The Liminal State Panels by Artist Rob Rikoon on display at Haywood Street Congregation

Press release from Adapt Public Relations:

The Haywood Street Congregation and artist Rob Rikoon are pleased to announce the installation of the egg tempera series The Liminal State Panels inside the Haywood Street Congregation Church. The Panels will be open to the public for viewing, free of charge, anytime the church is open and during scheduled viewing hours Monday-Thursday, 10am to 2pm, and Sunday, 3pm to 7pm.

Rikoon’ s vision for housing this museum-quality exhibit within the walls of Haywood Street was to make it accessible to the entire community and not just to the typical art museum and gallery audience. Both he and Haywood St.’s Reverend Brian Combs felt the church was perfect because the work’s subject matter mirrors the Haywood Church’s emphasis on reflecting the unity of people from all walks of life, no matter what their physical and mental condition. The hope is the exhibit will bring in people interested in the art work and introduce those who aren’t already familiar to the church’s mission of inclusion and service.

“In the vocabulary of faith, liminal is defined as the sacred space after the certainties of yesterday and before the mysteries of tomorrow. Located on this holy ground in-between what once was and what will be is the profound possibility of transformation,” said Reverend Brian Combs, Haywood Street founding pastor.

“While a tolerance for disorientation is required,” he continued, “Haywood Street is a ministry where straddling the threshold is encouraged. In this place of spiritual tension, we are invited to call every assumption into question, undermine the social hierarchies of us versus them, and reconsider our deepest identities in each other and in God.”

“Believing that art, like worship, is only art if the viewer leaves changed, our community of faith is most grateful for the offering of an artist’s life work, an installation of this grandeur and scale, and Rob’s painted reminder that we are all people in progress.”

A long time Madison County resident, Rikoon now lives part time in North Asheville as well as in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He dedicated 18 years to painting this opus, which consists of 40 individual panels that combine to create four, large scale walls of a “chapel”.  Rikoon painted the series with egg tempera, a centuries-old medium that was used by European Medieval and Early renaissance painters up to and through the 17th Century. Many of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo’s surviving panel paintings were done with an egg tempera component.

“The four walls of The Liminal State Panels represent the dichotomies of the human experience: suffering and liberation, self-imprisonment and freedom,” said the artist.

“The Panels do not depict one point in time or space but rather reflect four aspects of the human experience – spiritual truth, physical bondage, mental suffering, and the possibility of a life of freedom,” he continued. “Seen together, they elicit the process of maturation through which we as individuals, and collectively as a culture, are journeying.”

“Each of us has, at some moment, stood in a place looking outward and were transformed by what we saw. At some other moment, we sat and looked inward and were renewed spiritually. In both instances, we experience a ‘liminal state.’”

The Liminal State Panels are currently on display at Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood Street, in Asheville for an extended time There will be an official opening reception on Friday, May 18th from 4pm to 8pm with the public invited.

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About the Artist
Rob was born in Queens, New York City in 1954 and graduated from Harvard University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He studied classical painting technique and materials at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Yale University School of Art in Norfolk, Connecticut

Though painting came first as a vocation, Rikoon decided early on to pursue a simultaneous career in business. He earned his MBA from the University of New Mexico and after managing trust departments at various banks, he founded what would later become The Rikoon Group,  A long-time financial columnist at The Santa Fe New Mexican, he is also an avid triathlete and ultra-marathon trail runner. His first large scale egg tempera series, We Trust in the Loyalty of Old Friends, is on permanent loan to the Capitol Art Collection and is displayed in the Rotunda of the New Mexico State Capitol Building.

About Haywood Street Congregation
Haywood Street is a United Methodist mission congregation and faith-based non-profit, founded by Rev. Brian Combs in 2009. Its core programs include weekly worship, a clothing closet, community gardens, Haywood Street Respite and the Downtown Welcome Table. Though each of these programs give unique and valuable contributions to the community, their highest purpose is providing a platform for a ministry of relationship—an open and affirming opportunity to serve and be served.

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

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