Friday, July 25, 2008

Asheville Art Museum at Bele Chere

Friday afternoon, July 25th, and Bele Chere is well under way! The Asheville Art Museum has a Museum Shop booth as well as our Education Department's Kids booth in front of the Museum. Kids of all ages have been enjoying customizing their diner hats at the Kids booth. Stop by this weekend and design your own diner hat or pick up a souvenir from the Museum Shop booth. If you visit us, leave a comment on our Blog or send your Asheville Art Museum Bele Chere photo to and you may see your photo on the Asheville Art Museum Blog!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Art Nouveaux – Getting Messy

On Monday, July 21, Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts opened its doors to the Museum’s collectors’ group, the Art Nouveaux. Odyssey founders and owners of Highwater Clays, Gail and Brian McCarthy welcomed the group, and gave a guided tour of Odyssey, with peeks into artists’ studios, kilns and a summer workshop.

Then the fun began—there was a reason we were all wearing t-shirts and jeans! Artist/instructor Les Powell led us to the outside kiln yard, and explained the art of Raku –in his very simple terms “doing something to a hot pot.” For us, Les had arranged for “Horsehair Raku.” We were invited to each decorate our own pot—pulled from a 1250 degree kiln—by draping graceful wands of horsehair across, around, on the hot pot. Smoke, sizzle and beauty in an instant! ….and the smell of burning hair, of course.

Here Les holds the hot pot while Art Nouveaux member Thom Robinson works with the horsehair.

Our finished Horsehair Raku pots!

Retreating from the kiln yard to an indoor studio, artist/instructor Gabe Kline, patiently demonstrated the smooth glide of throwing bowls on a wheel. He made it look so easy! With our pre-centered (thank you, Gabe) mounds of clay at the ready, we all got a little messy and muddy, and with great glee threw a quite fine looking bunch of pots. Don’t you agree?

Group members Ann Forbes, Janet Whitworth and Michael Andry try their hands at the wheel.

Our bowls!

We rewarded ourselves with dinner and wine. Great fun! We’d love to have you join this exciting group. If you are interested, get in touch with Rebecca Lynch-Maass at 828.253.3227, ext. 114 or

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Last weekend

This past weekend was an exciting one at the Asheville Art Museum. Friday was the opening of John Baeder's new exhibition Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats Along the Way: A Retrospective of Paintings by John Baeder. Sliders, mashed potatoes, cheese sandwiches, and other fun diner foods were served alongside red and white checked tables to create a homey diner atmosphere. Baeder was excited to talk about specific works with visitors, expressing the nostalgia he experiences when looking at his own works, for each painting embodies its own unique story.

Programs throughout the rest of the weekend helped to celebrate the exhibition further. A PBS documentary, Sandwiches That You Will Like, was screened on Saturday and Sunday at the Museum, sending viewers on a journey across America in search of the best in sandwich cuisine and inciting a desire for good savory food. Sunday was the Asheville Art Museum’s popular annual concert with pianist John Cobb at Diana Wortham Theatre, where slides from the Baeder exhibition were projected during a performance of compositions by Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland.

Come out to the Museum to see this delicious exhibition and pick up a map of diners in the surrounding area to personalize your diner experience. Tell us what you thought of these events and visit the Asheville Art Museum's website for information on more diner related programs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

John Baeder

All of us here at the Asheville Art Museum are excited for the opening of a new exhibition this Friday: Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats Along the Way: A Retrospective of Paintings by John Baeder. These fascinating works invoke a nostalgia for the past when diners were the coffee shops of today, a place to hang out with friends and enjoy good food and a comfortable atmosphere. Come out and enjoy the exhibition; join us for some fun and festive supplemental programs, talks, film screenings, and more; and explore the diners in your own area. Let us know what you think of the diners in Asheville!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Artist Talk with Cynthia Bringle

Cynthia Bringle, a Penland-based potter, came to the Museum last Friday to discuss her work. She fascinated the audience with a short video where she explained how to make a pitcher with step by step instruction, showcasing her talent as a potter and a teacher. Her talk was in conjunction with the Museum's exhibition Let It Pour: Contemporary Craft Pitchers from the James Goode Collection, where one of her pitchers is on display. Come out to the Museum for unique artist lectures and great exhibitions. And visit Cynthia Bringle's Penland studio for stunning artwork and great conversation. Let us know what you thought of the talk.