This month’s exhibition at American Folk Art & Framing (AFA), WATER, gathers the work of artists who have all treated water—its beauty, power and ubiquity, as well as the life supported in bodies of water—as a subject for their art. “I delight in finding the common themes in our artists’ work, and all the different angles from which they view their lives—and in finding a common theme emerging from their hearts,” says gallery owner Betsey-Rose Weiss. “This is so much more inspired than asking an artist to paint to a theme.” The show also marks the 20th anniversary of Asheville’s gallery showcasing contemporary southern folk art and North Carolina wood-fired pottery, and providing custom framing for any artwork.
WATER may be viewed beginning Tuesday, June 1, at 11 a.m. on the gallery’s website, and opens in the gallery on Thursday, June 3, at 11 a.m. It runs through Thursday, June 24.
Potter Shawn Ireland is among the AFA artists participating in the exhibition. The Pennsylvania native has been a work exchange CORE student and a resident artist at Penland School of Craft, where he studied wood-fired pottery and painting from 1990–1995. He works from a foundation of folk tradition, creating pots with food, candles and flowers in mind.
“I enjoy the challenge of transforming fish and birds into functional elements like knobs or handles on my Animal Ware pots,” Ireland says. “Travel experience has a huge influence on my work,” he adds. “The crocodile votive candleholders in this show are new for me, inspired by a 2019 trip to South Africa to visit my wife’s family.”
Paintings and woodblock prints in keeping with the theme will also be exhibited. More than 40 artists are represented at AFA.
“This show honors the important contribution of all creative artists,” says Weiss, “including those who followed a very non-traditional path to becoming recognized as brilliant artists.”
American Folk Art & Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. For more information, visit AmeriFolk.com or call 828.281.2134.