Inspired by the DNC, Charlottes art museums and galleries kicked off the season a little early and with an unprecedented sense of unity. There were shows with political themes, some explicit, some more subtle. Its a coming together the political parties can only dream about.
The DNC is gone, but many of these shows are still here, among them The Light Factorys Out in the Streets, with chilling photographs of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and America Now, installations that offer biting commentary, at McColl Center for Visual Art.
Winthrop University is instead paying homage to the regions textile heritage. Between the Springmaid Sheets (through Oct. 26), in the Rutledge Gallery, features illustrations and print material from Springs Cotton Mills innovative, racy advertising campaigns of the 1940s and 50s. The season continues with exhibitions by Nava Lubelski (Nov. 12-Jan. 18), Sonya Clark (Feb. 4-Mar. 8), and other artists who combine textile traditions and contemporary ideas.
Also of note: Giacometti: Memory and Presence, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Vik Muniz: Garbage Matters, Mint Museum Uptown; Henrique Oliveira, Projective Eye Gallery, UNC Charlotte Center City (Jan.18-Mar. 14); Return to the Sea: Motoi Yamamoto, Mint Museum Uptown (March 2-May 16).
Its hard to ignore the fact these shows dont include regional artists. Although the number of spaces for emerging artists continues to grow, opportunities are still limited for those who call Charlotte home. The Ross and Pease galleries at CPCC continue to be among Charlottes better venues for area artists. Look for exhibitions featuring Annabel Manning, Nathaniel Lancaster, Allison Luce, Diana Arvanites, Jane Nodine (from Spartanburg, but close enough), Kit Kube, Amy Bagwell and Janet Williams.