Around town: Local creator uses art to fight injustice

THE POWER OF THE YONI: Local artist Jenna Jaffe celebrates the divine feminine in an upcoming exhibition. Photo courtesy of Jaffe

Asheville-based creatrix Jenna Jaffe presents her latest art exhibition, Swinging the Pendulum: From Patriarchy to Empowerment, at The Refinery AVL Creator Space and Gallery in the city’s South Slope. The multimedia exhibition features work that addresses a range of topics, from the opioid epidemic to the divine feminine. An opening night reception will be held Friday, Aug. 6, 5-8 p.m., and will include light refreshments and live music by the artist.

“After two bouts of cancer and surviving bipolar depression, I have been focusing on my art career seriously for the last few years,” Jaffe says. “I decided I needed to use my voice by creating art and music to fight the injustices in the world.”

The mixed-media show includes The United States of Addiction, which won first place in the 2021 A-B Tech Creative Studio Show. Additionally, the artist shares works exploring immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and several pieces celebrating her experience battling breast cancer.

“I interweave nature and sensuality through my work,” Jaffe explains. “Many pieces represent the yoni, the great portal of the universe.”

The Refinery AVL Creator Space and Gallery is located at 207 Coxe Ave. Swinging the Pendulum can be viewed through Monday, Aug. 30. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.- 7 p.m., and Sundays by appointment. More information on the artist can be found at

Sixty-four years strong

After a pandemic-induced pause, the long-standing Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair returns to Burnsville’s Town Square Friday-Saturday, Aug. 6-7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Christy Jones, new executive director of the Burnsville-Yancey Chamber of Commerce, says she is dedicated to bringing a fresh perspective to the event in the hope of making it “one of the best ever.”

“We work very hard to bring in a diverse and unique selection of one-of-a-kind, handmade items,” says Jones.

Over 200 artists and vendors are participating at this year’s happening. Pottery, woodwork, handmade candles, jewelry, leather goods, furniture and stonework are just some of the mediums that will be represented. The fair also features live music, food vendors and craft demonstrations.

Additional information can be found at

Paying homage to Asheville

New York Times bestselling author Allison Larkin may be based in the Bay Area, but her latest book, The People We Keep, is partially set in Asheville. Taking place in the mid-’90s, the novel details the song-filled crusades of protagonist April Sawicki, a young woman on a daring journey of self-discovery and fulfillment.

The book took 15 years to write, says Larkin. In earlier drafts, April wound up in Durham rather than Asheville. But a chance visit to WNC inspired the author to reroute April’s fictional road trip.

“When I finally had the chance to visit, I loved everything about it,” she says. “I was in Asheville, watching someone busk in Pritchard Park, and I knew April would be able to find a sense of belonging in the city.”

To learn more, visit

Taking local festivals for granted

Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority announces the return of the Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund after a yearlong, COVID-related pause. Revenue earned during the break was contributed to the One Buncombe COVID relief fund.

The grant program, launched in 2016, provides financial support to events geared toward the preservation of cultural identity within the local community. Past grant recipients include Blue Ridge Pride Festival, Shindig on the Green and Hola Asheville, among others.

Applications for $1,000-$5,000 grants will be accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 28 and grants will be dispersed after the successful completion of events.

Find the application form at

A new folk art exhibit

American Folk in downtown Asheville announces a new exhibit featuring the work of 77-year-old Alabama folk artist James SnipeAlabama Visionary Folk Artist: James ‘Buddy’ Snipe includes a collection of sculptures created from found objects. Snipe began making sculptures at a young age, creating toys for his 11 siblings, notes a recent press release. Over time, his craft evolved, and in the 1970s, Snipes’ work — then displayed on his front lawn — began to be noticed.

The exhibit at American Folk, 64 Biltmore Ave., can be viewed Aug. 5-19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. More information can be found at

… and a new photography exhibit

Tracey Morgan Gallery hosts Make/Shift, a new exhibit featuring the work of Asheville-based photographer James Henkel. The show combines images from two of the artist’s ongoing projects: Botanicals and Books. The former combines real and fabricated elements photographed in unexpected arrangements; the latter captures images of deconstructed books.

The exhibit runs through Saturday, Sept. 11, and can be viewed Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday by appointment at 188 Coxe Ave. For more information on the exhibit and the artist, visit


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One thought on “Around town: Local creator uses art to fight injustice

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Have any minority artists received any equity yet? Who? How many ?

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