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Arts and Entertainment

On display in Charlotte
6 exhibits to see now
Published Monday, March 10, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

How does a black woman’s perception of herself differ from how others view her?  Throughout the history of mankind, which invention most changed the world? Are there any women blazing a trail in NASCAR? (Clue: it’s not the statue out front.) Explore the answers to these questions and more at the following exhibitions on currently display in the Charlotte area.


The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture; www.ganttcenter.org

This exhibition on display at the Gantt Center through June 1 explores the ideas and illusions of the feminine mystique and examines how women of the African Diaspora are seen, from their perspective and through the eyes of others. “I See You” presents the work of six contemporary artists who expand the constructs of female identity in the 21st century and explores Juxtaposing historical ideologies, the contemporary, self-presentation and imposed representation of Black women. Whether through implications of the body, or figurative representations of women, this mixed-media exhibition explores the artists' desires to deconstruct and redefine history, identity and culture. Featured artists include Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Endia Beal, Michaela Pilar Brown, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Toyin Odutola and Alexandria Smith.


Discovery Place; www.101inventions.discoveryplace.org

Take an extraordinary journey through the history of inventions from stone tools to the birth of the Internet in this revolutionary exhibit, which explores 101 inventions selected by a panel of experts from science centers around the world. Using more than 6,000 different video files, 40 high definition projectors, multi-channel motion graphics and cinema quality surround sound, this interactive experience not only examines the inventions themselves, but also suggests the reasoning behind their development and their consequent effect humankind. Some inventions were discovered by accident, and others out of necessity. Exploring turning points in the history of humankind from 2,600,000 B.C. when stone tools were first used to the invention of the alphabet, the locomotive and the 1993 debut of the Global Positioning System, you might be surprised which inventions top the list as changing the world the most.


Mint Museum Uptown; www.mintmuseum.org

Nothing like flowers in bloom to signify that spring is arriving. Welcome the new season with a visit to this exhibit, which transforms the galleries of the Mint Museum Uptown into a virtual garden organized by flower type. Floral patterns have appeared in decorative arts since ancient times.  Inspired by the forms, colors, and textures of the botanical world, artists from across the globe have copied and interpreted individual flowers, bouquets, and gardens in glass, ceramic, textile, and jewelry design. On display through Aug. 10, "Allure of Flowers" allows visitors to see how decorative treatments of the same flowers have evolved over time by presenting a survey of works from the mid-nineteenth century to today that collectively illustrate the evolution of floral ornament in modern and contemporary applied art.


NASCAR Hall of Fame; www.nascarhall.com

What better time than March, Women’s History Month, to learn more about females blazing a trail in the fast lane. You’re sadly mistaken if you think that Danica Patrick is the only one. “Women in the Winner’s Circle” makes its debut March 8 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, showcasing six decades of women in racing. Developed by The Henry Ford Museum and the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, this traveling exhibit has been augmented by the NASCAR Hall of Fame with artifacts from NASCAR pioneer Louise Smith, record-setting driver Patty Moise in addition to other former and current drivers including Janet Guthrie, Johanna Long, Jennifer Jo Cobb and more. The exhibit will also feature significant artifacts belonging to influential women in NASCAR, such as Kelley Earnhardt Miller, who owned cars that made it into victory lane. Check out the display in the Great Hall featuring vehicles, uniforms, trophies and more unexpected memorabilia.


Mint Museum Randolph; www.mintmuseum.org

This exhibition includes nearly 100 photographs by the New York Photo League established in New York City in 1936 by a group of young, idealistic photographers with a dedication to social imagery. Determined to make the most of their position in the world, both as artists and as people, members of the league took to the streets of their own neighborhoods and communities to explore and capture the lives of ordinary people with their cameras in a way they had never before been depicted. On display at the Mint Museum Randolph through June 29, “Bearing Witness” also spotlights the work of Sonia Handleman Meyer, who was introduced to the league in 1943 and remained a member until its closure in 1951. Like the other members of the Photo League, Meyer was equally concerned with making meaningful images that could affect social and political change, and she began taking photos of the people and city around her. The photographs presented in this exhibition underscore Meyer’s concern with social justice and her humanist approach to documenting her subjects, including her work with the Sydenham Hospital, the first integrated hospital in the country; the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society; her extensive documentation of life in Harlem and Spanish Harlem; and her moving, dignified portraits of children.


Mint Museum Randolph; www.mintmuseum.org

This collection of art, which features art forms dating from 27,000 BCE to present day, showcases the vast cultural, physical, historical and religious diversity of art from Africa’s 52 nations. It is a continent of diverse ecosystems and varied political systems ranging from great kingdoms and city-states to small chieftaincies and nomadic bands of hunters with many social settings from initiations to the shrines of deities and the regalia of leaders, and dozens of value systems and religious beliefs. As part of the Mint’s permanent collection, "Arts of Africa," is not going anywhere any time soon, but it’s definitely a must see if you have not already visited. Explore the themes of African art as symbols of power, religion, and mother and child are portrayed through a collection of masks, ceramics, and utilitarian objects.  


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