Arts Galleries

Four New Exhibitions at Blue Spiral 1 Explore Nighttime, Clay, Realism and Botanicals

Eleanor Annand, artist

There will be an opening reception for four new exhibits at Blue Spiral 1 on Friday, May 3, from 5–7 p.m.

In the Main Level Gallery, the group exhibition Dusk Till Dawn features works in a variety of media exploring this mysterious, ethereal time frame. Artist Caleb Clark used to focus on portraiture, but when working with people in the studio became less safe during the pandemic, he shifted to painting nighttime landscapes. “The shift to nocturnes marked an important evolution in my work and I continue to be fascinated by the possibilities of the subject matter,” he says. “For me, painting at night is all about the light, or lack thereof. I love the dramatic and yet atmospheric quality of the light and shadow. Both the fluorescent artificial light or final fleeting afterglow of the sun are evocative in a quiet, uncanny, dreamlike way.”

D Negociation. Rafel Bestard, artist

In the Lower Level Gallery, another group exhibition explores ceramic works and clay as a medium. Clay 24 was curated by Blue Spiral 1’s assistant director Blair Guggenheim and exhibitions coordinator Casey Engel. “We selected 24 artists initially as a nod to the present year, and then it evolved into a compelling spotlight for these represented ceramicists,” says Guggenheim. “The exhibition will feature works that are figurative, utilitarian, sculptural and conceptual, showcasing the varying techniques and concepts that can be explored through clay. While there will be traditional forms and utility to some of the works, there will also be pieces that lean into experimentation.”

In the Small Format Gallery, visitors can browse Inflorescence, a collection of works in varied media by Eleanor Annand. “Lately, the forms I draw and sculpt have leaned heavily into organic shapes,” says Annand. “My admiration of the botanical world has been seeping into my studio practice. This body or work abstractly explores that crossover in both form and process.” Inflorescence will feature a large-scale clay installation as well as pen-and-ink illustrations. “Each composition is made up of smaller elements that group together to form a whole—this applies both to the drawn compositions and the sculptural elements,” says Annand. “This modular way of working is a common theme in my work.”

The Way to Realism, a solo exhibition of classically rendered figurative paintings by Rafel Bestard, will be on display in the Showcase Gallery. “I’ve meticulously chosen works that will introduce Asheville’s audience to the diverse themes within my paintings,” Bestard says of the exhibition. “Using oil paint on linen canvas, I adhere to artistic tradition while addressing timeless concerns. In my artwork, I aim to capture the enduring essence of art and its continual evolution by expressing opposing concepts such as light and shadow, love and death.”

All exhibitions will be on display through June 26.

Blue Spiral 1 is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Sunday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit or call 828.251.0202.

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