Each week, Grace Cote, Lia Newman, and Kati Stegall 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, Stegall is Art-in-Transit program administrator at the Charlotte Area Transit System, and they collaborate on the blog HappeningsCLT (happeningsCLT.com).
What to do
Attend a lecture May 20 by Jean McLaughlin at the Mint Museum Randolph location. McLaughlin is director of Penland School of Crafts and will introduce the audience to new works by Penland instructors and resident artists. Coffee is served at 10 a.m.; the program begins at 10:30. Organized by Friends of the Mint, the event is free to Mint Museum members and to the public after museum admission.
Who to meet
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Recognize the painting with this column from your daily commute? Meet the artist, Jennifer Parham Gilomen. The Lake Wylie-based artist was selected for the Arts & Science Council’s 2016 ArtPop program, which features the work of 20 artists on area billboards. She says she’s inspired by “elegant patterns and unexpected combinations I observe in the natural world.”
Where to go
On May 21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., visit the three Levine Center for the Arts museums – Mint Museum Uptown, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture – for the first-ever Community Festival. Museum admission will be waived at all three locations and docents will offer free tours throughout the day. Food trucks will be parked along Tryon Street. There will also be interactive activities at all three locations. Stay late and enjoy a free plaza-cast of the Charlotte Symphony and Charlotte Ballet’s collaboration for “Romeo & Juliet” (performance begins at 7:30 p.m.).