Here's the official line:
Queen Charlottes image has long been a symbol of the city of Charlotte, but what would she look like today? The Mint Museum of Art will hold two focus group sessions on Friday to get feedback from the public on this question.
The Museum has commissioned artist Ken Aptekar to create a contemporary interpretation of the Museums famed Portrait of Queen Charlotte by 18th century painter Alan Ramsay. Aptekar, who divides his time between New York and Paris, is known for connecting paintings from the past to the present and has developed projects for the Louvre in Paris and the National Portrait Gallery in London. For more information on the artist, visit www.kenaptekar.net.
WHEN: Friday, May 16, 2008 ~ 4:00 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 7:30 p.m. Free.
WHERE: Mint Museum of Art ~ 2730 Randolph Road
WHY: As part of his creative process, Aptekar seeks community input regarding the subject of his work, sometimes incorporating their comments into his version of the painting. With his re-interpretation of Queen Charlottes portrait, the artist will place special emphasis on the subjects cultural background. As a descendant of the black Portuguese family of Margarita de Castro y Sousa, Queen Charlotte herself represents diversity in 18th century English culture. Aptekar hopes to capture audience responses to the queens racial and cultural heritage represented in the artwork. For this reason, the artist is encouraging people from broad social and ethnic backgrounds to participate in the groups.
I think if Queen Charlotte was around today, some of the politicians in this city and state would have her sitting in the Mecklenburg County Jail questioning if she's in this country legally.