Around Town: BMCM+AC kicks off 2024 with latest exhibit

DEAR FRIENDS: The late Vera B. Williams, right, was an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. Her life story will be the focus of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center's latest exhibit. Also featured is Patsy Lynch Wood, a fellow artist and graduate of Black Mountain College, and Williams' lifelong friend. Photo by Mark Davenport 

by Brionna Dallara 

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is ringing in 2024 with its latest exhibit, Vera B. Williams/Stories.

Williams, who attended the renowned Black Mountain College from 1945-50, was an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, as well as a political activist. 

An opening reception will take place Friday, Jan. 26, 5:30-8 p.m., followed by a conversation with musicologist and sociocultural historian Mark Davenport on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m.

Davenport’s mother, Patsy Lynch Wood, was college roommates and best friends with Williams. 

“They both got their degrees in music and art the same year together,” says Davenport. “After they left Black Mountain, they went on to form a very influential, intentional artists community in New York.” 

The art community Gate Hill Cooperative, also known as The Land, is the subject of Davenport’s forthcoming book, Community, Art, Education, and the Search for Meaning: From Black Mountain College to the Gate Hill Cooperative.

Davenport, who grew up and lived in Gate Hill for 36 years, says his personal connection made the research “that much more exciting and personal.” His close ties with many of the individuals featured in the book, he believes, “brings a lot of life into the story.” 

Much of the material that will be on display at the exhibit, Davenport says, is contributed directly from the Vera B. Williams Trust. And several of the items are rare archives. Davenport adds that all of Williams’ children will attend his upcoming talk, making the event a family affair. 

Vera B. Williams/Stories runs through Saturday, May 11, at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 120 College St. For more information, visit  

Painting Potter-y 

Fans of Harry Potter, take note: On Friday, Jan. 26, 6-8 p.m., Fired Up! Creative Lounge will host muggles at both its Asheville and Hendersonville locations.

Cassidy Chester, manager of the art lounge, says that participants are invited to come in with spellbinding designs already in mind, but the lounge also sets aside selected pieces reminiscent of the theme. 

“One of my favorite ones is that we have a box that is actually shaped like a book,” Chester says.

Other paintable prospects include a bearded mug (suggestive of the character Dumbledore), a dragon mug and a pub mug (perfect for butterbeer). 

Themed refreshments and activities will also be available. Tickets are $8 and do not include pottery pieces. 

Fired Up! Creative Lounge’s Asheville location is at 26 Wall St. The Hendersonville location is inside the Blue Ridge Mall at  1800 4 Seasons Blvd. For more information, visit

Shake it off, Swifties 

In the mood to dance? On Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., The Orange Peel is hosting The TS Dance Party, celebrating all things Taylor Swift. Participants are encouraged to put on their best Eras Tour outfit, grab a friend and let sparks fly on the dance floor. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Orange Peel is at 101 Biltmore Ave. Tickets for the event are $25 per person. For more information, visit  

Circular clay sculptures 

Eric Knoche’s solo exhibition, Circles, is on display at Blue Spiral 1 through Wednesday, Feb. 21.

“Eric Knoche’s latest series of circular clay sculptures emerge from a dynamic interplay of results from materials used, kiln placement and firing technique,” says Blair Guggenheim, assistant director of Blue Spiral 1. The works, she adds, echo “influences of ancient architecture and the Earth itself.”

Blue Spiral 1 is at 38 Biltmore Ave. For more information, visit

Calling all paper artists 

Tyger Tyger Gallery has announced its first juried open call for art submissions. The gallery is only accepting works done on paper. Selected submissions will either appear in a spring group exhibit or placed on consignment in the gallery for six months. All juried works will also appear on the Tyger Tyger website. Artists can submit up to three pieces. The deadline is Thursday, Feb. 1. Accepted artists will be notified by Saturday, Feb. 17.

For more information on how to submit, visit

New jams for the new year

103.3 Asheville FM recently announced its current programming. Z, a teen programmer from the station’s show “The New Wave,” is now hosting the “Oddity Garden” on Sundays at noon. Meanwhile, Tuesdays will have a whole new lineup starting at 5 p.m. with host Wes H‘s “Catdaddy’s Hour of Smooth,” followed by Christy Rhodes’ “Hissy Fits” and Kimberly McGrady‘s “You Stole My Heart.” 

Additionally, some returning shows have changed time slots. For example, the community-focused “Open Air” is now airing on Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and “Out of Limits” with Otto Mattox is now scheduled for Thursdays at 10 p.m. 

For a full schedule, visit  

Tracey Morgan Gallery heads south 

Tracey Morgan Gallery is relocating from its South Slope location to 22 London Road, a 9,000-square-foot space owned by Randy Shull and Hedy Fischer.   

“While we have loved our exhibition space in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood, we are thrilled to be moving to the beautiful building,” reads a Tracey Morgan Gallery press release. “In addition to [Shull and Fischer] presenting annual museum-quality exhibitions from the personal collection, which are open to the public, the space is home to Randy’s studio, Mountain Metal Works, as well as several other area artists.”

According to the Tracey Morgan Gallery website, its opening exhibit in the new space will launch in March.

For more information, visit


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