City of Asheville announces artists that will participate in Art in the Heart

Press release from the city of Asheville:

The City of Asheville is thrilled to announce the participating artist list for Art in the Heart!


The selection panel reviewed a lot of incredible submissions, and the applicants listed below rose to the top. Their work- which includes interactive performance, sculpture, mixed media and other styles- will be installed in Pack Square Plaza, the heart of downtown Asheville, as a way to spark community engagement for the Pack Square Plaza Visioning and Improvements project. These works will support important conversations on how to ensure our public space reflects Asheville’s diverse community and history.


The Art in the Heart program and Pack Square Plaza Visioning starts in September. The September and October schedule of artists will be released soon.


The awarded artists are as follows:


Mikayla Wilson

  • Project Type: Performance

  • Project Title: Leah and the Rabbit, A Puppet Show

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Collaborating with the American Myth Center and the Vance Birthplace Historic Site.

  • About the Project: A puppet show about Leah Erwin, one of twenty seven known enslaved people owned by and living with the Vance family.


Leslie Rosenberg, Ethan Schultz, and Liz Williams

  • Project Type: Sculpture and Interactive Experience

  • Project Title: Homesick

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Collaborating with BeLoved Asheville and 12 Baskets – Asheville Poverty Initiative.

  • About the Project: 12 large, floating house structures will be anchored to the monument base. By night they will light up with dynamic video projections and audio clips from Asheville residents speaking about their housing experiences.


Jackson Martin

  • Project Type: Sculpture

  • Project Title: Room in the Sky

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Sponsors include Dave Steel Company in Asheville and Sailrite Enterprises Inc. in Indiana. UNCA sculpture students will be involved in the construction, installation, and desinstallation.

  • About the Project: 12 solid colored, nylon flags will hang around a steel, plus-shaped structure located on top of the remaining base of the Monument. The shape and colors represent healing and are meant to represent a heterogeneous society.


Cynde Allen

  • Project Type: Exhibit and Interactive Experience

  • Project Title: The Faces of Change

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Collaborating with Youth Artists Empowered

  • About the Project: An exhibit including 12 large images, a 3×5 ft collage, and a digital short film from “The Faces of Change” exhibit. Local youth gathered the photos and footage from Asheville neighborhoods identified as high risk for climate emergency with high concentrations of BIPOC residents.


Edwin Salas Acosta

  • Project Type: Interactive Experience

  • Project Title: Vance Tangram Obelisk

  • About the Project: A 12 ft x 4 ft obelisk that represents the former Vance Monument will be divided into colorful, geometric wooden blocks that can be used to create new fantastic shapes by the public.


Lara Nguyen

  • Project Type: Photographic Mural, Interactive Experience

  • Project Title: Strong Arms

  • About the Project: A letter from the artist to her daughter written over a large, DiBond photograph taken of her daughter, a year after the artist’s uLMS cancer diagnosis. The artist plans to sit with her piece while it lives in the plaza to encourage conversations about her personal story, empowering people to feel and experience empathy.


Katerine N. Viloria Monagas

  • Project Type: Installation, Interactive Experience

  • Project Title: Haus of Hues

  • About the Project: A temporary art installation will create an atmosphere that celebrates all colors of the spectrum, in collaboration with nature, using prisms, mirrors, and multicolored lights.


Melissa Wilhoit with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre

  • Project Type: Performance

  • Project Title: PLAYability

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Collaboration with dancers from the New Studio of Dance, a studio affiliated with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (ACDT). Musical collaboration with musician Elizabeth Lang. Additional funding will be provided by ACDT.

  • About the Project: A choreographic, participatory work in three parts, taking place over three weekends, recognizing and celebrating key moments in the history of Pack Square Park.


Briar Coleman

  • Project Type: Sculpture

  • Project Title: 2523: A Speculative Monument

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Collaborators to be determined

  • About the Project: A sculpture on the base of the monument will represent a future monument commissioned in the year 2523. A transparent, nine-foot-tall obelisk will be filled with swirling fog. Text and images from extensive interviews with leaders from the black and indigenous communities of Asheville will be projected onto the fog.


Tiffany Narron

  • Project Type: Interactive Experience

  • Project Title: Our Careful Tending

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Collaborating with sculptor and puppet-maker Jenn Murphy and Lydia Nichole, an artist and printmaker.

  • About the Project: A roaming performance where three persons in black robes will hold large paper masks with ancient peaceful faces and read poetic words of healing.


Larry Paul King

  • Project Type: Sculpture/Potential Workshop

  • Project Title: The project title will be announced at later date

  • Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Sponsors/collaborators will be announced at a later date

  • About the Project: This project is being refined and will build on the themes explored in Maquette for a Monument, shown at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center earlier this year.

For more information on the artists and their projects, visit Art in the Heart project on the City’s website

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