Tag Archives: Charlotte NC

Tree Cathedral, a painting

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This painting is the image that reminds me of Charlotte, the city.

©2012 C Hutson Wrenn

Tree Cathedral – a portrait of Charlotte North Carolina

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Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculpture, Firebird, stands to welcome us to the city’s new museum of modern art in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. The presence of this magical sculpture takes this city to a bigger place in the art world. The piece is magical in its ability to soften modern art and attract. Who does not want to stand under her big-legged arch and see themselves in reflexion of mirror? Ah, art. The entire museum, too, is irresistibly attractive.

Firebird Photo Collage


(©’11 CHW/this image was taken with the iPhone4 with the app, Photosynth)

The Bechtler Museum in Charlotte

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Particularly because of the joyful quality in so much of her work and its powerful and seductive use of color, Niki has proven exceptionally intriguing to audiences who are new to the world of modern art and its complexities. Because of Niki’s apparent simplicity, the works can be enjoyed appropriately on a number of levels and the more a viewer gets to know her work, the more intriguing content and greater complexity of composition the viewer discovers without losing the initial attraction to its energy and attractiveness.” – from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC.

Niki de Saint Phalle

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Art, when really understood, is the province of every human being. -Robert Henri

The Art Spirit is a small book that awed me when I read it. I remember him for this book more than his paintings, but he was a fine portrait painter. He taught that “when the artist is alive in any person… he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for better understanding.”

… And that “an artist’s job is to surprise himself. Use all means possible.” Don’t you love that?

A collection of his work is now showing through the first week of August at The Mint Museum, uptown Charlotte.

The Art Spirit. Robert Henri.

Lowcountry Carolina meets Niki de Saint Phalle:)

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Oil on birch. 12x36 Homage to Niki de St Phalle

This is a painting inspired by the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Edisto Island in particular. It began as the St. Pierre River which is at the end of Peter’s Point Road, off National Scenic Byway SC 174. Then I got enamoured with Niki de St Phalle’s work and out this came! It is oil on wood, 12×36 in cradled birch. I think she is finished…what do you think?

Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of New Mythology

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The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has brought a bit of France to Charlotte, and the art is fun and fresh. Niki de Saint Phalle’s work is round and womanly and seems to have arrived just in time to balance a city with so many tall, straight skyscrapers. It makes me smile, and it feels lively and accessible. The large sculptures are colorful and ready to be appreciated I think now by a culture simply tired from the faulting economic climate of the last few years. Her Nanas are large dancing women, and such brightly colored whimsy speaks to my playful self. Creation of a New Mythology is the name of the show, in uptown Charlotte, through October 3rd, 2011. Yay!

Niki de Saint Phalle Queen Califas Magic Circle©PattyMooney

Queen Califas Magic Circle

How to get there? I am just returning to my home city of Charlotte after two years in Charleston, where I learned to ride the charming Southern city’s public transportation to the Broad Street Gallery that showed my artwork. Charleston makes it seductive with the free downtown trolley which takes one everywhere. Now I discover that Charlotte has a bus from the airport to the Museums downtown for people on layovers! And its own Trolley, too, called the Gold Rush. The CATS-operated Gold Rush Trolley is a free trolley service that runs downtown routes and also to and from The Presbyterian Hospital. The Gold Rush trolleys stop at marked bus stops every seven minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.