Female Artists To View in Charlotte Museums

Whether you’re looking for paintings, sculptures, mixed media or something else entirely, Charlotte’s museums feature art from renowned female artists from all over the world. Here are a few of our picks.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

551 S Tryon St.

Ann Tanksley’s Harvest of Shame

Tanksley used bright, energetic colors to illustrate a time of tribulation for African American women in Harvest of Shame. Tanksley boasts an impressive career including numerous commissions from companies like Coors Brewing, Pepsi Cola, Absolut Vodka and Colgate-Palmolive. Oprah Winfrey even has some of Tanksley’s art in her private collection.
Harvest of Shame as well as Tanksley’s New Wave are part of the Gantt Center’s exhibit “A Woman’s Work: Selections from the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African American Art ” which runs until Oct. 13.

Other female-created pieces in the collection include Elizabeth Catlett’s Head of a Woman, Natalie Chanel’s Heir to Freedom and I Am What I Am and Bree Stallings’ Unwanted Southern Conversations.

The Gantt Center Museum store also features works by local artist Monique Luck and other regional artists.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
at Levine Center for the Arts

420 South Tryon St.

Ebony G. Patterson’s …they wondered what to do… for those who bear/bare witness… (2018)

Inspired by displays of mourning, Patterson’s huge, stunning mixed media piece features three hand-embellished resin-based roosters on stands among hand-cut jacquard woven photo tapestry, glitter, appliqués, tassels and more. Jamaican-born Patterson has made a splash at events such as Miami’s Art Basel with her complex tapestry and mixed media pieces.

Known for using beautiful ways to tackle ugly subjects like poverty and violence in her works, Patterson often uses roosters as symbols of death and betrayal.
“In the Biblical story leading up to the betrayal of Christ, he predicted that Peter, his disciple would betray him three times before the cock crows. Here the question of betrayal rests within the post-colonial social constructs of class and race,” Patterson said in her artist’s statement.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s selected works including
L’Oiseau de feu sur l’arche (1991)

Uptown’s iconic silver bird, officially titled L’Oiseau de feu sur l’arche (“firebird” in English), was created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Her larger than life scupltures can be found around the world including Stockholm and Tuscany.
Andreas Bechtler, the museum’s patron and namesake, initially saw the piece in Switzerland and became reacquainted with the sculpture after it was included in an exhibition of Saint Phalle’s outdoor sculptures in Atlanta. He purchased the bird because “it really clicked.” 
Saint Phalle, who moved to New York as a child and worked as fashion model for Vogue, Life, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle, often used birds and the female form in her work.

The Mint Museum

500 South Tryon St.

Kate Malone’s Mr. and Mrs. Tutti Atomic, 2012

Renowned British ceramicist Kate Malone is known for bright and uniquely colored glazes — she has an archive of more than 1,500 of them, the largest collection in the UK. She spent time as a judge on BBC’s The Great Pottery Throwdown and is active in promoting ceramics creation to the masses.

Mr. and Mrs. Tutti Frutti were commissioned by the museum as part of Project Ten Ten Ten and purchased by the Founder’s Circle 2011 Annual Cause with additional funds provided by various donors.

Sheila HicksMega Footprint Near the Hutch (May I Have This Dance?)

Originally commissioned for Target’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis in 2003, May I Have This Dance? was inspired by a small brass knot that had been a paperweight on Hicks’ father’s desk and a lively traditional Breton circle dance seen on a postcard. The piece currently at the Mint was reconfigured, renamed and now greets visitors in the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium.

Hicks learned to sew from her grandmother at a young age and is known for her innovations in weaving. While studying at Yale, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study and produce art in Chile, where she photographed Peruvian and Bolivian archaeological sites and studied pre-Columbian textile techniques. From there, she was inspired to elevate textiles’ status.

“Textile had been relegated to a secondary role in our society, to a material that was considered either functional or decorative,” she explained. “I wanted to give it another status and show what an artist can do with these incredible materials.” 

The Mint Museum features several other female-created pieces including Augusta Savage’s Gamin, Beverly McIver’s Dora’s Dance, Cristina Córdova’s Preludios y Partidas and Silvia Levenson’s Until Death Do Us Part.