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Visual Art & Film

Over the decades Asheville and Western North Carolina have become a haven for the visual artist whether creating glassware, painting, sculpture, metalwork, fiber work or American craft,etc. So, the talent in our region is boundless and the galleries overflow with amazingly beautiful art.
Arts and Crafts Galore!     Asheville Area Arts     River Arts District      Rapid River Review: Arts & Culture Magazine   Asheville & WNC Studio Tours     Weaverville Art Safari  

THE MOST IMPORTANT BLACK WOMAN SCULPTOR of the 20th century deserves more recognition

Unfortunately, little of her work survives

By Keisha N. Blain in Timeline Medium

ugusta Savage started sculpting as a child in the 1900s using what she could get her hands on: the clay that was part of the natural landscape in her hometown of Green Cove Springs, Florida. Eventually her talents took her far from the clay pits of the South. She joined the burgeoning arts scene of the Harlem Renaissancewhen her talents led her to New York.


A Concise History of Diets through Life and a Lot of Show Biz Spice

One of the first photos you see in Renee Taylor’s delightful play about dieting is a black and white picture of her as a chubby kid in New York in the late 1940s. In hundreds of subsequent photos and videos, Taylor, the unforgettable mom of Fran Drescher in the hit TV series The Nanny, tells the story of her life and all the diets she has been on, real and crank, medical and fanciful. It’s about caloric food you can bake and a LOT of chocolate cake. CLICK TO CONTINUE


The True Story Behind the Harriet Tubman Movie and the Reverse Underground Railroad

By Meilan Solly in Smithsonian.com

Harriet Tubman’s first act as a free woman was poignantly simple. As she later told biographer Sarah Bradford, after crossing the Pennsylvania state boundary line in September 1849, “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”


“MIRA LEHR: A Walk in the Garden” — the Eco-Feminist’s 60th Anniversary of Visionary Artmaking

Mira Lehr in front of Creation (triptych), 2018  

At the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU for Art Basel Season

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU headlines Art Basel season with Mira Lehr: A Walk in the Garden featuring all new work created by the nationally renowned eco-feminist artist. 


Broaching the Subject of Beauty

A look at three paintings from the cusp of the 20th century that make a powerful argument for beauty.

When in 2014 the Getty Museum acquired Édouard Manet’s “Jeanne (Spring)” (1881), it commissioned a three-lecture series and invited the art historian Richard Brettell to be the first speaker. He, in turn, has now expanded his published version of those discussions to deal also with two other late 19th-century paintings in the Getty collection, Paul Gauguin’s still life “Arii matamoe (La fin royale)” (1892) and Paul Cézanne’s “Young Italian Woman at a Table” (1895-1900).

As Brettell notes at the start of his book, On Modern Beauty: Three Paintings by Manet, Gauguin and Cézanne, both ‘modern’ and ‘beauty’ have become highly problematic concepts, in part because of the legitimate concerns of feminists and scholars dealing with gender and colonialism.  Click here to continue


Up Close & Personal With Four Appalachia Now! Artists

Shauna Caldwell, Appalachian State University graduate student and Appalachia Now! project intern, recently sat down with four artists whose work will be shown in the Museum’s opening exhibition Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia. Click the names to read more about Clarissa SlighDanielle BurkeEleanor Annand, and Molly Sawyer!


Unexpected Art in Unexpected Places

–by Mirka Knaster, syndicated from exploringtheheartofit.weebly.com, Jul 10, 2019 in Doing Good

What happens when we look more closely, whether with the naked eye or equipment? Incredible details come into focus, bringing with them the possibility of beauty and interest we might never have conceived of. That’s what some scientists and artists have discovered. As a result, a certain kind of artwork has been emerging because of technological advances and a discerning eye. In a winning combination of science and art, what is observed microscopically can be magnified into large images that defy a viewer’s guess as to what they might be. To me, they register as abstract paintings or textile designs. In fact, there are artists using such images to create their own work in these mediums.


THIS WEEK IN STREET ART: Apartment murals and the Girl Power of Persephone Rising

Muralist and new mom Lauren Pallotta Stumberg walked past The Edge construction site every day while she and her son strolled through their Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. She eventually gathered the courage to cold call the apartment complex’s property manager and propose a mural for the nine-story wall facing Edgewood Avenue.


WNC LEGACY: FINE ART &CRAFT- On a Personal Note: John Cram

By Jim Murphy in The Laurel of Asheville 2016

In the early 1970s, John Cram visited Asheville and says, “I fell in love with the place.” He moved here and found that Asheville was sitting squarely between the mountains and the doldrums. Beyond the town’s natural attractions, there was not a lot to love. And there was not a lot of demand for a 25-year-old holding a communications degree with a concentration in film. (John calls it “a bachelor’s degree in nothing.”) But just beneath that liberal arts background lurked the soul of an entrepreneur.


A Viral List of Hundreds of Opportunities for Artists, Compiled by One Person to Encourage Community

By Sarah Rose Sharp in Hyperallergic

Everest Pipkin has made public their “Big Artist Opportunities List” — a collection of over 400 opportunities for artists across the globe.

With the overwhelming reality that artists are expected to somehow maintain a practice, store and ship work, support their scene, self-promote, manage open accounts with galleries — all generally on spec, at least starting out — plus do whatever it takes to pay their bills, who has the time or bandwidth to keep track of opportunities to further one’s practice? 


Once Overlooked, Female Old Masters Take Center Stage

By Sotheby’s

n 1971, pioneering feminist art historian Linda Nochlin penned the now-iconic essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” – a powerful critique on the ways in which women had been excluded from art history. Nearly 50 years later, the stories of the remarkable women who did break boundaries to achieve artistic acclaim are just beginning to be told. This January, Sotheby’s celebrates trailblazing female artists from the 16th through the 19th centuries with The Female Triumphant, a group of exceptional works of art that will be offered in our Masters Week sales. In spite of extraordinary obstacles, talented artists such as Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Fede GaliziaMichaelina Wautier and Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau paved the way for future generations of artists everywhere. Below, four expert voices discuss how these artists changed painting forever.     Click to continue


‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ review: Irresistible voice of beloved writer shines through

By Moira Macdonald at Seattle Times

The Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison has a voice like a warm blanket, and it spreads across the documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” irresistibly; when it’s over, you feel like a beloved friend has left the room. In Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ film, Morrison is seated squarely facing the camera and speaking to it, while the other voices in the film – friends, fellow writers, critics, academics – are shot at a more traditional angle. The result is an intimate directness, a sense of a genuine conversation.


“Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. “

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.


CITY OF ASHEVILLE PUBLIC ART PROGRAM

( Photo from the 2018 RADfest)

History of the Public Art Program

Starting in the 1970s, people began to notice that Asheville had very little public art compared to other cities around the country. As an outgrowth of the Streetscapes program, the Urban Trail Committee was formed in 1992 to develop a walking art trail highlighting historically important architecture, people and events within downtown Asheville. The Urban Trail became an Asheville treasure and helped show citizens what public art could do for our community. In November of 1998, a group of eighteen concerned citizens came together to form the Public Art Working Group. Many meetings and a great deal of research later, City Council adopted the City’s first Public Art Policy. A newly established Public Art Board started meeting in May of 2000.


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