Gallery gossip

• What’s this with artists inviting the general public to constantly tromp through their studios? Everywhere you look there’s a studio walk, stroll, jump or hop! Maps are passed out, banners and flags hung, ads taken out — even billboards. West Asheville pioneer David McConville says, “Though West Walk was at first a ‘studio stroll’ put together by local artists in December, it has rapidly become prominently sponsored by numerous ‘real-estate professionals.’ Participating artists should ask themselves who truly benefits from productizing our neighborhood as yet another high-priced ‘destination spot’ that has been labeled with a concocted name [Arts West] for the sake of marketing. Some of us that call this neighborhood home are in no rush to help price ourselves out of it — or to reinforce the assumption that art is simply a commodity to attract tourists and real-estate investors.”

• Heinz Kossler is extremely busy these days — he has a huge commission, and is working on a new concept with shaped tiles.

• Perhaps Porge Buck puts it best: “To some art is a career, to others it is a calling.”

• Ron Ogle’s soulful portraits of attractive young women can be seen at Adorn Salon and at the Ineffable Woman.

• The Clingman Avenue Coffee and Catering Company is displaying Ken Abbott’s extraordinarily beautiful photographs of the still-ungentrified areas along the French Broad. There’s a view of the parking lot of Day’s Warehouse with car tracks of muddy donuts, and a steel tank, deserted in a tangle of undergrowth with traces of its history described in bits of red and blue paint. Abbott talks in his artist’s statement about “the history, commerce and neglect” of the River District. He also proposes that we can see things more clearly in ink-jet images than with our own eyes; this leads to conjecture about whether new tools for artists will spawn new form and content.

• Bill Thompson, owner of the new Satellite Gallery downtown, says he wants to introduce the concept of “low-brow art” to Asheville. Stay tuned …

• The senior-exhibit work by Mars Hill student Sonya McAlister is ambitious and effective. Her abstract “portraits” are done on long pieces of paper using, among other things, Pythagorean charts and the I Ch’ing.

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