Galleries Visual Arts

Instant at the Refinery Creator Space

Lady Luck Barn. Photo by Francesca Downing

Beginning on Friday, January 12, the Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) will host Instant, a new exhibit curated by Francesca Downing, at the Refinery Creator Space. Instant explores the medium of instant photography through the work of Downing, devin saurus, Brett Wyatt, Gray Hales and Amanda Holloman Cook. The show runs through Friday, February 16 and the gallery will host an artist talk and reception on Friday, February 2, from 5–8 p.m.

Downing, who works with a Polaroid, says that the basic, user-friendly settings of the Polaroid are “both a challenge and a part of its charm.” She also notes that the history of instant photography is significant for her. “It was a fairly inexpensive way to document working class lives,” she says. “It’s a very accessible camera and I still find meaning in that today.”

Saurus, who uses a Polaroid Land Camera, says much of his instant photography documents the experience of queer communities in the South. “My work is meant to say, loudly, that we’re here and we’re fabulous, even in all of our imperfections,” he says. While saurus values the waiting period associated with film images, he also appreciates the immediacy of instant photography. “It encompasses this very magical idea of the fleeting moment,” he says, “which is invaluable in my attempts to stay present.”

The Refinery Creator Space is located 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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