Press release from the city of Asheville:
The final line up of Art in the Heart artworks and experiences will be in Pack Square Plaza for February and early March 2023. To learn more about the artists and their projects, visit ashevillenc.gov/artintheheart.
Members of the public from Buncombe County and beyond are invited to come to Pack Square Plaza, in the heart of downtown Asheville, and experience how these local artists have embraced the theme of social equity and inclusion. Art in the Heart is part of the engagement efforts surrounding the Pack Square Plaza Visioning and Improvements Project which will look at ways to make this public space a place that reflects Asheville’s diverse community and history.
Community members are invited to view the installations and provide feedback by visiting the City’s engagement hub and answering a brief survey.
The schedule for February and March artists participating in Art in the Heart, a temporary public art program, is as follows:
2523: A Speculative Moment
Sculpture on display Saturday, February 11 until Sunday, February 26, 2023
Audio Visual Projection February 11, 18, 19, and 25 (Saturdays) from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location 3, The Median
Artist Briar Coleman
Project Type: Sculpture and interactive experience
Project Sponsors and Collaborators: Tiffany De’Bellott and Shuvonda Harper with Center for Participatory Change; Catherine Mitchelle, Executive Director with River Front Development Group; and Brian Randall with Hall Fletcher Elementary
About the Project: Speculative fiction and science fiction are genres that probe into the future with the imagination. They ask “how might we live differently?” Briar’s sculpture will do the same representing a monument commissioned in the year 2523, five hundred years from now. They plan to install a transparent, nine-foot-tall obelisk that will be filled with swirling fog that will slowly disperse into the atmosphere through small holes in the top of the obelisk. Text and images will be projected onto the fog that represent what a monument could possibly be and say in 2523. The text will come from extensive interviews they will do with youth and leaders from the Asheville community. Briar’s project will collectively envision a future Asheville that has gone a long way to heal from its past, one that is not just equitable, but deeply flourishing. With the removal of the Vance monument, Asheville is now at a crossroads in its memorialization and has a unique opportunity to learn, grow, and heal.
Dance Performance in three, 20 min. Acts,
Sat. & Sun., Mar. 4 & 5, starting at 12:30 p.m.
Starting at Location 3, The Median
Artists with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre
Project Type: Dance Performance
About the Project: PLAYability acknowledges that Pack Square Plaza has belonged and was used as a central gathering point for Indigenous peoples, for departing soldiers, for new Black voters, for demonstrations, and for celebrations. This land has and still is playable for a variety of human interaction and assembly. PLAYability is a choreographic work in three parts, recognizing and celebrating key moments in the history of Pack Square Park: 1) honoring the ancient Indigenous burial grounds nearby, 2) remembering the beginning of the Black vote in Asheville, and 3) celebrating this piece of land that has been dedicated to ceremony and festivity. PLAYability will contain built-in improvisational structures that are open to moment by moment chance interruption. Dancers of various race, gender, age, body type and ability will interact with each other and the environment in reverent, bold and playful ways to create an open and safe terrain for anyone to join in and participate. Connection with each other and the space will build an atmosphere of integration rather than walls of separation. Community members and tourists will be invited to join in the movement as it progresses and travels around the plaza.
Please note–Larry Paul King’s sculpture, Miscanthus Sunshine, from the November/December artist line up will continue to reside in Pack Square Plaza until the end of the program in early March. Lara Nguyen’s project, Letters to my Children, has been pushed to July 2023.
Images and videos of completed projects have been, and will continue to be, added to the Art in the Heart webpage.
For more information on the artists, their projects, and the program visit the Art in the Heart page on the City’s website.