220 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
HOURS: Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.,
until 8 p.m. third Thurs. of month
COST: $10 adults, $8 college students and seniors (65+),
$5 children 5–17, free children 4 and under;
free every Tues. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and third Thurs. of month 5–8 p.m.
You’ll come out of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design with a different opinion of arts and crafts. Exhibits showcase the rich craft tradition in North Carolina and include collections of the finest examples of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal, and wood from around the world. There is also a permanent collection of items that document the roots of studio craft from the 19th century through the present day.
The four-story museum is housed in the refurbished building that was once home to Montaldo’s department store and has also served as a funeral home and livery stable. The Mint Museum took over the space in 1999 and transformed it into a showcase of modern art, craft, and design.
There are three commissioned pieces in the museum: a glass chandelier crafted by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, an architectural glass wall by Massachusetts artist Tom Patti, and a work by Czechoslovakian glass artists Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtová that marks their last American commissioned piece.
The museum often hosts artist demonstrations and workshops. Guided tours are also available.
A new 145,000-square-foot building is under construction on South Tryon Street to hold the Craft + Design collection. It will be part of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus and is scheduled to open in October 2010.