Bechtler Young Visionaries Program is Making Moves

Mary Lytch of Bechtler Young Visionaries
Mary Lytch of Bechtler Young Visionaries - Photo by Jamey Price

An asylum for the art admirer, a retreat for those who wish to immerse themselves in the mastery held within, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is comprised of thousands of masterpieces from some of the most influential and significant artists around the world, including Picasso and Giacometti. An important arm of the museum since 2013, the Bechtler Young Visionaries program centers on the Bechtler collection, which encompasses more than 1,500 works of modern art that were amassed and given to the community by art patron Andreas Bechtler. This collection was created and assembled over seventy years by his parents, Hans and Bessie Bechtler, who were mentors and friends to many of the same artists that they were collecting, including Joa Miro, Alberto Giacometti and Jean Tinguely. 

The Bechtler Young Visionaries program was founded by Brandon Neal, who is a current Bechtler board member, as a way to introduce the Bechter Museum of Modern Art to young professionals. Mary K. Lytch, former co-chair of the Bechtler Young Visionaries and current Steering Committee member, has been involved with the museum and program for three years. 

Mary says that the B.Y.V. was created “with the goal of connecting Charlotte’s young adults, and those who are young at heart, with the museum and with others who share an interest in modern art and modernism.” The strategic focus of reaching young people is due to the way in which new generations tend to relate to modern art. “Art in general enriches young people’s lives,” Mary explains. “The younger generations find modern art appealing and more relatable — this has helped boost the appeal from a niche into the mainstream.” 

The Steering Committee, currently led by co-chairs Jennifer Wozniak and Nicole Frambach, plans events and enrichment programs throughout the year. Creating a unique marriage of networking young professionals with the community and connecting them with modern art, the committee allows young people exciting opportunities in more than just the art world. Their annual holiday party aids in raising funds to support their community outreach programs, such as their Jail Arts Initiative. Members have also had the chance to create art themselves with a watercolor medium in workshops organized with professional artists. Mary explains that the “Bechtler Young Visionaries members can expect to learn about art in a fun and informative way, receive invitations to unique events not always available to the general public and meet a lot of great, like-minded young professionals.” 

The program will be hosting its 2016 holiday party at the Bechtler Museum on the 15th of December. This year’s rendition is inspired by the All that Sparkles…20th Century Artists’ Jewelry exhibition currently being showcased. Patrons will enjoy libations, a silent auction, music, dancing, and hors d’oeuvres. This annual tradition is not only a Yuletide blast, but it also raises money to support some of the educational and community outreach programs the museum offers. Tickets to the event are available for purchase at