Asheville Art Museum Opens New Building in North Carolina

by Andy SmithPosted on

Joshua Adams, False Faced God, 2015–2016, carved cedar wood, 32 × 13 ½ × 8 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by 2017 Collectors’ Circle Member Vito Lenoci, 2017.31.01.

Asheville Art Museum has unveiled its new building in North Carolina, and with it, a slew of opening exhibitions. The museum’s own collection is known for its ties to the former Black Mountain College, the N.C. school open between 1933 and 1957 that was tethered to Bauhaus and faculty and students that included Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Ruth Asawa. Their collection has been reinterpreted in a new display at the venue.

Gary Monroe, Arthur Reaches into the Deep Light, 1998-2018, chalk and charcoal on Somerset Rag paper, 60 x 48 inches.

Margaret Curtis, Trial by Fire: The Body Politic, 2017, oil on panel, 48 x 60 inches.

Another among the opening exhibitions is “Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia” (works shown above and below). The exhibition offers a “regional snapshot of the art of our time,” and as this new museum was being built, curator Jason Andrew had an extended period of time to assemble it. He used those years to conduct more than 54 studio visits and gathered recommendations from regional curators, arts groups, and museums through open submission. By the end, more than 700 were considered, and 50 made the final cut. Further, none of the artists featured are currently represented in the museum’s permanent collection. On why he tapped so many localized arts leaders, Andrew says, “I’m completely aware and cognizant of pushing my own perspective of what ‘Appalachia’ means.”

Tom Shields (Asheville, NC), Bridge, 2017, cast iron, 48 inches x 72 x 20 inches. Photography courtesy Kohler Co.

Meredith Elder (Demorest, GA), Zen & the Art of Stock Horse Maintenance, 2017, acrylic, found object, graphite, ink, oil, paper, plastic, and woodcut print, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm). Image courtesy of the Artist.

And during that time, new popular discussions were being had, from the “Me Too” movement to a growing divide between urban and rural communities. “I was not only waiting for museum to be built—society was having so many conversations with itself during that time,” Andew says. “While the museum is centered in Southern Appalachia, I wanted this show to have a national resonance. Adding ‘Now’ was allowing the artists to dictate and describe to us what it’s like to live in Appalachia. I wanted that history to be seen through the eyes of those 50 creatives.”

As well, the photography exhibition “Points of View” has the likes of Sandy Skoglund and George A. Tice in tow. See more works shown at the museum on its site.

Sandy Skoglund, Breathing Glass, 2000, pigmented archival inkjet print with Epson Surecolor inks on platine photo paper, edition 28/30, 39 × 52 inches. 2017 Collectors’ Circle purchase with additional funds provided by the Nat C. Myers Photography Fund, 2017.36.01. © Sandy Skoglund

Wesley Clark, My Big Black America, 2015, stain, spray paint, latex, and salvaged wood, 192 × 120 × 14 inches. Museum purchase with major support from 2017 A.R.T. members Ron & Nancy Edgerton, Kevin Click, Butch & Kathy Patrick, Rick & Maggi Swanson, and Monty McCutchen & Terri Sigler, and additional contributions from 2017 A.R.T. members Miller & Constance Williams, 2017.39.01. © Wesley Clark

Ken Carder, Bowl, 1986, blown glass with inclusions, 7 3/8 × 7 7/8 × 7 7/8 inches. Gift of Delphia Allen Lamberson & Hoke Smith Holt, 1998.20.50. © Ken Carder.

Luke Haynes, [The American Context #16] Christina’s World, 2012, used clothing, new fabric, cotton batting, and thread on fabric, 110 × 90 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by 2015 Collectors’ Circle, 2015.28. © Luke Haynes.

David Huff Creative

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