Artists Reckoning with Home: Celebrating Romare Bearden

In October, we’ll celebrate the art and legacy of acclaimed artist Romare Bearden, who was born and spent his early years in Charlotte. Though Bearden’s working years were spent primarily in New York, he understood himself as a southerner and gradually reconstructed his memory of life in Charlotte’s historical Brooklyn neighborhood, eventually claiming, “I never left Charlotte, except physically.” 

In iconic collages created in the last 15 years of his life, Bearden reckons with his homeland in a fusion of memory and mythic imagination that depicts the rich and complex daily lives of African Americans in an early 1900s Charlotte. We invite creators and community members of all backgrounds to engage in a similar reckoning through a series of events that provide opportunities to learn about Charlotte’s past and re-imagine its future. 

• Wednesday, October 12: A Night in Brooklyn, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Studio 229 on Brevard. In the Brooklyn neighborhood, hear jazz from the Kevin Jones Experience, and join conversations about generative intersections between visual art, music, and poetry. Free admission, cash bar. Register

• Sunday, October 16: Writing with Bearden: An Ekphrastic Writing Workshop, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Mint Museum Uptown. For All Ages. One of the most enjoyable ways to engage with art is to spend time writing about a piece that captures your imagination. In this Bearden Gallery workshop, Charlotte Lit faculty members will share examples and tips from this long and fascinating “writing about art” tradition called ekphrasis, then invite you to give it a try. No experience or special materials required. Register at Mint Museum website

• Wednesday, October 19: Reading and talk by Dr. Glenda Gilmore on her book Romare Bearden in the Homeland of His Imagination, in partnership with Mint Museum Uptown. Free admission. Register

• TBA: Walking Tours of Charlotte’s Former Brooklyn Neighborhood, in partnership with Levine Museum of the New South.

Romare Bearden in the Homeland of His Imagination (book cover)