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Charlotte Fall Arts Guide 2020: The Real and the Virtual

With Gov. Cooper’s recent announcement that “Phase 2.5” of his reopening plan allows museums to open, folks around the city started gearing up for how they could safely reopen their doors for events to arts lovers in Charlotte. We’ve got a look at what some of them have planned for this fall, but not just the museums, there’s plenty of other culture and art to be found on your computer or in the real world below.

Tough Ass Crew Pop-Up Art Gallery

Sunshine Daydreams moved out of its 20-year home in NoDa and into a new space in downtown Mint Hill, but a coalition of more than 60 artists known as Tough Ass Crew wasted no time taking over the room while its future use remains in limbo. On Sept. 20, the crew launched a pop-up gallery in the space. Just 15 people at a time are allowed in the gallery, where consignment art from Charlotte artists hangs on walls freshly sprayed by muralists like Stencil Spray, Arko & Owl, Sydney Duarte, Mike Wirth, Backwoods Barbie, Marcher Arrant and more. It’s unclear how long the crew will be showing art in the former head shop, as they are currently subleasing the space from Evening Muse, where owners are deciding between expanding or bringing a new tenant into the space. Check them out while you can.

More: 3225 N. Davidson St., Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

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Gallery visitors view the TAC Pop-Up exhibition pieces. (Photo by Kate Galindo)

‘Yellow Submarine’

On one level, Yellow Submarine, the 1968 animated film featuring The Beatles, is flower power trapped in amber, an artifact of its time. But on another level, this simple story of how the fab four rescue Pepperland from a pack of Blue Meanies is a sophisticated project that transcends time. While the animation is not full motion, the colorful graphic design is a marvel, including references to Peter Max, M.C. Escher and Rene Magritte. The movie’s clip art mélange of images prefigures the cut and paste animation of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam.

Need we mention that with 11 Beatles tunes, the music is pretty good too? The outdoor screening at Eastway Crossing Shopping Center is presented by VisArt Video, Tommy’s Pub, East Side Local and the Charlotte Film Society. It features the restored 4K theatrical version of the film with remixed 5.1 stereo surround sound. Visart Video will sell popcorn and candy, East Side Local will sell food, and the film will be projected on the pub wall.

More: Donations accepted; Sept. 29, 7:09 p.m.; Eastway Crossing Shopping Center, 3124 Eastway Drive

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The Beatles in Pepperland (Photo courtesy of Subafilms Ltd.)

Midcentury Modern Home Tour

Charlotte’s only midcentury modern home tour is back for its ninth year starting Saturday, Sept. 26, this time as a virtual tour. The 2020 tour will feature 360-degree virtual tours of three homes in the Coventry Woods, Eastover and Grove Park neighborhoods. The homes were built from the 1950s, the height of midcentury modern architecture, to the 1970s, when the style’s popularity began to fade. The houses showcase key elements of midcentury modern design, including asymmetrical profiles, expansive windows, open floor plans and living areas that blur the line between indoor and outdoor.

Ticket holders will get exclusive access to tours, along with a digital guidebook highlighting the significant modernist features of each home. Modernism expert George Smart will share examples of the best midcentury modern design in Charlotte and explain how it relates to the global modernist movement, starting with Bauhaus art and design in the 1920s and 1930s.

More: Sept. 26, 6 p.m.; $20-$30

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The Midcentury Modern Home Tour. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Museum of History)

The Charlotte Film Festival

The 17th Annual Charlotte Film Festival goes virtual for 2020, spotlighting documentaries, narrative features, student films and shorts. The festival’s opening night film, 12 Hour Shift, is a darkly comedic satirical tale of a black-market organ hospital heist gone horribly wrong. It may be the perfect embodiment of the “Discover Different” mission of the festival. Other highlights include the documentary Run For His Life, a moving story of a man entering a marathon for personal reasons, and Stucco, a study of agoraphobia that attains the intensity of psychological horror.

More: $7-50; Sept. 23-27

‘Freeland’ will air at the Charlotte Film Festival. (Directed by Maria Furloni)

IAA Art Fundraiser

Inspiring Athletes and Academics (IAA), a nonprofit that supports underserved youth in Charlotte through free tutoring and athletic training, is set to host a month of celebration and fundraising throughout October. Pilot Brewing, Lower Left Brewery, Lenny Boy Brewing Co., and over 20 local and regional artists are participating in the art auction charity fundraiser. An exciting variety of custom art from Charlotte artists will be displayed both on-site at the breweries and on IAA’s website. The proceeds from the fundraisers will enable IAA to continue providing high-quality tutoring to underserved students in need.

More: Pilot Brewing, 1331 Central Ave., 104; Lower Left Brewing Co., 4528 Nations Crossing Road; Lenny Boy Brewing Co., 3000 S. Tryon St.

Satarah Presents ‘Shadows’

Satarah, a fire, movement, and aerial arts troupe from Charlotte anchored by Satya Jvala (Katie Rothweiler) and Sarah Hahn presents a digital show Shadows. The event features dancers, aerialists, fire performers and more in what promises to be a visually astounding encore performance. “In 2019, we presented something very unique,” Rothweiler says. “On the hottest day of the year thus far, we packed 85 people into our non-air conditioned space and shared some deep, dark and intimate pieces with our audience. It was a beautiful and at some points intense evening … and we’re bringing it back! This evening will be about honoring the shadow sides of ourselves, the part that we may not often share with the world.” The performance will be live-streamed from Satarah’s performance arts training studio Bloom Movement Artistry.

More: Details TBA; Nov. 7

Levine Museum Exhibits

The Levine Museum of the New South continues its pioneering work with augmented reality by adding new aspects to the long-running exhibit Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers, allowing museum-goers to interact with Harvey Gantt, Hugh McColl and Dorothy Counts-Scoggins. The new additions add to the use of augmented reality in the museum’s Brooklyn: Once a City Within a City exhibit, which opened last fall and will remain open for those who weren’t able to check it out before the coronavirus closed everything down. Other Charlotte-based exhibits featuring art, culture and history include It Happened Here: Lynching and Remembrance, #HomeCLT: People. Places. Promises., and CountingUP: What’s On Your Ballot. The museum is open Friday-Monday, with one hour on Saturday mornings (9-10 a.m.) reserved for elderly and at-risk folks.

More: 200 E. 7th St.; Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $8-$10

Augmented reality in the ‘Brooklyn’ exhibit. (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

‘Classic Black’

When Mint Museum’s Randolph location shut down to help stem the rising tide of COVID-19 last March, it meant that one of the facility’s most innovative exhibits also had to pull the plug less than a month after it opened. Now Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and his Contemporaries is back. It’s a conjoined sculpture and mural exhibit, the confluence of 18th-century English sculptor Josiah Wedgwood’s black basalt pottery and the colorful and immersive murals of contemporary Charlotte street artist Owl. Fortunately, Mint Randolph was able to hold onto all the pieces they had borrowed from private collections and other museums, so Wedgwood’s distinctive obsidian-hued ceramics are surrounded, contrasted and cradled by murals dominated by Owl’s distinctive “blobs,” line drawings of amoeba-like shapes that spiral in successive iterations like fractals.

More: Free-$15; Reopens September 25; Tuesday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m; Sunday, 1 p.m.–5 p.m.; 2730 Randolph Road

A ‘Classic Black’ room. (Photo by Casey Hendrickson)

‘New Days/New Works’

New Days/New Works is an interconnected series of exhibits drawn across all the different collections and departments within Mint Museum Uptown, says the Mint’s Senior Curator of American Art Jonathan Stuhlman. Centered on the strikingly colorful acrylic painting “With Side, With Shoulder” by Brooklyn-based artist Summer Wheat, the exhibit also features the Campana Brothers’ large snaking sofa composed free-form, multiple stuffed textiles. “It was inspired by shapes of crocodiles in their native Brazil,” Stuhlman says. Another eye-catching piece is Pilar Albarracín’s “Ceiling for Offerings,” made of hundreds of flamenco dresses.

More: Free-$15; Reopens Sept. 25, Tues., 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Weds., 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.–6 p.m; Fri., 11 a.m.– 9 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.–5 p.m.; 500 S. Tryon St.


The Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture reopens on Oct. 1 and will launch a brand new exhibit. Inter|Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City comes from a commitment to showcase the works of artists that represent a broad spectrum of the African Diaspora. This global exhibition represents 25 Miami-based artists, 17 countries and two guest artists from the Charlotte arts scene: Monique Luck and Stephanie J. Woods.

More: Prices vary; Reopens Oct. 1, Thurs.-Fri., Noon–6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday, Noon-6 p.m.; 551 S. Tryon St.

JazzArts Charlotte

JazzArts is a Charlotte gem, a music organization that develops an audience for jazz and foments community involvement through education, performance and musician support. Throughout the fall, JazzArts provides a weekly virtual jazz fix. Live from Crown, free on Facebook Live and YouTube Live, features interactive livestreamed performances by artists such as saxophonist Harvey Cummings II, guitarist Amos Hoffman, and guitarist Luther Allison. JazzArts also offers a series of online youth and adult jazz workshops running from 8 to 12 weeks for $100 to $250. Instructors include guitarist Troy Conn, drummer Alfred Sergel IV and vocalist Dawn Anthony.

More: Free-$250; Various days and times

Jazz and Soul Music from The Cube

Cube NoDa is a new Charlotte art space that nurtures musicians, dancers, actors and visual artists while featuring their talents through a series of special events. Every third Thursday through December, Dear Soul Music presents “Unplugged+Live.” The virtual series features performances by solo-acoustic and duo-acoustic singer-songwriters such as Kenya Templeton & Shannon Grier and Ali Steele & Katera, hosted by vocalist, composer, musician Arsena Schroeder and streamed live from The Cube.

Every third Sunday through November, Dapper Street Presents “The Dope Jazz Music Series,” where Charlotte musicians pay tribute to jazz greats. On Nov. 15, Dawn Anthony sings Dee Dee Bridgewater. In addition, streaming from The Cube, the “Jazz N Soul Live Music Series” features The Kevin Jones Experience on October 3, and Reggie Graves and Jazz Theory on October 10.

More: Free; Dates and times vary

Charlotte Symphony

The Charlotte Symphony (CSO) recently announced details for a reimagined fall season in which all previously scheduled live concerts through Dec. 6 will be replaced with an array of virtual concerts and smaller-format/limited-capacity live outdoor performances as safety permits. The Charlotte Symphony will work to gradually phase in live, indoor audiences as local conditions safely allow, according to a release. Music Director Christopher Warren-Green will open the series by leading a socially distanced string orchestra in Grieg’s Holberg Suite for Strings and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Maestro Warren-Green will also conduct Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes and Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings on Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees will conduct a concert of Americana music including works by Copland, Coleridge-Taylor, Grainger, and John Williams, Nov. 6, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. Lees will also lead a string orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia No. 7 in D minor and Caroline Shaw’s Entr’Acte, Dec. 4, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. CSO’s popular ON TAP series also returns with six concerts in NoDa Brewing Company’s beer garden. These intimate orchestra experiences can be enjoyed in-person or streamed live from your living room.

More: Dates, times and prices vary. Various days and times

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