Join artist Diedrick Brackens and Lauren R. O’Connell, curator at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, for a discussion about the evolution of the exhibition Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes, the agency of contemporary craft, and expansive possibilities of artist-curator collaborations.
Artist Talk: Artist Diedrick Brackens and Curator Lauren R. O’Connell
Saturday, July 16 | 2-3 PM
Mint Museum Randolph
Moving Spirits, a contemporary arts organization dedicated to performing, researching, documenting, cultivating, and producing arts of the African diaspora, presents Moving with the Spirit, a dance and drum performance of African Diaspora Arts.
Moving with the Spirit Dance and Drum Performance
Saturday, July 16 | 1-1:30 PM
Mint Museum Randolph
Join us for the opening celebration of Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes, which features works by Los Angeles-based artist Diedrick Brackens. Known for making colorful textiles about African American and queer histories, Brackens has developed a process of combining the tactility of yarn with the ethos of storytelling. For this exhibition, the artworks tell timeless narratives about emancipation and remediation through pattern, body, and the power of craft.
1 PM | Moving with the Spirit, a dance and drum performance of African Diaspora Arts.
2 PM – 3 PM | Artist Diedrick Brackens and Lauren R. O’Connell, curator at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts and curator of the ark of bulrushes, discuss the evolution of the exhibition, the agency of contemporary craft, and expansive possibilities of artist-curator collaborations.
Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes opening celebration
Saturday, July 16 | 11 AM-6 PM
Mint Museum Randolph
Enjoy a Sunday afternoon of art, culture, and Southern desserts as the Mint celebrates self-taught Artist Nellie Ashford and her works. The event will feature the dedication of two works by Ashford that also commemorate the Juneteenth holiday, celebrating the 1863-1865 emancipation of enslaved Africans in America.
Seating is limited. Registration required by June 12.Register
Juneteenth Celebration with Artist Nellie Ashford and Friends
Sunday June 19 | 2:30 PM -4:30 PM
Mint Museum Uptown
See the second installation of the pop-up exhibition highlighting 60 local artists of color who are defining Charlotte’s 21st-century visual identity, curated by Charlotte artist Carla Aaron-Lopez, working with the Mint’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Jennifer Sudul Edwards, PhD. Local Street 2022 June 17-26 | Museum hours Mint Museum Uptown Tickets available here
This summer, construct and decorate an ornate clay owl inspired by a Chinese plate on view at Mint Randolph.
Drop by the Mint Museum Randolph terrace Wednesday, June 15- Saturday, June 18 during museum hours to pick up a fun all-ages project to create at home. While supplies last. Free Mini Art Kits are supported by Mint Museum Auxiliary. During poor weather and after dark, the art cart will be in the museum atrium.
Free Mini Art Kits: Ornate Owl
June 15-18 | Wednesday, 11 AM-9 PM; Thursday-Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM
Mint Museum Randolph
The Mint Museum presents The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters
Installation represents the rich history of North Carolina pottery through 60 works by six generations of the Cole family of potters
For Immediate Release | Images available here
Charlotte, North Carolina (May 13, 2022) — For more than 200 years, members of the Cole family have been potting in central North Carolina — Randolph, Moore, Lee, and Montgomery counties. Six generations of Coles, and no fewer than 18 individuals, are represented in The Mint Museum’s permanent collection. More than 60 highlights of their wares are included in the new installation The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters, on view at Mint Museum Randolph.
From crocks, jars, and jugs to pitchers, candleholders, and vases, “turning pots” is one of the oldest and richest craft traditions in North Carolina. The deep-rooted legacy of the Cole family of potters began with Raphard Cole, born in 1799. He and his sons produced utilitarian stoneware, such as crocks, jugs, and urns, that were needed in an agrarian economy. Following generations distinguished themselves from their forebears by training their daughters, as well as their sons, on how to “turn pots.”
As the North Carolina tourist market for decorative ceramics evolved, the Cole family produced an impressive variety of colorfully glazed vases, pitchers, candleholders, and other ceramic pieces. Examples of all these wares also are on view in the installation.
“In a state filled with multigenerational families of gifted potters, the Coles stand out as one of North Carolina’s most enduring and prolific. For more than two hundred years, they have contributed enormously to the state’s ceramic traditions through their well-potted objects and their exceptionally beautiful glazes,” says Brian Gallagher, senior curator of decorative arts at The Mint Museum.
The Cole Family: A Dynasty of North Carolina Potters presents a visual history of “turned pots” and the family that helped turn North Carolina into one of America’s centers for handmade, traditional pottery.
The Mint Museum
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.
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‘Art can be a source of joy for people, and I like to make those experiences happen’
Rebecca Elliot is one of the creative minds behind the new exhibition Craft in the Laboratory: The Science of Making Things and lead author of the catalogue by the same name.
Rebecca Elliot is the assistant curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion at The Mint Museum. Her journey with art has taken her around the globe, from her student days studying abroad in London and frequenting the British Museum, to her jobs at the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and finally to the Mint in 2012, where she’s currently the assistant curator of craft, design and fashion. Here, Elliot shares a glimpse into her life inside the museum, from the glamorous (handling 18th-century men’s suits and thrifting with iconic fashion designer Anna Sui) to the decidedly unglamorous (copy editing and emails). — As told to Caroline Portillo. Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
I grew up in central Ohio in a town called Delaware, Ohio, about 30 or 40 miles north of Columbus. I loved to read fiction and liked writing. I loved art, especially drawing. My sister and I — she’s three years older than me — would have coloring contests. I even tried to design clothes. I would play with my Barbies and have them do fashion shows. For me, it was more about Barbie having a job, a career, and wearing stylish outfits.
For undergrad, I went to Smith College, a women’s college in western Massachusetts. I took art history during my sophomore year, and then I spent my junior year studying abroad at University College London, where I took a lot of art history classes. UCL was close to the British Museum and I would often go after school. In London, I also visited the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Tate Gallery. It was really cool actually seeing the scale of the paintings and what the texture looked like, knowing what it felt like to stand in front of it, and noticing what other people did when they were there. That’s when I first started thinking about working with museums. The interface between the art and the public was interesting to me.
Here’s a snapshot of a recent day in my life. First, I helped Annie [Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator for craft, design, and fashion] lay out the jackets from two 18th-century gentlemen’s suits for a Zoom call with a curator from the V&A in London. Because I’m the copyeditor for all the Mint’s exhibition texts, my afternoon was spent answering emails and reviewing exhibition label proofs. I spent the evening on one of my hobbies: ushering for a show at Actor’s Theater. I enjoy theater, and ushering is a great way to help out and see a show for free.
I love thrifting and actually got to join fashion icon Anna Sui on a thrifting expedition. Anna was in Charlotte in November last year for the opening of The World of Anna Sui at Mint Museum Randolph. After lunch, we ventured to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. I have admired Anna Sui’s style ever since her clothes started appearing in my favorite ’90s teen magazine, Sassy. I was thrilled when I got to join her entourage and go thrifting in Charlotte. I walked around with Anna and Vogue’s Senior Fashion News Editor Steff Yotka, observing which items they gravitated to and occasionally commenting about things that reminded me of Anna’s style. I was with them as Anna found and inspected a tablecloth — the three of us unfolded it together — and decided it was worth the $20 price. It’s fun to know that I was there when she found a small souvenir to take back and enjoy in her home.
Speaking of Sleepy Poet, I made a point to go there just before they moved out of their old location, knowing there would be bargains. Sure enough, I found a Heywood-Wakefield wood headboard and footboard, possibly mid-century modern, for $25. Whenever I’m thrifting or antiquing, I look for interesting mid-century modern items. I like old stuff, decorative stuff, fashion, and art.
When I’m visiting a museum, I nerd out. I look at the objects and the labels — how are they written? Would I do it the same way? I look at what objects are next to each other, how they play off each other. I look at what’s in the room, how the wall colors are, the pathway.
I love working at a museum because museums give people so many different kinds of experiences. Art can be a source of joy for people, and I like to make those experiences happen. Art can also be something that makes people uncomfortable, that makes them question and think about things they may not have before. We are facing many difficult issues, everything from the environment to social justice to politics. The work I do matters in those areas. We’re not trying to be political, but we are trying to make society better.
Curator’s Pick: Baseball Pitcher by Ott and Brewer
Curator of Decorative Arts Brian Gallagher discusses this modeled sculpture of a baseball pitcher, made at the Trenton, New Jersey ceramics manufactory run by Joseph Ott and John Hart Brewer. In 1873, they hired the Canadian-born sculptor Isaac Broome to create a prototypical American work for their firm to display at the Centennial International Exposition that opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 10, 1876. This sculpture is made of Parian, a type of porcelain that has more feldspar in its body than conventional porcelain and is fired at a lower temperature. These conditions give the Baseball Pitcher its ivory color and smooth, marble-like texture.
Participate in a one-hour yoga class with Dancing Lotus Yoga + Art select Saturdays on the front lawn at Mint Museum Randolph (weather permitting). Classes are free for Mint members using code MINT21 and $15 for non-members. Registration is required.Become a Mint member.
Yoga on the Lawn
Saturdays through November 8, 2022 | 10-11 AM
Mint Museum Randolph