Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Fun with the Asheville Art Museum Continues!

The first few weeks of Summer Camp at the Museum have flown by! We’ve enjoyed seeing both new and familiar faces in our June and early July camp sessions, where campers in kindergarten through 8th grades have enjoyed Exploring Puppetry and Mask Making, Cartooning Is Cool, Let’s Draw + Paint and many more exciting activities!

Each summer, the Asheville Art Museum offers eight weeks of Summer Camp fun to rising kindergarten through 12th grade students. Classes are held in the studio of the Museum’s WNC Art Resource Center. A few spaces are still open for registration including: Digital Photography + Mixed Media (for 9th -12th grade students the mornings of July 25 - 29) and 3-D Adventure (for 3rd - 5th grade students the mornings of August 1 - 5). Be sure to visit the Museum’s website for more details about the sessions remaining in this year’s Summer Art Camp. Full camp descriptions can be found here.

Summertime fun with the Museum continued this past weekend during the Family Art pARTy!, held in conjunction with The Big Crafty on Sunday, July 10th. Thank you to everyone who participated in our fun afternoon activities!

For more information about these and upcoming family fun, kid-friendly programs and activities at the Museum, contact Sharon McRorie, Education Program Manager at 828.253.3227 ext. 122 or or Erin Shope, School + Family Programs Manager at 828.253.3227 ext. 121 or

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Museum's LA Travels Continue...

(Thursday, June 9)

The first full day of our travels in LA included the Huntington Museum and Gardens, the Norton Simon Museum and a wonderful private collection of Historic African American Art in Pasadena. It was a long and exciting day for all of us! While Asheville is sweltering, LA is cool with highs of 70 degrees! Today we are off to LA MOCA, LACMA and the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

Also, we enjoyed a fabulous private tour of the arts and crafts, Greene and Greene designed Gamble house (lots of connections to Asheville with our GPI heritage). So all in all, the links between the Museum collections—particularly the American collection at the Huntington and the African American Collection—have been really exciting.

(Today, June 10)

June gloom still in force here: 68 degrees (cold) but today the sun peeked out late in the day when we arrived at LACMA.We started at LA MOCA which was a real treat for all, as was the Disney Concert Hall, where Susan Holden got us in despite all odds. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch followed by a tour of an amazing private collection.

We then moved on to LACMA—David Smith—OH MY!!! (one of my favorites!), followed by parts of the contemporary collection. Lastly, we enjoyed the LA Craft and Folk Art Museum. There, we were hosted by the board and new Director and Asheville favorite Suzanne Isken. We’ve been resting for an hour and will soon be off to fabulous Asian dinner!

Wish all of you were with us—next time be sure to come.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Museum and Friends Travel to L.A.

Hello Asheville Art Museum fans from your friends traveling in LA. Today everyone arrived- from various points, airports, transfers and the like. We all met just before 7:00 p.m. in the lovely lobby of the Montage hotel and walked across the street in Beverly Hills to the famed Spago restaurant. What a fabulous meal and great way to fortify ourselves for the upcoming jam packed days of looking at art of all kinds. 25 aficionados are all geared up and ready to go. Pasadena's treasurers await tomorrow.

More updates to come...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting to Know Us: Museum Library

This week's blog post is from Frank Thomson, the Museum's Curator, who also organizes the Museum Library:

“Visiting this museum is always a treat, and the library is exceptional.”

This is a note left in the comment book by a visitor this winter. It highlights one of the important, but quieter, programs at the Asheville Art Museum, the Frances Mulhall Achilles Library. The library is located by the stairs leading up to the second floor. It features books, catalogs, magazines, videos and art images. All of this material is searchable in a computer catalog.

On February 3, 2011, the library celebrated an important milestone; the nine thousandth item was added to the catalog.

The Asheville Art Museum’s library is one of the largest resources of art publications in the region and is regularly used by staff, visitors, students and scholars. While the materials do not circulate, the Museum has a Teachers’ Resource Center that allows area school teachers to check out materials for use in the classroom.

Also thanks to a grant from Progress Energy, the library includes three computers with Internet access for further art research.

The success of the library is due to many supporters who have donated materials, but in particular to a small group of dedicated volunteer librarians. The current group consists of Leah Karpen, Fran Myers, Meg Miles and Martha Shepard. Most Thursday mornings find this dedicated and hard working group in the library cataloging new materials, re-shelving books and other tasks needed to maintain the library as the important resource that it is.

The library is free to Members or with paid admission, so check it out the next time you are in the Museum. If you are here on a Thursday morning, say hello to the librarians, they always love visitors.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting to Know Us: Membership and Groups

Continue getting to know us with this post from Rebecca Lynch-Maass, Membership Manager at the Museum. She coordinates the Collectors' Circle group. Read here about their recent purchase party:

The Asheville Art Museum Collectors’ Circle held their seventh annual selection dinner on January 17, 2011. The Collectors’ Circle is dedicated to increasing their own knowledge about art and collecting, while also growing the Museum’s Permanent Collection through annual purchases from an acquisition fund created by yearly dues.

This year, the Circle and Circle members added 10 works to the Museum’s Permanent Collection, as well as furthering their commitment to the growth of acquisition funds for the Museum.

The 2010 Collectors’ Circle members voted to acquire Basket by Ruth Asawa (pictured left). This early Asawa work, one of few created while she was a student at Black Mountain College, is a stunning example of her early efforts with the looped-wire technique learned in Toluca, Mexico in 1947. Central to an earlier exhibition of her work was a large looped wire sculpture given to the Museum by Lorna Blaine Halper. The addition of this early basket form offers us the opportunity to build upon Halper’s significant gift and to showcase both an early and a later wire sculpture. This addition of a work by a Black Mountain College artist, and especially one created at Black Mountain College, adds to the ongoing efforts by the Museum to build a significant BMC Collection, and continues the Circle’s commitment to that Collection.

In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition Artists at Work: American Printmakers and the WPA (April 29 – September 25, 2011), Assistant Curator Cole Hendrix presented three works by WPA printmakers Minna Citron, Louis Schanker and Hyman Warsager to the Circle. Warsager’s 1937 lithograph Preserve the Initiative for Children, Schanker’s 1939 woodcut Three Men on a Bench (pictured left) and Squid Under Pier, 1948-9, intaglio and stencil by Minna Citron were gifted by individual members.

Another purchase by the Circle with their 2010 Acquisition Fund was photographer John Pfahl’s Fish, Cypress Gardens, Florida, 2001, Type C color negative print (pictured left). Individuals Pam Myers, Gail and Brian McCarthy and Gary and Olivia Zahler made additional contributions for the purchase of this work. Another powerful work by Pfahl presented to the Circle, Morning Light on Railroad Viaduct, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2004, Endura print, was chosen to be purchased with funds from the Nat C. Myers Photography Fund.

Additional works gifted by Individual Circle members included:

Morning Gossips by Alfred Heber Hutty, drypoint etching on paper, 1950, gifted by Rob Pulleyn (pictured left).

Ray Griffin and Thom Robinson gifted two works: Ronald Cooper’s Helldozer, mixed media, 2008 (pictured left); and Thunder Pony by John Grant, carved stone, 2007.

Anne Burkhardt and Cherry Lentz Saenger gifted Taylor Rolling Store, acrylic on canvas, not dated (pictured left).

Since their founding in 2003 the Collectors’ Circle and Circle members have contributed over $300,000 to Collections growth and support for the Asheville Art Museum. Their generosity and commitment are to be applauded, and are an inspiration to us all.

2010 Collectors’ Circle members were Nancy Albyn, Phillip Broughton and David Smith, Nat and Anne Burkhardt, Andrew Glasgow, Ray Griffin and Thom Robinson, Susan Holden, Suzanne and Stephen Jones, Gail and Brian McCarthy, Fran Myers, Ladene and Russell Newton, Ann and Ted Oliver, Mary Powell, Rob Pulleyn, Cherry and Paul Lentz Saenger, Randy Siegel, Susan Stair Stevens, Susan Turner, Olivia and Gary Zahler.

Rebecca would also love to help you become a Member so you can join us for the New Members' Reception on February 13 (*mention this blog and get $5 off!*). E-mail or visit for information.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting to know us...

In the upcoming weeks, we'd like to take the opportunity for you to get to know us. We'll have staff members, front desk volunteers, docents, board members and others involved in the Museum writing blog posts so you have the chance to meet some of the well-rounded group. We're an approachable bunch, so say "Hi!" and feel free to ask any questions next time you visit.

This post is written by Judy Swan, Trustee and Secretary of the Asheville Art Museum:

I have been on the Board of the Art Museum for many years; that can be serious stuff. The real fun is volunteering at the front desk/shop. Visitors are always interesting and share their museum and Asheville experiences. The staff always has something interesting for me to do between visitors.

The first Wednesday of the month is free at the museum from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. That fell on one of my volunteer days this month and what a great day! The Mountain Xpress ran an excellent article about the Sewell Sillman exhibit just before it closed but in time for the free visitors. We had guests from NYC, Canada, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, California, Colorado as well as Asheville and nearby counties. All of this on a cold day between snowstorms mid-week in Asheville. There were young couples with designer winter jackets, family groups taking advantage of a free day, a couple of people my age who were interested in moving here. Earlier in the day I suggested some young people might come back when it was free. One couple did, but another paid and spent a long time enjoying all three upstairs floors of the Museum as well as the outstanding Director’s Cut exhibition in our ‘always free’ first floor community galleries. They appreciated my money-saving suggestion but had late afternoon plans.

Judy Swan (right) with her husband Bob at the Museum's 60th Anniversary Party at The Orange Peel.