Charlotte philanthropist and art collector Chandra Johnson has created a pop-up gallery at the Mint Museum Uptown. Named SOCO Gallery, its first exhibit is “The Boombox Project,” featuring New York City-based photojournalist Lyle Owerko’s photos of 1970s- and 1980s-era boomboxes. On Sept. 17, she hosted an opening reception that celebrated Owerko and the exhibit, which is on view through Oct. 19.
Owerko began collecting and documenting boomboxes in 2001 after he stumbled on a mint-condition late 1970s Victor JVC in Japan. He created a series around the boomboxes, which he photographs with a large-format Hasselblad camera. Johnson and co-curator Perry Poole chose the photographs, shown in part of an unused space on the museum’s fifth floor. In a nod to the exhibit’s theme, guests were served retro fare, including Cheerwine in glass bottles with straws, and popsicles.
Johnson plans for have a permanent space for SOCO Gallery in 2015. The gallery will be devoted to emerging and established photographers, and also provide art education and community outreach.