Around Town: Augmented reality art exhibit comes to the RAD

NEW REALITY: Local artist Jaime Byrd says she is dedicated to changing the way people experience artwork. For her latest exhibition, Living Images, she combines traditional artwork with augmented reality, which visitors can access through their phones and tablets. Photo courtesy of Byrd

Asheville artist Jaime Byrd introduces Living Images, one of the first augmented reality art exhibitions to come to the Asheville area. Augmented reality is an interactive three-dimensional experience, created by superimposing computer-generated imagery onto the real world. The monthlong show kicks off with an opening Champagne reception on Saturday, June 5, 4-7 p.m., at Trackside Studios, 375 Depot St.

“My love of cinematography and learning to ‘paint with light’ helped to make a perfect transition from filmmaking into painting,” says Byrd, an Emmy-nominated documentarian. “And now I get to combine them both using augmented reality.”

Byrd says that she draws inspiration from travel, nature and the local beauty of the Asheville area, her home of 22 years. The artist uses a variety of mediums, including oil paint, cold wax, wood ash and sand. “I use these things for their willingness to be transformed, both in form and texture, making it a perfect medium for me to explore and dig back into the layers of paint, revealing more color and light beneath the top surfaces,” she explains.

Guests visiting the exhibit will be able to use their personal smartphones or tablets with provided headphones, engaging in 10-30 seconds of augmented reality. Byrd explains that she remains dedicated to changing the way that people experience artwork, with the goal of making exhibitions more interactive and impactful. “With the new technology that has become available, I’m able to merge the skills I’ve developed over the last 30 years by creating an immersive storytelling experience using my original oil paintings, AR and footage I filmed while traveling around the world.”

Masks are required, and COVID-19 protocols will be closely observed. The exhibition runs June 5-30 and is free to attend. For more information, visit

Hello, Daddy!

The Magnetic Theatre’s latest production, Hello Daddy! invites world-traveling drag artist, singer and comedienne Delighted Tobehere to the local stage. Katie Jones, the theater’s artistic director, describes the show as “an important story about coming to terms with all the parts of yourself.” With plenty of glitz and glam, Jones adds, the production offers a mix of “comedy, poignancy and self-discovery.”

Hello, Daddy! runs Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 6, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $28. Seating will be limited, and social distancing will be strictly enforced.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

A rosé by any other name 

The Arts Council of Henderson County and Marked Tree Vineyard host a two-day event celebrating the arts and crafts community in Western North Carolina. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy live performances by The Last Full Measure, the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Carolina Concert Choir, along with several WNC-based dance companies. Cups will also runneth over with local wine available for purchase. “Marked Tree opened in March 2020, and although they’ve only been open a short time, they have already made a name for themselves as a community-driven organization,” says Hannah Duncan, executive director of the Arts Council of Henderson County. “Both of the owners are artists and creatives themselves, and after navigating a difficult opening year, they wanted to celebrate it by giving back to the community.”

The La Vie en Rosé: Art & Wine Festival begins Saturday, June 12, at 11 a.m. and wraps up Sunday, June 13, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on festival day, and can be purchased at

Wild times 

A Life in the Wild, a new exhibit featuring large-format images from award-winning photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen, is on display in the Baker Exhibit Center at The North Carolina Arboretum. The exhibit will be shown in conjunction with the ongoing sculpture display, Wild Art, featured in the arboretum gardens. Mangelsen hand-selected over 40 of his personal favorite images, with subjects ranging from gray wolves to black bears — emphasizing the beauty and austerity of the natural world. The photographer has received numerous accolades for his work over the years, including a permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Clara Curtis, senior director for mission delivery at the arboretum, states, “We are so excited to share this national traveling exhibit with our members and guests. Mangelsen’s stunning photographs invite viewers to join him in the wild to witness intimate encounters with nature.”

A Life in the Wild is on display daily through Sept. 5. Visit for more information.

SHUN the nonbeliever

Asheville heavy rock collective SHUN will celebrate the release of its self-titled debut album with a free, live performance at Fleetwood’s on Saturday, June 5, at 8 p.m. All nine tracks were recorded in isolation during the pandemic.  “This creative process was really a lifeline for every single one of us during deeply disturbing and uncertain times,” says drummer Rob Elzey. “Music in general is totally alchemical — turning the heaviest elements from our lives into gold. I am beyond excited to finally have the album released and to be able to start playing shows again.”

Fleetwood’s is located at 496 Haywood Road. To learn more, visit

Folk yeah, WNC 

Nothing screams WNC like a good old-fashioned fiddle fest. To celebrate the area’s folksy roots, Cone Health developed The Not Your Average Folk Contest, open to all North Carolina musicians. “The contest is a natural extension of our mission here at the festival — to honor, celebrate and share the diverse and meaningful ways North Carolinians express their creativity and cultural traditions,” says Amy Grossmann, president and CEO of the North Carolina Folk Festival. “This is an opportunity to shine a light on artists that bring a lot of life to their community but may not consider themselves ‘folk-artists’ in the traditional sense, whether they are an R&B musician in Charlotte or an Appalachian fiddler.”

To apply, visit Applications close on June 13 at 11:59 p.m.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.