Local Arts

Visual arts preview: Strength in numbers

Marcela Rico’s untitled work, from the series “Paisajes de Sinaloa,” will be at the Mint, part of the citywide “In Focus/Enfoque.”
Marcela Rico’s untitled work, from the series “Paisajes de Sinaloa,” will be at the Mint, part of the citywide “In Focus/Enfoque.” Courtesy of the Mint Museum

This year, collaboration is key for Charlotte’s visual arts institutions.

The biggie is “InFocus/Enfoque.” Spearheaded and funded by Bank of America, it spills across six venues and features 50+ U.S. and Mexican photo-based artists addressing a host of aesthetic, political and cultural concerns.

The lead exhibition is “Reveal and Detonate: Contemporary Photography in Mexico/Develar y Detonar: Fotografía Contemporánea en México,” at the Mint Museum Uptown, Oct. 28-June 17, 2018. This is the first U.S. venue for this show.

Other collaborators are:

▪ The Light Factory: “Exposed/Expuesta: Exploring Identity in Contemporary Mexican Photography,” through Oct. 13.

▪ The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: “Paul Strand in Mexico,” through Jan. 7, and “Maestros mexicanos de la fotografía moderna: Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Flor Garduño, Graciela Iturbide y Mariana Yampolsky: Works from the Bank of America Collection,” Sept. 29-Mar. 4.

▪ LaCa Projects: “Karina Juarez, Humberto Rios, and Alejandra Laviada,” Sept. 14-Nov. 4.

▪ SOCO Gallery: “Alejandro Cartagena: Home,” Dec. 13-Jan. 12.

▪ McColl Center for Art + Innovation: Nelson Morales, an artist-in-residence through Dec. 5.

Next, there’s a double shot of Bob Trotman: Look for his “Business as Usual” at UNC Charlotte’s Projective Eye Gallery through Dec. 14, and at Davidson College’s Van Every/Smith Galleries Oct. 19-Dec. 8. Trotman, whose work you may have seen at the Mint Museum’s “State of the Art” exhibition, takes on the everyday brutalities of corporate and political life in his figurative sculptures. Created mostly from wood, they have lately acquired movement and sound, making them both funnier and more ominous.

Also on my radar:

▪ “Leah Rosenberg: Color for the People,” Sept. 14-Dec. 2, McColl Center for Art + Innovation. For this meditative installation, Rosenberg will repaint the gallery walls and furniture weekly, with colors selected from the local landscape. She will also host a weekly Color Bar, serving drinks and food that match the current color.

▪ “Wrestling the Angel: A Century of Artists Reckoning with Religion,” March 23-Sept. 9, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. This works in this exhibition – by such internationally renowned artists as Marc Chagall, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Sam Francis and Mark Tobey, as well as regional contemporary artists including Stacy Lynn Waddell, Elizabeth Alexander, Tom Thoune and Cristina Cordóva – incorporate religious imagery and inspiration in ways both oblique and direct.

▪ At Winthrop University Galleries, books are the focus of exhibitions that run Sept. 22-Nov. 17. “Precursors to the Digital Age: Commonplace Books, Scrapbooks, and More” includes work from a 2016 National Endowment for the Humanities seminar led by Winthrop professors Drs. Laura Gardner and Laura Dufresne, while “pen & ink” features children’s book illustrations, ranging from preliminary sketches to finished works, by alumni Matthew Cordell and Katie Kath.

GANTTDarryl Atwell in front of his collection. Image credit - Tyrus Ortega Gaine
Darryl Atwell with part of his collection at the Gantt. TYRUS ORTEGA GAINES TYRUS ORTEGA GAINES

▪ At the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, don’t miss “Simple Passion, Complex Vision: the Darryl Atwell Collection,” which includes work by Radcliffe Bailey, Chakaia Booker, Zoe Charlton, Bethany Collins, Leonardo Drew, Theaster Gates, Wangechi Mutu and other important contemporary artists, and “Archytypes of the Subconscious” by Charlotte artist Sloane Siobhan, both through Jan. 22.

▪ If you’re seeking out even more artists with strong local connections, either current or in the past, check out “Natalie Bork: Ripple,” through Oct. 4, and “Foozhan Kashkooli: One Thousand Kisses,” through Oct. 11, at Central Piedmont Community College; Marge Moody at Winthrop University Dec. 11-March 9; and “Jen Ray: Surrounded by Wolves,” Jan. 25-March 3 at Davidson College.

Kashkooli Pastoral oil on board 72 in x 96 in
“Pastoral” by Foozhan Kashkooli, from “One Thousand Kisses” at CPCC. BRANDON BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY Brandon Brown

Artist-run projects continue to be a force for good in the community. Of course, there’s the ever-evolving Goodyear Arts, as well as The Dwelling, an exhibition series in private homes, and Moving Sale, an exhibition series in a rental van.

And in the spirit of last year’s “Dada Soiree,” Gallery C3 at C3 Lab will be the site of “Futurism? Art in the Age of Post-Truth,” a one-day show and sale Nov. 10.


What else is coming up in the 2017-18 season? Check out the rest of the calendar by discipline: dance; music; theater; and visual arts. Plus: Find where you’re going, with our interactive map.