Posts Tagged ‘Mint Museum of Art’

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.

Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC, Presents 5th Annual Potters Market Invitational – Sept. 12, 2009

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

This may seem to be an early announcement, but you want to plan ahead for this event.

Craft enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet and purchase works by some of North Carolina’s top potters at the 5th Annual Potters Market Invitational. Widely regarded as one of the most popular pottery sales in the region, the event will take place Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, from 10am-4pm on the lawn of the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC.

Tickets are $10 for adults ($8 after 2pm); $5 for children 5-17; and free for children 4 and younger. Ticket sales begin on the day of the event at 9:30am. The entry fee includes admission to the Mint Museum of Art. Proceeds support the Museum’s decorative arts collection.

Exemplifying the region’s rich craft heritage, the Potters Market features 40 superb potters representing the state’s most important pottery-producing areas: Seagrove, Piedmont, Catawba Valley and the mountains, including Penland and Asheville. Potters are selected on a rotating basis so that the opportunity to participate can be open to as many artists as possible.

 

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Bulldog Pottery

This year’s event features notable returning potters such as Ben Owen III, Donna Craven and Crystal King, as well as a select group of up-and-coming potters, all of whom are creating distinctive work that is gaining national attention. Seven of the selected potters recently participated in the 2009 Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC, a prestigious juried exhibition of fine craft: Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish, Carol Gentithes, Jim and Shirl Parmentier, Akira Satake and Liz Zlot Summerfield. New potters participating this year include the Parmentiers and Summerfield, as well as Steven Forbes de-Soule, Eric Knoche, Will McCanless, Kelly O’Briant, Michael Rutkowsky and Jenny Lou Sherburne.

North Carolina has a central role in American pottery and a growing international reputation in this art field. The Mint Museum of Art has one of the country’s finest collections of pottery and devotes special efforts to documenting the history of North Carolina ceramics. The 5th Annual Potters Market Invitational is presented by the Delhom Service League, an affiliate group of The Mint Museum.

For more information, visit (www.mintmuseum.org) or call Barbara Perry, Potters Market Chair, at 704/ 366-0665.

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.

Keenan Fountain at the Columbia Museum of Art

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

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A few months back I stopped to take some early morning photographs of the new fountain in front of the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC. Well, it’s not so new, but new enough.

I hope you enjoy some different views of this fountain, named Apollo’s Cascade. The fountain was created by Rodney Carroll in 2007.

While there checking out different views and angles, I stopped to read the plaque posted about the fountain and the people who gave money to make it possible. There were three groups of names (contributors) that made me start thinking. There were lots of other names – businesses, people I don’t know, and corporations.

One was – Mr. and Mrs. Guy Fleming Lipscomb. Here are truly some visual art patrons. The main art gallery space at the SC State Museum in Columbia is named the Lipscomb Gallery, as is the exhibit space at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. There are also Lipscomb funded awards in juried exhibitions. You don’t get these kinds of honors without giving some money along the way.

Another name on the plaque was that of the Cultural Council of Richland & Lexington Counties. I was wondering if their contribution came from funds raised from the Palmetto Trees Project auction. Money raised from that effort was supposed to go to sculpture projects in Columbia. I hope this was one.

The third names were of Wendyth and Warner Wells. Wendy Wells is the owner of City Art, an art gallery located at 1224 Lincoln Street in Columbia. That is also the home of Art Express, an art supply store serving artists’ needs locally, regionally and nationally (there’s a plug). Wells is one of the owners of that business too.

My mind was flashing back to a photograph I had seen in one of the Mint Museum’s newsletters – from a year or so ago. It was a picture of Wells standing, looking at a painting by Amy Fichter, that she and her husband had donated to the Mint’s contemporary collection. Fichter earned her MFA in Drawing at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

I have to say I was a little surprised to see that picture in the Mint newsletter – not to say I was surprised in that I didn’t believe it – more like unexpected seeing someone from SC giving to the Mint collection. I’ve seen a lot of these newsletters and this was new. I’ve also learned that Wells and her husband have donated works by Fichter to the Columbia Museum of Art and to the Birmingham Museum in Alabama. The Birmingham Museum is a surprise too, but I didn’t ask the why question. It didn’t matter.

How interesting.

What am I getting at? Well here was another example of a commercial gallery owner giving back to non-profits. It happens all the time. It probably happens everyday somewhere in the Carolinas. Whether it’s donating artwork for a fundraiser, framing some work for free to be displayed, or making a major contribution for a fountain or a work for a museum collection – people in the commercial side of the art world are always giving, but are often treated as just greedy capitalists – by the same people they are giving to – or at least some of them.

You know, Guy Lipscomb is an artist too. I checked and I didn’t see his name included in the SC Arts Commission’s State Art Collection. Not that giving money to the arts qualifies you to be included in a state collection, but neither is a work by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner and the Arts Commission co-opted her name to be used as an award for SC’s top art award. She was a commercial artist. She sold postcards of her works to early Charleston tourists for pennies. Her artwork isn’t good enough for the State Art Collection, but her name is for an award. In fact, I bet the Arts Commission now wishes they could afford a Verner – just to say they had one.

It’s the double standard. Commercial people – good enough to give, but not worthy enough to receive.

This double standard almost – almost spoiled my viewing of this wonderful fountain. This is what can happen when you know too much about the arts. Your head is filled with the good, but the bad is lurking inside too.