, poverty, women’s issues, historical events, violence, and injustice, for which she is also known today.

This exhibition includes the most emblematic works from every stage of her career and is accompanied by a scholarly bilingual catalogue with color illustrations. It is curated by Oscar Roldán, Chief Curator at Museo de Arte de Medellín, Colombia. Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today is organized by Museo de Arte de Medellín (MAMM), Colombia, in collaboration with the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, California, for its U.S. tour.

Learning and engagement programming for Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy / Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today is generously underwritten by the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design)
Mint Museum Uptown
2 March – 7 July 2013

F.O.O.D.  (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) provides a thematic look at inventive modern and contemporary objects, handmade and mass produced, that have one of three objectives: to prepare, to cook, or to present food. It includes approximately 300 selections culled from the permanent collection of the Mint, loans, and new acquisitions. Artist Antoni Miralda of the research center FoodCultura, Barcelona, is co-curating and designing the installation.

The exhibition is organized into four sections. The first section, TABLE, is an intimate space with low light levels, and an abstracted dining table displaying various “invented” table settings such as plates, cutlery, glasswork, and centerpieces/candelabra by different makers and of different time periods.

KITCHEN is outfitted with “Über design” kitchen appliances and various levels of green production. Shelving installed in the kitchen holds objects made to prepare food, such as spice mills, cheese graters, ginger and garlic graters, bamboo steamers, mixing bowls, pots and pans, baking dishes, tagines, molds, and utensils. Ergonomic and green materials are also featured.

PANTRY is small and densely installed and features objects such as food and spice storage containers, mortars and pestles, tea tins, water bottles, noodle packages, chopsticks in paper, and grits packages,  as well as food advertising posters.

GARDEN is dramatically designed with objects in the shape of fruit and vegetables. Included in the exhibition will be a Resource Room, containing cookbooks and related books about sustainable food, gardening, health, and nutrition.

F.O.O.D. (Food, Objects, Objectives, Design) is organized by The Mint Museum with FoodCultura, Barcelona. It will be the first fully bilingual Mint-organized exhibition, with all text panels and object labels in both English and Spanish.

Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto
Mint Museum Uptown
2 March – 26 May 2013

Motoi Yamamoto is an internationally renowned artist who calls his native Japan home. Yamamoto is known for working with salt, often in the form of temporary, intricate, large-scale installations. Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Yamamoto forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her. His art radiates an intense beauty and tranquility, but also conveys something ineffable, painful, and endless.

“Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings,” Yamamoto has said. “What I look for at the end of the act of drawing could be a feeling of touching a precious memory.”

Motoi Yamamoto was born in Onomichi, Hiroshima in 1966 and received his B.A. from Kanazawa College of Art in 1995. He has exhibited his award-winning creations in such cities as Athens, Cologne, Jerusalem, Mexico City, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toulouse. He was awarded the Philip Morris Art Award in 2002 as well as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2003. The artist will travel to The Mint Museum in spring 2013 to create a site-specific salt installation in public spaces over the course of two weeks.

This exhibition is organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts. The exhibition also features a series of recent drawings, photography, sketchbooks, a video about the artist, and a 170-page color catalogue documenting twelve years of the artist’s saltworks around the world. The catalogue includes essays by Mark Sloan, director and senior curator of the Halsey Institute, and Mark Kurlansky, author of the New York Times best seller Salt: A World History.

Learning and engagement programming for Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto is generously underwritten by the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

Inventing the Modern World:  Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939
Mint Museum Uptown
21 September 2013 – 19 January 2014

This groundbreaking international exhibition presents outstanding examples of glass, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, precious metalwork, and textiles displayed at the world’s fairs between The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London in 1851 and the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Many of these objects have never before left their respective institutions or countries.

World’s fairs were the most important vehicles for debuting advancements in modern living. Some fairs were broad in scope, displaying decorative arts alongside paintings, sculpture, industrial design and agricultural products; others concentrated on exhibiting decorative arts alone.  Both types of expositions functioned as showcases and marketplaces for design. Above all, they democratized design, exposing countless visitors and others to the latest artistic and technological achievements of their time.

Inventing the Modern World comprises approximately 200 objects shown at every major world’s fair from 1851 to 1939. Large and small in scale, these seminal objects are culled from private and public collections, primarily in America and Europe. Among the many lenders are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MAK – Museum for Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna, Designmuseum Danmark, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. A fully-illustrated scholarly catalogue accompanies the exhibition. This exhibition is co-organized by Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Major support for this exhibition was provided by Wells Fargo, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Learning and engagement programming for Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939 is generously underwritten by the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

Above image credit:

Motoi Yamamoto

Labyrinth, 2012

Salt

Courtesy of the artist

The Mint Museum Launches Exclusive New Fashion & Design Book

The Mint Museum Launches Exclusive New Fashion & Design Book

Oscar buzz was in the air on Monday as more than 420 people attended a celebration in honor of the upcoming 40th anniversary of The Mint Museum’s Historic Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection. The Fall EnrichMINT Forum: Passion for Fashion, hosted by The Mint Museum Auxiliary, served as a launch for a first-of-its kind book: Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum. The specially produced, commemorative publication documents the legendary designer’s 2011 visit to Charlotte to benefit The Mint Museum.

At the celebration, Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager of Wells Fargo’s Social Responsibility Group and a member of the Mint’s board of trustees, announced that The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded The Mint Museum a $15,000 Community Catalyst Grant to support the museum’s Historical Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection acquisition fund. The grant was made in honor of the members of The Mint Museum Auxiliary.  Funds from the grant will be used to acquire contemporary fashion from Oscar de la Renta’s collection.

The keynote speaker at the book launch event in The Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium of The Mint Museum Uptown was Jack Alexander, longtime producer of de la Renta’s runway shows, and he gave lots of behind-the-scenes insights into the production of the April 2011 fashion show at the Mint (it turns out the homegrown Charlotte models were a lot better than the imports from Atlanta!).

Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum is now on sale for $40 at museum gift shops at both the Uptown and Randolph Road locations. The hardcover book consists of 80 pages of color photos of the designer’s eye-catching fashions. All proceeds from book sales will benefit The Mint Museum.

The initiative is the latest twist in a wildly successful fundraising effort pairing Oscar de la Renta with The Mint Museum Auxiliary. De la Renta’s visit to Charlotte in April as part of the Auxiliary’s annual Room to Bloom celebration generated a record-shattering $400,000 in fundraising toward The Mint Museum and its programs.