Archive for the ‘Charlotte NC Visual Arts’ Category

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Unveils Charlotte, NC’s Newest Public Art Piece

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Over the next two years, Center City Charlotte will be transformed by the development of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus (formerly the Wachovia Cultural Campus), which will include an expanded Mint Museum of Art, the new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Cultural Center) and the new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. What a boon this is for the visual arts in the Charlotte area and the Carolinas.

The new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture opened in Oct. 2009 and now we have another announcement about the Cultural Campus. Stay tuned to Carolina Arts Unleashed for all the latest updates on the Cultural Campus.

The new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has unveiled The Firebird, a playful, monumental outdoor sculpture that will greet visitors on their way to the museum when it opens on Jan. 2, 2010.

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The Firebird is Charlotte’s newest work of privately-owned public art and is a permanent fixture in the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection. Standing 17-feet 5-inches tall, the sculpture is a whimsical, bird-like creature covered from top to bottom in pieces of mirrored and colored glass. The Firebird was installed on the plaza of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art facing South Tryon Street and overlooking the new Wells Fargo Cultural Campus where the museum is located.

Created in 1991 by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002), the sculpture was purchased by museum patron Andreas Bechtler specifically for placement in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Bechtler, a Charlotte resident and native of Switzerland, was looking for a sculpture to serve as a counterpoint to the geometric lines of the museum’s architecture, designed by renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta.

“When I saw The Firebird, I knew it was outstanding. I knew it would be great for the museum,” Andreas Bechtler said. “The Firebird is joyful, uplifting and engaging. It makes you feel that life is good.”

The unveiling ceremony included remarks from Cyndee Patterson, Board Chair of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Heinz Roth, Honorary Consul of Switzerland; Urs Ziswiler, Swiss Ambassador to the United States; Andreas Bechtler and John Boyer, President and CEO of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Also in attendance was Laura Gabriela Duke, the daughter of The Firebird artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

“The Bechtler is excited to celebrate the great legacy of Niki de Saint Phalle with the placement of The Firebird – a piece that we trust will serve as an exciting and welcoming gesture to Charlotte visitors and everyone who comes to the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus,” said museum President and CEO John Boyer.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is named after the family of Andreas Bechtler. Bechtler assembled and inherited a collection of more than 1,400 artworks created by major figures of 20th-century modernism and committed it to the city of Charlotte.

The Bechtler collection comprises artworks by seminal figures such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Le Corbusier, Sol LeWitt, Edgar Degas, Nicolas de Stael, Barbara Hepworth and Picasso. Books, photographs and letters illustrating personal connections to the Bechtler family accompany some of the works in the collection. Only a handful of the artworks have been on public view in the United States.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is located at 420 South Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte. The museum opens to the public on Jan. 2, 2010. For museum details visit (www.bechtler.org).

To read an entry we posted about the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, just click this link.

To read an entry we posted about the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, just click this link.

Juried Show Opportunity For NC and SC Visual Artists

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

During the month of October historic Atherton Mill, located in Charlotte, NC’s SouthEnd District, will host a month-long art event named Carolina’s Got Art!. Larry Elder, owner of Elder Gallery in Charlotte, has fashioned the exhibition after a long running annual art exhibit which was at one time sponsored by Springs Mills in SC. The juried show has since been discontinued but exciting memories still exist for those who participated. The eagerly anticipated “Springs Show” provided an opportunity for artists to compete for prize money and prestige. The objective of Carolina’s Got Art! is similar.

“Through Carolina’s Got Art! we hope to see the diversity of artwork being produced throughout the two Carolinas. Both states are rich in visual art history and have produced artists who have achieved national and international acclaim,” says Elder. A South Carolina artist recently reflected that his participation in the “Springs Show” was instrumental in one of his paintings being included in the Guggenheim Museum’s permanent collection. Acceptance into the exhibition will allow artists, both amateur and professional, to offer their work for sale, as well as evaluation by New York art critic, Brice Brown, who will serve as juror. The main goal of the event is to generate a spark of excitement within the visual arts community that has suffered due to the economic downturn.

“Our hope is that Carolina’s Got Art! will be the first of many 21st century visual art exhibitions to showcase the vast amount of talent being created in the two Carolinas. Now is a great time for residents and businesses of the Carolinas to step up and offer a strong show of support for the visual arts,” says Elder. Submissions for the exhibition can be made via (www.carolinasgotart.com). Deadline for entries is September 1, 2009.

The Juror: Brice Brown received his BA from Dartmouth College and his MFA from Pratt Institute. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America and The Village Voice, among others, and is in numerous public collections such as Baltimore Museum of Art, The Speed Art museum, and Yale University. As a writer and art critic, he has been a regular contributor to The New York Sun, and The New York Press, and has written numerous exhibition catalogue essays. He also publishes and edits an annual arts journal called The Sienese Shredder.

Carolina’s Got Art! will take place from Oct. 2 – 30, 2009 at Atherton Mills, 2000 South Boulevard in Charlotte.

Round One: All work submitted as per the terms of the Entry Instructions will be viewed by the exhibition juror with assistance from Elder Gallery. All best efforts will be made to keep judging impartial and fair. Our goal is to select an exhibition that is broad in scope and reflects the very best quality of work submitted.

Round Two: New York art critic and writer, Brice Brown, will select prize winners from the exhibition.

Round Three:  Elder Gallery will select up to fifty pieces to be included in its November, 2009 exhibition.

Show awards include:
Best in Show – $2,500; First Place – $2,000; Second Place -$1,500; Third Place – $1,000; and Honorable Mention(s) – $500 gift certificate from Williamsburg Oil Paints and $500 gift certificate from Campania Fine Moulding.

For further info contact Larry Elder at 704/370-6337 or e-mail to (lelder@mindspring.com).

P.S. To read some of the buzz this juried show is generating check out theCharlotte Observer article about Carolina’s Got Art!.

New Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC, Launches Website

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Over the next two years, Center City Charlotte will be transformed by the development of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus (formerly the Wachovia Cultural Campus), which will include an expanded Mint Museum of Art, an expanded Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts & Culture (formerly the Afro-American Cultural Center) and the new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. What a boon for the visual arts in the Charlotte area and the Carolinas.

The Gantt Center will open later this year, the Bechtler Museum will open in Jan. 2010, and the Mint in the fall of 2010. I can hardly wait. But I guess I’ll have to.

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To introduce the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and its collection to the public, an interim website has been launched at (www.bechtler.org). Created by MODE, a Charlotte-based branding and interactive agency, the site highlights artists in the collection, provides architectural information, describes museum offerings and gives visitors the opportunity to sign up for e-mail updates regarding programs, exhibitions, membership, facilities rental, volunteering and educational opportunities. The website will continue to expand in the months ahead.

While on the website look for the “Firebird” – a while back I came across a story about its restoration – this is really something.

But here’s some other info to get you interested.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the only museum dedicated to the exhibition of mid 20th-century European modern art in the southeast, will open to the public on Jan. 2, 2010.

Construction of the museum’s distinct four-story, 36,500 square foot building in downtown Charlotte is nearing completion. Museum staff is slated to move into the facility this summer and the collection is scheduled to arrive in the fall. The building, designed by world renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta, is destined to become an iconic structure with its boldly cantilevered fourth floor exhibition gallery, soaring glass and steel atrium and terra cotta exterior.

The museum is named after the family of Andreas Bechtler, a Charlotte resident and native of Switzerland who assembled and inherited a collection of more than 1,400 artworks created by major figures of 20th-century modernism and donated it to the public trust. The Bechtler collection reflects most of the important art movements and schools from the 20th century with a deep holding of the School of Paris after World War II.

The collection is comprised of artworks by seminal figures such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Jean Tinguely, Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Le Corbusier, Sol Lewitt, Edgar Degas, Nicolas de Stael, Barbara Hepworth and Picasso. In many instances the holdings by a particular artist are across various media (painting, sculpture, drawing, prints and decorative arts). Some works in the collection are also accompanied by books, photographs and letters illustrating personal connections to the Bechtler family.

Only a handful of the artworks in the Bechtler collection have been on public view in the United States. Until now, the collection was privately held by the Bechtler family and has since been committed to the city of Charlotte.

From time to time as we get news we’ll keep you posted about this exciting project.