Asheville Area Arts Council Hosts Woodfire Exhibit

Platter. Eric Knoche, artist

The southern Appalachian region claims a rich history of ceramics and Western North Carolina is home to some of the woodfire field’s top artists as well as a number of young artists leading the field in new directions. On view through June 23 at The Refinery Creator Space on Asheville’s South Slope, the Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) presents Current Effects: Contemporary Woodfiring in WNC. The exhibition is curated by local artist Josh Copus and a reception and artist talk will be held on Friday, June 2, from 5–8 p.m.

Copus says this collection of works demonstrates how potters influence each other’s art as they work together. For example, Akira Satake will show work with his apprentices Micah Thanhauser and Matt Wegleitner. Copus, Amanda Holloman-Cook, Thanhauser and Wegleitner frequently fire together, collaboratively tending the 27-foot long kiln, but the character of each piece results from the artist’s own hand and his or her manipulation of the flame.

Other participating artists include William Baker, Naomi Dalglish, Will Dickert, Kim Ellington, Dustin Fowler, Michael Hunt, Shawn Ireland, Matt Jones, Eric Knoche, Dian Magie, Courtney Martin, Linda McFarling, Shane Mickey, Ken Sedberry, Joey Sheehan, Andrew Stephenson, Joy Tanner and David Voorhees. The show is held in association with the NC Mountains Pre-Conference PreHEAT (June 1–7) taking place before the International Woodfire Conference at STARworks in Star, NC (June 8–11).

“This exhibition speaks to the diversity and strength of woodfiring in our region by bringing together established and emerging makers,” says AAAC executive director Stefanie Gerber Darr. “As we survey the state of woodfiring in Western North Carolina, this exhibition clearly conveys that the future is as bright as our past.”

Also on display in the Refinery Creator Space Front Gallery through June 23 is Iconography of the Early Anthropocene, an exhibit by local artist Rees Perry. Blending elements of human origin stories, pop-science, conspiracy theories and medieval heraldry, Perry’s images are laden with satire.

Asheville Area Arts Council’s Hallway Gallery is located in the Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Avenue. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event and exhibition are free and works are for sale. For more information call 828.258.0710 or visit

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