Four of a Kind: Starr Sariego discusses the local photography scene

Starr Sariego. Photo by Michelle Shindell

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Starr Sariego is an Asheville-based photographer and curator, whose exhibit This Skin I’m In: A Visual Narrative, spotlighting LGBTQIA+ photographers, ran at Revolve gallery last summer.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming photography event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?

Sariego: I’m really looking forward to McNair Evans‘ work opening at Tracey Morgan Gallery on Friday, June 2.  This project combines original photography with first-person, passenger-written accounts to explore contemporary American culture through the status of our passenger rail system and those currently traveling by train. As I have done in my own work, Evans combines narrative and images which present viewers with an intimate and evocative window into the lives of those portrayed.

Outside of photography, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

I am excited for the opening of an exhibition at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center called “Black Mountain College and Mexico,” which also opens on June 2. The show features more than 50 original artworks, supplemented by relevant archival materials. Included are works by prominent contemporary Mexican artists, sound installations and a selection of historical works by BMC artists, highlighting the ways in which ideas and modalities are translated across materials, space and time.

Related programming, planned in collaboration with Mexican counterparts, includes “Bizarre Sabado,” a series of experiential art events taking place over several Saturdays throughout the course of the exhibition. I love seeing how this small arts college and its cultural legacy continue to influence current-day artists and thinkers.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

AVL Watchdog has been the home to my creative efforts as of late. Working with this talented cohort of journalists has given me a “backstage pass” to the lives of Ashevilleans I would never have had otherwise. Being able to photograph those featured in our “Down Town” series has been especially impactful on me personally.

Last but not least, This Skin I’m In lives on. The exhibit has traveled to Virginia and Tennessee, and opens in Kansas City, Kan., this month. It is also slated for a show at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in early 2024. I’m so gratified that this particular show continues to circulate the Southeastern U.S. at this critical time in our history.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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