A&E Roundup: Our VOICE’s Survivor Art Show goes virtual

SQUAD STYLE: "AOC" by Lily Lovingood is one of the creations in Our VOICE’s 19th annual Survivor Art Show. The event is being offered digitally this year, beginning with an opening night on Thursday, Nov. 12. Photo courtesy of Our VOICE

Our VOICE’s 19th annual Survivor Art Show goes virtual for 2020, beginning with an opening night event on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m., via Crowdcast and Facebook Live. The evening includes performance art pieces and a reading by North Carolina poet laureate Jaki Shelton Green. The exhibition of work from Our VOICE clients and others in the community who have been affected by sexual violence offers an opportunity to share their story, which event organizers say can be an important step in the healing process. The show will remain posted through Thursday, Dec. 31, and will then be archived on Our VOICE’s website. Free to attend. ourvoicenc.org/art

Ursine giving

The 18th annual Bearfootin’ Bear Auction raised $84,109 for Friends of Downtown Hendersonville and other local nonprofits — up $26,700 from the 2019 total and $36,900 from 2018. Each of the 20 painted bear sculptures brought in at least $2,000, and the highest bid was $9,000 for Thea, benefiting United Way of Henderson County. Three of the bears sold at the Buy Now price of $7,500, and a total of 72 bidders placed more than 220 bids throughout the auction period.

“We are overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude,” says Jamie Carpenter, Hendersonville’s downtown manager. “It’s clear that the Bearfootin’ Bears are as beloved as ever, and we’re taking away a new perspective from the virtual version of this event for next year.” downtownhendersonville.org

Community space

Different Wrld — a Black-, queer- and femme-owned production collective that strives to connect the Asheville community by creating intentional spaces and installations — is pushing to open in early 2021 in the former Mothlight music venue space on Haywood Road. The community hub has multiple aspects: The space will provide open access to creative equipment, including computers, cameras and video gear, as well as host immersive art installations and music experiences. A retail store, Filipinx restaurant, coffee shop and bar will provide sustenance and serve as a safe space for community gathering and discussion.

The organization is seeking contributions from the community in order to provide open access to individuals without financial means. Interested parties can make one-time donations or become supporting partners. Each $25 monthly gift creates access for one person in the community. differentwrld.com


Asheville-area filmmakers are staying busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rod Murphy made Crop to Campus, a short film for Hanesbrands about three N.C. State University students who trace the path of a cotton T-shirt. The journey begins in North Carolina cotton fields and then moves to a yarn-spinning facility in Tennessee. Manufacturing plants in El Salvador create the garments, which then travel back to a printing facility in the Carolinas before ending up in the hands of members of an N.C. State sorority. The film is available to view in seven short chapters online. croptocampus.com

Paul Bonesteel’s Muni, an hourlong documentary about the history of the Asheville Municipal Golf Course, debuted Oct. 27 on the Golf Channel. The film is described as “a love letter to the game of golf, told by the African American caddies-turned-players who, despite Jim Crow laws and the lasting effects of racism, built a rich and vibrant golf culture on a historic municipal course.” It may be viewed in full at callawaygolf.com/muni.

Book looks

Canton-based author Emily Dobberstein’s The Courage to Go: A Memoir of the Seven Thousand Miles That Healed Me will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The adventure memoir chronicles the author’s 2015 road trip across the United States, which she undertook after experiencing a string of difficulties. “I believe that not only will it bring some light and adventure to readers in the midst of the difficult year we have all experienced in 2020, but it also brings up timely conversations about change, grief, healing, critiquing institutions of power and reimagining the way things have always been done, which 2020 has also been filled with,” Dobberstein says. emilydobberstein.com

Monsters Love to Dance, Gerton-based children’s author and illustrator Kim Jones’ third book of 2020, was published Oct. 3. The 28-page work captures its titular concept and comes with a playful warning from the author: “This colorful storybook may cause spontaneous joyful dancing.” bluegatedesign.com

New month, new exhibits

Blue Spiral 1 will open five new shows on Friday, Nov. 6. Mark Making (main gallery) features painting, sculpture and ceramics that explore the many nuances of mark making (e.g., carving in wood) as an artistic practice; Bill Killebrew — Bear Hollow with Sculptures by Victor Chiarizia and Ted Lott (lower-level gallery) includes paintings, blown-glass vessels and architectural sculptures; Landscapes and Dreamscapes: New Work by Julyan Davis and Brad Sells (showcase gallery) combines Southern landscapes with surreal, narrative paintings and abstract, undulating wood sculptures; Kreh Mellick (small-format gallery) spotlights the eponymous artist’s hand-cut and collaged prints; and Form to Table — Ceramics Invitational (conference gallery) is composed of contemporary functional and sculptural pieces from local and nationally recognized ceramicists. bluespiral1.com

The Haywood County Arts Council will open It’s a Small, Small Work on Friday, Nov. 6. The exhibit features roughly 190 individual creations — priced “to demonstrate that original artwork can be affordable” — by 36 artists, and will run through Saturday, Jan. 9. HaywoodArts.org

22 London is hosting High Anxiety through Sunday, Nov. 22. The exhibition of work by 21 contemporary international artists examines “our unstable times through a multiplicity of artistic positions and voices,” exploring such themes as “identity, race, forced migration, politics, technology, pandemics and corporate culture.” 22london.org

The Mark Bettis Studio & Gallery opens Affirmation and Renewal: Connecting With Nature, a solo exhibition of paintings and sculpture by David Sheldon, on Saturday, Nov. 14. It will be on display through Saturday, Nov. 28. markbettisgallery.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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