• Castell Photography (2C Wilson Alley — off Eagle St., Asheville, 255-1188) showcases the work of owner/photographer Brie Castell in Finding Her Place: 16 Chapters. About the exhibit:
“This body of work began with an actual book, Finding Her Place, written by Howe Benning in the late 19th century. The publisher, the Religious Tract Society (founded in 1799), was a major British publisher which published Christian evangelical literature in the form of tracts, periodicals, and books which were mostly aimed at children, women, and the poor. In Finding Her Place: Sixteen Chapters, the actual book has been the inspiration for literally every element of the show.
“The first step was transforming the original book into a pinhole camera. This idea of actually using the book as camera is essential to the overall concept. Each image is made one at a time on black and white 4×5 sheet film, and exposures range roughly from two to four minutes. Images are shot in a vertical format, making reference to a book page. All sixteen chapters are represented: the first and last chapters with a single silver gelatin image, and the middle chapters as fourteen hand-sewn silver gelatin diptychs. This sequencing creates the illusion of a visual “book” on the wall.
“Process also plays an enormous role in the concept. The camera is inefficient, faulty, and restrictive. Sheets of film must be loaded into the book/camera one at a time using a darkbox, and the exposures are lengthy. The artist notes that this process is reflective of the flaws of being human and the failures which are a part of life, and the restrictions relate directly to the restrictions of human existence and of being female.
“Castell’s inspiration for this body of work predominantly began with the book title and the major titles within. Allowing these titles to influence the imagery, she draws from personal experience, emotion, and memory as intuitive elements, as well as the idea of place in a social and religious context.”
The opening reception runs from 5 to 8 p.m, with light hors d’oeuvres and wine. The show will remain on exhibit through Nov. 27.
• American Folk Art & Framing (64 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, 281-2134) holds an opening for featured potter Michael Kline. Says the gallery, “Michael Kline is a nationally acclaimed studio potter whose work mixes graceful classic form with the rustic nature of firing in a wood burning kiln. Michael’s brushwork and botanically inspired surfaces add a delicate beauty uncommon in wood fired pottery.
“In tandem with creating pottery for this show, Michael has produced a series of drawings in ink that explore the same patterns in nature that he employs on the surface of his pottery. The conversation between potter’s wheel and paper, 2 D and 3 D has created a unique body of work that further reflects his creative process.
The opening reception runs from 5-8 p.m.