MCCOLL CENTER FOR ART + INNOVATION
Alumni reunite for a visually stunning artistic “conversation” at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, an artist residency and contemporary art space located in a historic church in Uptown Charlotte. Curated by visiting curator Jonell Logan, Adorned fosters a dynamic conversation between the work of two McColl Center alumni who work with a variety of materials to explore today’s most relevant issues.
Through African-inspired masks, textured backgrounds, and large necklaces, artists Sharif Bey (a teaching artist and associate professor of art at Syracuse University) and Atlanta native Shanequa Gay search for power in adornment and aim to explore life today through altered rites of passage and history. Don’t miss part of the installation that Gay created especially for the McColl Center space, a response to some of Bey’s works. mccollcenter.org
PAINTING IS ITS OWN COUNTRY
HARVEY B. GANTT CENTER FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTS + CULTURE
On display through April, Painting Is Its Own Country explores traditional ideas of creativity and cultural representation. Featuring more than two dozen artists, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture uses this exhibition to survey a wide array of talented emerging and established painters to showcase the undying and boundless expressive nature of the classic art form. Artists include Elizabeth Colomba, who has permanent collections at Princeton University and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Indiana-born DeShawn Dumas, whose powerful work is inspired by slavery and its continued unfolding in the United States. The exhibition is curated by Dexter Wimberly, known globally for his exhibitions and programs, including The Third Line in Dubai, Koki Arts in Tokyo, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. ganttcenter.org
CLASSIC BLACK: THE BASALT SCULPTURE OF WEDGWOOD AND
HIS CONTEMPORARIES MINT MUSEUM RANDOLPH
Recognized as North Carolina’s first art museum, the Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in an original branch of the United States Mint. Through May, the Mint Museum Randolph shows Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries. The exhibition marks the first to focus solely on Wedgwood’s black basalt sculptures as well as other potters. Notable artists represented in the sculptures include Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini of the seventeenth century, and eighteenth-century sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac.
But the Mint offers a present-day twist to the presentation, collaborating with contemporary Charlotte-based muralist and street artist OWL to create murals for each exhibition room. Inspired by the sunset, each mural plays off of the pieces featured, creating not only a visually arresting result but a noteworthy juxtaposition of largely male figures of antiquity with the presentday art of a woman of color. mintmuseum.org