It’s been a busy week in the Asheville art scene. On Wednesday I attended a reception of works by the late painter Vadim Bora at Mars Hill College. I get the impression that he’s mostly unknown outside of his native Russia and his adopted hometown of Asheville, but that doesn’t say anything about the quality of his work. He worked in a ton of different styles, yet everything is instantly recognizable as his. Last year there was a retrospective exhibit, and this show was the highlights from that show. There was a curator’s talk, which I missed, before the reception. I spoke to his widow, and while she seemed pleasant enough, I was a little put off by the way she appears to be handling his estate. She said none of the paintings are for sale, and there are no prints available of anything. She literally told me that if I liked a particular piece, the only thing to do would be to keep coming to all the future exhibits so I could see it again. Her attitude came off a little snooty, like selling prints was beneath her or something. I’m sure that’s not how she really feels, but based on her wording that’s how she came off. But that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise wonderful exhibit.

Friday night I went out to the ARTery to check out a show by my former coworker Joshua Spiceland. They let him paint on the walls, continuing the designs and patterns from his pieces and connecting everything. He had 3D glasses available for viewing, even though they didn’t seem to really add much. The turnout seemed pretty good, and it seemed like he sold a few pieces. He’s clearly a local artist on the rise, but I guess I’m a little burnt out on his work after seeing so much of it over the past year or two. I haven’t been to any other openings at the ARTery, so I’m not sure the calibre of artists they usually have or what the turnout is usually like. I know that their hours are a little weird, which is something I’ve discovered to be pretty common with galleries and studios in the River Arts District. I always feel like I should venture outside of downtown and see more shows and try to get my stuff into more venues, but so far I haven’t been very impressed with the RAD. Who knows.

Tonight I managed to squeeze in two openings. First we had an opening for our artist of the month, Kristalyn Bunyan. She does a lot of monoprints on handmade paper, some of it with alpaca yarn and fibers. I really love her work, probably more so than any past artist of the month. In the year or so that I’ve been helping coordinate things, she’s been one of the easiest artists to work with as well. She submitted a listing to the Mountain Xpress, and not only did they run it, but it was about a quarter of a page with a picture. We had a busker providing live music out front and wine and refreshments inside. The turnout was amazing, and she sold quite a lot. I actually bought one of her cheapo unframed prints, and probably would have bought a few more if I had the money.

After our opening I went down the street to Zapow for a “steam punk carnival.” All of their shows are group shows with the majority of their member artists contributing. With Mardi Gras right around the corner, they decided to do a carnival theme, but steam punk style. There was a lot of great artwork, and some really cool music by a band called The Extraordinary Contraptions. I got there about halfway through the show, so I missed all the refreshments and about half of the music, but it was still pretty cool. I didn’t stay very long, because by then I was pretty tired and hungry, but it was definitely worth checking out.

In my own personal art world, I’ve been keeping pretty busy as well. I’ve been working off-and-on on several projects, including (but not limited to) a late birthday present for my neighbor Michelle, Katie’s Valentine’s Day present, a few really neat watercolor/mixed media pieces, and putting the finishing touches on my tree ring series. Between seeing art, reading about art, and creating art, I haven’t had a whole lot of time for anything else. Not that this is a bad thing. Well, except for sleep. I wish I had a little more time for sleep. Speaking of which, I should probably go do just that…..

 

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