Natural history

Though technically Blue Spiral 1 holds the receptions for its new exhibits on the first of the month, gallery director Jordan Ahlers points out that the art walk will be like a second opening night. And, with multiple shows on display throughout the sprawling three-floor gallery, a second opening night seems like a good idea.

Botanical musings from the sketchbook of landscape artist Robert Johnson.

Plan to spend some time gazing at the natural other-worlds of Robert Johnson. The local painter immerses himself in landscapes, amassing copious notes and sketches, and then turns his perceptions of flora and fauna into enchanting canvases that fall closer to magical realism than botanical tutorial. Johnson most recently traveled to Alaska and captured that world in the collection The Golden Circle: Southeast Alaska + The Yukon. Both paintings and sketches are on display.

Also following the nature theme is Habitat: Wood, Water and Glade, in which six regional artists interpret nature and wildlife. Works include ceramics by Alice R. Ballard, Matt Kelleher and Ken Sedberry; fiber by Olena Nebuchadnezzar and mixed media by Janet Brome and Kathy Triplett.

Curiosities, an exhibit that Blue Spiral says celebrates "the art of preserving/containing collections," showcases the work of six more multimedia artists. Heather Allen Swarttouw, Robert Ebendorf, Daniel Essig, Vicki Essig, Ellen Kochansky and Molly Potter are represented.

And if that's not enough, still more new art awaits discovery in Blue Spiral's Small Format Room and Showcase Gallery.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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