Arts & Culture

Best Upcoming Art Exhibits In Charlotte

August 4, 2014 8:00 AM

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A visitor checks out a display at the Museum of Creation and Earth History in Santee, Calif., on Aug. 10, 2005. (credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

A visitor checks out a display at the Museum of Creation and Earth History in Santee, Calif., on Aug. 10, 2005. (credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Charlotte’s position as an important force in the world of art continues to grow, as the many exhibits opening around town in the fall of 2014 demonstrate. In addition to the major art museums and exhibits listed here, many other galleries in the region offer exciting opportunities to see locally produced art. The Ross and Pease Art Galleries at Central Piedmont Community College schedule a continuing round of exhibits, openings and lectures featuring local artists this fall, including Seth Rouser, Aspen Hochhalter and Natalie Abrams, as well as a multi-media show by de’Angelo Dia and Shaun El C. Leonardo exploring the career of a boxer through performances, photos and video (“The Boxing Gym,” Oct. 20 to Dec. 18). In South End, the Charlotte Art League mounts its annual juried art competition in November, followed by its popular “Small Works for the Holidays” show in December and January. For a look back at exhibits earlier in 2014, see the related article: Best Museum Exhibits This Spring In Charlotte.
Bechtler Museum Of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 353-9200

Housed in the magnificent building designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, the Bechtler is Charlotte’s foremost collection of 20th century art, the gift of the Bechtler family. On Sept. 10, 2014, the museum opens a new exhibit, “The British Invasion,” highlighting works by British artists from the collection. Included will be artworks by Ben Nicholson, Op art artist Bridget Riley, sculptor Henry Moore, Dame Barbara Hepworth and mobile artist Lynn Chadwick. Many of the artists became friends with the Bechtler family, in particular Ben Nicholson, a well-known British painter of abstract compositions, who summered in the Italian region of Switzerland and mentored young Andreas Bechtler (founder of the museum) in developing his artistic eye.

Related: Best Permanent Exhibits In Charlotte

Cornelius Arts Center
19725 Oak St.
Cornelius, NC  28031
(704) 896-8823

The internationally celebrated “Tape Art” collective comes to Cornelius during August to create public art works and conduct a series of community workshops. Using environmentally gentle, low-adhesive tape, the group creates colorful temporary large format works that are inspired by graffiti, but work as public murals, often exploring the history of the host community. “Tape Art” will be in Cornelius the week of August 2, 2014, and, in addition to outdoor murals, will create an exhibit at the Cornelius Arts Center that runs through the fall. The exhibit opens during the Sept. 13 ‘Tawba Walk Art & Music Festival, a free semi-annual celebration of local artists, musicians, crafts, food trucks, microbrews and more held in downtown Cornelius.

Harvey B. Gantt Center For African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 547-3700

The Gantt Center gets back to its roots this year, celebrating its founding 40 years ago as the Charlotte Afro-American Center. The exhibit, “40 and Counting: Celebrating Forty Years at the Gantt Center Through Art, Culture and Community,” brings together artworks in a wide variety of media that have been part of 16 different past exhibitions. In addition, the Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, one of the country’s most important collections of its type and the foundation of the museum’s permanent collection, will be exhibited in its entirety. Another special exhibit, “Selected Works of J. Eugene Grigsby, Jr.: Returning to Where the Artistic Seed Was Planted,” will include 30 works of art by the recently deceased African-American artist, some on exhibit for the first time.

McColl Center For Art + Innovation
721 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 332-5535

The McColl Center celebrates its 15th anniversary with a new name and the return of one of its first Artists-In-Residence. McColl Center alumnus Marek Ranis was one of the first nine artists to work in the newly complete Center back in 1999. Since then, he has roamed the world exploring the effects of climate change on local people, and is now an assistant professor of sculpture at UNC Charlotte’s College of Art + Architecture. His multi-media solo show will be on display at McColl from Sept. 19 to Nov. 14, 2014.

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

Another of the Mint’s ground-breaking exhibits, “Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100” running Nov. 1, 2014 through Feb. 1, 2015, brings together over 50 artworks dealing with the Panama Canal and the era that saw its creation, as well as photos, books, newspapers and other memorabilia. The works of printmaker Joseph Pennell and painters Alson Skinner Clark and Jonas Lie, the three artists who captured scenes from the building of the canal one hundred years ago, are gathered together here for the first time. Also this fall, from Sept. 6 to Feb. 22, the Mint Uptown presents “Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection” focusing on a collection especially rich in art ceramics and studio crafts of the 1960s to 1980s assembled by original members of the Mint affiliate Founders’ Circle.

Related: Best Art Museums In Charlotte

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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