Monday, September 13, 2010

Wikipedia fails to mention visual arts of Asheville

Dustin Spagnola as photographed by Zen Sutherland.

Everyone always talks about what an arts Mecca Asheville is, but today when I consulted the
Wikipedia on Asheville there was not one single mention of a visual art scene or even a craft scene going on here. According to Wiki, Asheville has no galleries or art museums though it does have a hot busking scene, weekly drum circle and The Smashing Pumpkins played at the Orange Peel in 2007. Even the performing arts were given a nod, (but just barely.)

The commercial tourist sites tell a different story, and rightfully so since the arts attract so many visitors to the area: gives links to all the hot and happening art spots downtown, the monthly gallery walks, the festivals and The River Arts District. The homepage of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce reads: "Come for the abundant natural beauty, friendly atmosphere, wealth of year-round outdoor activities, rich history, and lively local arts and music scene etc.."

The visual arts are commonly overlooked for music events, but I'm still really surprised that whoever wrote the Wiki entry failed to mention any visual art or craft scene in Asheville. Perhaps there weren’t any city records of grants or awards or state funded studios or contributions to non-profit visual art organizations to draw statistics from...? One can only guess.

In any case, yesterday visual artists made their presence known by setting up their easels around downtown for a day of painting and networking. As artists we tend to hole up in our caves to produce our work and there can be a sense of isolation. Yesterday's event affirmed our shared experience and really was a celebration of the visual arts.

The City of 1,000 Easels is the first public project from Graham Hackett, newly appointed program director at The Asheville Area Arts Council. I’m hoping this is an indication of better things to come from the AAAC and a louder voice for the visual arts community of Asheville. to see the painting I made during the event


Anonymous said...

good point Ursula! you could of course, go and add to the Wikipedia listing yourself, couldn't you? BTW, yes the 1,000 easels project was great! hope we see more events like that.

Ursula said...

Oh, I didn't know I could do that! Thanks for writing, I'll check into it.

Anonymous said...

It's a fascinating phenomenon, replicated by our own local leadership - marketing the arts, leaning on the arts to enhance tourism benefiting govt. & business, while providing next to zero tangible support for artists in AVL... all of this must & will change for the better (if 1,000 Easels is any indication!) ... thanks for staying so tuned in! ;)

Anonymous said...

I agree, the entire point of wikipedia is that anyone can edit articles. There's an army of editors behind the scenes making sure new edits make sense and conform to wp guidelines (like a neutral point of view -- you have to think like an encyclopedia writer and not express personl opinions). I'm sure your contributions about arts would be a perfect addition to the page about Asheville.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed the 1,000 easels event!!! Thanks for the link to photos.