CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte museum is focusing on community as people get out of COVID-19 isolation.
The Mint Museum Randolph is hosting its largest exhibition of art from the Charlotte area in recent years.
"It Takes a Village: Charlotte Artist Collectives" celebrates the vibrant grassroots art in Charlotte, featuring more than 25 artists of diverse backgrounds. The exhibition showcases the work of three artist collectives: Goodyear Arts, BlkMrktClt and Brand the Moth.
“I hope people recognize the real talent and the real training that is in our contemporary artists seen here in Charlotte, but I also hope they realize that this work is attainable for them,” Mint Museum’s Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art Dr. Jen Sudul Edward said. “They can not only meet these artists and go to the collectives and support them directly, both physically by being there, and with their money, but they can buy this work to put it on their walls.”
Several of the featured artists, including Dammit Wesley from BlkMrktClt, collaborated on the Black Lives Matter Mural in Uptown Charlotte in June of 2020.
Wesley’s experience as a Black man inspires his work.
“I try to address racism, try to highlight Black women and try to make difficult conversations as beautiful as possible,” Wesley said.
Before 2021, his art had never been in a museum. The exhibition at the Mint marks the third time this year his work has been in a museum.
“I just wanted to dissect Black history, American pop-culture and consumerism, and have people engage in that work,” Wesley added.
He’s encouraged other creatives whose talent he admires to be part of this exhibition.
“The goal was always about community. I will always pray that I was blessed enough to bless other people and I think, mission accomplished at this point,” Wesley said.
After the exhibition, Wesley hopes it becomes more common for Charlotteans to collect and purchase local artwork. He said this can help create a sustainable economy for Charlotte artists.
The exhibition runs through September 12.