Arts & Culture

Best Museum Exhibits To See This Fall In Charlotte

September 17, 2012 6:00 AM

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(photo credit:

(photo credit:

Fall is the season of new beginnings for area galleries, and because the Democratic National Convention came to town the first week of September, area museums have put their best foot forward. Enjoy exhibits for any flavor at museums throughout the area, but don’t miss out on these, the best of the best.

America I AM: The African American Imprint”
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 547-3700

Prices: $12 adults/$10 seniors 62 and older, teachers, military, students/$8 children 3 to 13 and groups of 10 or more/free for children 2 and younger and first member visits

Tavis Smiley markets his brainstorm as “the biggest, baddest, boldest exhibit ever to tell the story of the contributions of blacks.”
Whether your interest is Benin bronzes or Michael Jordan’s basketball shoes, there is much to marvel about in “America I AM.” Comprised of artifacts borrowed from individuals and museum collections, it typically takes up at least 15,000 square feet. Its best artifacts have been chosen to be shown in every available inch of the 10,000-square-foot Harvey B. Gantt Center. Smiley said he sees the Gantt Center as an ideal exhibition space. The Honorable Harvey Gantt, the first black student to attend Clemson University, and former Mayor of Charlotte, promises living history. The center named for him was chosen because it is a rare African America arts facility with enough space to house items that tell a tale spanning 500 years, from Africa to the Americas. This multimedia exhibit includes sound and other visual effects, and an opportunity for visitors to record a personal oral history. The exhibit, which opened June 30 closes Jan. 1, 2013.

“Giacometti: Memory and Presence
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 376-1101

Prices: $8 adults/$6 seniors 65 and older educators and college students/$4 youth 11 to 18/free admission for children and museum members.

Alberto Giacometti, famed 20th century modernist known for his elongated figures, was well acquainted with the Bechtler family. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art will show works from the collections of family members and art on loan from European institutions. The exhibition includes art by Alberto’s brother Diego, which adorned a Bechtler home in Zurich, as well as plans by brother Bruno, an architect, for a St. Moritz home for the Bechtlers.

Related: Best Places for Glass Art in Charlotte

“Thornton Dial: Hard Truths”
“Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design”
“The Weir Family, 1820 – 1920″

Mint Museum Uptown
500 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 337-2000

Prices: $10 adults/$8 seniors 65 and older, college students/$5 children 5 to 17/free children 4 and younger

The Mint Museum continues the exhibition “Thornton Dial: Hard Truths” featuring the imposing multi-media installations and paintings of Dial, an Alabama born, self-taught artist. Dial’s personal depictions of life and love interpret real American existence, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the war in Iraq. The Mint poses questions about the boundaries between art, craft and design to rediscover categorizing artistic expression in “Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design.” Wood as an artistic medium will be presented through renowned contemporary artists whose creations are post 2000. Opening Oct. 20, “The Weir Family, 1820 – 1920” examines the work of Robert Walter Weir and sons Julian Alden Weir and John Ferguson Weir. The patriarch Robert painted one of the murals in the rotunda of the nation’s capital. First son John established the first American academic art program at Yale University. Julian became one of the country’s leading impressionist artists. Enjoy more than 70 paintings from public and private collections. The Mint Museum Uptown is the last stop for this exhibit.

“Out in the Streets”
“Time Stands Still”
The Light Factory

345 N. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 333-9755

Price: free

Recalling the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the Light Factory presents “Out in the Streets.” Explore the striking works of outstanding photographers who documented the street demonstrations, police response and ensuing violence. “Out in the Streets” opens Aug. 27. A special opening reception will be held Sept. 27. “Time Stands Still” presents distinctive art created by photographers with links to Charlotte. This is the fourth installment in the Light Factory’s series, “In Our Own Backyard.” The exhibit opens Oct. 22.

“Without Sanctuary: Photographs and postcards of Lynching in America”
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 333-1887

Prices: $8 adults/$6 seniors 62 and older, educators, students and active military/$5 youth 6 to 18 and groups of 10 or more/free children 5 and younger

Opening Oct. 2 at the Levine Museum of the New South, “Without Sanctuary: Photographs and postcards of Lynching in America” makes its last stop in Charlotte before being permanently housed in Atlanta’s new Center for Civil & Human Rights. Collector James Allen has preserved disturbing images documented in America at the site of lynchings. While the images may not be for everyone, the collection is a significant historical document and offers an opportunity for education on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

Related: Best Upcoming Classical Music Performances In Charlotte

Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at

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