Around town: Actors and poets needed, plus new art exhibits and online events

OPEN UP: Greta Ashworth's latest exhibit includes her watercolor painting, "Portals," which the artist notes is about the trust one must invest in when revealing one's truth. "In being courageous enough to let others in, we open ourselves to possibility," Ashworth adds. Painting by Ashworth

Conscious Inquiry

The nature of friendship, vulnerability and understanding one’s deeper self are explored in local artist Greta Ashworth’s latest exhibit, Conscious Inquiry. The collection of watercolor paintings is on display through Monday, March 15, at Eclipse Salon, 16 Wall St., in downtown Asheville. “I hope that those who partake in my work leave considering the impact of vulnerability on our connections — both with others and with ourselves,” says Ashworth. “This contemplation may come through the specific messages of individual pieces or from the process of engaging with the body of work overall, which is itself an exercise in private emotional and philosophical exposure.” To learn more about the collection, visit

Intro to WNC History

The Western North Carolina Historical Association’s new monthly virtual lecture series, Intro to WNC History, will host its first Zoom webinar on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. “Each lecture in the series focuses on why people came to Western North Carolina,” notes Anne Chesky Smith, the association’s executive director. Topics, she adds, will range from native populations to early settlers, enslaved inhabitants, tourists and tubercular patients.

The event’s inaugural speaker is Peter Koch, museum education associate for Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center. Koch will discuss the settlement of and transportation within Western North Carolina.

The event is free to attend for WNCHA members; $5 for general public. To register, visit

Wortham Center hosts two virtual workshops

KEEP THINGS LIGHT: “The performers of Les Ballets Trockadero bring much-needed joy and uplifting lightheartedness to their artistry at a time like we are presently facing,” says Jared McEntire, Wortham Center for the Performing Arts’ community engagement director. The group’s upcoming pair of virtual workshops “are another exciting opportunity to engage safely with our patrons,” McEntire adds. Photo by Zoran Jelenic, courtesy of Wortham Center for the Performing Arts

On Friday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m., the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts will host its first in a pair of virtual workshops with the internationally renowned drag ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Participants will learn the company’s signature work, “The Dying Swan.” The class is intended for all skill levels.

“This company specializes in challenging, if not shattering, norms of classical ballet — all with the utmost respect for the discipline and without sacrificing their mastery of the craft,” says Jared McEntire, Wortham Center’s community engagement director. “It’s the old adage, ‘Be very serious about what you do, but don’t take yourself too seriously.’”

The company’s second workshop, which is a virtual makeup demonstration, takes place the following Friday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28 per event. To purchase tickets, visit

Montford Park Players seeks team members

Montford Park Players’ upcoming season tentatively launches Friday, May 7, with William Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors. The organization is currently seeking actors, stage managers, tech crew members and directors. According to Jeff Catanese, the group’s marketing director, all production decisions will be based on the state’s health guidelines and restrictions. Interested parties should email Executive Director John Russell at to set up a virtual audition.

Local artist competes in national contest

Holden Mesk, a local illustrator, collage artist and designer, is among the top five finalists for Pabst Blue Ribbon’s annual Art Can Contest. The winner will receive a $10,000 prize and have their design on 30 million PBR cans. Voting ends on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be announced Friday, Feb. 26. To vote, visit

Calling all poets

The Writers’ Workshop, a local nonprofit, is hosting its annual poetry contest, open to all writers. Multiple submissions are accepted. All works must be previously unpublished. Poems should not exceed two pages. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists. Entry is $25, which includes up to three poems. Submit your work via either email to, with “Poetry Contest” in the subject line, or by mail to Poetry Contest, 387 Beaucatcher Road, Asheville, NC, 28805. To learn more, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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