Spring has sprung, which is bringing creative renewal to Artsville. We love sharing fresh art news and stories with all of you. Here’s what we’ve got this month—part two of the three-part interview series with Jim McDowell (the Black Potter), Susan Hershfield (art collector and donor), and Marshall Price (the chief curator at the Nasher Museum of Art). In addition, there's feature coverage and spotlighted artists from BLISS—Biltmore Lake’s first studio stroll—and a new Artsville Podcast episode with Elaine Scherer, Louise Glickman, and Scott Power. Scroll through to get your creative juices flowing and to answer Artsville's poll of the month…
From Concept to Collection: How Jim McDowell’s New Face Jug Made It to the Nasher Museum Collection [Part II]
Welcome to part two of the three-part series From Concept to Collection: How Jim McDowell’s New Face Jug Made It to the Nasher Museum Collection. If you missed part one with Susan Hershfield, art collector and donor, where she provided background on how she connected Jim with the Nasher Museum, check it out here. Today, we’re introducing Marshall Price, the chief curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. In this interview with Marshall, he shares insight into the process of adding one of Jim McDowell’s (aka the Black Potter’s) face jugs to the collection at the Nasher Museum.
[Artsville]: How does a museum curator determine that an artist would be an asset in their collections?
[Marshall Price]: It depends on the institution and the curator. For me, context is key. My colleagues and I look for works that not only have aesthetic merit, but also any connections they might have with works already in our collection. Is there synergy between the proposed acquisition and what we’ve already got? Does the work amplify or expand existing narratives or reveal new or untold ones? Because I work at a university art museum, where teaching occurs on a daily basis, my colleagues and I think very carefully about the pedagogical content of works that we acquire. Every work tells a story (or stories), so a lot of the process includes determining how creatively a work visually articulates those stories, how engaging it is visually, and how compelling it is thematically and conceptually.
[A]: What processes are followed by the collector and curator in partnership to make this donation possible?
[MP]: In the case of our proposed acquisition of Jim McDowell’s “Red Tails,” Susan and Michael Hershfield introduced me to the artist’s work. The Hershfields have been great supporters of the Nasher Museum and have a long history of gifting works. Because of this, they know the types of works and artists that we are keen on acquiring for the collection. Susan and Michael were so enthusiastic about Jim’s work and predicted (accurately) that it would resonate with our curatorial team. As a result, they generously offered to support an acquisition. First, the artist was supported; second, the museum was able to add a significant work to the collection by a North Carolina artist (or will when the work is officially accessioned in May); and third, the Hershfields were able to contribute to both the museum’s mission and the artist’s career. It was a win, win, win.
To read the full interview, click here.
Artsville and Biltmore Lake Artists Co-produce Biltmore Lake’s First Studio Tour, Building Creative Opportunities for Candler’s Future
When a group of 20 Biltmore Lake artists gathered in December 2019 to brainstorm how they could share their work, they never imagined that they were starting a movement post-Covid to position Candler as a creative outpost in Western North Carolina. Out of these early conversations came the idea for a studio stroll to invite the public into Biltmore Lake Artists’ personal art studios and spaces. In doing so, they could connect the Western Buncombe, Haywood, and Asheville areas—for the first time—through the shared love of art and a visit to Biltmore Lake.
The Biltmore Lake artists and volunteers, in association with Artsville USA (formerly Sand Hill Artists Collective), are producing the first-ever Biltmore Lake Imaginative Studio Stroll (BLISS) on Saturday, May 6, 2023 from 11am to 5pm. (The rain date is Sunday, May 7.) Twenty-five artists will show and sell from 15 Biltmore Lake homes. This group of creatives—from up-and-comers to regionally celebrated—will show art and craft in 2-D and 3-D, large and small, spanning more than ten mediums.
Benefits of BLISS
BLISS is the first major event aimed at outreach to Enka, Candler and West Asheville residents and neighbors in Canton, Waynesville, Clyde extending to Haywood and other nearby counties
Biltmore Lake’s residents and volunteers serve as a center of activities for our residents. Because Candler has no Main Street or identifiable team leadership, BLISS provides the unique opportunity to reach out to our neighbors to engage in meaningful discussion on a future direction for creative growth in our area.
Buncombe County’s 74 creative industries generated $1.6 billion in sales in 2019, and supported over 14,000 jobs—an increase of 48% since 2015. Opportunities exist for a segment of this commercial sales and tax revenue to move to Western Buncombe. Candler is a ripe location for new art businesses and retail sales.
If successful, it is hoped that BLISS will grow in future years to cement working relationships and identify leadership to encourage and energize our area’s cultural commitment to Candler.
Interested in attending or learning more? Click here.
Introducing the Artists of BLISS
Over the next few months, Artsville will introduce the artists participating in BLISS, starting with Kelly Saunders, painting; Sara Moser, painting; and Katrina Chenevert, assemblage. View their work below.
For Kelly Saunders, music and art have been intertwined for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until about two years ago that she brought them to the forefront in the form of paintings. “I have no formal training. I just do what feels right,” she says.
When Saunders was a child, she took piano lessons from a teacher who saw an energy in her young student that didn’t necessarily reflect exceptional musical talent. But she encouraged Saunders to explore it anyway. “I loved my piano teacher. She said to me, ‘You have this passion. Do something with it. Play the piano, paint the piano, do whatever it takes until it clicks,’” Saunders said.
And Saunders did; she started painting piano keys, finding an undeniable synergy in her relationship to both music and art. Read more about Kelly here.
Written by Melanie Threlkeld McConnell
“I came to [painting] much later in life, when I moved [to Asheville],” says Sara Moser, 60, who specializes in oil painting. “I was always interested in painting, but I didn’t have the opportunity. I had a professional career [in healthcare marketing] and was a mom to two children,” she says.
But she has found her way, learning by doing and combining her love of nature and color. “I love to be outdoors. I take photos when I’m out hiking,” she says. “A lot of my inspiration is nature. I seem to be really focused on tiny creatures.” Dragonflies, especially. Someone asked for a painting of a dragonfly, which represented the person’s mother, and the person loved it. Read more about Sara here.
Written by Melanie Threlkeld McConnell
Katrina Chenevert uses watercolor, acrylic or oil, depending on the theme or composition of the subject. Her 3D work is constructed using mixed media to make soft sculptures, 3D assemblages and installations. Theme and subject often dictate whether her work will be a 2D or 3D creation.
Art makes her happy, she says, in ways others have noticed. “People who have known me say, ‘You’re so happy.’ It’s a creative space in my mind, there are tabs open all the time. I have so many projects in my head; it’s exhausting,” she says. Read more about Katrina here.
Written by Melanie Threlkeld McConnell
New Artsville Podcast Episode with Elaine Scherer and Louise Glickman on BLISS
In this episode of the Artsville Podcast, co-hosts Louise and Scott “Sourdough” Power are joined by fellow art enthusiast and BLISS volunteer team member, Elaine Scherer, to talk about the important role this world-class event plays in positioning Candler as a creative outpost and how it will broaden, strengthen, and acknowledge creative networks within the surrounding communities.
Elaine Scherer says in the episode: “I was attracted to [BLISS] because I [understand] the mind-body connection as a registered nurse. When you see something beautiful, your body reacts. When you go out in nature, your body reacts and you relax. We are human beings and we need this kind of existence. We need to see beauty in our lives, especially today with everything going on in the world. [To see] beautiful things, it makes us as human beings more understanding, it opens our hearts, and it opens our minds. To me, this is a great venue to pull people together.”
Listen on any podcast platform or on the Artsville website.
BLISS would like to thank the following major sponsors for their generous support: Biltmore Beacon, Jamie Turner of Allen Tate/Beverly Hanks Realtors, Panashe Realtors, Terry Van Duyn and ArtsvilleUSA.
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