One bright spot that came out of the pandemic: an increased appreciation for — and reliance on — our communities. To celebrate the local arts community, Mint Museum Randolph in June debuted an exhibition featuring 25 Charlotte artists. It Takes a Village: Charlotte Artist Collectives includes works by photographers, muralists, installation artists, sculptors, multimedia artists and more. The artists belong to three innovative Charlotte collectives: BlkMrktClt, Brand the Moth and Goodyear Arts. It’s one of the largest Mint installations to date featuring all Charlotte artists.
Prior to last year’s shutdown, the Mint had already begun focusing on ways to increase support for local artists, Mint CEO Todd Herman said at a preview of the exhibition. The museum’s Constellation series launched in 2018 is one example of that.
The inclusion of BlkMrktClt in the exhibition also represents the Mint’s continued commitment to working with artists of color. The collective based at Camp North End was formed in 2017 to create a safe space for Black artists to create, host workshops and foster community. “We existed before this term of a collective existed,” artist and BlkMrktClt co-owner Dammit Wesley said. “We were … just artists taking over whatever space we could to do simple showcases and activations. … With that groundwork, we essentially built a community without knowing it. So the purpose of BlkMrktClt was to not only foster but galvanize those relationships and those connections,” Wesley said.
The exhibition was curated by Jen Sudul Edwards, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum. “This [exhibition] is showing that we’re committed to making sure that there is systemic change, and that it’s meaningful and that it’s long-lasting,” Sudul Edwards said. SP
featured image: Andrea Vail, Herringbone Shag (evergreen and sassafrass). Photograph by Brandon Scott