Gantt Center Celebrates African American Culture

CHARLOTTE, NC—In a few weeks, Charlotte will host the 2012 Democratic Convention and when the politicos aren’t tending to party business, a corridor of arts and cultural venues awaits them just steps away from the convention center.

An architectural gem in Charlotte’s central business district pays tribute to Black culture. The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture celebrates the cultural contributions of African Americans to the United States and is currently exhibiting “America I Am: The African American Imprint,” a comprehensive look at the remarkable history of Black Americans over the past 500 years.

The center was founded in 1974 and rededicated in its new location near the Mint Museum and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in 2009. Designed by the Freelon group, the building is inspired by the lines of traditional African American quilt patterns and honors the public school that once graced its narrow site during segregation when the urban area was a thriving Black neighborhood called Brooklyn.

All photos © Arts Observer

The wall of the east wing boasts a public art installation “Divergent Threads, Lucent Memories” by David Wilson of Apex, N.C.

Installation view of “Divergent Threads, Lucent Memories.”

Detail of “Divergent Threads, Lucent Memories.”

The west wall of the museum was designed with an abstract pattern that lights up at night.

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