A new exhibition titled Shaping Matters is on display in the Focus Gallery at the Folk Art Center through February 6. The exhibit showcases the work of six members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild (SHCG): mixed media art by Josh Coté and Chandra Cerchione-Peltier, fiber art by Susan Ellen Jones and clay works by Jim and Shirl Parmentier, Nicholas Friedman and Peg Morar. Admission to the Folk Art Center is free and all art will be for sale, with prices starting at $195.
Shaping Matters addresses the importance of intention and purpose in the making process. “This show is a great example of today’s makers using their hands: taking traditional art forms and forgoing the convenience of modern machines, especially now that we are in the age of 3-D printers,” says Nikki Josheff, curator of exhibitions and collections at the SHCG. “Shaping Matters features dimensional work with meticulous handwork, and very little, if any, use of machine.”
Fiber artist Jones found the theme easy to associate with her art. “My fiber work is always primarily about shape and color, so the title of this show seemed like a natural fit,” she says. The exhibit also presents a timely opportunity for artists to direct their focus during the changing seasons. “In the fall, everyone is inspired by color, so I have made these pieces with particular attention to color. By mixing my dyes, I have used earthy reds, rich violet, mossy greens, golden yellow and rusty orange.” Texture also played an important role in Jones’ creations. “This collection of work features screen printing techniques that give pattern and texture to silk and linen,” she says.
Josheff says she hopes that viewers will walk away with a deeper understanding of setting intention since design and function are involved with building or making craft. “Despite this technological age advancing our abilities to create, the importance of artistic thought is one of the few remaining distinctions for human-made versus machine-made.” SHCG is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1930 to cultivate the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation.
The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of the Highway 70 entrance in east Asheville. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., April through December, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., January through March. Learn more at craftguild.org.