Kenn Kotara’s braille art commissioned for Mission north tower

Press release from Kenn Kotara:

Contemporary Asheville artist Kenn Kotara’s ( latest work of Braille art, “Land of the Noon Day Sun”, will enhance the lobby of the new Mission Hospital North Tower. Kotara was commissioned to create the four feet high by eight feet wide work which depicts the Nantahala River. The river is the subject of many Cherokee legends, and the Cherokee name Nantahala translates to “the place where only the noonday sun can shine”.

Annette Eisenman, EDAC, EL Design Studios, Houston, TX, was retained by Mission to select local Western North Carolina artists whose work would be incorporated into the new Mission addition. 500 artists answered the call for artists; about 160 were selected to have work included in the new building. For the signature piece that will hang in the main lobby of the North Tower, Kotara was commissioned to create a massive Braille work of art.

“It is the focal point when you walk in the front door,” she points out. “Kenn’s piece is very interactive because people are going to want to touch it.” Kotara’s Braille artwork is meant to be touched, a rarity for exhibition art.

The material composition of this large artwork is Braille on copper mounted to five wood panels. The verdigris depicts the Nantahala River. The Braille word content is based on the history of the river, people and usages.

They were looking for the ‘wow’ factor’ as Eisenman says, in the lobby and concourse area. “Because of the different textures and the architectural nature of Kenn Kotara’s work, it fit very well into Mission’s Advanced Medicine concept,” Eisenman points out.

Braille art is just one of several of Kotaraʼs creative expressions. Fascinated with nature—of form, space, and connections between people and their environments—he explores theories of natural and physical science, and the entire cosmos through his numerous works on canvas, paper, Mylar, and Polaroid photography.

Kotaraʼs work has been included in over 100 exhibitions internationally and is in public and corporate collections. Other Asheville area places Kotara’s Braille works may be found include in the Aloft hotel and City Centre. His sculptural art is part of the Asheville Urban Trail. More information about the artist and his various artistic expressions are at

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