Charlotte’s next big art exhibit could be Picasso, but it’ll come at a cost of about $500,000 split between the city and county.
What it is: “Picasso Landscape: Out of Bounds” is the first exhibition to explore the 20th century artist’s love for landscapes.
- The American Federation of Arts has the exhibit already scheduled to appear at The Mint Museum Uptown from Feb. 26 through May 21, 2023.
Why it matters: Given the huge success of the Van Gogh exhibit at Camp North End, it’s only natural that city leaders want to bring the next big thing, and this would be it. It’s currently only scheduled to visit three U.S. cities.
- But the discussion happened in the same meeting that council members were talking about housing and homelessness, and several wondered what the public’s return on investment would be for that $500,000.
Mayor Vi Lyles compared it to the King Tut exhibit that visited Charlotte in the late 1970s.
- “Every kid in every elementary school walked through that museum. We’ve grown up a lot. But there was actually a parade of students acting out the whole Egyptian theme and history, and there was a parade in center city that they all participated in.”
- Said city manager Marcus Jones: “This is something super special that with public investment we believe we can pull it off.”
The big picture: It’s the latest discussion from a city manager and council that are thinking about funding the arts in a different way, more like a business.They voted earlier this year to change the way it funds the arts, pulling funding from the Arts & Science Council and creating a model for matching funds from the public and private groups.
- The plan was controversial, but the Foundation for the Carolinas promptly secured $18 million in matching funds.
- The city recently hired Priya Sircar, the former director of arts for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as the city’s first arts and culture officer. And she’ll work with a new arts and culture advisory board to determine where money should go.
Correction: This story has been updated to show that the exhibit will be coming to the Mint in Uptown.