Sisters and native Charlotteans Neha Negandhi and Monika Shah didn’t let respective stints in Seattle and Alaska keep them away from their hometown arts scene. Inspired by similar BYOB painting sessions seen during their travels, they harnessed their diverse experiences with event management and Alaskan train tours to open their own studio, where they encourage students of all artistic levels to tap into their inimitable creativity just as they did. Joined by an impressive cast of local artists, the sisters unfurl a calendar stocked with a barrage of painting options, allowing students to portray a sailboat with an impressionistic mast or a seahorse wearing a gilded saddle.
Stoneware expert Andrew Linton schedules sessions in his spacious studio for couples of all potted persuasions to hone their creative skills. Having taught workshops at Midlands Clay Arts Society and the Mint Museum of Charlotte, Andrew encourages a hands-on approach to the ceramic arts in the studio he owns and operates himself. Customers with little or no experience in shot put can learn the fundamentals of wheel throwing in a beginners' class, which also covers trimming techniques designed to give your flower vase or cauldron a refined design. Forthcoming masterworks are then hardened in the bisque firing process, after which customers have the option of taking their freshly fired pots to be glazed (additional fee applies) at the in-store donut shop.
Though admission is always free, the Contemporaries-level membership provides invitations to special events and parties and includes discounts on ticketed events. Housed in a historic church, the McColl provides feast after ocular feast. ZipStir, a current exhibition, features installations by Hong Seon Jang and Jonathan Brilliant. Jang's work displays the connectivity of the world using US zip codes and plastic zip ties, and Brilliant crafts patterns out of consumer materials such as coffee stirrers.
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, directed by Jessica Orek, is an independent documentary that has garnered praise from IFC, Variety, and Filmmaker magazine for its quiet, poetic imagery, offbeat subject matter, and avant-garde style that, as critic Alicia Van Couvering stated, is "so much more than the sum of its parts." The film explores Japan's fascination with insects, the country's lucrative trade of insect sales, insect art and literature, and more, all through the magnifying lens of historical detective work. The Duke Energy Theatre offers an intimate, attractive space for film-gazing, with auditorium-style seats that keep your vision clear from obstructive bonnets, beehives, and Gorgon snakes.
The Mint Museum has amassed an impressive collection, including American, ancient and Native American, contemporary, and decorative art, since opening in 1936. With a one-year membership to the Mint Museum, Charlotteans get unlimited free admission to the Mint Museum, a 10% discount in the museum shops on purchases exceeding $10, reciprocal privileges at participating regional museums, invitations to special events, discounts at select area retailers, membership eligibility for the museum's affiliate groups, and invitations to art-related trips. Besides the oodles of opportunities, your softball stats will improve thanks to the eagle-eyed vision you'll hone through the careful study of hues and brushstrokes.
With today's Groupon, $20 gets you an individual membership to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture (formerly known as the Afro-American Cultural Center). The center's new, 46,000-square-foot, modernist, glass-and-steel structure recently opened to house the Hewitt Collection, one of the country’s most significant collections of African American art.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.