Last week, I attended a charity event at The Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture in Charlotte. This “Lunch With A Legend” starred Mr. Gantt, Charlotte’s first African-American mayor. It was hosted in the rooftop atrium of the architecturally significant building that he lent his name to. The room’s view and ambiance was perfect for the small gathering of about 50 people and let us get to know Mr. Gantt in a more intimate atmosphere. I was impressed by his charm, warmth and political adeptness. I received a great history lesson on Charlotte politics and social issues.
After the event I walked two of the new museum’s galleries, where you’ll find everything from mixed-media to photography. But it was the work of Kevin Cole that caught my eye. Mr. Cole’s sculpture was bright, colorful and peaceful in its own way.
A docent told us, “Mr. Cole uses the long neck-tie shapes as a reminder of what happened to him when he was 18 years old. His grandfather stressed the importance of voting by taking him to a tree where he was told that African-Americans were lynched by their neckties on their way to vote.”
That experience obviously left a deep impression on Mr. Cole, although not one of defeat, but of celebrating how far his family has come and the joy (and sorrows) of being American and the rights and privileges that come with it.
More information about The Gantt Center is at www.ganttcenter.org
Art Around Town,” by Lisa Jewel, appears Fridays on DavidsonNews.net’s Guide page. Lisa is keeping a sort of “visual journal” of interesting objects she finds in the area. Some are items for sale at local galleries, others prized possessions in our homes. Have an object to share? Email Lisa, firstname.lastname@example.org. See her previous columns in the Art Around Town category