Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Guerilla Girls, Spiegelman and Ringgold to visit Asheville

Influential artists will visit Asheville over the next year in a series of workshops, discussions and films, the Asheville Art Museum announced Friday night. The artists will come to Asheville as part of the smArt Speak Distinguished Artist Series, museum Executive Director Pam Myers told a group gathered in a room on the museum’s third floor for the special announcement.

The artists are: The Guerilla Girls (pictured), a group of women artists who create posters, stickers, books and more to expose sexism and racism; Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrator Art Spiegelman, the creator of the graphic novel Maus, a story about the Holocaust, and In the Shadow of No Towers, a story about his personal experience during the 9/11 terrorist attacks; artist Faith Ringgold, an African-American painter, textile artist and illustrator; and Christo and Jean Claude, a couple whose works of environmental sculpture include erecting 7,503 gates adorned with saffron-colored cloth in New York City’s Central Park.

The museum’s goal was to choose artists that would engage the community and raise the level of discourse about the arts in Asheville, Myers said. The series will also help the museum celebrate its 60th anniversary this year, she added.

The Guerilla Girls are up first with a 7 p.m. event March 31 at Asheville Community Theatre. Spiegelman will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Ringgold’s event is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at Diana Wortham Theatre. And Christo and Jeanne-Claude have an event scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 5, 2009. Visit for more information about the events and the programs associated with them.

The MetLife Foundation and its Museums and Community Connections program awarded the museum a $60,000 grant to help make the artist series possible. Buncombe County Public Libraries worked with the museum in obtaining the grant, with the museum and local libraries serving as locations for the events. UNCA and Asheville School are also partners in the project, with Renaissance Asheville Hotel, Haywood Park Hotel, Malaprop’s Bookstore and Fugazy Travel offering in-kind contributions.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor





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3 thoughts on “Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Guerilla Girls, Spiegelman and Ringgold to visit Asheville

  1. lunchbox

    I can’t wait for Spiegelman, this guy created the best (in my humble opinion) graphic novel ever. He did it AT THE HEIGHT OF THE GRAPHIC NOVEL AS to say the least. The fact that he, along with these other intriguing artists are coming to Asheville is a milestone. I hope that it will be a kick in the pants for the local arts community. Not that they really need it.
    I just loved Maus, and will therefore give equal respect to all who are associated with this project. How do I sign up? This is more exciting than when Claypool first came to this town. Which is now a commonplace event. HeHeHeeee! Read Maus then come see this guy.

    PS plus the Gates in the park people? This is a great announcement, one of my regrets in life is that I did not see this piece first hand when I had the chance

    Kudos for whoever put this together.


  2. I can’t wait for Spiegelman, either. I met him last year, and he is the sweetest, smartest, funniest man! He’s married to Francoise Mouly, also an incredible person. She’s worked as an art director for the New Yorker, co-founded RAW, and is responsible for the existence of all those Little Lit books. They both rock.

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