WILD CHILD APPROVED: Celebrate local music, food, drink, arts and eccentricities on Lexington Avenue. Photo by Frank Merenda

LAAFF returns with an eye toward the future

“Never say die,” reads the poster for the Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Festival, which returns Sunday, Aug. 31, after a one-year hiatus. When the beloved (and, in recent years, beleaguered) event’s return was announced earlier this summer, it was as a last hurrah. Organizers Kitty Love (LAAFF’s co-founder, who’s now executive director of the […]

Photo by LAAFF staff

LAAFF announces schedule for Aug. 31 festival

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival  returns on Sunday, Aug. 31 with a full day’s worth of music, art street theater, local vendors, food and drink and more. Festival planners just released the lineup, which includes more than a dozen bands on two stages, with an additional stage programmed by Lex 18 moonshine bar. The […]

IT TAKES TWO: Part Big Crafty-style art and craft show, part music festival, Big Love celebrates Asheville from all angles. Photo of the Garage 34 booth by Brandy Bourne

Big Love Festival celebrates over 150 independent local businesses and organizations

As Sunday, Aug. 24, approaches, don’t be alarmed if you see two people at Pack Square Park taking tape measures to sidewalks and other structures. It’s just Big Love Festival co-organizers Brandy Bourne and Justin Rabuck ensuring that their event is meeting safety and venue guidelines. Now in its fourth year, Big Love evolved out of […]

Illustration courtesy of Joshua Warren

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. STEVE SHELL POETRY Steve Shell, […]

Husband and wife duo, Jonathan and Jennifer Adams, got the band name Montana Skies from the first song they ever wrote together. Photo courtesy of the band

Smart bets web extra: The Asheville Ballet with Montana Skies

“This ain’t your granny’s chamber music,” claim husband and wife, Jonathan and Jennifer Adams, on their band’s website. The couple’s sound is constructed of guitar and cello pairings, delivered with more spunk than you’d expect from any instrumental family band and packaged under the name Montana Skies. The duo’s knack for extracting spiced-up grooves from […]

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Smart bets: Ali Douglass

There is something comfortingly familiar about Ali Douglass’ whimsical illustrations and paintings. It might be the eye-pleasing color combinations, charming characters and quirky cityscapes and scenes — or it might actually be that you’ve seen them before. Douglass has been illustrating for countless magazines and newspapers  — including Seventeen, Martha Stewart, Glamour and The New […]

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Unfit for artistry: Asheville upholds closing of RAD studio space

An 11th-hour effort to stave off a city order mandating that nearly two dozen artists vacate a cluster of River Arts District buildings came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, July 16, when city officials made final their decision and declined to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy. The mandate affects a city-sponsored art project and New […]

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After the Last LAAFF: New festival seeks community input, starting with a name

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Fest, Asheville’s hyper-local street festival, returns for one final installment on Sunday, Aug. 31. And while that one-day celebration marks a farewell for the grassroots event that launched in 2002, it’s also the start of a new locally focused fest that will roll out in 2015. “The point is to celebrate […]

"The Road Kill Dress," designed by Melaine Murrah and modeled by Molly Roberts-Rego at Costume Drama at Asheville Community Theatre (Carrie Eidson/ Mountain Xpress)

In photos: Costume Drama brings high-fashion DIY to ACT

Asheville Community Theatre reprised their fundraiser Costume Drama: A Fashion Show for a third year on Monday, July 7. Designers and models from throughout the Southeast participated in the DIY runway event where they were challenged to create wearable art in themed categories: paper, nature, upcycled/recycled or — new this year— transformation.

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Smart bets: Krista Allison + Hannah Dansie

Although the term “canoe” usually conjures images of river veneers and summer camp activities, in the case of fiber artist Krista Allison, the homophone Canoo equals soft toys from felted wool sweaters. “She now finds herself experimenting with other possibilities of the felting process, including shibori, machine stitching and hand embroidery … making vessels, wall […]

CHAIN REACTION: Durham-based artist Stephen Hayes stands with sculptural works from his exhibit, Cash Crop. The figures symbolize both the African slave trade and contemporary trade economics. Photo courtesy of the artist

“Cash Crop,” new exhibit at YMI, looks at African slave trade and current trade economics

Between 1502 and the mid-1860s, more than 15 million people were placed in chains and loaded onto boats that sailed from West African shores to Brazilian ports, Caribbean sugar plantations and American cities like Wilmington, N.C., Mobile, Ala. and Charleston, S.C. There, the 12 million or so who survived the monthslong Middle Passage, shackled and […]

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Smart bets: Reckless Abandon

Local muralist Gus Cutty brings together fellow aerosol artists Trek 6, Ishmael, Ted Harper, Topr, Melt FTK and Big Bertha in the group show Reckless Abandon. It’s an exhibit than concerns itself as much with aesthetics as with social issues: “In this extremely sensitive period of Asheville’s growth from obscure mountain town to premier tourist […]