Court McCracken has a studio at The Hatchery.

Rad offerings in the RAD

Part of the fun of attending a River Arts District studio stroll is you can’t always predict whom you’ll run into or what new treasures you’ll discover. With more than 100 artists and 20 studio buildings participating, the “typical stroll experience” can be quite varied. For some, the stroll presents an opportunity to kick back […]

A great primer to color: David Appleman’s “Summer Sunrise,” acrylic on canvas. Photos courtesy Asheville Art Museum

Color Study

If one says “red” (the name of the color) and there are 50 people listening it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different. — Josef Albers, The Interaction of Color After huffing it up the stairs to […]

Out of a colonial-era fairy tale: Silver Drummer Girl, who earned “Best Busker” in last year’s Xpress readers’ poll, has learned to control the crowd’s behavior. Photo by Derek Olson.

Living art

During the medieval and renaissance eras in France, actors were employed by royalty to dress as mythological characters and pose during parties while ladies and lords of luxury cavorted around them. These were the first documented “living statues,” and their counterparts can be found on street corners and parks of popular tourist destinations like Barcelona, […]

Off the beaten path, and they like it: Jeannie and Chad Adair have opened a new, enchanting artspace called The COOP, on funky, gritty Carolina Lane. Photos by Ursula Gullow

Flying the COOP

It seems a new restaurant or bar opens every month in Asheville, buoyed by visitors looking to experience the city’s thriving cultural scene. Now, downtown gets a new artspace, too: The COOP, located on Carolina Lane in the heart of downtown.       The COOP’s name alludes to the buildings in that area that […]

Ellen Pasay working on a sculpture at Eastern Connecticut State University in fall 2008. She studied briefly at Warren Wilson, and a show of her paintings is up at Posana Cafe. Photo by Nick Lacy, courtesy Anne Burke

The hope to become whole

At the age of 18, I yearned to find a place to live where my ideals and notions of personal responsibility could thrive. My attempt at college in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina did not succeed. Travelling there was a long-distance excursion that did grant me one clue in finding a place where […]

What next? It’s time for creatives to talk about how to develop Asheville’s arts economy. Jonathan Welch

Creatively Asheville

The Asheville-Buncombe Creative Sector Summit is one meeting creatives won’t want to skip out on this year. Its purpose? To give artists, arts administrators, musicians, designers, writers and creative entrepreneurs a forum to voice opinions and formulate initiatives concerning the development of Asheville’s creative industry. “We’re casting a very wide net,” says Graham Hackett, programs […]

Leap of faith: “Serendipity,” Jeffrey Lloyd Denver. Polymer clay, steel wire, plastic coated copper wire. Photos courtesy Blue Spiral One

Surprise discoverie­s

If you want to look at impeccable contemporary craft and fine art, Blue Spiral 1 is the place to go. This is not an arena where you will find threadbare installations or experimental-video collage projected on the walls. If an artist is dealing with conceptual subject matter at Blue Spiral 1, expect serious craftsmanship to […]

Pushing Limits: Untitled drawing, ink on paper, 21-by-27 inches. (Florence Griswold Museum. Gift of the Sewell Sillman Foundation.)

Seeing Sillman

In case you didn’t know, The Asheville Art Museum is free to the public for two hours the first Wednesday of every month. You read that right: Every first Wednesday of every month the museum waives its admission fee from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. So if you are reading this article fresh off the […]

A tale of two painters

Black Mountain College opened in 1933 and closed in 1957. Do the math, and that would put the youngest students of BMC somewhere around 70 years of age. “We have 255 names and addresses of alumni in our database,“ says BMCM+AC programs director Alice Sebrell. “Unfortunately, many of them are reaching the age of declining […]


The craft arts have culturally defined Western North Carolina culture for decades, and a survey released in 2008 by Handmade in America indicates that the professional craft industry makes quite an impact on local economics as well.       According to the study, $206,500,000 is generated each year in Western North Carolina via artists, […]


The old adage says that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and that’s exactly what Sharon Cobb had in mind when she opened Trash, Inc., a new creative reuse center aimed at reducing landfill clutter. From mannequin arms to architectural blueprints, Trash, Inc. specializes in cheap, reusable and salvaged art materials. Geared primarily towards […]


Hobos and Oracles Peter Parpan delivers his first exhibit of paintings at PUSH Gallery this month, sharing the gallery with colleague Justin Offner. Both artists have worked as illustrators for animation companies; their expertly rendered characters and active narratives evidence the influence of the commercial arts on their work. Offner, who lives in New York […]


When Anna Thompson, noticed that the little office space at 10 Walnut St. had been vacated, she wasted no time contacting the property owner with an ambitious plan. Within a month of finalizing details, Thompson has created The Project Gallery, an art space that will be holding its first opening reception this Friday, Jan 15, […]


About 150 drawings comprise Nathanael Roney's exhibit Take Me Out, currently on display at Harvest Records in West Asheville. The sheer volume of work is impressive and when viewed as a whole, the mass of drawings tells a compelling story as strange and beautiful as each individual piece. Nathanael Roney doesn't compromise subject matter for […]


In general, the stereotype of a painter is that of a solitary figure, probably dressed in black, cooped up in his studio and creating work in isolation. This typecast might explain why the act of live painting is so fascinating for audiences. The opportunity to see an artist working in the flesh is a chance […]


Emily Crabtree has splayed out her memories through visually abstract explorations of mark-making and paper-cutting for a contemplative exhibition called Fibers of Recollection. In its entirety, the show demonstrates Crabtree's varied skills: drawing, painting and mixed media sculpture. Creating the pieces over a period of months, allowed Crabtree to let the work evolve itself, rather […]


Imagine you've been handed a dried plant unearthed years ago — desiccated, shriveled and beginning to decay. Your task is to draw the flower as it might have appeared while it was alive and in full bloom. Such was the undertaking of Beatriz Mendoza two years ago when she worked as a scientific illustrator for […]


If it's true that Asheville is the Paris of the South, then Marshall is more akin to a small town in the South of France, with its picturesque landscape, close-knit community,and laid-back quality of living. Over the past few years, the small historic river town of barely 900 occupants has quietly grown into a thriving […]


Artists aren't typically thought of as entrepreneurs or purveyors of business in this culture, but local painter Gabriel Shaffer has laid that idea to rest. "Whoever came up with the myth of the starving artist wasn't an artist," he says. "Keep painting like hell": Artist Gabriel Shaffer is fighting the current economic paralysis, and offers […]


Flood Gallery is one of the only galleries in Asheville exhibiting work by out-of-town contemporary conceptual artists. Given its out-of-the-way location, the shows are all too often under attended, but the gallery is at least attempting to introduce new aesthetics and ideas to the artistic discourse of Asheville. "Skink," by Mike Calway-Fagen, was at one […]