Who to meet
Get to know photographer Alejandra Laviada at her Bechtler Museum of Modern Art lecture at 6 p.m. Feb. 21. Laviada earned a BFA at Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and now lives and works in Mexico City. Her work is in permanent collections around the world and has recently been on view at the Mint Museum of Art and LaCa Projects as part of Bank of America’s Mexican photography initiative “In Focus/Enfoque.” She’ll talk about her practice as a photographer and discuss her work’s correlation to the photographs on view in “Maestros mexicanos de la fotografía moderna,” currently on view in the Bechtler’s fourth-floor gallery. Tickets are $10 for the public, $6 for Bechtler members, and free for students with a valid ID.
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And if you’re headed uptown for this, you might come a little early and stop in at the Mint to see “Philip the Fair” by Kehinde Wiley. By creating the just-released official portrait of President Obama for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Wiley became the first African-American artist commissioned to paint a presidential portrait for the gallery. Mint admission is free 5-9 p.m. each Wednesday.
What to see
Head uptown Feb. 22 to for another Uptown Crawl, a monthly event organized by Center City Partners. We recommend you stop by Sozo Gallery to see new landscape paintings by Charlotte artist Kim Gibbs. Next, visit UNC Charlotte’s Projective Eye Gallery at its uptown campus to see “¡VIVA!” before it comes down Feb. 25. This exhibition of Latin American art comes from the private collection of Randy Shull and Hedy Fischer, who divide their time between homes in Merida, Mexico and Asheville.
What to do
Check out “Condom Couture Charlotte,” an annual fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. Designers and artists create masterful ensembles out of condoms that are worn down a fashion runway. This event brings out a new creative side to artists we know and love, and we’re eager to see their work. 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Fillmore; tickets start at $30.
Each week, Grace Cote and Lia Newman offer Observer readers a to-do list on immersing yourself in visual arts around town. Newman is director/curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, Cote is senior coordinator at Jerald Melberg Gallery, and they collaborate on the blog HappeningsCLT (happeningsCLT.com).
For a seasonlong visual arts calendar, go to: www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article172583126.html.