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LEGO Brick Sculpture Exhibit Coming to The N.C. Arboretum

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Picture nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, 27 amazing sculptures, 14 incredible displays… and one unforgettable experience. This fall, The North Carolina Arboretum‘s eight acres of formal gardens and exhibit hall will be playfully decorated with 27 sculptures created by LEGO® brick artist and renowned children’s author, Sean Kenney. Opening October 19, Some Assembly Required will take visitors into a larger-than-life LEGO® brick world.

Walk by an 8-foot tall hummingbird, admire a 7-foot rose, and go nose-to-nose with a 5-foot butterfly. Ranging in size from six inches to nearly eight feet, a variety of creatures are represented in the exhibit, including a tiger swallowtail butterfly, a green darner dragonfly, a hummingbird and even a gardener. The largest sculpture is a mother bison made from 45,143 bricks. Created from nearly 500,000 LEGO® bricks, the 27 sculptures make up 14 large displays.

Based in New York City, Sean Kenney is one of only 13 LEGO® Certified Builders worldwide. He spent so much time playing with LEGO® toys as a child that he decided he might as well make a career of it. A self-described “professional kid,” Sean has been turning ordinary LEGO® bricks into spectacular works of art for nearly a decade. He hopes that after seeing his sculptures, children will become inspired to create great things themselves.

In addition to Sean’s pieces, the Arboretum will also be featuring creations from LEGO® enthusiasts in the community. Children and adults alike are invited to enter the Some Assembly Required LEGO® Brick Competition. Participants will design and build their display, which will be on view in the Baker Exhibit Hall. More than $2500 in prizes will be awarded to the top entrants. For age divisions, rules and regulations and entry forms, visit www.ncarboretum.org.

Some Assembly Required will be on display at The North Carolina Arboretum through January 5, 2014. Exhibit admission is free with the standard parking fee ($8 per personal vehicle). Admission and parking is always free for Arboretum Society members.

The North Carolina Arboretum is grateful to the following Community Partners for their support of this exhibit: Clear Channel Asheville; O.P. Taylor’s, “The Coolest Toy Store on the Planet;” Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park; B.B. Barns Garden, Gift & Landscape Company; MOSAIC Community Lifestyle Realty; and Fairway Outdoor Advertising. For more information, please call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org. The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants.

‘Collecting for the Community’ Exhibit at Mountain Heritage Center

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – “Collecting for the Community,” a new exhibit at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, focuses on the museum’s collection of artifacts and the donators from across the region who made it possible.

The exhibit opens Thursday, June 7, and will be available for public viewing in the museum’s gallery B through Friday, Aug. 17.

“Although the Mountain Heritage Center did not open its doors until 1979, individuals and departments at the university began collecting objects for a museum of Appalachian history and culture as early as the 1920s,” said museum curator Pam Meister. “As the museum’s official opening drew near, its holdings were greatly augmented by generous donations from lifelong private collectors such as Haywood County dairy farmer Albert J. McCracken, whose family contributed McCracken’s collection of 3,000 Native American artifacts, as well as over 500 objects relating to 18th– and 19th-century Southern Appalachian settlers,” she said.

Over the years, the Mountain Heritage Center’s collections have been enriched by numerous gifts from residents of Western North Carolina who have been willing to share their families’ heirlooms and history with the public, Meister said. Those donations range from entire collections, such as late 19th-century household items and photographs from the Axley-Meroney family of Murphy, to single objects like a Catamount mascot costume worn on the WCU campus in the late 1950s. The museum’s collections now total more than 10,000 objects, including artifacts such as prehistoric projectile points, modern Cherokee crafts, logging tools, moonshine stills, quilts, coverlets, saddles and firearms.

The Mountain Heritage Center, open to the public free of charge, is located on the ground floor of WCU’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building. Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, but the museum is open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

For more information about the Mountain Heritage Center’s programs, exhibits and special Saturday hours, call 828-227-7129 or visit www.wcu.edu/mhc.

Biltmore Exhibit Reveals Fascinating Details and Rare Family Treasures

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – A visit to America’s largest home often spurs a common question among guests: “What was it like to be a Vanderbilt and live such an extraordinary life?” After years of research, Biltmore answers the question with a new exhibition beginning April 7 titled “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad.”

Located in the Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village & Winery, the exhibition provides a fascinating look at the lives of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt. Rare objects from Biltmore’s collection and new stories pulled from estate archives provide an exciting look into a bygone era. Entry to the exhibition is included in estate admission.

“For years, guests at Biltmore have wanted to know more about the Vanderbilts,” said Ellen Rickman, director of Museum and Guest Services. “With this exhibition, we’ve tried to craft a vivid story that showcases their extraordinary lives. There is so much to see and discover. When you enter the exhibit space, it’s like stepping back into history.”

The exhibition begins with George Vanderbilt’s background and the Vanderbilt family tree. Excerpts from Vanderbilt’s diary, stories of his world travels as a young man and family photos reveal what it was like to grow up in one of the world’s wealthiest families.

His transition from America’s most eligible bachelor to a married family man is detailed with intriguing facts about his romantic courtship with Edith Stuyvesant Dresser, highlights from their European honeymoon and photos of their homecoming to Biltmore House. The joyous birth of their daughter Cornelia is captured with family letters and intimate photos from Edith Vanderbilt’s personal Kodak camera.

Throughout the exhibition, private family photos and priceless objects provide a tangible bridge to the past. The silver tea service from George Vanderbilt’s private rail car, Edith Vanderbilt’s elegant Louis Vuitton trunk and authentic samurai swords from a trip to Japan reveal a family that valued intellectual curiosity, new cultures and history.

While researching the Vanderbilt’s extensive world travels, the Museum Services staff discovered the Vanderbilts were scheduled to sail on Titanic. “While going through the estate’s archives, we were able to piece together a fascinating story about why the Vanderbilts did not board Titanic,” said Darren Poupore, chief curator. “We share the fateful decision that ultimately saved his life for the first time in this exhibition.” A model of Titanic, original menus from the ill-fated ship, and archival images on loan from Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will be on display to help tell the story.

Although the Vanderbilts were world-travelers, daily life at Biltmore House was a peaceful refuge from the rigors of high society. Detailed stories and rare artifacts paint the picture of a home filled with joy, hospitality and happy memories. Cornelia Vanderbilt’s elaborate costume from her 21st birthday masquerade party, luxurious china, crystal, and silver used during formal dinners on the estate, and the Vanderbilts’ original guestbook are part of the exhibition’s collection.

Other rare objects on display include the Vanderbilts’ saddles, guns and a golf ball recovered from the estate’s original nine-hole golf course. An early Harley-Davidson motorcycle, on loan from the vintage American motorcycle museum Wheels Through Time in Maggie Valley, N.C., captures George Vanderbilt’s passion for new technology. The bike is nearly identical to one once owned by the Vanderbilts, and was used by estate employees for transportation across the estate.

The opening of “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” on April 7 coincides with the beginning of Festival of Flowers, Biltmore’s grand spring celebration. For more information about events at Biltmore, visit www.biltmore.com.

About Biltmore
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division; and Biltmore Inspirations, Biltmore’s home party business. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.

Local Artist Exhibits New Work at The N.C. Arboretum

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – New works by Susan Lingg, an artist based in Cullowhee, North Carolina, will be on display at The North Carolina Arboretum. Opening January 24, Within and Around the Ancients will depict the unique mountain landscapes of the Southern Appalachians.

Using watercolors, poured inks, and handmade paper, Lingg portrays the unique granite exposures of the mountains of the region, as well as native flora. Described as realism through an artist’s eye, her work captures and celebrates a passing moment.

A registered artist with Handmade in America, Lingg has been exhibiting her work since 1982. She is a member of the Jackson County Visual Arts Council, the North Carolina Watercolor Society, and Dogwood Crafters. Lingg is also an instructor in watercolor and handmade paper.

The exhibit will be on display at the Education Center of the Arboretum through April 8. For more information, please call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org. The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants.

UNC Asheville’s National Juried Drawing Exhibition Opens January 13

Monday, January 9th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville’s Art Department will open “Drawing Discourse,” the university’s third annual national juried drawing exhibition, with a lecture by juror Jerome Witkin at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, in Lipinsky Auditorium on campus. An opening reception will follow from 6-8 p.m. in the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery in Owen Hall. These events are free and open to the public.

"Rebecca Stronger," by juror Jerome Witkin, 1995 mixed media on paper, 50" x 47".  Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.Witkin, a figurative artist whose works often deal with political and cultural themes, reviewed more than 400 entries submitted by more than 100 artists representing 34 states. Witkin selected 41 works for the exhibition.

Witkin’s works are found in the permanent collections of many prominent museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Witkin is professor of Art, Design and Transmedia at the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, where he has taught for three decades. He has garnered numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Cooper Union Lifetime Achievement Award.

“With this third annual exhibit, we continue our examination of drawing as it is practiced and defined by today’s artists,” said Tamie Beldue, UNC Asheville assistant professor of art and coordinator of the exhibit. “Our students, like the working artists in this exhibit, are using conventional and innovative methods, sometimes combining different approaches. This exhibit highlights the continued significance and vitality of drawing.”

UNC Asheville’s S. Tucker Cooke Gallery is free and open to the public, and the “Drawing Discourse,” exhibit will be on view from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, through February 3. For more information, visit the Art Department website or call 828.251.6559.

UNC Asheville Hosts Second Annual Health Fair at Kimmel Arena

Monday, January 9th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville will host its second annual Health Fair with exhibits from some 40 local health organizations and businesses, from 11 a.m-2 p.m. Thursday, January 12, on the Kimmel Arena concourse. The fair is free and open to the public, with free parking available in the Kimmel Arena parking deck.

The fair will offer health assessments, interactive exhibits, educational materials and product samples. Leading health care providers – including Mission Health Systems and Park Ridge Health; chiropractic practitioners; and specialists in sports medicine, therapeutic massage, eye care, and sexual and reproductive health – will host exhibits. Key public health organizations, and businesses that offer athletic gear and healthy foods will also participate.

The fair was created last year and is led again this year by UNC Asheville senior Health and Wellness major Emily Pineda. “I’m looking to help people – both on and off campus – find and take advantage of all the great resources we have in Asheville to support healthier living,” said Pineda. Junior Carolyn Bacchus is working with Pineda this year on the fair, with plans to lead the effort next year.

For more information including a complete list of participants, please visit the Health Fair website at http://www.facebook.com/uncahealthfair, or call Emily Pineda at 828.773.5812.

“Absence as Presence” Photography Exhibit at UNC Asheville

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – “Absence as Presence,” a new exhibition of black-and-white photographs by UNC Asheville senior Gabriela Knox, is on display through December 17 at the Highsmith University Union Gallery on campus. This BFA senior exhibition is free and open to the public.

Photo by Gabriela KnoxPhoto by Gabriela KnoxKnox’s exhibit explores photography as an objective form of art. “Photography is often regarded as the most objective of fine art media,” according to Knox, “and it is conventionally expected to produce images that are a true record of the reality in front of the camera. It is also presumed that if a photograph lies, it is because the image has been manipulated before or after it was taken.”

Photo by Gabriela KnoxPhoto by Gabriela KnoxKnox presents unadulterated images captured in low lighting at night – “objects extracted from their surroundings, denied any previous context,” in order to “demonstrate the peculiar way people see,” creating meanings out of a combination of objective visual information and prior knowledge and experience.

“Absence as Presence” will be on view Mondays – Saturdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and on Sundays, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. through December 17. For more information, visit art.unca.edu or call 828.251.6559.

“Reflections on Lunations,” New Exhibit at UNC Asheville

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – A new exhibition, combining light, glass, metal, ceramic slip, ivory chiffon and performance art, will open December 9 in the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery in UNC Asheville’s Owen Hall. “Reflections on Lunations / An Allegorical Exploration into Ancient Calendation” is the BFA Senior Exhibition by Rebecca vonSeldeneck-Houser. An opening reception will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery. Both the reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public.

On the opening night, this conceptual installation will also feature a collaborative performance by dancer Julia Vessey. According to vonSeldeneck-Houser, the installation is an attempt to create a unique environment bringing light to overlooked beauty and transcendent patterns, and is a visual metaphor of lunar phases and how time is perceived.

“Reflections on Lunations” will be on exhibit weekdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through December 20. For more information, visit art.unca.edu or call 828.251.6559.

“Symbiosis” – Exhibit of Digital Video Art Thursday UNC Asheville

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

“Symbiosis,” a site-specific exhibition featuring works in digital video art by UNC Asheville students, will take place from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, on the UNC Asheville campus, in and around Zeis Hall.

The exhibit features work that blends creative expression, technology, and performance, and includes large-scale projection mapping, multi-channel video installation, and video and shadow sculpture. “Symbiosis” reflects upon the dialogue between nature, technology and culture, and explores how these factors have changed our society and shape our identity.

The event is free and open to the public. The exhibitors will also host a reception with refreshments in the Zeis Hall second floor lobby, where maps of the installations will be available.

For more information, contact the UNC Asheville Department of New Media at 828.350.4567.

Find out more about Asheville art and Asheville events.

Fine Art Museum Hopping This Fall

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

CULLOWHEE, NC – What’s happening on Thursdays this fall at the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University? Just about everything, and all of it free and open to the public.

“We want people to know that there is always something happening at the Fine Art Museum on Thursdays. There’s something for everyone – the Crafty, the Film Buff, the Foodie and always, the Art Lover,” said Denise Drury, the WCU museum’s interim director.

First up is a reception Sept. 15 in the Star Atrium (adjacent to the museum) for an exhibit by painter John Lytle Wilson titled “The Gods of the Machine.” An interview with the artist is scheduled for 4 p.m., with the wine and appetizer reception to start at 5 p.m.

Wilson, of Birmingham, Ala., draws inspiration in the power of images used to attract, convert and sell, from advertising and product design to museum pieces and iconography. Wilson explores issues such as consciousness, free will and mortality using animal and robot imagery rather than traditional human subjects. The show will run through Friday, Sept. 30.

Other receptions at the museum this fall: 5 p.m. Oct. 20, a reception for art collectors Rob and Leigh Anne Young (with an interview with the collectors scheduled for 4 p.m.); 5 p.m. Nov. 17, a reception for the Bachelor of Fine Art portfolio exhibit; and 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, a reception for the Master of Fine Art Theses exhibit by Lauren J. Whitley and Scott Hubener.

The second annual Handmade Holiday Sale, featuring all handmade items by artists from campus and community members, will be held Nov. 10. The sale hours are 3 to 7 p.m., with appetizers from 5 to 7 p.m. All items are priced at less than $100 and include scarves, ceramics, jewelry, knitted wear, soaps, note cards and more.

Also on the Fine Art Museum calendar this fall is a series of “FAM Films,” curated by Seth McCormick, an art history professor in the WCU School of Art and Design. The series focuses on a particular artistic movement or aesthetic theory or contribute significantly to the field of visual arts. The films are free and will begin at 5:15 p.m. in Room 130 of Bardo Arts Center. The films are as follows:

  • Sept. 22, “Splitting,” “Bingo/Ninths” and “Substrait (Underground Dailies),” films by Gordon Matta-Clark, an American sculptor, filmmaker, photographer and draughtsman who worked in New York in the mid-20th century.
  • Sept. 29, “Un Chien Andalou,” a 1929 silent, short film by Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí.
  • Oct. 6, “Frantz Fanon: Black Skins, White Masks” (1996) by Isaac Julien, a look at the life and work of Frantz Fanon, a psychoanalytic theorist and activist who was born in Martinique, educated in Paris and worked in Algeria.
  • Oct. 27, “Heidi” (1992), by Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, based on the children’s story by Johanna Spyri with the intention, according to McCarthy, to “create convoluted associations between Heidi, the purity myth in America and Europe and the media view of family life, horror movies and ornamentation.”
  • Dec. 1, “Prime Time in the Camps” (1993), by Chris Marker, looks at Bosnian refugees who live in the ruins of an army barracks in Slovenia and gain their knowledge of world events from pirated signals from media outlets.
  • Dec. 8, “The Ister” (2004), by David Barison and Daniel Ross, based on the work of influential and controversial 20th century philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Hours at the WCU Fine Art Museum are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with hours extended to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Parking is free, as is entry. A full calendar and other information is online at fineartmusuem.wcu.edu. Contact Drury at 828-227-2553 or [email protected].