Exhibition brings together 100 works from every stage of artist’s career
This fall, The Mint Museum presents a major retrospective of the work of Romare Bearden (1911-1988), widely regarded as one of
America’s most pre-eminent African American artists and foremost collagists, as well as a noted writer and musician. The exhibition Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections surveys 50 years of the artist’s work, from his early abstract paintings to the influential collages that dominated his later body of work. Opening on the centennial of Bearden’s birth, the exhibition will be on view at the Mint Museum Uptown (at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon
Street) from 2 September 2011 – 8 January 2012.
“Romare Bearden broke new ground with his innovative collages and left a powerful legacy to generations of American artists,” said Curator of Contemporary Art and exhibition curator Carla Hanzal. “Given the long association between Bearden and the city of Charlotte, the Mint has a special interest in bringing this important career overview to the public.”
Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections will include approximately 100 works of art drawn from The Mint Museum’s extensive holdings, as well as national public and private collections. This exhibition examines how the South served as a source of inspiration throughout his career, a theme which has not been explored previously. Among the large thematic groupings will be selections from the Prevalence of Ritual series, which includes
many works referring to Bearden’s childhood home in North Carolina.
Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Bearden lived there until the age of four. Although his family settled in New York, the artist’s brief childhood in the South and return visits to Charlotte made a noteworthy impact on his art. During these visits, Bearden absorbed stories and observations about the rituals of daily Southern life—the relentless toil of crop cultivation, women tending gardens and mixing herbal remedies, fish fries and other community gatherings, and religious activities. These experiences, which stood in stark contrast to the urban rhythm of his parents’ New York City household, left a lasting impression on him.
The exhibition’s loosely chronological structure traces critical themes in Bearden’s work such as music, religion, social change, and family, particularly informed by an African- American experience. The earliest group of works, from the 1940s, focuses on his memories of the rural South, painted in tempera on brown paper and characterized by strong colors, flattened perspective, and stylized, highly formal compositions. Works such as The Visitation (1941) and
Folk Musicians (1942) depict scenes of agrarian life yet also portray universal emotional bonds.
As Bearden developed his iconic collage technique in the mid-1960s, he made use of a wide ranges of art practices, both Western and non-Western. His use of collage, with its distortions, reversals, and Surrealistic blending of styles, enabled Bearden to convey the dreamlike quality of memory, and was, therefore, a perfect vehicle for recording of his memories of the South. After helping to found an artist’s group in support of civil rights in 1963, Bearden’s work became more overtly socially conscious. One of his most famous series, Prevalence of Ritual, concentrated mostly on southern African American life. Works like Baptism (1964) examined the changing nature of African Americans’ rights. Illustrating the movement of water being poured onto the subject being baptized, Bearden conveyed the temporal flux of society during the civil rights movement. In Carolina Reunion (1975), the subject matter is emblematic of the longing for a better life and the comforting familiarity of home embodied in the northern
migration of African Americans from the South during the early part of the 20th century.
Bearden returned to Mecklenburg County in the 1970s just as his career was beginning to gain momentum. This Southern homecoming proved bittersweet. Charlotte was undergoing urban renewal, and already traces of Bearden’s past had been erased. This nostalgic experience imbued Bearden with a greater sense of urgency to both celebrate and eulogize a lost way of life, a theme that would inform his artwork for the remainder of his days.
During the 1970s, Bearden developed a complex iconography that spoke to these new developments. Drawn to “journeying things”—trains and birds—his inclusion of these
recurring motifs implied a movement from one way of life to another. He increasingly used richer colors and more decorative patterns to mediate ideas about African American community and culture, as in Of the Blues: Carolina Shout (1974), Back Porch Serenade (1977), and
Sunset Limited (Mecklenburg County) (1978).
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition with contributions by Mary Lee Corlett, Jae Emerling, Glenda Gilmore, and Leslie King-Hammond. The exhibition will tour nationally following its debut at the Mint.
Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections is made possible with generous support from Duke Energy and Wells Fargo. Additional funding is provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Event marks closing week of landmark ceramics exhibition
A public symposium organized by the Mint Museum of Craft +Design will be part of a closing celebration for the inaugural exhibition, Contemporary British Studio
Ceramics: The Grainer Collection during its final week on view. Featuring innovative discussions by leading international art scholars and artists on important trends and developments in contemporary British ceramics, the Symposium will be held Thursday, 10 March, 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum
Uptown (at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street) and is free with museum admission.
Drawn from the collection of Diane and Marc Grainer of suburban Washington, D.C., the landmark exhibition Contemporary British Studio Ceramics is the first to focus exclusively on this subject in the United States and Great Britain. The Symposium will feature talks by art scholar and critic Tanya Harrod
(keynote speaker); artist and scholar Julian Stair; artist Neil Brownsword; and Mint Museum Director of Craft + Design Annie Carlano. Following the talks, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Carlano featuring Harrod, Stair, and Brownsword, as well as Mint Museum Curator of Decorative Arts Brian
Gallagher and ceramic artist Kate Malone.
The schedule of events is: 1:00 p.m. – Exhibition walk-through and discussion with Diane and Marc Grainer in the Mint
Museum of Craft + Design special exhibition galleries 2:00 p.m. – Book signing by the authors of the exhibition catalogue in the Robert Haywood
3:00 p.m. – Symposium begins in the James B. Duke Auditorium
4:30 p.m. – Break and reception hosted by The Founders’ Circle in the Atrium
5:30 p.m. – Symposium resumes; panel discussion begins
7:00 p.m. – Symposium ends
Keynote speaker Tanya Harrod is the principal essayist of the exhibition catalogue, Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection (Yale University Press: 2010), and Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art in London. She is co-editor of the Journal of Modern Craft and author of the award-winning study, The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century, and the forthcoming biography, Michael Cardew: A Life (both published by Yale University Press). Harrod will offer a survey of British
studio ceramics over the past 20 years with a focus on the “Englishness” of ceramic production.
Ceramic artist and scholar Julian Stair is the recipient of the 2004 European Achievement Award from the World Crafts Council and a regular contributor to craft journals and other prestigious publications. He holds a Ph.D. in Critical Writing on English Studio Pottery from the Royal College of Art
in London. Stair will be speaking on the topic of funerary ware, from urns to sarcophagi, related to his most recent work, which includes both thrown and hand-built vessels.
Born and raised near Stoke-on-Trent, ceramic artist Neil Brownsword began working at the Josiah Wedgwood factory at age 16. He studied ceramics at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, and received his Ph.D. from Brunel University in London following the completion of his groundbreaking series, Collaging History. Brownsword will be speaking on the development of his contemporary ceramic
installation art in historically significant Stoke-on-Trent.
Annie Carlano is the Director of Craft + Design at The Mint Museum and the exhibition curator of Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a master’s degree in art history from Università degli Studi in Florence, Italy. An internationally recognized scholar, Carlano has published and lectured on textiles, fashion, and decorative arts. Her recent books include Sleeping Around: The Bed
from Antiquity to Now (University of Washington Press: 2006) and Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection. She will speak on the topic of collecting ceramics.
Brian Gallagher is the Curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museum and a graduate of the Bard Graduate Center in New York. Prior to joining the Mint, he served as Assistant Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Gallagher is a member of the
Indemnity Panel for Domestic Exhibitions at the National Endowment for the Arts and serves as a board
member of the American Ceramic Circle.
Born in London, ceramicist Kate Malone studied at Bristol Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. Known for her use of shapes inspired by natural forms and vivid crystalline glazes, this Barcelona-based artist is one of the most fearless innovators in the field of international studio ceramics. The Mint Museum of Craft + Design has commissioned Malone to create a ceramic work for the new Mint Museum Uptown as part of its Project Ten Ten Ten series. She will be the guest artist at the upcoming
10th Annual Mint Condition Gala sponsored by The Founders’ Circle.
New amenities let children draw inspiration from creative play
New programs and amenities geared towards younger visitors are making The Mint Museum a welcoming destination for children and families this winter.
The Lewis Family Gallery at the Mint Museum Uptown provides a creative outlet for children to play, explore, and learn about the Museum’s collections. Featuring actual works of art, the Family Gallery offers five activity zones and a soft-play Tot Spot area for crawlers and new walkers. Visitors can pose for pictures behind a wall of ornate gold frames in the Hall of Portraits or step into a Romare Bearden-inspired collage in the interactive Memories of Mecklenburg play house. Two art-making stations, Draw the Line and Imagination Station, allow children to experiment with mark-making and create artwork to take home, while the Inspired By station offers puzzle challenges for young minds. Geared towards children up to age 12, the Lewis Family Gallery is open during regular museum hours and is free with admission.
Beginning in January, families will be able to borrow an Art Pack at the “Mint for Families” station just outside the Lewis Family Gallery for an in-depth investigation of artwork in the permanent collection galleries. Art Packs are backpacks stocked with sketching, writing, and touchable activities and games geared toward school-aged children. Also available at the family station are ARTventure scavenger hunt postcards, which encourage children and their parents to explore a new theme in the Mint Museum Uptown
each month. Both of these projects are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Mint will also launch two new education series for families in 2011: Art Studio Saturdays and Sunday Fun Days. In Art Studio Saturdays, children and adults can create art projects as a family using materials and themes provided by the Museum. This drop-in series will be held monthly on second
Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum Randolph and is free with museum admission. The Art Studio Saturdays winter/spring schedule is:
8 January – Painting Party!: Experiment with a variety of paints and materials to create a work of art, and see a masterpiece by Impressionist Mary Cassatt in the galleries.
12 February – Dragon Puppets: Use crayon resist, markers, and embellishments to construct a dramatic dragon puppet to celebrate Chinese New Year.
12 March – Native American Pottery: Explore ancient and contemporary pottery of the Americas and use hand-building techniques to construct a clay animal or vessel to take home.
9 April – Springtime Collage Cards: Celebrate the season by cutting, tearing, and layering handmade papers to create lovely collaged notecards, and visit the galleries to see how artists have depicted seasons throughout the ages.
14 May – Mexican Tin Art: Draw inspiration from the bold, contemporary Maya textiles on display, and design and emboss a colorful, metal folk art plate.
Debuting in January at the Mint Museum Uptown are Sunday Fun Days. This monthly, drop-in series features family-friendly activities, including performances, artist demonstrations, craft projects, family tours, and more. Sunday Fun Days will be held monthly on third Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum Uptown and are free with museum admission. The Sunday Fun Days winter/spring schedule is:
16 January – Glass Magic: Go on a family tour to view glass sculptures, make a sparkling sun catcher, and explore color and light at the Colorama Booth with Discovery Place ScienceReach specialists.
20 February – Art, Supersized: Add your touch to a supersized mural, search the galleries for large paintings, and play “giant games” with your family members.
20 March – Crafting Critters: Watch artist David Edgar morph recycled plastic into incredible sea creatures, take a guided “safari” in the galleries, and craft a critter to take home.
17 April – Earth Day Art: See a special “green” performance by the North Carolina Dance Theatre, watch a pottery demonstration by artist Greg Scott, craft a recycled creation, and go on an Earth Day family tour.
15 May – Wonders of Wood: Watch the wood shavings fly as artist Charles Farrar demonstrates the art of woodturning on a lathe, then go on a wood-themed scavenger hunt in the galleries and do a simple wood project.
All 2010-2011 education programs for children, youth, and teachers are supported in part by a generous grant from The Hearst Foundation, Inc.
Annual event relocates to the new Mint Museum Uptown
Emmy Award winner Farmer Jason will headline The Mint Museum’s Annual Children’s Holiday Party on Saturday, 11 December at 10:30 a.m. at the Mint Museum Uptown (500 South Tryon Street). This annual members-only event will feature entertainment by Farmer Jason and Art Vark (the Jr. Mints Kids Club mascot), refreshments, and family fun as a special holiday celebration for the Museum’s youngest supporters.
Internationally-acclaimed singer and songwriter Jason Ringenberg launched his musical career in the mid-1980s as the frontman of the award-winning punk rock/country band Jason and the Scorchers. In 2003, inspired by his young daughters, Ringenberg created his family music character Farmer Jason and released the album A Day at the Farm with Farmer Jason. With its themes of nature appreciation and ecology, the album earned rave reviews from national critics, as did his subsequent CD, Rockin’ in the Forest with Farmer Jason (2006). In 2009, Ringenberg partnered with Nashville Public Television to produce an educational video series called It’s a Farmer Jason!, which won an Emmy Award for Best Children’s Program Mid-South Region.
Exhibition marks ninth installment of VantagePoint contemporary art series
Speed, precision, and danger are key elements of the exhibition VantagePoint IX – Janet Biggs: Going to Extremes, on view 5 November 2010 – 29 May 2011 at the Mint Museum Uptown. From a kayaker navigating threatening Arctic waters to a NASCAR pit crew racing against the clock, Biggs’ video subjects tend to lead her to extremes.
Janet Biggs has been creating and exhibiting videos and video installations for nearly 20 years. Examining themes of speed, precision, personal discipline, gender roles, spectatorship, and calculated risk, her videos capture the athleticism of performance juxtaposed with danger. A common thread within her subjects is their willingness to undertake extraordinary risks—even brushes with death—in pursuit of the sublime.
The exhibition will present four single channel videos: Duet (2010), Fade to White (2010), Vanishing Point (2009), and Airs Above the Ground (2007).
Biggs’ latest work, Duet, brings her into new territory. Focusing on the world of NASCAR, the artist partnered with Joe Gibbs Racing to shoot footage showing how auto racing’s wild popularity and position within consumer culture create both drama and heroism. Rather than focusing exclusively on the drivers, Biggs presents the speed, precision, and agility of the pit crews and reveals their extreme grace under pressure. Juxtaposing the pit crew footage with scenes of the cars racing around the track, the video examines the relationships between power and precision, and chaos and control, which are central to the search for speed. Biggs also integrates sound and video footage of a violinist and vocalist performing The Flower Duet from the opera Lakmé by Léo Delibes. Duet will be screened for the first time as part of the exhibition. Commissioned from the artist, the video will remain in The Mint Museum’s permanent collection.
Fade to White follows the journey of Audun Tholfsen, a guide and crew member on the Nooderlicht, a schooner that took Biggs to the Arctic in 2009. The video reveals the myth of the solitary male explorer by focusing on Tholfsen’s trials as he navigates the ship, and sometimes a kayak, through threatening, iceberg-filled seas. Loss and change are implicit in the video’s title, which refers to an editing technique used to evoke death or transcendence. Biggs integrates the striking Arctic imagery with sound and video footage of countertenor John Kelly, whose age, androgyny, and mournful voice parallel the vanishing Arctic landscape and signal the waning of male dominance.
With its title taken from Richard Sarafian’s 1971 road movie, the video Vanishing Point looks at the ways in which an individual can vanish. Combining images of motorcycle speed record holder Leslie Porterfield on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats with footage of Harlem’s Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir performing a song written specifically for the video, Vanishing Point examines the struggle to maintain one’s identity, the role of those who witness that identity vanishing, and a search for freedom that can end in either destruction or transcendence.
Airs Above the Ground examines the performance of youth, equating age with pageantry and masquerade. An ethereal image of an inverted, weightless synchronized swimmer suspended in slow motion reveals the strenuous effort and dedication behind the appearance of youthful ease. The hyper-stylized gestures and affected costume of the athlete belie the power, agility, and strength required to make every action appear graceful. Biggs suggests that youth is bound by social constraints that set some individuals on a search for impossible perfection or transcendence.
Biggs will give a lecture discussing the inspiration behind her work on Thursday, 4 November at 7:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum Uptown. The lecture is free and open to the public.
VantagePoint IX – Janet Biggs: Going to Extremes is underwritten by the Goodrich Foundation and is supported, in part, by a Special Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council. VantagePoint is the Museum’s contemporary art series that emphasizes new developments in recent art practice. For more information call 704.337.2000.
Craft museum marks its move to the new Mint Museum Uptown with a farewell party
Charlotteans can enjoy their own “Night at the Museum” to bid farewell to the original location of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. The Mint Museum will invite the public for a final walk-through of the craft museum’s original location (220 North Tryon Street) at a “Last Look Friday” event, before relocating its collections to the new Mint Museum Uptown scheduled to open in October 2010. Enjoy a night of live entertainment, art activities and refreshments in an empty museum on Friday, March 5, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
The celebration will honor the art collections and past exhibitions housed at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, and provide a sneak preview of new additions at the Mint Museum Uptown. Guests of all ages can participate in do-it-yourself art activities from sculpture to interactive photography sessions, observe artist demonstrations and dance to live music by The Swingin’ Richards.
Prior to the celebration, guests can participate in the Last Look Friday Photography Contest by submitting photographs of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. Photos will be judged by museum staff in the categories of “Most Artistic Image,” “Best Dressed Museum-Goers” or “Best Architectural Image,” with winners to be announced the evening of the event. All submissions will be projected on a slideshow in the galleries. The public can submit photographs by uploading them to The Mint Museum’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mintmuseum) or by e-mailing them to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is March 4 at midnight.
The Mint Museum’s expansion project includes the construction of a five-story facility in uptown Charlotte and the reinstallation of the historic Mint Museum Randolph. When the expansion is complete, The Mint Museum’s total combined square footage will grow by more than 60 percent, allowing more opportunities to showcase works from the permanent collection and better accommodate significant traveling exhibitions. The new Mint Museum Uptown will house the collections from the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as significant collections of American art, contemporary art, and a selection of European art from the Mint Museum Randolph.
Public invited to experience art, music, and film at the Mint Museum Uptown
The Mint Museum announces the 2010-11 program schedule for its First Fridays and Let’s Get Reel series.
First Fridays is an ongoing evening event series held the first Friday of every month at the new Mint Museum Uptown (500 South Tryon Street). Each First Friday centers on a different theme and features hands-on art activities for all ages, live entertainment, gallery tours, and refreshments. Admission is free for Mint members and $10 for non-members. The 2010-11 First Fridays schedule is:
5 November – MoveMint, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
3 December – EmbellishMint, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
7 January – EnjoyMint, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
4 February – EndearMint, 6:00-11:00 p.m.
4 March – StateMint, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
1 April – AdornMint, 6:00-11:00 p.m.
6 May – EmpowerMint, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
3 June – EleMint, 6:00-11:00 p.m.
Debuting in November, the Let’s Get Reel music and movies series will be held the second Tuesday of each month at the Mint Museum Uptown. Free live music starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by a movie screening at 7:00 p.m. Admission to the movie is free for Mint members and $5 for non-members.
Local, national, and international visitors take part in 24-hour celebration
The Mint Museum welcomed a record-breaking 17,000 visitors to its new facility in uptown Charlotte during its grand opening weekend on 1-3 October. The debut of the Mint Museum Uptown was accompanied by a 24-Hour Grand Opening celebration, featuring free admission, live entertainment, and art activities for all ages.
“The enthusiastic support and overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from members and guests made our opening weekend a tremendously rewarding experience to me and to the entire staff, who worked tirelessly to make this event such a success,” said Executive Director Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson. “Even more satisfying was observing the galleries full of diverse audiences experiencing the Mint’s collections in new ways, and seeing a subsequent spike in memberships over the weekend.”
The 24-Hour Grand Opening celebration kicked off on 1 October with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:00 p.m., followed by a variety of activities for all ages during the next 24 hours. Friday evening events included an inaugural First Friday celebration and a Takeover Friday party, featuring music and dancing into the wee hours. Saturday activities included a Pecha Kucha Night Charlotte, museum tours, films, artist demonstrations, a poetry slam, and art-making activities for children and families in the Lewis Family Gallery. Special partnerships with Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure and the Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance allowed hundreds of people to walk, run, and bike to the Museum during opening weekend.
“After years of planning and fine-tuning the educational components of the new Mint, we were thrilled to see children and families diving into the interactive art stations in the Lewis Family Gallery,” said Director of Education Cheryl Palmer. “The excitement exhibited by our young patrons reinforces our belief that arts education is a critical need in the community.”
During the week preceding the grand opening, the Mint Museum Uptown held several “soft openings” for approximately 1,500 supporters, members, and community partners. Net sales from the Museum Shop during opening weekend totaled more than $10,000.
Designed by noted architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the Mint Museum Uptown was the final attraction to open in the Levine Center for the Arts, located in the heart of Charlotte’s business district. Housing the internationally-renowned Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as American and contemporary art and select works from the European art collection, the 145,000-square-foot facility includes two full floors of galleries, each featuring 12,000 square feet of permanent collection space and 6,000 square feet of changing exhibition space. A dramatic multi-story atrium, named for the late Robert Haywood Morrison in honor of his foundation’s generous gift to the Museum, serves as a central hub of activity and features a 60- by 60-foot glass curtain wall offering spectacular views of the urban landscape. The building also includes a café, the Lewis Family Gallery, painting and ceramics studios, classrooms, a 240-seat auditorium, a Special Events Pavilion with outdoor terrace, and an expanded street-level Museum Shop featuring crafts of the Carolinas and showcasing merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.
Following the opening of the Mint Museum Uptown, the Mint Museum Randolph, located in the historic Eastover neighborhood, will reinstall its galleries dedicated to the art of the ancient Americas, decorative arts, and historic costume, among others.
Sculptor was in residence at McColl Center for Visual Art and exhibited at The Mint Museum in Charlotte
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named Elizabeth Turk, an artist with ties to the Charlotte cultural community, as one of 23 new MacArthur Fellows for 2010. Turk, a sculptor known for transforming marble into intricate, seemingly weightless works of art, was a 2003 Artist-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art and presented her first solo museum exhibition VantagePoint III – Elizabeth Turk: The Collarsat The Mint Museum in 2004. Turk was recently in Charlotte to deliver Collar 21 to the Mint for presentation within the contemporary art galleries in the new Mint Museum Uptown, opening 1 October 2010.
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of a MacArthur Fellowship than Elizabeth,” said Carla Hanzal, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Mint Museum. “Her ability to manipulate marble into such exquisite forms defies the medium’s rigid qualities and is nothing short of extraordinary. We are proud to share her impressive artwork with the public.”
“Elizabeth has a quiet, thoughtful, yet powerful sensibility,” said Suzanne Fetscher, President of McColl Center for Visual Art. “Her time with us was spent developing the concepts and execution for the “Collars.” At the time, she called our Center a “candy store” where artists can explore materials, tools and relationships with other artists and the community, which is our reason for being. It is wonderful to see our partnership with the Mint Museum reflected in this amazing recognition for Elizabeth.”
While her past artistic projects have involved works in metal, glass, and porcelain, as well as drawings, photography, and video, Turk has focused on marble in her major series of works. Inspired by the challenges the hard stone poses for an artist interested in rendering nature’s most delicate forms, she has achieved an extremely fine level of detail in an often-unforgiving substance. Employing a variety of electric grinders, files, and small dental tools with a dexterous touch, her technical virtuosity is on full display in “The Collars,” a series of sixteen painstakingly carved sculptures that explore a rich variety of organic and geometric patterns. The elaborate collars in this collection combine allusions to decorative motifs and the self-organizing systems of the natural world, drawing from lace-making and Elizabethan fashion as well as botanical, skeletal, and architectural structures. Continuing the theme of fragile, textile-like compositions with the strength and heft of stone, Turk creates a surprising sense of buoyancy and undulating movement in her recent series of marble ribbons suspended in midair. With these and other visually arresting feats of precision, Turk is pushing the physical limits of her material and reviving a classical medium for contemporary artistic exploration.
Turk will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support from the MacArthur Foundation over the next five years. All Fellows were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.
145,000-square-foot facility will increase museum’s space by more than 60 percent
–October 1st marks a transformative moment for The Mint Museum. The debut of the new Mint Museum Uptown – one year prior to the institution’s 75th anniversary – will bring together the Mint Museum of Art and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design under one roof, double the permanent collection on view, and hone the institution’s ability to attract and organize major traveling exhibitions.
“The debt-free completion of the Mint Museum Uptown and the Levine Center for the Arts during a time of economic upheaval is a testament to Charlotte’s unwavering commitment to the arts and its long tradition of philanthropy,” said Executive Director Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson. “The scope of this ambitious cultural project is going to transform the way Charlotte lives and catapult the Mint to national and international significance.”
Building and Collections: Designed by noted architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the Mint Museum Uptown is the final attraction to open in the Levine Center for the Arts, located in the heart of Charlotte’s business district. In addition to the Mint, this development includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Theater, along with corporate and retail facilities.
The 145,000-square-foot, five-story Mint Museum Uptown includes two full floors of galleries, each featuring 12,000 square feet of permanent collection space and 6,000 square feet of changing exhibition space. A dramatic multi-story atrium, named for the late Robert Haywood Morrison in honor of his foundation’s generous gift to the Museum, will serve as a central hub of activity and features a 60- by 60-foot glass curtain wall offering spectacular views of the urban landscape. The building also includes a café, the Lewis Family Gallery, painting and ceramics studios, classrooms, a 240-seat auditorium, a Special Events Pavilion with outdoor terrace, and an expanded street-level Museum Shop featuring crafts of the Carolinas and showcasing merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions. These amenities and special features will provide venues for hosting public programs that reinforce the Museum’s commitment to making art and education inspiring and accessible to the entire community.
Expanding The Mint Museum was one of the top priorities laid out in a master Cultural Facilities Plan developed by the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County in 2003. The Mint Museum Uptown will house the internationally-renowned Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as American and contemporary art and select works from the European art collection.
Following the opening of the Mint Museum Uptown, the Mint Museum Randolph, located in the historic Eastover neighborhood, will reinstall its galleries dedicated to the art of the ancient Americas, decorative arts, and historic costume, among others.
The opening of the new facility marks a pivotal chapter in the Mint’s history and in Charlotte’s continued emergence as a cultural destination. The cultural facilities campaign to create the Levine Center for the Arts and facilitate other uptown cultural improvements met its $83 million goal.
New Programs: The Lewis Family Gallery at the Mint Museum Uptown will serve as a family-friendly introduction to the museum, offering a variety of engaging hands-on activities and opportunities for imaginative play. The Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium and James B. Duke Auditorium will offer such new programs as the Get Reel film/live jazz series. Two studio classrooms will expand the number of painting, drawing, mixed media, and clay classes offered for teachers, children, teens, and adults. In addition to these spaces, there will be small classrooms on the two gallery levels for hands-on activities with tour groups.
Newly-Commissioned Artwork: Under an initiative titled Project Ten Ten Ten, four international craft and design artists have been invited to create works for the Mint Museum of Craft + Design: Danny Lane (United States), Ted Noten (The Netherlands), Joseph Walsh (Ireland), and Hildur Bjarnadǿttir (Iceland). Six additional works of art will soon be commissioned from Tom Joyce, Cristina Córdova (both United States), Tetsunori Kawana (Japan), Kate Malone (Great Britain), Susan Point (Canada), and Ayala Serfaty (Israel). Project Ten Ten Ten will catapult the Mint Museum of Craft + Design to the highest level of artistic excellence through this extraordinary site-specific work.
The Mint Museum of Art has commissioned American artist Ken Aptekar to create a new interpretation of its 18th-century Portrait of Queen Charlotte to hang in the Mint Museum Uptown. The artist references historic works, imbuing them with contemporary meaning and inviting new dialogue. Titled Charlotte’s Charlotte, Aptekar’s painting reinterprets the Mint’s coronation portrait. Based largely on community input, the artist has created six panels which examine the British Queen’s diverse interests, vulnerability as a young woman, and African ancestry.
24-Hour Grand Opening: The Mint Museum Uptown opens its doors to the public on Friday, October 1st, with a 24-Hour Grand Opening celebration. The festivities kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:00 p.m., followed by a variety of activities for all ages during the next 24 hours. Events include a First Friday celebration from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. (admission: members – free; non-members – $10) and a Takeover Friday party, featuring music and dancing into the wee hours (10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.; $10 admission). Other activities include a Pecha Kucha Night Charlotte, museum tours, films, artist demonstrations, a poetry slam with Q and the Concrete Generation, a live broadcast by Kiss Radio 95.1, and a special welcome for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure participants on Saturday morning. Admission is free from 2:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Mint Museum Uptown and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum Randolph on Saturday, October 2nd, and free at both facilities from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 3rd.
Inaugural Exhibitions: New Visions: Contemporary Masterworks from the Bank of America Collection (1 October 2010 – 17 April 2011). The Mint Museum and Bank of America will collaborate to present an exhibition comprising more than 60 contemporary works. New Visions highlights the strengths of Bank of America’s postwar collection and reveals a wide variety of artistic philosophies, approaches, and movements that extend into the early 21st century. The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from such major artists as Milton Avery, Jennifer Bartlett, Roger Brown, John Chamberlain, Janet Fish, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Elizabeth Murray, Louise Nevelson, Jules Olitski, Edward Ruscha, Miriam Schapiro, and Frank Stella.
“We are grateful to Bank of America for this extraordinary opportunity to bring together and share with the public major works by some of the most important artists of our time,” said Curator of Contemporary Art Carla Hanzal, exhibition organizer. “While many corporations boast large art collections, it is rare to see such a comprehensive collection of contemporary and modern art that is both dynamic and historically significant. This show exemplifies the excellence and regional diversity that Bank of America’s collection is uniquely suited to reveal.”
New Visions: Contemporary Masterworks from the Bank of America Collection is organized by The Mint Museum, Charlotte, N.C., and provided by Bank of America Art in our Communities™ program.
Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection (1 October 2010 –13 March 2011). Drawn from the collection of Diane and Marc Grainer of suburban Washington, D.C., this exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of contemporary British studio ceramics ever assembled. Comprised of functional and sculptural objects made between the 1980s and 2009, the show features work by 100 artists either born or residing in Great Britain, including established “contemporary classics” like Lucie Rie and cutting-edge ceramicists such as Julian Stair, Kate Malone, Neil Brownsword, and Grayson Perry.
Rooted in the materiality of clay, a hallmark of studio pottery, the collection chronicles the recent history of Contemporary British Studio Ceramics. The exhibition begins with an overview of the earlier 20th century masters, then moves to works that demonstrate the two different strains of influence that informed contemporary makers – from the historicism of Bernard Leach and his successors to the refugee modernism embodied by Rie.
“The most thrilling quality of the contemporary British studio ceramics field is that it remains free from a defining aesthetic and cannot be tied together by one common visual thread,” said Annie Carlano, Director of Craft + Design and curator of the exhibition. “There has never been a comprehensive exhibition on either side of the pond about these objects. Building on the Mint’s internationally recognized collection of historic English ceramics, this exhibition allows us to explore a wider wealth of riches and continue the story from art pottery to clay art today.”
Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection is organized by The Mint Museum and sponsored by Duke Energy. It will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated scholarly catalogue published by Yale University Press, London.