Inspired by Nature, a show featuring the works of Ana Blanton and Zoe Schumaker, will be on display at Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA) through February. The painters, both new members of AGA, jointly decided upon the theme. “After some discussion, we felt it would be the best banner under which to display our work,” Schumaker says. The gallery will host a reception for the artists on Friday, February 2, from 5–8 p.m.
While both Schumaker and Blanton are painters, the artists use very different styles and materials to create their art. “Our work will be displayed side by side rather than integrated,” Schumaker says. “It should provide the viewer an opportunity to consider the diverse ways that artists see, contemplate and communicate their inspiration.” Schumaker has been exploring new multimedia techniques to bring texture and pattern to her paintings. Animals are the primary subject matter in her most recent body of work. “I am trying to communicate their energy or spirit in my compositions,” she says. “These works are more about personal expression than realistic rendition.”
Schumaker, who grew up in northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, was delighted to find a similar natural beauty when she moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2005. While exploring her new home after the move, she carried a backpack kit of pastels and rediscovered her love for painting. Schumaker teaches painting at John C. Campbell Folk School and donates her time and art to many nonprofits in the community.
Blanton’s artistic background took her to Spain, where she studied art conservation at the University of Madrid and mural painting and conservation at the International School of Mural Painting Miguel Farre in Barcelona. She also has a BA in Art Studio from Mars Hill University. Blanton’s latest series explores the energy and movement of light within nature through abstract, mixed-media paintings. She expects the show to communicate a deep love of nature to the audience. “I think providing the audience with a view into our stylistically different approaches to similar natural subjects adds to the experience by showing how every individual has a unique response to nature,” she says.
Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1–4 p.m. on Sunday. To learn more, call 828.251.5796, visit ashevillegallery-of-art.com or follow the gallery’s Facebook page.