“Not having campus sculptures is like not having a campus library,” says Dr. Shaw Smith, Professor of Art History at Davidson College.
Dr. Shaw Smith was our tour guide of Davidson’s sculpture garden as part of the Kindred Spirits Art and Food Outing. The event was a new collaboration between The Mint Museum and Davidson College, made possible by Jay Everett.
Our group of art enthusiasts, from both Charlotte and Davidson, gathered around one of Auguste Rodin’s Burghers of Calais, Jean d’Aire. Unlike most art museums, we were encouraged to touch the 1886 work and feel Rodin’s hand imprint melded into his upper chest.
We were then led to the fascinating sculptures You, Homage to Rodin, The Group of Ten, and Waves III, made by Jaume Plensa, the same artist of the sculpture in First Ward Park. Waves III is a “harmonic gathering of languages” purposefully faced toward the library.
Finally, we arrived at the Spirit Waves Fountain, where the glistening water adheres to the curved pink granite. I highly recommend walking around Davidson College for your own tour of these sculptures. With the fall foliage as a backdrop, it was especially breathtaking.
The next portion of the event was a private lunch at Kindred, conveniently located across the street. As usual, the spread, specially prepared for the event, was on point. As we sipped our mimosas, dug into crispy oysters, and drooled over the house-cured ham tartine, we discussed our excitement for the last segment of the event, a tour of The Mint Museum’s Women of Abstract Expressionism. The exhibition is part of The Mint’s 80th anniversary, the Year of the Woman.
Our tour was led by Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art, Jonathan Stuhlman.
“It was a pleasure to take the group through this extraordinary, groundbreaking exhibition which celebrates for the first time the achievements and innovations of the women artists who were involved in the Abstract Expressionist movement from 1945 to 1960. Their large, colorful canvases are powerful and inspiring personal reflections on subjects ranging from art history and dance to the natural world and personal experiences.”
We had the opportunity to delve into the powerful emotions and memories of artists Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Grace Hartigan, Perle Fine, Jay DeFeo, Sonia Getchoff, Deborah Remington, Ethel Schwabacher, Mary Abbott, and Judith Godwin. When we got the chance to study the strokes and energies in these canvases, from The Massacre to Bill at St. Mark’s, they seemed to come to life. This rare exhibition will be proudly displayed until January 22, 2017.
It was an honor to be a part of this wonderful Kindred Spirits Art and Food Outing which connected art from a variety of mediums, brought together people from Charlotte and Davidson, and helped celebrate the Mint’s anniversary. There are so many masterpieces within reach for us Charlotteans, from the area’s art museums to college campuses.