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Looking to be inspired or simply need a relaxing break? Consider visiting The Mint Museum.

Viewing works of art has been shown to improve mental health and brain function, reduce anxiety and counteract feelings of loneliness.

Mint Museum Uptown and its sister location, Mint Museum Randolph, have much to offer visitors this season, from works that reflect contemporary Black culture in America to vibrant displays that illustrate how color can transform perception and space. (There’s even a gift shop for for the art lover on your holiday list.)

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that proximity matters,” says Todd A. Herman, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “When you visit The Mint Museum, you experience the physicality of the works of art — their size and scale, material, and relationship to adjacent works,”

He added: “Being in the presence of art gives our minds and spirit permission to wander, and to be transported by the beauty and creative talent of people from varied backgrounds and experiences.”

Mint Museum Uptown

What to see

The Mint’s newest exhibition, “In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art,” brings together contemporary artists in a vibrant collection. This immersive collection includes an interactive color shadow wall where flowers and leaves appear to cascade endlessly in a continuous video loop.

“Foragers” by N.Y. artist Summer Wheat resembles stained glass, is four stories tall, and fills all 96 windows of the atrium. Filled with female figures, the piece celebrates hope and resilience and honors underrecognized populations who helped cultivate the land and bring creativity and industry to North Carolina.

Chalk drawings by Charlotte artist de’Angelo Dia.

Walking around the galleries, visitors will encounter large chalk drawings by Charlotte artist de’Angelo Dia, who draws his figures in a state of development, their bodies cocooned and their heads blossoming with unique features and hairstyles.

Dia’s characters explore elements of African-American culture with the intention of recognizing “the hybrid nature of culture those from the African diaspora must create in their new lands,” according to the Mint. The drawings are part of Constellation CLT, a program the Mint created to display the works of local artists as a means of connecting artists and museum visitors. Dia’s drawings are located in the entrance, at the foot of the atrium escalator and on the landings of the Mezzanine and 4th floor.

“New Days, New Works” features more than 80 works of art from the Mint’s permanent collection, many of which are new or have never been on view before. The collection illustrates the connection between the museum and the community and represents gifts from all of the museum’s collections, including contemporary, craft, design and fashion.

Examples on display include:

  • “Black Artists on Art, Volumes 1 & 2,” produced by the first African American-owned art publishing house and donated by civic leader and art advocate B.E. Noel.
  • “Black Boys Cry,” an archival digital print by photographer Ken West.
  • “Ceiling of Offerings” by Spanish artist Pilar Albarracin. The piece features 724 colorful flamenco dresses hung from the ceiling.
  • Kuba textiles made from raffia palm fiber by weavers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Messages for the City, a digital installation displayed on the Wells Fargo digital screen along Levine Avenue of the Arts, includes digital works of art in response to the pandemic and recognizes the hard work of frontline workers.

Mint Museum Randolph:

Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries has been extended through Jan. 3. Exhibition walls painted hues of purple, yellow, oranges and pinks feature distinct-line work from local mural artist Owl. The swirls and curves offer movement and a three-dimensional feel that accompanies the display of 100 black basalt objects, including life-size portrait busts, statues and plaques.

What to do:

On Fridays, Mint Museum Uptown hosts Night Out at the Museum with live music scheduled through December.

Shop for gifts: For those wanting some retail therapy, both museum locations offer a gift shop with an assortment of books, textiles, holiday decorations and other items.

Mint Museum Gift Shop

New safety procedures:

The museums closed in mid-March and re-opened in late September with new safety protocols. Capacity is limited to 35%. The museum requires timed ticketing with two-to-three time slots available each day. High traffic areas are cleaned in between the time slots. Tickets can be purchased online, and visitors receive a scannable code. (Walk-up admission is available if capacity hasn’t been met.) Visitors are required to wear a mask. Hand sanitizer dispensers are abundant.

During these unprecedented times, a change of scenery can provide welcome relief from pressing concerns. A trip to The Mint Museum is an easy way to escape everyday worries and nourish the soul.

Want to go?

Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon Street
at Levine Center for the Arts
Charlotte, NC 28202
704.337.2000

Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road
Charlotte, NC 28207
704.337.2000

Hours:
Tuesday 11 AM – 6 PM, Wednesday 11 AM – 9 PM, Thursday 11 AM – 6 PM, Friday 11 AM – 9 PM, Saturday 11 AM – 6 PM, and Sunday 1 PM – 5 PM.

Wednesday nights from 5-9 p.m. are free at The Mint Museum.

A regular adult ticket is $15. Tickets for seniors, teachers, and students are $10. Tickets for children ages 5-17 are $6.                  

For more information, visit https://mintmuseum.org/.

Written by Kerry Singe for GlennOaks Media, the marketing arm of QCity Metro.

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