These days, it’s a bit shameful for Charlotteans not to know who Swiss architect Mario Botta is. He did, after all, design one of Uptown’s newer constructs, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Sleek, post-modern and innovative, this building has become a staple of the Levine Center for the Arts for good reason. But there’s a lot more to Botta than what we can see in the Q.C. The Bechtler’s Mario Botta: Architecture and Memory is an exhibit that will clue visitors in on the architect’s 50-year career, with views of his constructs around the world. The fourth-floor gallery will feature sketches, architectural models and photographs. (Anita Overcash) $4-$8; Free for members and children 10 years old and under.
Voted “Best Club DJ” in CL’s 2013 Best of Charlotte issue, Arthur Brouthers is known around town for spinning at local hot spots and poppin’ shindigs around town on a regular basis. It’s one thing to see him in this type of setting and another to see him step away from the turntables to pursue other creative endeavours. Brouthers, also director of operations for Culture Initiative, showcases his latest artwork in this new solo exhibit, titled Beneath. It consists of vibrant, textured, mixed-media paintings by Brouthers, whose works sometimes resemble computer-generated sound patterns and fluid-like flows. During the opening reception, there will also be music by Collectr. Opening reception on Feb. 7, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Anita Overcash) Free admission
In an effort to further explore African-American identity, The Gantt Center is unveiling three new exhibits. They’ll focus, more specifically, on black men through a variety of mediums. Question Bridge: Black Males, created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, is a video project based around San Diego’s African-American community. Later expanded, the project asks black men to express their views on a range of topics. There’s also New Mythologies, a multi-media exhibit of works by Brooklyn-based artist William Villalongo. He uses symbolism and intricate details to make his viewers dissect the meaning in his works — interwoven with aspects of race, identity and history. It’s a fun quest. Also on exhibit: African-American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center, comprised of works inspired by the social, cultural and political visions of its creators, both professional and budding African-American artists. $6-$8
This is more than just a new exhibit — it’s a transformation. Thresholds, created by architect Quynh Vantu, has recreated the first floor gallery and entryways of McColl Center for Visual Art by using textiles, light and other mediums to form passageways and other structural formations. Somewhat experimental in nature, this installation blends art and architecture, creating a visually stimulating environment. There’s a pretty dreamy, innovative vibe going on, too. Opening reception on Jan. 24, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Anita Overcash) Free
This exhibit exposes the greatness of photographer Sonia Handelman Meyer and works by other members of the long-defunct Photo League — a NYC photog group established in 1936 for budding young artists. Much of Meyer’s work focuses on social justice and presents individuals in a documentary style. From shoots at integrated hospitals to Harlem scenes, Meyer captures captivating portraits. After PL shut down in 1951, Meyer fell under the radar but her works resurfaced in Charlotte, where she moved later in her life. This showcase reminds us of photography’s ability to spur social change, a power that was very much opposed, and even dismantled, by the powers-that-be of Meyer’s time. (Anita Overcash) $5-$10; free for members and children 4 years old and under
Flower power is the general vibe over at Mint Museum Uptown at the moment. The galleries have been transformed into a budding floral wonderland for the exhibit, Allure of Flowers: Botanical Motifs in Craft, Design, & Fashion. It showcases a variety of works — from an array of forms (glassworks, ceramics, fashion, jewelry, paintings, textiles), colors, textures and styles — that are all inspired by nature’s blossoming beauties. Many of the works, taken from the Mint’s permanent collection, date from the mid-19th century. (Anita Overcash) $5-$10
In his layered, multimedia works, artist Isaac Payne combines two creative disciplines — architecture drafting and painting. Take, for instance, his rendering of a cityscape that appears and disappears within the lines and sketches of an unfinished design proof. Overlapping paper of varying shades and brushstrokes brings the picture together as an abstract construct. You can see this and other similar works during Payne’s solo exhibit at New Gallery of Modern Art. Opening reception on March 13, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Anita Overcash) Free admission