Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Exhibit: Severn Eaton at PUSH Gallery

See What Inspired Me is the title of Severn Eaton's newest exhibit at PUSH Gallery in downtown Asheville. Known for his narrative paintings that reflect on the cultural milieu of neoliberalism, Eaton's new show heralds his familiar anti-consumerist perspective but contains no paintings. Instead, Eaton uses images and slogans cut from billboard advertisements to create an environment that is sensationally grotesque. At this close range the onslaught of bright colors and pixelated food is both horrifying and fascinating.

In the middle of the room two life-sized human forms made out of clear packing tape are connected to a box and breathe in and out when activated -- literally deflating and inflating each other. The kinetic rigging of this sculpture is pretty amazing and lends a compelling interactive element to the show.

Pop into PUSH Gallery and Skateshop at 25 Patton Ave and see for yourself before the show comes down later this month.

Read Kyle Sherard's review for the Montain Xpress: See What Inspired Severn Eaton

Visit to see more.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chaos in Berlin

In April 2007 I spent two weeks in Berlin with my friend Sebastian Collett. We stayed at a squat called Tuntenhaus, went to a couple of raves, rode the subways, looked at art, etc. I also went to the craziest dance performance somewhere in East Berlin where we were blindfolded and then made to interact with the dancers. I loved all the graffiti, the Turkish food, and the way people are so candid and yet so guarded.

While I was there I filmed some of the sights, and interviewed a few artists, and when I got back to the states I used the facilities at the now defunct public access station, URTV, and put together this video. The sound quality of the interviews is quite atrocious, but the music -- by Sys-hex, Glossolalia and Pomme de Terre -- is pretty keen.

Link to video: Chaos in Berlin

One of the people interviewed is a choreographer, Tomi Paasonen. Check his work here:

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 16, 2011

The New Materiality at The Asheville Art Museum

Tim Tate; Burned but Not Forgotten

Artists respond to technology’s ubiquity by combining traditional crafting methods with electronic media. The New Materiality,
a traveling show curated by Fo Wilson of The Fuller Craft Museum, assesses the boundaries between the handmade and the automated, the traditional and the contemporary. Among the work presented: Videos of oak trees embedded into a classically crafted wooden table, jewelry constructed from pixelated low resolution images of gems, woven tapestries depicting the sound waves of hand-operated and mechanized looms, and hand-blown glass vessels ornamented with cast glass encasing mini videos that pay homage to books.

Donald Fortescue and Lawrence LaBianca; Sounding

There are a few glitches in the presentation: some batteries need recharging, and not everything is operating at its fullest capacity, though from a certain perspective this points to a larger issue regarding electronic technology’s fragility and current dependence upon finite resources. Still, considering the multifaceted creative legacy of Western North Carolina, this exhibit is very relevant to the local dialogue of contemporary art and craft, and is worth seeing. Kudos to the museum for exhibiting new media.

Read more: Art Bets Mtn Xpress Dec 14

Through March 18 at the Asheville Art Museum. $8 for nonmembers. Free every first Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Artist Profile: Marcus Thomas

For twenty-five years Marcus Thomas, 52, has been making paintings one deliberate stroke of paint at a time, using a brush he grasps with his teeth. For Thomas, art is everything. "It is my voice and my method of messaging," he says. "Just the act of painting is critical and important to me. Everything else has become secondary."

The irony is that before the accident that left him nearly completely paralyzed Thomas never thought about art. "I would never have even attempted it," he says. At the time he was freshly out of college and heading towards a career in recreation management. "I think we're pushed away from such things at a very young age and we do things that are more expected of us."

On March 3rd, 1986 at the age of 23, Thomas was skiing with friends in Western North Carolina when he slipped and collided headfirst into a tree, breaking his 3rd and 4th vertebrae. As a result, he lost all ability to move his arms and legs. The accident was devastating and he spent months recovering physically and emotionally. One day his girlfriend, Anne, and his sister, Amanda, bought him a set of watercolors — "a real casual tray of Crayolas" and he made his first painting, which he describes as a "third grade doodle."

Read the full article on Marcus Thomas: The Mind's Eye; BoldLife Magazine December, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Artist Profile: Libby O'Bryan

I had the pleasure of meeting Libby O'Bryan when I wrote this article for Verve Magazine. O'Bryan is one of several artists featured in the Out of Fashion exhibit currently on display at SECCA in Winston Salem.

On the opening night of the exhibit, Out of Fashion, O’Bryan performed a piece called “Sewed In,” during which she literally sewed herself up. Sitting inside a bubble of fabric with her sewing machine, she sewed furiously until the bubble collapsed and the material clung to her like a second skin. She ended her performance by breaking out of the wrap, but the performance brought to mind images of suffocation and horrific sweatshops. “I do get a little panicky when I’m in there,“ O’Bryan admits.

“Sewed In” was one of several performance pieces O’Bryan developed as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago starting in 2008. It’s a way to illustrate, as she puts it, “a physical manifestation of what the sewing machine and I do together.” Like O’Bryan’s other large-scale conceptual performance pieces, “Sewed In” explores the way individuals are implicated in the socio-political and manufactured worlds around them.

Read more: Sew Cool, Verve Magazine December 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shout-out to the Piedmont Triad

If you find yourself in the mood for a road trip and craving some good contemporary art, it's worth taking a trip to the Piedmont Triad --referring to the cities of Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point.

First off, stop off in Winston Salem and visit the South East Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA.)
This gem of a center always has some captivating exhibits. Out of Fashion, curated by Steven Matijcio, is one of the current shows and features work by local artists, R. Brooke Priddy (pictured above) and Libby O'Bryan. Admission is free!

The soft sculpture works of Margarita Cabrera are also on display at SECCA. From the website: "Turning crafts and their manufacture into the vehicle for socio-political consideration, she questions con-temporary applications of post-NAFTA Latin American labor. Drawing upon local communities, Cabrera orchestrates the manufacture of soft, vinyl sculptures resembling backpacks, bicycles, potted plants, domestic appliances, pianos, and full-sized automobiles."

Next, visit The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro. The museum was established to aid the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and houses six galleries. Currently showing in the main gallery is Persona: A Body in Parts, curated by Xandra Eden, which presents the opportunity to see some of Nick Cave's soundsuits among other compelling work. Admission is also free! Hurry, the exhibit comes down December 11th.

In another gallery at The Weatherspoon I positively swooned over the paintings and drawings of Tom Burckhardt.
Visit to see more.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Asheville's Urban Arts Institute

Asheville's Urban Arts Institute "empowers and enriches the under-served youth of our community through the art of hip-hop," says Michael Hayes who founded the organization in 2006. Hayes is self-taught in theater and dance. "I've always had a creative vibe going on with me," says Hayes, "I figured I might as well use the talent to help the kids."

Learn more about the Urban Arts Institute: Hip Hop in the Heart by Joshua Cole for Mountain Xpress

Hayes and the students will be presenters at TEDxAsheville this weekend, and will be discussing the power art has to transform lives and communities.

Look for them in the Asheville Holiday Parade,
November 19th.

A special fundraiser for the UAI is planned
Friday December 16th 7pm to midnight
$40/ couple

"This is a dress-up event" says Hayes. "There will be Chicago two-stepping and foxtrotting -- all the good stuff."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Brain Eno's 77 Million Paintings

Photo credit: Brian Eno/ via LA Times blog

Brian Eno's in town!!!!

It's Moogfest, so there's a lot of synthpop, electronic, krautrock bands playing in Asheville this weekend, and this year Moogfest has expanded its reach by adding an audio visual "act" to the lineup. Brain Eno's 77 Million Paintings, a constantly evolving environment of sound and light based on generative software, will be on display at the YMI through the month of November.

If you have a Moog pass you can go check out the installation all weekend. If you don't, the exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday November 2. Tickets will be $10 and can be purchased at the door.

On Saturday October 29, Eno will give an illustrated lecture at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at 2pm. Moogers get first bids on seats, and then the general public is allowed admittance for $35. (That's about 7 drinks at Broadways, or a pretty fun dining experience for one at Zambras)

Anyway, the point of this post is to urge you all to get to the YMI during the month of November to experience this "visual music" phenomenon. Allow yourself plenty of time to become fully immersed. It's so hypnotic you might have a hard time leaving.

Here's a description of 77 Million Paintings off the Moogfest website:

At a press conference Thursday October 28, Eno had some enlightening things to say about art and his creative approach. Here are some of my favorites:
(These may not be verbatim because I was writing not recording.)

"I wanted to see where the threshold of eventlessness lies."

"I really like art when it's magic. I don't like it when it's just clever."

"With all the images [in the 77 Million Paintings software banks,] there is something like 100 million cubed [possibilities.] "What you see today you won't see tomorrow. The piece you just really loved will never happen again."

"I'm anti occult in a certain way " (when asked about the spiritualist overtones in his work,) "but very pro playing with your own timing devices."

"We've dignified the act of control, but we have to learn how to surrender to things. If you can't shape them you have to learn to be a part of them."

"We consider it a huge achievement to control nature. It's also a huge achievement to surrender to nature."

"Graffiti is very much like calligraphy."

"I see myself as a gardener more than an architect. I plant some seeds, watch them come up [and then decide whether I like what's happened and how I want to alter them.]

"[I commend them because] it's like trying to reproduce a Jackson Pollack painting" (On Bang on a Can's cover of Eno's Music For Airports.)

"I have strong opinions." (when asked what makes him a good record producer.)

On art mentors in art school: "What mattered is that they had strong opinions, because that forced you to take a stance in relation to their opinions -- [whether you agreed with what they said or not.]"

Podcast of the press conference recorded by Alli Marshall for the MountainXpress: part one, part two for more Eno stuff.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artist Profile: Constance Humphries

One of Constance Humphries paintings is hanging in the Asheville Art Museum's show, Color Study, and she recently had work in the 2nd Annual UNCA Invitational. A formalist at heart, Humphries says “I’m more interested in visual problems than I am visual solutions.”

“I find mess really interesting,” says Humphries. "Whether it’s in nature, or whether it’s crowds, or in the thrift store where everything is just in piles. I’m simultaneously interested and really freaked out by disorganization.”

To make her gestural paintings, Humphries, an Asheville native, begins by creating an “under-painting” using relatively random marks and colors. Then, she paints the dominating marks, which takes hours. “I have to do it slowly and carefully or else I’ll create mud,” she says.

Read more about Humphries: Mess Marks the Spot, Verve Magazine October 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

AVL artist exhibits elsewhere

Detail of First Cavalry, Machine embroidered fabric and hand stitching

Nava Lubelski

October 28-December 11
Opening Friday Oct. 28 6-9
139 Eldridge St.
New York, NY

From the press release:

"In the exhibit Lubelski uses vastly different surfaces to hold her organic sewing, from a chair, to an eviscerated electric blanket, to a factory reject of misaligned army badges. The objects have been discarded as useless, yet still have a sense of presence and of history, of quietly embodied dramas. Their mass produced designs may contain little aesthetic intention or craftsmanship, but Lubelski's detailed hand stitching is worked throughout their patterns creating a new identity; a chair becomes a sculpture, and a blanket a drawing. The work draws attention to the beauty of the structure and repetition and points out imperfections, which in turn alert the viewer to the unique qualities of the object."

Upholstered armchair, cut mylar

Deskilled Drawings
Heather Lewis

Oct. 7- Dec. 11
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
68 Elm St.
Summit, NJ

"Heather Lewis is interested in exploring the idea of deskilling as it applies to fine art production. Building on a conceptual legacy established by artists like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, Lewis appropriates readymade objects from everyday life and utilizes mechanized design processes such as stenciling to produce artwork. Her exhibition Deskilled Drawing presents light installations and non-traditional artworks that challenge us to expand our consideration of drawings—how they are made, and even how we define them."
-Mary Birmingham, Curator, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lines and Lives of the Face

If you haven't yet been to Tryon, NC, there's at least a one good reason for you to visit this month. Tryon is located about an hour south of Asheville, near the border of South Carolina. It's a lovely little mountain town, slightly warmer in climate than Asheville, with a population of approximately 1,700. It happens to be the town where Nina Simone was born and it is also home of the impressive contemporary art center Upstairs Artspace.

Currently Upstairs Artspace is exhibiting Lines and Lives of the Face, a group show curated by Margaret Curtis and Nancy Holmes. Curtis is an amazing painter who recently took over the role of managing exhibitions at the Upstairs ArtSpace. This is exciting because her knowledge of contemporary art insures some quality exhibitions in the future. Holmes is an art enthusiast who recently supported a new exhibition at The Asheville Art Museum, Homage2.

For LALOTF Curtis initiated a collaboration between NYC artist James Esber and 24 regional artists, "non-artists" and children. For it, Esber provided a drawing of Osama bin Laden to be traced by each participant of the project. The different interpretations that occurred in spite of the standardized form, were astounding. Some artists chose to incorporate literal symbols in their work; others went a more formalized or intuitive route. (The video above does not include the drawings from Upstairs ArtSpace.)

"Pube Patch" and "Brillo Head" paintings by Alli Good

In addition to Esber's project, The gallery contains work by 14 artists -- each presenting their unique approach to the "portrait." There are realist paintings, and stylized interpretations in media ranging from sculpture, paintings, drawings and woodcuts.

"Chill" by Taiyo La Paix. I just love that DQ logo and those faux fur cuffs.

Kindergarten series by David Slone

Drawings by Phillip McGuire

My paintings

Exhibiting artists also include: Kevin Clinton, Mathew Curran, Paul Flint, Dawn Hunter, Francesco Lombardo, Brian Mashburn, Tim Speaker and Bob Trotman

Tuesday, November 1st a panel of artists from the show will discuss traditional vs. contemporary portraits and the appeal of the subject. 7pm

Friday, November 11 Regional writers will read their poetry and prose in the gallery. 7pm.

Line and Lives of the Face hangs until November 19th
Upstairs Artspace
49 South Tryon Street
The gallery is open Tues - Sat. 11am - 5pm.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SHUCKED: an art show at PUSH Gallery

Paper kudzu by Lisa Nance (photo by Ayana Dusenberry)

Site-specific installation, paintings, drawings and sculpture by six Asheville artists using mixed media and non-traditional approaches to art making.

The artists of SHUCKED utilize methods and materials not only to achieve a final product or object, but as expressive devices that influence the work as it progresses. Here, the artists react to their own procedures of mark-making, cutting, gluing, binding, sewing and sketching.

Also significant are materials like graphite, cardboard, paper, wood and fabric — gleaned from trash piles, free boxes, thrift stores and friends. The result is a collection of work that responds to current social issues, construed of low-cost materials and cast out from the artists' psyches.

Ink drawings by Michael Ohgren

The following is an excerpt from Artists Get Shucked by Kyle Sherard for the Mountain Xpress:

For local artist, writer and now curator Ursula Gullow, oysters, clams and corn are not the only things that can be shucked. Add artists to the list of things that can shed their protective coverings. In Shucked, a group show opening at Push Skate Shop and Gallery this Friday, she brings together six local artists whose paintings, drawings and site-specific installations reveal the process of artistic creation itself.

The array of work in the show includes a painting by Anna Jensen, paintings by Lisa Nance, drawings by Michael Ohgren and pagan ceremonial garb created and worn by textile artist Tara Jensen (no relation to Anna) for a Beltane festival. Installations by Lauren Whitley, Nance and Courtney Chappell are staged in the gallery.

To explore the notions of process and self, Gullow pushed the artists outside of their comfort zones. "The artists are working more intuitively, more directly, rather than only focussing on the final object,” Gullow says, “A precious, commodified object."

SHUCKED will hang until October 22nd at PUSH Skateshop and Gallery on Patton Avenue in Asheville, NC. 225-5509)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ray Cooper: Looking, Waiting, Doing

Yes, I'm a paint nerd. I love talking about pigments, brushes, mediums, substrates, studios, studio light, palettes, processes -- all of it. I love looking at the way paint drips, and the way it blends, congeals, or cracks.

So I enjoyed meeting Ray Cooper, an artist I wrote about for the September 2011 issue of BoldLife Magazine, who presented an approach to painting I hadn't heard about -- tachisme, where "one carefully made stroke can say it all." Cooper also paints with rollers instead of brushes. Maybe I'll try that out some day.

Here's an excerpt from Looking and Waiting and Doing, BoldLife Magazine September 2011

When he's in his studio, Ray Cooper is prone to spending long periods of time looking at his work, contemplating the visual problems at hand and what he needs to do to solve them.

These moments of observation are interspersed with bursts of creative activity — mark making and paint dripping — after which the artist is again "looking and looking and waiting." He's spent a lifetime evolving his process. "You have to paint something for at least 5 years before you really begin to understand it and feel relaxed with it," says Cooper. "Ten years in you might hit another plateau."

While Cooper is reticent to categorize his aesthetic style he eventually settles upon the term "lyrical expressionism," saying, "I don't have the angst required to make abstract expressionist paintings."

Learn more about Cooper and his current exhibits in Hendersonville, NC visit

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gene Felice's Rapid Progression and Prototype Technology

I wrote about Gene Felice and rapid prototype technology last year when he presented work at FLOOD Gallery. In spite of how common it is, 3D "printing" was something I had never heard about. I was fascinating that objects could be produced, seemingly out of thin air, but of course, it isn't that simple. Read, Mad Science: Artist explores new technologies in art-making to learn more about Felice and rapid prototype technology.

Felice is director of the Creative Technology and Art Center hosted by the Odyssey Community School and has been an adjunct instructor at UNC Asheville and Ohio State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He has also been an active participant in the {RE}Happening events through BMCM+AC.

Here's a description of Felice's current exhibition, A Rapid Progression on display until October 4th at The Highsmith Union Gallery at UNCA until October 4th:

Gene Felice takes in the visual world around him and filters it through his imagination to produce hybrids of art and life, exploring the way biology and technology adapt over time. In A Rapid Progression Felice’s process is just as important as the product. Representations of mutating cancer cells common in Felice’s genetic history have been created using a rapid prototyping system in which Felice is able to design and print 3-dimensional objects. Felice then ads in p2, part bicycle, part power plant. Viewers are invited to hop on p2 and become an alternative energy source to power parts of the exhibit.

Check out
and for more images.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Battle of Make Believe

painting by Hannah Dansie

Now on display at Satellite Gallery, The Battle of Make Believe includes work by some of Asheville's finest.

Read a full review of the show: In The Battle of Make Believe, adult responsibility overrides juvenile impulse Mountain Xpress

This handsome exhibit will hang until September 29

Satellite Gallery is located at 55 Broadway
Open Tues-Sun. Call 505-2225 for more info.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Galen Frost Bernard Art Reception

The Lexington Avenue Arts festival is this weekend! Be sure to step into Bobo Gallery and Wine bar to see the newest paintings by Galen Frost Bernard.
Standing on Fish is the title of his show, and to celebrate, Bernard will host an artist reception from noon until 10 pm on Sunday September 4th.

Read more about Bernard and his work: Flooding and rebuilding

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Some thoughts on color

At the risk of sounding too general, I’m going to assert that color is the most immediate thing that people respond to when looking at paintings– consciously or subconsciously, and it's often the first thing that gets commented on. (Subject matter and technical ability probably tie for second.) Admittedly, I didn’t do any research that can back this statement up, so I’m open to debate on the topic.

The use of color within a painting is akin to the use of melody in a song. Every painting uses pigment in some way. Every song has some sort of melodic structure.

That being said, I think that to base an exhibition strictly around color is a tough thing to do given it's broad range, but the Asheville Art Museum has taken on the challenge with their newest exhibition, Color Study. The exhibit juxtaposes local artists alongside modern art masters and there some brilliant paintings in this show like Nava Lubelski’s stunning Chance of Flurries and Constance Humphries gestural painting, Swing.

I tend to think the exhibit strays a bit from its initial concept, and it could have offered more challenging explorations of color. It’s surprising that not a single piece by Josef Albers is included in the show given the fact that Albers literally wrote the book on color -- Interaction of Color.

Nevertheless, as I wrote in this article for the Mountain Xpress, Color Study is an excellent primer for those who have never contemplated the use of color in art, and there are some wonderful pieces on display that should not go unseen.

Color Study will be on display at The Asheville Art Museum until November 6th.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Heather Lewis: Drawing towards the light

Photograph by Matt Rose, courtesy of Verve Magazine

Since she was a little girl, Heather Lewis has been drawn to the light. Growing up in Trinidad next to an oil refinery, Lewis, now 49, recalls the long shadows cast upon her bedroom walls by the factory. It’s not the sort of thing most kids grow up with, but for Lewis, the glowing orange light and elongated shadows were staples of her childhood.

They’ve become staples in her artwork as well—installations and projections that Lewis categorizes as “nontraditional drawings.” A shadow, she explains, is much like a stencil that uses light as a medium—flat, the way a traditional drawing is, and totally accurate. But shadows can also be toyed with, and she’s made a career out of doing so. “I can take it outside and blow it up big on a building,” she says of a projected shadow. “It can be destroyed and created in an instant.”

Read the full article: Shadow Boxer; Verve Magazine, August 2011

Heather Lewis is part of the Green Shadow exhibit at The McColl Center in Charlotte through August 20. Her work will appear in a group exhibition, Waking up with Van Gogh, at the Hickory Museum of Art next year. For more, check out

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stories are alive for you, and you're living them

Connie Regan-Blake as photographed by Rebecca D'Angelo

As an art form, storytelling has gained recognition over the years, but Connie Regan-Blake [who has been a professional storyteller for 40 years] says she still receives the occasional raised eyebrow when she writes it as her occupation on legal documents. “In the 1970s, the National Storytelling Festival was the only festival. Now, almost every state in the union has a storytelling festival,” she says. In North Carolina, she reckons there are more than half a dozen.

Guilds and societies have sprung up around storytelling.
The Asheville Storytelling Circle is a group of committed storytellers (Regan-Blake is a member), and she participates in local story slams at places like The Magnetic Field and Firestorm Café in downtown Asheville.

As a pioneer of the storytelling movement, mentors were hard to come by in the early days when Regan-Blake established a lifelong friendship with Ray Hicks. One of the original storytellers, Hicks passed away in 2003. The two met in 1973 at the first national storytelling festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. “He really lived the stories,” she says. “He taught me that the stories are alive for you and you’re living them.”
-Read the full article:
Storied Past (and Future) Verve Magazine July 2011

To learn more about Connie Regan-Blake visit

Regan-Blake will be performing with
Sheila Kay Adams at White Horse Black Mountain on July 29 at 8pm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A curator's journey through Asheville

Last week curator, archivist, and events producer, Jason Andrew visited Asheville to install an
exhibition of Jack Tworkov paintings at Black Mountain College Museum. An online journal of the curatorial process was recorded, along with all the things he did around town. It's a really enlightening personal account of the sweat and tears that goes into installing a show. He also highlights some fun Asheville activities and people he met along the way.

Read Day 1 of Andrews curator's journal on here:
(Subsequent days are linked on the bottom of the page.)

Andrew will be coming back to Asheville later this summer to co-curate a dance performance at the Masonic Temple Saturday August 6th 8:00pm.

More info on the dance performance and The Accident of Choice: Paintings by Jack Tworkov
can be read here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mark S. Holland

Journey to Jerusalem oil on panel 40 in x 50 in.

Andante acrylic on canvas 52 in by 44 in

I recently came across Mark S. Holland's paintings at Atelier 24 in downtown Asheville. His large floral paintings are breathtaking, and his narrative paintings are quite intriguing. I really like the visual density of his work, his limited color palette, and effortless brushwork.

On his website Holland writes: Archetypes, ancestors, recollection of things unseen, remembrance of the unknown and forgotten pervade my work. I find by painting my own history, desires and passions, I begin to understand myself, my hidden life. We all share similar experiences, much more in common with each other than we realize.

Visit to see more.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

City-sponsored Yarnstorming June 10th

Yarnbombed pothole by Juliana Santacruz Herrera

It's like graffiti, but with yarn.

There's something so benign about knitting, eg., tea cozies and winter scarves. But plenty of artists have done some pretty badass things with yarn. (check out this Facebook group for some neat examples.)

Now there's this thing called yarnstorming, (or yarn bombing): the act of wrapping public fixtures with sheathes of knitted or crocheted yarn -- kind of like a decoration that can be removed at any time. According to this
wikipage on yarnbombing
, "the practice is still technically illegal, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously."

On Friday June 10th the Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Department will be conducting a FREE yarnstorming workshop 4-7pm at Amboy Park.

According to the event's flyer, no knitting experience is necessary. Instructors will be on hand to teach people how to knit, and install their knitted creations. There will be snacks and music too! It's almost too good to be true, (though I admit that I'm a little bummed to read that all installations will be removed by the city within a week.)

For more information, contact Diane Ruggiero, Superintendent of Cultural Arts, at 828-259-5815

here for directions to Amboy Road Park.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Photo by Anthony Bellemare, courtesy of Verve Magazine

The River Arts District Studio Stroll weekend is upon us! While there are a host of new artists and studios to check out, be sure to pay a visit to Cleaster Cotton at the Pink Dog Creatives building on Depot Street, where she'll be showing her "contemporary primitive" mixed media work.

Though she relatively new to the area, Cotton's been involved in some mighty community work -- like teaching art to economically-disadvantaged kids. She makes her work using found materials saying, "The materials present themselves. they tell me how they want to be treated."

Read more about Cotton in this article written for Verve Magazine:
100 Percent Cotton

I'm also looking forward to seeing Margaret Couch Cogswell's newest project, Tiny Mailbox, a collection of mail art displayed in a mobile gallery at The Cottonmill Studios on Riverside Drive. Cogswell, a mixed media/book artist, put out a call for mail art several months ago in an effort to revive the waning custom of snail mail. I'm anticipating the results, of which, it appears, there were many.
Read more about the project on Cogswell's blog.

See you at the stroll!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Still life with Internet June 2


Michael Traister

Mary's Piano

Courtney Chappell

Jason Holland

A picnic table under...

Scott Duncan

Tools Before Use

Tools In Use

Stina Anderson