Press release from David Sheldon:
Bringing together some of Western North Carolina’s premiere artists in a powerful, provocative exhibition, “Beyond Knowing” breaks new ground at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Curated by local sculptor and painter, David Sheldon, the show, itself, becomes the artwork, leaving visitors intrigued and asking questions generated by the stimulating works on display.
Sheldon says, “As an artist I’ve always been inspired by those artists who challenge my belief systems and conventional ways of thinking with their art-making. As a young artist, there were many artists and exhibitions that provoked me into wanting to know more. They had a lasting impact. The formulation of this show is a way of ‘continuing the conversation’ and honoring those experiences.”
The exhibition features established, local artists Margaret Curtis, Daniel Nevins, Alicia Armstrong, Constance Humphries, Mark Bettis, Kyle Van Lusk, Sandra Bottinelli, as well as very strong up and coming artists Sebastian Collett, Melanie Norris, Juan Benavides, Alli Marshall, Scott Shepard and Pedro Esqueda, along with Sheldon, himself.
“I wanted to bring together a strong group of local artists from different parts of the Asheville Arts community. When you cross-pollinate, so to speak, surprising, wonderful things can happen, and I believe that’s what’s occurring with this show. You can create a very dynamic energy when you bring together such diverse sensibilities and visions,” continues Sheldon.
Included in the show are painters and sculptors, a photographer, performance artist, sound artist – even a poet, who has transcribed her poetry directly on to the gallery walls. One enters the exhibition through an antique, crumbling steel arbor entranceway ( entitled “Fountain of Youth”) to an accompanying steel vase containing a choice of candies or rolled-up paper ‘fortunes’, which turn out to be questions, existential in nature, and pertinent to the exhibitions’ theme.
“My wish is to provide a stimulating, thought-provoking experience for the viewers. I believe it’s the artist’s job to defy and challenge convention. For me, convention in Art equates to sleep, with no growth in thinking or feeling. If just one viewer, leaves angry and frustrated, I will be content in the satisfaction that I have done ‘my job’ in perhaps planting a seed of discontent to rouse their subconscious a bit. If a viewer comes with open mind and heart, and leaves full of questions and a sense of renewed passion for the mystery of life, then I will be twice satisfied,” says Sheldon.
The exhibition opens to the public at the Asheville Area Arts Council, May 10th and will run through June 21st.
On May 24th, 5:30-7:30PM an artist discussion, “Art & Exploration: The Nature of the Search” will be open to the public and is free. A brief, provocative spoken-word performance by Alli Marshall followed by an informal panel discussion amongst artists represented in Beyond Knowing, and chaired by David Sheldon. Presented with a series of questions related to the process of artistic discovery, a fruitful and lively discussion between panelists will follow.Questions will be encouraged after the discussion.
The official reception of the exhibition will be on June 7th, 5-8PM, at the Arts Council’s Refinery Space, 207 Coxe Avenue, in downtown Asheville.