By Savannah Koval
The Grovewood Gallery will be celebrating American Craft Week from Friday, October 6, through Sunday, October 15. Two of the gallery’s artists will host live demonstrations and multiple artists will host open studio tours.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, Windsor chair-maker Elia Bizzarri of Hillsborough, NC, will demonstrate his turning skills using traditional tools and techniques. “Turning is the most skilled part of building a chair besides assembly,” he says. “Since 2002, I have built Windsor chairs and taught chair-making full-time.”
Using maple, poplar, oak and hickory, Bizzarri crafts elegant studio furniture. He has been featured on PBS for building a continuous arm rocking chair on Roy Underhill’s series, The Woodwright’s Shop, and was showcased at the Celebrate NC Craft Exhibition at the Governor’s Mansion in 2010. “The chair is the customer’s to enjoy for the next two hundred years,” says Bizzarri. “The wood has hardly missed its leaves before it turns into a beautiful chair.”
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, fiber artist Susan Lenz of Columbia, SC, will demonstrate how she transforms yarn into functional fiber vessels. “They are basically a soft bowl,” she says. “They are great additions to a room to accent color, especially where something made of glass or ceramic might be broken.” Lenz will also have select works from her framed textile series on display.
In 2016, Lenz was awarded a solo show at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona. She also had a piece selected for a group exhibition at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. One of her fiber vessels will be showcased in the National Basketry Association’s juried show, which travels to several locations across the country. “I think visitors to the demonstration will be excited by how cheap acrylic yarn can be used to create something unique and beautiful,” Lenz says. “When I’ve done this demonstration before, people laugh when I tell them that 1970s braided rugs inspired me.”
Along with the demonstrations by Bizarri and Lenz, there will also be open studios for some of the resident artists at the Grovewood Gallery, allowing visitors to take a look at their creative processes and gain insight into their individual skill sets. Tours will be free and self-guided from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturdays. All artwork will be available for purchase.
The Grovewood Gallery is located at 111 Grovewood Road, adjacent to and below the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking is available onsite. To learn more visit grovewood.com or call 828.253.7651.