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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for the ‘museums’ Category

The Asheville Art Museum Plans to Expand

Monday, December 7th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary and its extraordinary growth and success since it relocated to Pack Square in 1992 as a founding partner in Pack Place, is pleased to announce plans for a future expansion. These plans were discussed at a meeting with the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

As Pack Place partner The Health Adventure plans to leave downtown, the Asheville Art Museum is taking advantage of this opportunity to expand and create larger, state-of-the-art galleries, public art-filled space and education space to meet the demands of the large and diverse audiences it serves. With the agreement of all Pack Place partners, the Asheville Art Museum determined that it could develop its facility creating a central arts destination and 21st-century museum for the community by expanding in its current location.

“The new design will bring a contemporary feel to the most important corner of downtown. It will also honor our great history of architecture and the sense of place on Pack Square. My dad, Roger McGuire, helped found Pack Place, and he hoped that Pack Place would grow and change. This is exactly the kind of exciting evolution he would have wanted,” said Kim McGuire, a community leader and Museum supporter.

After an exhaustive recruitment process conducted by the Asheville Art Museum staff, board and a building committee of local design professionals including Jim Samsel, John Rogers, Peter Alberice and others, the renowned firm Polshek Partnership Architects of New York has been chosen to design the new Asheville Art Museum and restore the historic Pack Memorial Library building. Polshek is continuing to work with John Rogers, Beverly-Grant and the building committee.

The Museum needs to expand in order to better serve Western North Carolina and visitor audiences of all ages and to help Asheville remain competitive with other cities’ as a top arts destination. A study completed by the Asheville Art Museum documented the overall economic impact of the Museum’s current activities and the future increase that will be generated by the expansion. The Museum’s planned expansion project is anticipated to generate as much as $31.7 million in local economic impact with up to 80% of construction funds spent regionally. The new Museum will be a destination and art-filled civic center.

The Pack Place Board and the Asheville Art Museum are planning with all of Pack Place’s partners for a successful transition and even more success in the future. The new building will anchor the new Pack Square Park and continue to be the central arts destination spurring economic and cultural activity in the region and downtown Asheville.

Fine Arts Theater Hosts Special Showing of Herb and Dorthy on Thursday

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum invites you to a special film screening of Herb and Dorothy at 7:00 p.m. the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville on Thursday, October, 29, 2009.

With the tagline: “You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art, “this film tells the extraordinary collecting career of New Yorkers Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal clerk and librarian respectively, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history — now mainly housed at the National Gallery of Art (NGA). The Vogel Collection at the NGA was the main lender to the Asheville Art Museum’s recent exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects.

At one point over 2,000 pieces of art filled every square inch of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. This gem of a film has received numerous awards since it debuted last year; the Museum is pleased to premiere the film in Asheville.

Purchase your tickets in advance with cash, check or credit card by calling 828.253.3227 or get tickets at the Fine Arts Theatre beginning 30 minutes prior to the film with cash only. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 Museum Members, students and seniors.

After the film, if you find you need your own Christo and Jeanne-Claude work in your home, come by the Museum Shop or visit us online! The Shop has high-quality framed posters signed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude available for purchase! (The artists derive no profit from the sale of these works. The works were donated to raise funds for the Museum’s fine programming to serve the community.)

Film Series Art:21 Premieres at the Asheville Art Museum this October!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum is pleased to once again be the official Asheville site for the premiere of Season 5 of the exciting bi-annual film series, ART:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century, screening Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. each day. These screenings are free with Museum Membership or admission.

Compassion, Fantasy, Transformation and Systems are the four themes explored this year. Each one-hour episode profiles contemporary artists loosely organized around each theme.

Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their processes as they transform inspiration into art and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic visions.

Episode 1: Compassion will be screened on Saturday; Episode 4: Systems on Sunday. Compassion features artists including William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo and Carrie Mae Weems. Systems features John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum and Julie Mehretu. For a sneak peek of Season 5, visit www.art21.org and watch the trailer.

Art Nouveaux Celebrates Local Photographer

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum group Art Nouveaux invites you to join in on a visit to photographer Tim Barnwell’s studio Monday, September 21, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Art Nouveaux is a special group of Museum Members interested in learning about
collecting art.

The group meets several times a year for social and educational programs exploring fine art collecting and connoisseurship. The group supports the Museum’s permanent collection through the annual purchase of works of art with their yearly dues of $250 per member.

Try the group for only $15 for this session!

At this meeting of Art Nouveaux, the group will visit photographer Tim Barnwell’s
downtown studio for an intimate evening with the artist, exploring his portraits and
landscapes of Appalachia. In documenting this area for more than 25 years, Barnwell has captured the essence, beauty and rugged character of a quickly disappearing rural

For more information or to join, please contact Rebecca Lynch-Maass, Membership
Manager, at [email protected] or 828.253.3227, ext. 114.

Savor a Great Night at the Asheville Art Museum’s A Taste of Art + Wine

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum invites you to its popular, annual event A Taste of Art + Wine held in Pack Place on Thursday, September 10, 2009 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

For one night, enjoy all that Asheville is known for while supporting the Asheville Art Museum. Good company, fine wines, craft beers and delicious food from local restaurants will take over Pack Place. The Celebrate 60! Raffle drawing will be held at the end of the evening — so get tickets soon!

Visit www.ashevilleart.org to view raffle packages and to purchase tickets.

The leader in arts programming and education for Western North Carolina, the Asheville Art Museum survives through community support. All proceeds from this event will go toward films, artists’ talks, musical concerts and other outstanding public programs the Museum regularly presents. The evening will
also include a silent auction, in which a limited number of unique, high-end items will be up for bid. With so much offered, a “taste” may not be enough!

Ticket prices are $30 per person; $55 per couple for Museum Members and $35 per person; $65 per couple for non-Members. All tickets sold at the door are $40 per person. A Taste of Art + Wine is usually a sell out event, so reserve your tickets early by calling 828.253.3227. What a delicious idea!

Save the Date – Asheville Art Museum Presents Ruth Asawa: Drawing in Space

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary, proudly
presents Ruth Asawa: Drawing in Space from Saturday, September 19, 2009 to Sunday,
February 7, 2010. The public is invited to an Opening Reception Friday, September 25, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

This exhibition celebrates the unique career of Ruth Asawa (1926 – ), an artist whose loopedwire sculptures and richly detailed drawings defy traditional conventions. This is Asawa’s first solo exhibition in North Carolina and features the gift of an important work of Asawa’s to the Asheville Art Museum from artist Lorna Blaine Halper.

Ruth Asawa: Drawing in Space begins with the her earliest sculptures, drawings and paintings created while at Black Mountain College and highlights several signature sculptures that formed her later visual vocabulary of looped and tied forms. This exhibition considers Asawa’s
connection to Western North Carolina and Black Mountain College as it places her work within a larger national context of artists who “viewed art as a way of thinking and acting.”

Asawa was born in 1926 in Norwalk, California, the fourth of seven children born to Japanese immigrant farmers. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, her family was interned in New Mexico and Arkansas. She attended Milwaukee State Teachers College from 1943 to 1946. In 1946, she enrolled at Black Mountain College. There she studied with Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller and Ilya Bolotowsky. Asawa’s philosophy that “there is no separation between studying, performing the daily chores of living and creating one’s own work” permeates a life and a career
that has combined success as an artist, a mother of six and a community advocate for arts education in elementary schools.

Asawa’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, and the Oakland Museum of California, where one of her tied-wire sculptures adorns the entrance. She has received numerous awards, and has served on the San Francisco Arts Commission, the California Arts Council, the John D. Rockefeller Foundation’s Council for Museum Education in the Visual Arts and the board of the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Asheville Art Museum to Showcase Permanent Collection

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum will highlight 60 works drawn from its permanent collection on Saturday, September 12, 2009 – Sunday, February 14, 2010. The exhibition will provide an overview of the collection which focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries with an interest in art of the Southeast and Western North Carolina.

Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection will bring to light the significant growth that has occurred in recent years. It will also showcase some of the areas in which the Museum has collected in depth, including work by Black Mountain College artists, Cherokee artists and Western North Carolina crafts.

This exhibition will feature works in a variety media such as painting, sculpture, ceramics and drawing. Included in the exhibition will be photography by Larry Clark and paintings by Thornton Dial, Kenneth Noland and John Urbain.

In 2008, Museum staff, board and volunteers examined the Museum’s collection focus and works in the collection to create a collection growth plan. The growth plan was developed to identify the strengths of the permanent collection and areas where the collection needs further advancement. Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection will note the significance of the Asheville Art Museum’s permanent collection as it exists today and look forward its continued growth in the coming years.

For more information please visit, www.ashevilleart.org

Hot Events at the Asheville Art Museum this August

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC — Below are the Asheville Art Museum’s calendar event listings for the month of August 2009.

Current Exhibitions

Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpiece of Southern Craft & Traditional

– May 22 – August 23, 2009

Appleby Foundation Gallery

Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan

– May 8 – September 13, 2009

– Gallery 6

Looking Back: Celebrating 60 Years of Collecting at the Asheville Art Museum

– July 3 – Ongoing

Second Floor Galleries

Cherokee Carvers: Tradition Renewed

– July 10 – December 6, 2009

– Holden Community Gallery

August 2009 Events

Film Screening: Beverly Buchanan

– Saturday, August 1, Showings at 2:00, 3:00 + 4:00 p.m.

– Free with Museum Membership or Admission

– This half-hour long profile offers great insight into Beverly Buchanan’s working process as we watch her create a drawing from beginning to end. Along the way
we learn how her life as an artist began and the stories behind her work. Held in
conjunction with the exhibition Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan.

Art Break Cherokee Carvers: Tradition Renewed with Curator Frank Thomson

– Friday, August 14, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

– Free with Museum Membership or Admission

A Day of Tradition + Innovation

– Sunday, August 16, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

– Free with Museum Membership or Admission

– An informal artists’ talk featuring: Alice Ballard, Elizabeth Brim, Cynthia
Bringle, Clay Burnette, Kristy Higby, Mark Peiser, Richard Ritter, Billie Ruth
Suddeth and Julia Woodman. There will be time for Q&A afterward. This is sure
to be an inspiring and enlightening afternoon!

– Held in conjunction with the exhibition Tradition/Innovation: American
Masterpieces of Southern Craft & Traditional Art

Last Day to View Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern

– Sunday, August 23, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

– Craft & Traditional Art

– Free with Museum Membership or Admission

– Take advantage of the last chance to view this exhibition! The combination of
contemporary craft and traditional art in this exhibition offers visitors the
opportunity to explore the “threads” between two different approaches to creating
artwork, and also to compare the approaches of traditional and contemporary

Art Break Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan Docent-Led Tour

– Friday, August 28, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

– Free with Museum Membership or Admission

– Join an Asheville Art Museum Docent on a guided, conversational tour of
Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan featuring the bold,colorful and expressive drawings and sculpture of Beverly Buchanan.

WCU Art Museum Marks New Season with Three Exhibits

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Fine Arts Museum, WCU

CULLOWHEE. NC – The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University launches its 2009-10 season with three exhibits that, while grounded in Western North Carolina, demonstrate a wide scope. The exhibits will run from Saturday, Aug. 1, through Friday, Sept. 18.

The museum, in WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, will host a reception for the new exhibits from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 1.

The exhibits are as follows:

  • "New Gifts: Selections from the Collection of Professor Emeritus Perry Kelly" – Kelly, formerly of the School of Art and Design, gave the Fine Art Museum 50 works from his personal collection. The exhibit features a selection of that work, in a variety of media, by former art faculty and students and visiting artists.
  • "George Masa: A Photographic Vision of the Mountains" – This exhibit, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, features the photographs and field notes of George Masa, a native of Japan who arrived in Asheville in 1915 and later opened a photographic studio. A friend of naturalist and author Horace Kephart, Masa explored the mountains of Western North Carolina and lobbied for the establishment of the national park. Special Collections at Hunter Library provided exhibit materials. Photographer George Masa advocated creating Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University will exhibit Masa’s photographs and field notes from Aug. 1 through Sept. 18.
  • "Dean and Nancy Cramer Lettenstrom: Delicate Balance – Painting + Drawing" – The Lettenstroms, with long artistic careers, recently relocated from the Midwest to Asheville. Painter Dean Lettenstrom’s imagery – simple yet provocative – offers a visual statement about the fragility of the human condition. Nancy Lettenstrom’s mixed media drawings, on handmade paper, often depict animals as representations of the natural world.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday and during university holidays and breaks. For more information, contact the Fine Art Museum at (828) 227-3591 or visit online at http://www.wcu.edu/fapac/Galleries/index.html.

Cherokee Museum Plans $2 Million-Plus Expansion

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Cherokee Warrior

CHEROKEE, NC – The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is well on its way to raising enough money for an expansion in the North Carolina mountains.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported during June that the Cherokee Preservation Foundation has raised nearly $2 million. The Foundation will match any additional donations.

A planned public reading room and digital library will bring archives and research materials from the Smithsonian, the National Archives and other collections to the Cherokee museum.

Students, academics and tribe members will have easy access to material they now have to travel to Washington D.C. to get. The facility will also include an 8,500-square-foot education and research wing with classrooms, an art studio and performance area.