The Saints of Paint and the Appalachian Barn Alliance (ABA) have partnered to host A Pastoral Palette Resized—Rural Space for the Soul, an exhibition to be held from Sunday, October 4, through Saturday, October 31, at the studio space next to Riverview Station. “The Appalachian Barn Alliance is important to the community as an educational resource helping to preserve historic structures and barns, informing future generations of a time and way of life in America,” says John Mac Kah, founder of The Saints of Paint. “The Saints of Paint is a cooperative of local artists who want to help out local nonprofits who do educational programs concerning the environment and human and animal rights. We look at the work that ABA does and think of the barns as an endangered species losing their habitat.”
Susan Kokora, a Saints of Paint member, will have three paintings in A Pastoral Palette Resized. “Each has had a different metamorphosis,” she says. “For me, painting feels like a kind of slow magic when I create images of a landscape, a barn, a beloved pet.” One of her works was inspired by a barn tour with the ABA in Madison County. “At one point, we ventured over Troublesome Gap on a treacherous gravel road and eventually stopped at a barn in Spring Creek, set against purple hills and rushing water,” Kokora remembers. “I fell in love with the spot and returned a number of times to sketch different compositions, and sometimes just to picnic.”
Every precaution will be taken to make the exhibition safe for visitors, including restrictions on capacity and enforcement of the mask mandate. “I think visitors will enjoy the artists’ renditions of the natural world,” says Kokora. “The purchase of a painting will support the efforts of the ABA and the income of a local artist. In these difficult times, it is important that we do all we can to support one another.”
The nonprofit ABA has been working since 2012 to save the rural agricultural heritage of the southern Appalachians. “Rural Western North Carolina, with all of its beauty, is a comfort to all of us during this stressful time,” says Sandy Stevenson, ABA Board president. “We offer self-guided tours of the barns in the county and have also switched our guided van tours to a safer version. Those who are interested can contact us and arrange to follow our tour guide with their vehicles and stay socially distanced when getting out at farmsteads.”
The exhibit will be in the studio space next to #234 in Riverview Station, 191 Lyman Street in Asheville. For more information or to guarantee entry for a specified time on October 4, visit AppalachianBarns.org/Pastoral-Palette-Resized-2020, email email@example.com or call 828.380.9146.