A&E roundup: Appalachian Barn Alliance perseveres with annual fundraiser

STILL STANDING: Chris Bell's painting "The Tobacco Barn" is one of the featured works in Appalachian Barn Alliance’s art exhibit fundraiser, "A Pastoral Palette Resized: Rural Spaces for the Soul.” The show runs Oct. 4-31 in Riverview Station's Studio #234. Photo courtesy of Appalachian Barn Alliance

Appalachian Barn Alliance’s annual art exhibit fundraiser of barns and rural settings — this year titled A Pastoral Palette Resized: Rural Spaces for the Soul — opens Sunday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., in Studio #234 on the second floor of Riverview Station, 191 Lyman St. The show features work from 14 members of the local artist collective, The Saints of Paint, including Chris Bell, Tony Biddix, Cecil Bothwell, Christine Enochs, Mark Henry, Dana Irwin, John Mac Kah, Ruthanne Kah, Rebecca King-Hawkinson, Susan Kokora, Bryan Koontz, Cathy Mandeville, Deborah Squier and Jane Voorhees.

The exhibit will be on display through Saturday, Oct. 31, and proceeds from sales (in-person and online) support the nonprofit, which has been working since 2012 to help save the rural agricultural heritage of the southern Appalachians. Masks are required, and attendance will be limited in accordance with state guidelines. Reservations for specific 15-minute periods from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. may be made online. appalachianbarns.org

Bumps and rhymes

Urban Combat Wrestling rings in its first anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 4, 5-7 p.m., with “Rap and Wrestling 5: It’s a Celebration B!%@#*$.” The pop-up show will be held at Cars and Bars, 2847 Asheville Highway, Canton. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. COVID-19 standards for safety will be followed with temperature checks and masks required at the door. Organizers stress that the event is not family-friendly. avl.mx/8d4

Live at the hospital

Asheville-based actors Laurie Jones and Paul Vonasek are starring in Heartbeats, a new hospital drama on the online streaming broadcast website Twitch. The live, improvised show debuted Sept. 25, continues each Friday at 10 p.m., and lets viewers influence each week’s story by interacting with the cast during the broadcast. Director Jessica Lynn Verdi describes the show as a cross between “Whose Line is it Anyway?” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Dungeons and Dragons.” The cast includes veteran improvisers from The Groundlings, The Second City and Impro Theatre. twitch.tv/ripleyimprov

Artful animals

Woolworth Walk spotlights 17 local artists whose work features native wildlife in the exhibit Take a Woolworth Walk on the Wild Side, which runs Thursday, Oct. 1-Saturday, Oct. 31. Each artist is donating a percentage of sales to Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a nonprofit that provides care for injured and orphaned wildlife, supports Western North Carolina’s wildlife rehabilitation network and provides wildlife conservation education to the community. woolworthwalk.com

Three to read

Recent published works by Asheville-based authors include Cecil Bothwell’s Waist Not, Want Knot: Yet a Further Collection of Tangled Confabulations. According to the author, his latest batch of short stories “revolve around midriffs, rope, recycling, anchors, fishing, kookaburras, Greek coins and Incan quipus — kind of the usual range of his slightly twisted view of humanity.” cecilbothwell.com

Elsewhere, Barbara Willis Kimbrell’s novel Paper Planes chronicles “one woman’s journey through the legal and prison system after taking a human life due to unforeseen circumstances.” The author is a former substance abuse counselor at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women and notes that the protagonist struggles with child abuse, mental health and sexual abuse, as well as addiction, a theme that Kimbrell explored in her previous work of fiction, Drunks, Monks and Mental Illness: … Based on a Lie. “Most importantly,” she says, “it is a story about redemption.” dorrancepressroom.com/paper-planes

And though not an area resident, Alden Jones reflects on her time as a 19-year-old in the Western North Carolina wilderness with the N.C. Outward Bound School in her new book, The Wanting Was a Wilderness. The “critical memoir” started out as a critique of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, but the Boston-based writer gradually shifted its focus as the project developed. aldenjones.com

Popcorn proud

Marshall-based rocker Michelle Leigh won Female Entertainer of the Year for the third consecutive year at the 2020 Josie Music Awards, and added Southern Rock Song of the Year for “The Legend,” her tribute to the late moonshiner Popcorn Sutton. The organization honors independent and up-and-coming musicians in all genres and touts itself as the world’s largest independent music award organization. Leigh, who now has 10 total JMAs, splits her time between Madison County and Jacksonville, Fla., where her band is based. michelleleigh.com


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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