Asheville’s inclusive art exhibitions

FIRST TIME’S A CHARM: Cleaster Cotton showed work at Blue Spiral 1 in January. Photo by Cindy Kunst

While this city still has a long way to go to when it comes to equity and representation of diversity within the local art scene, 2018 showed strides in that direction.

• Local educator and contemporary-primitive painter Cleaster Cotton debuted at Blue Spiral 1 as part of that gallery’s Into the Blue: Artist Invitational 2018 in January.

• A Contempora­ry Response to Our Changi­ng Environmen­t, a group exhibition on climate change, curated by local artist Joseph Pearson, opened in February at Pink Dog Gallery.

• The YMI Cultural Center hosted Trigger Warning, an art exhibit by members of Pink Dog Creative, in June. Several of the show’s artists led summer workshops for children at the Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center that explored the issue of gun violence.

• In Times of Seismic Sorrows opened in August at The Center for Craft. “Through weavings, installations, sculpture and print, artists Rena Detrixhe and Tali Weinberg explore the complex relationship between humans and the planet,” according to exhibit notes.

• Local artist Pedro Esqueda curated New Vision, New Hope: Asheville Artists in Recovery, featuring works by more than 20 creatives. The show opened at the Asheville Area Arts Council in September.

• Also in September, Say It Loud opened at 22 London, and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center launched its new gallery and event space with Between Form and Content: Perspectives on Jacob Lawrence and Black Mountain College on the same weekend. The concurrent shows offered an exploration of modern and contemporary works by artists of color.

• This month, Asheville Through Brown Eyes, featuring work by Joseph Pearson, Jenny Pickens, Valeria Watson, Noel Jefferson, James Love, Viola Spells and Cleaster Cotton, opened in the Asheville Area Art Gallery’s Thom Robinson and Ray Griffin Exhibition Space.

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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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