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“Porcupine Cabinet” by Sebastian Errazuriz, 2011.
Courtesy of Cristina Grajales Gallery, New York

In a brilliant nod to the 2012 Presidential election, the Mint Museum (a Knight Arts grantee) is holding its own election: “Vote for Art.” This project gives museum visitors a chance to directly help in the Mint’s collection process. While visiting the museum’s Uptown location, the public can cast a ballot for three of their favorite paintings out of six total artworks; the winning three will be purchased for the Mint Museum’s permanent collection.

Aimed at educating the public on both the electoral process and how museums build an art collection, the Mint will place six art works chosen by a committee of curators and affiliate group members on view. Each artwork is by a modern or contemporary artist from across the globe. Coinciding with the beginning of the Democratic National Convention, voting opens September 1st and continues through the 7th; it will reopen October 1st and continue through November 9th. The three winning artworks will be unveiled at the Ballot Ball, the election’s culminating event, on November 9th.

“Slice Chair Paper” by Mathias Bengtsson, 2010.
Courtesy of Industry Gallery, Washington D.C.

The six artworks chosen by the selection committee include:

  • “The Birth of Venus, After Botticelli (Pictures of Junk)” by Vik Muniz. Created in 2008, this conceptual photograph mimics Botticelli’s famous painting in an unexpected way and with a non-traditional medium. It is on view from August 25th through February 24, 2013 in the “VantagePoint X: Vik Muniz” exhibition.
  • “Dora’s Dance” by Beverly McIver. This portrait is exemplary of McIver’s emotive canvases, in which she explores her innermost self through the portraits of others.
  • “Before Midnight” by Mattia Biagi. Featured in the Mint’s “Fairytales, Fantasy and Fear” exhibition, the dark, tar-covered carriage transports viewers back to childhood stories of Cinderella, but hints at the darker side of most of these tales.
  • “Porcupine Cabinet” by Sebastian Errazuriz. This streamlined, minimalist sculpture is actually very interactive, transforming into a spiky, movable anthropomorphic character. If the Mint bought this piece, it would be the first museum in America to own one of Errazuriz’s works. “Porcupine Cabinet” can be seen in the Mint’s new exhibition “Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design.”
  • “Slice Chair Paper” by Mathias Bengtsson. This artwork crosses boundaries, combining elements of furniture design and sculpture.  “Slice Chair Paper” is made of layers upon layers of paper glued together without any screws or fasteners.
  • “Wood Branches, Diversity N. 17 (Prototype)” by Nacho Carbonell.  From the widely acclaimed Designer of the Future, this chair is laboriously constructed with a distinct branch covered surface.

To vote for your three favorite works, you must be inside the Mint Museum.  One ballot per visit is permitted; however, you may make multiple visits and vote each time. The Mint Museum Uptown will be open with free admission September 3, coinciding with CarolinaFest and on Election Day, November 6. So go check out these amazing works of art and have a deciding voice in the art the Mint Museum collects!

“Before Midnight” by Mattia Biagi, 2012.
Courtesy of Anna Kustera Gallery, New York

 Mint Museum Uptown: 500 South Tryon St., Charlotte; 704-337-2000; www.mintmuseum.org. Open Tues., 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; and Sun., 1 – 5 p.m. Admission: adults, $10; students/seniors, $8;  children 5-17, $5; free to all on Sept. 3.

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