Local Arts

What’s up this week in Charlotte’s visual arts?

“Sampled Spaces,” cast porcelain by Thomas Schmidt.
“Sampled Spaces,” cast porcelain by Thomas Schmidt. Courtesy of the artist

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).

Who to meet

Thomas Schmidt, artist and professor of Interdisciplinary 3D Studio and Digital Fabrication at UNC Charlotte. Schmidt explores new technology and digital fabrication methods in ceramics, and creates sculptural forms that belie their original materials. He is also a co-founder of Recycled China, a team that re-purposes discarded ceramic and industrial materials from China into new tile and design projects. You can see new work by Schmidt and others in “Digital Dialogues,” on display through July 28. The exhibition features two installations created collaboratively by students and faculty in the UNC Charlotte College of Arts+Architecture.

What to do

Take an Art Break: Once a month the Levine Center for the Arts offers a free lunch-hour (noon-12:30 p.m.) museum tour. The theme for the summer’s tours is “Zoom In, Zoom Out” and challenges you to look at selected works from a new perspective. This is a great way to begin looking at art if it is new to you, but it will also provide a different take for seasoned museum-goers. This month’s tours are June 16 at the Mint Museum Uptown, Bechtler Museum and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.

Where to go

Take an Art Road Trip: If you want to dive a little deeper into some art you’ve seen here, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh has two exhibitions this summer and a few works in their permanent collection that coincide with works now at Charlotte’s SOCO Gallery (by Damian Stamer and Burk Uzzle) – plus it has a strong summer concert series as well.