Artists on the second floor at the Wedge Studios in the River Arts District have found cause for celebration in the cold days of winter. On Friday, February 2, from 5–8 p.m., they plan to hold a Groundhog Day Celebration among the working studios and galleries. The public is invited and themed costumes are encouraged.
“This is the first Groundhog art show I know of in the district,” says Ken Vallario, one of the more than 10 artists who work and display their art in studios on the second floor. The long hallway is a gallery for art created by the artists who make their creative homes there.
Artist and organizer Richard Baker held Groundhog Day events in the past, including at his former studio in Saluda. He believes it will be a one-of-akind observance in Asheville—and one likely to repeat itself. “It’s a good occasion for getting together in anticipation of spring,” he says. “And it’s a chance to see the top-drawer artwork being produced by our topfloor community of artists.”
Light refreshments will be served and prizes will be awarded for the worst costumes with “judging based purely on favoritism,” Baker says.
Vallario, as he does with his art, takes a philosophical stance on the event. “Artists are like groundhogs,” he says. “They emerge into life looking to make meaning out of the shadows. Of course they long to announce the early arrival of spring, but they are honest about what they see. We will look into the present state of our art and ask ourselves if it says something hopeful about the coming year. I hope so.”
Mediums represented by the second-floor artists include oils, encaustics and metal sculpture, and genres include portraits, landscapes, abstracts and folk art.
“This will be a great day to escape the doldrums of winter and band together to wish for an early spring,” says Sandra Bottinelli. “Enjoy some of the creative artists working at the Wedge Studios. And don’t forget the costume contest!”
The Wedge Studios are located at 129 Roberts Street in Asheville’s River Arts District. For more information, contact Richard Baker at 828.234.1616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.