Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Discovering the Art Museum's Collection

Last week we discussed the different ways in which people collect. The Asheville Art Museum collects American Art from the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on the Southeast and WNC. The Art Museum can only show 3% of its collection in the permanent collection galleries at any one time. Currently, their are two shows up that focus on the permanent collection but this still only means that you can see under 10% of it in person at one time. With over 2,000 pieces in the permanent collection- not including around 5,000 architectural drawings- the Permanent Collection can be is a vast-if not daunting- resources. However, it need not be unattainable.

Here at the Museum, we are trying to give you more avenues in which to discover the art of the Permanent Collection. The Permanent Collection is of monumental importance to the Museum. It is, in a way, its greatest asset for it gives the Museum a focus, collecting boundaries, and of course, a reputation. It informs all aspects of its educational programming, its exhibition organization, and its fundraising goals.

This week, we have started a project called- Work of the Week - where one work from the Permanent Collection is the focus. What is it, who did it, how did we get it, does it glow in the dark? All of your questions will be answered here at

Now, you can access a large chunk of the collection by first- visiting us- and second- by looking at our online catalog.
It is fun!

As a regular Museum patron, I want to share with you one of my favorite pieces from the collection-

Garage and Trailer, Cherokee, North Carolina

Photograph by Cathryn Griffin

This image was purchased with funds provided by the Asheville Citizen Times in 1999. Griffin uses her beautiful talent to juxtaposes two very different buildings within one frame . By doing this, she comments on the geographic differences of 'place' that inform how we live and who we are. Human nature told through placement!

Visit our Permanent Collection site and tell me what piece strikes you. COMMENT below! (and link if you can so we can all see it!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Art of Collecting

As we open our newest exhibition on the Museum's permanent collection- Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection, I cannot help but think about the Art of Collecting. We all collect things in our own way- whether it is photographs of loved ones, coffee cups, stamps, shoes, furniture, etc. I collected erasers when I was a child and then postcards when a teenager. Today, I collect recipes, jam bands, indie movies, and Buffy comics.

Tell us about what you collect by commenting below....

I am struck by all of the great programs that the Museum has to offer in an effort to share its expertise about art collecting with the public. The Museum's permanent collection is its greatest asset. It gives the Museum boundaries; it guides its focus in not only acquiring works of art so that it can be a responsible art steward to the community, but also to provide guidance in its educational, programming, research, development, etc. endeavors (pretty much everything). In this way, the Museum can become (and is) a very important, interesting, and enlightening resource for all of us to use.

Explore all that the Museum has to give in order to educate you about its collection and collecting in general! Now is a great time to do so.

1. Two great exhibitions that traverse the Museum's Permanent Collection and make it digestible for you!
Looking Back: Celebrating 60 Years of Collecting at the Asheville Art Museum
Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection

2. Learn about these exhibitions with personal tours with our Curatorial or Education Staff!
Art Break, Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection- 12-1pm- September 25th
Art Break, Looking Forward and Looking Back — Together- 12-1pm- November 6th

3. Join our NEW monthly book discussions as we read and discuss books that relate to artwork in our galleries. Fall is all about collecting!
I Bought Andy Warhol, Richard Polsky- October 13th
Bluebeard: A Novel, Kurt Vonnegut- November 10th
Collections of Nothing, William Davies King- December 8th

4. Watch a film!
Who the #$%! is Jackson Pollock? 2pm September 26 &27 Herb and Dorothy-7pm October 29- Fine Arts Theatre, Downtown Asheville
The Collector: Allan Stone's Life in Art- February 2010

5. Join one of the Collectors Groups
The Collectors Circle
Art NouVeaux

Image- Art NouVeaux at Tim Barnwell's studio- look at the rest on myspace


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Taste of Art +Wine

The Museum's annual Silent Auction and Wine Tasting featured 20 different distributors who brought a wide assortment of wines and beers for everyone to taste. As someone said to me by the end of the night, "Last year I had to take a cab, but this year I brought a friend". We are so glad that people enjoyed themselves- and that they consider their safety, although I did hear that a few people downed over 60 of the raw oysters that were being served with the Oyster Brewery's IPA (thank you The Lobster Trap!). 60 oysters!? And the S&W pulled out a giant roast that was cut for the enjoyment of us carnivores- with a little horseradish on the side! I am always in awe of the Museum's ability to put on unique events every year- even when they are annual. Of course, as Beer City USA- patrons were not disappointed! Beer flowed from every corner of the lobby. I have to say that I love Silent Auctions. Although silent, they have a subtle ruthlessness to them, as people crowd around their favorite item, fighting it out to the end. There was one particular scarf that got the bidding moving along.....
So, my fellow bidders- I want to thank you all for supporting the Museum so generously- and for also not outbidding me on a much needed haircut and color!
And to the distributors-you amaze me time and time again with your ability to pour so much beer and wine in such a short period of time. You must be very strong if you can carry that many cases from your car to the table.
To the silent auction donors- you are so generous with your highly sought after goods!
And to all of the fabulous food donors- you gave us seafood, meat, salsa, breadsticks, rolls, hummus, grape leaves, chocolate truffles, pastry assortments, and so much more so that we remembered to eat as we tried all of those fabulous drinks.

Diversity is delicious!

Enjoy these photos- check out more on the Museum's facebook page!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Celebrate 60! Raffle

Hello everyone. I am your new Asheville Art Museum blogger. And for my first post, I have some very interesting and exciting news (I am so lucky!). Last night, at the Museum's event, A Taste of Art + Wine, we picked the winners of the Celebrate 60! Raffle! Look at the website for details. Are you a winner? Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who bought a ticket or donated a gift to support the Museum!

Now I have to go see if I know anyone who won. Those raffle packages were so big, I am sure that the winners will need to share....