Let's get the “big show” out of the way.
It's “Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & Legends,” portraits of celebrities and other work by the Pop master. From Bank of America's collection, it will be at the Mint Museum of Art in October. “Masterworks from the New Orleans Museum of Art” at the Mint in March, with work from artists as different as Pissarro and Pollack, also looks good.
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But several smaller shows shine as brightly. And they coalesce into a theme: Art can show us a wider world.
“The Photographs of Romualdo Garcia” at the Afro-American Cultural Center in September touches on Mexicans of African descent. “Beloved Daughters: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh” at Davidson College in October offers a look at women in India.
In January, the Light Factory brings us “China Insights,” comments on Chinese culture through seven mainland photographers. “Frolic: humor + mischief in Taiwanese Art,” opening next month at UNC Charlotte's Rowe Gallery, looks intriguing.
Another theme: the changing South.
Tom Nakashima's paintings and collages at the Hodges Taylor Gallery next month focus on the changing Southern landscape – broken trees and abandoned buildings, the discards of growth. In April at the Hickory Museum of Art, the rollicking paintings of Polish-born N.C. artist Henryk Fantazos look more on changes in Southern culture.
Closer to home, painter Elizabeth Bradford continues to explore the area around her Davidson home in “Two Mile Radius,” the current show at the Christa Faut Gallery.
Here's a happy coincidence: Both the Hickory Museum of Art in September and the Jerald Melberg Gallery in November offer the work of artists associated with historic Black Mountain College – Joseph Albers, Robert Motherwell and Willem De Kooning.
Finally, there are several shows worth your time: sculpture and works on paper by James Rosati at the Melberg Gallery in September, Lynn Boggess' paintings at the Joie Lassiter Gallery in October, N.C. pottery by the Craven Family at the Mint Museum through February.
And last and by no means least: “Soup 5,” an interdisciplinary exhibition promoting emerging artists, at the Hart Witzen Gallery in November.