Around Town: Oak Street Gallery exhibit highlights a year of powerful images

NEWS OF THE WORLD: Artist Carol Duin's collages of newspaper photos will be on display at the Oak Street Gallery through the end of the month. Photo courtesy of First Congregational UCC

For a year, Asheville artist Carol Duin cut pictures that inspired her out of local and national newspapers.

Now those pictures, more than 1,500 in all, cover the walls of  First Congregational United Church of Christ’s Oak Street Gallery in a series of small collages.

“I find the images to be powerful in their sheer numbers and how we see a whole year in pictures and are overwhelmed by all that goes on both in our community and in the broader world,” says Kathleen Stigmon, administrative coordinator for the church.

The collages are on display as part of a series of monthly artist exhibits at Oak Street Gallery and can be seen through Friday, April 29.

Duin, who is also a painter, is a long-time church member who has had other works displayed in the gallery.

In choosing which pictures to highlight, she was often inspired by her many years of working as an advocate for refugees from conflicts in Vietnam, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“I hope that people will be moved by the images to see themselves as a part of the larger world around us,” Stigmon says. “Taking that a step further, maybe an image or multiple images can inspire us to get involved in outreach and acts of benevolence.”

First Congregational UCC’s Oak Street Gallery is at ​20 Oak St. The church is open Mondays-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Ring the doorbell and someone will let you in. For more information, go to

Acts of courage

During the darkest days of a World War II, a nonviolent resistance group in Germany conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign calling for active opposition to Adolpf Hitler and the Nazi regime. The heroic story of the group, known as the White Rose, is little known to Americans today — something Waynesville author Burton Flanagan wants to remedy.

“Commitment and courage should always be remembered, especially when exercised in defense of freedom,” says Flanagan, a retired attorney. “I wanted to bring them to the attention of the American public so that their memory could be honored.”

Burton’s book about the group, The White Rose, recently was published by RoseDog Books.

Flanagan, who grew up in Alabama in the 1960s, was struck by the fact the group was organized and led by young people, including five students from the University of Munich. Three of the student leaders were executed by guillotine after being arrested.

“The White Rose willingly gave their lives, most of them, in defense of that freedom,” Flanagan says. “Their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, but they made the commitment and honored it with their lives. That deserves to be remembered.”

For more information about the book, visit


The Black Mountain Center for the Arts will participate in a nationwide staged reading of plays written by high school students as a response to gun violence on Wednesday, April 20, 7 p.m.

The event, #Enough: Plays to End Gun Violence, will feature eight short plays that will be read on the arts center’s stage by local volunteer actors.  Actress, director and activist Tamara Rothman is leading the volunteer readers.

#Enough was created by producer Michael Cotey. One of the sponsors was Manuel Oliver, activist and father of Joaquin Oliver, one of 17 students and staff shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a fellow student in 2018.

Oliver, working with professional playwrights, selected the plays to be performed together in simultaneously staged readings across the country. April 20 is the 23-year remembrance of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo.

Proceeds from the admission donations gathered at the door of #Enough will benefit the Riley Howell Foundation Fund, which supports organizations that benefit victims of gun violence. Howell, a Waynesville native, made national headlines in April 2019 when he was shot and killed while tackling a gunman to save the lives of fellow students at UNC Charlotte.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is at 225 W. State St. For more information or to buy tickets, go to

Sound investment

Citizen Vinyl and Asheville Music School will hold a silent auction to benefit the school’s Play It Forward capital campaign on Friday, April 22, 5-8 p.m.

Up for bid will be vacation getaways, wine tasting events, paintings, pottery, jewelry, restaurant and wellness gift certificates, concert tickets and more. Music will be provided by AMS teaching artists, with a student performance also scheduled.

The capital campaign will raise money for AMS’ new facility in West Asheville.

“In addition to necessary upfits to our new space, we will be developing a music production studio in which students will learn to use modern music technology, equipment and techniques,” Executive Director Ryan Reardon says in a press release. The studio will allow Asheville Music School to offer group lessons, add programming with neighboring schools and serve as a rehearsal room with professional sound.

Asheville Music School is a nonprofit educational institute that serves more than 300 students annually.

Citizen Vinyl is at 14 O.Henry Ave. For more information or to purchase a $10 ticket, visit

This district goes to 11

Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, will present NC 11: Partisanship, Polarization, and Politics in a Mountain District via Zoom on Thursday, April 21, 6 p.m. The event is part of the Western North Carolina Historical Association’s History Hour lecture series.

In his talk, Cooper will discuss how North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District has shifted from a Democratic stronghold to a swing district to its current status as the home of far-right U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn. He also will explore how the district reflects national political trends related to redistricting, polarization and partisan change.

Tickets are $5 for WNCHA members and $10 for the general public. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to

Pop-up art show

Hood Huggers International will present a pop-up art show, Rebuilding Affrilachia World Tour, at 8 River Arts Place on Sunday, April 24, noon. The event is part of the two-day Spring Liberation Celebration Weekend presented by Hood Huggers and Peace Gardens.

The art show will feature works made from salvaged and repurposed wood and metal by DeWayne Barton, founder and CEO of Hood Huggers.

For more information, visit



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About Justin McGuire
Justin McGuire is a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. His work has appeared in The Sporting News, the (Rock Hill, SC) Herald and various other publications. Follow me @jmcguireMLB

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2 thoughts on “Around Town: Oak Street Gallery exhibit highlights a year of powerful images

  1. North Asheville

    The link in the story about Waynesville author Burton Flanagan leads to a page about The White Rose written by Inge Scholl, sister of Sophie Scholl, one of the leaders of the The White Rose who was executed by the Nazis.

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