New Mint Museum exhibit highlights Charlotte’s Black artists and collectors

New Mint Museum exhibit highlights Charlotte’s Black artists and collectors

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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Judy and Patrick Diamond began collecting art the first week of their marriage.

Fifty years later, they’re among Charlotte’s most influential art collectors.

What’s happening: “The Vault” opens Saturday, July 1, at the Mint Museum Uptown and runs through Sunday, Sept. 17. It features the works from the private collections of four Charlotte couples, all of whom are Black: the Diamonds, Nina and James Jackson, Christy and Quincy Lee and Cheryse and Christopher Terry.

Why it matters: The Black experience is often underrepresented in art museums and galleries, but “Black people do frequent galleries and do buy art,” as “The Vault” curator Jessica Gaynelle Moss told reporters during the exhibit preview.

Details: The exhibit, which guest curator Jessica Gaynelle Moss organized, kicks off the museum’s “The Year of the Collector” theme.

  • Cheryse Terry opened Archive on Beatties Ford Road last August to celebrate and preserve Black culture. If you’ve been to Archive, the Terry section of the exhibit will feel familiar with a collage of vintage JET and EBONY magazines on the wall. 
  • The Lee’s section includes work from Bryan M. Wilson, Antoine Williams and J. Stacy Utley. You’ll also see works by Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett in the Diamonds’ section.
  • You’ll experience paintings and prints in the Jacksons’ section of the exhibit, and you’ll see Christmas in July in the Jacksons’ section. Their collection was born out of a desire to see themselves represented in their holiday decorations, particularly with Black Santas and angels.
  • “If James and I can be considered art collectors, you all can be considered art collectors,” Nina Jackson said.

What’s next: An opening celebration is scheduled for July 15-16. Admission to the Mint Museum Uptown will be free for the celebration.

  • A guided tour of the exhibit will run from 1-3pm on July 15 and Charlotte artists Carey J. King and Breonna Collier will have a free portrait session from 11am-3pm.

The bottom line: “You can collect Black Santas, sneakers or paintings. You are still a collector,” Moss said.

Take a look around. 

Collector Cheryse Terry (left) and curator Jessica Gaynelle Moss in Terry's section of "The Vault." Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Collector Cheryse Terry (left) and curator Jessica Gaynelle Moss in Terry’s section of “The Vault.” Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

The Wall of Eyes in "The Vault" at the Mint Museum Uptown.

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

"1914 NC Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race Band" by Bryan Wilson from the Lee collection. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

“1914 NC Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race Band” by Bryan Wilson from the Lee collection. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Christmas in July from the Jackson collection.

The Jackson collection. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

The Diamond collection in "The Vault" at the Mint Museum Uptown.

The Diamond collection in “The Vault” at the Mint Museum Uptown. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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