Just in time for the holidays, American Folk Art & Framing (AFA) presents A Few of Our Favorite Things, an exhibition of new artwork perfect for gift giving and trimming Christmas trees. “To say the least, we’ll be celebrating the spirit of the season in our traditionally unconventional way,” says gallery owner Julia Mills. Fifteen of the gallery’s artists will debut new work for the exhibition, including Kentucky carvers Lonnie and Twyla Money, woodblock printmaker Kent Ambler and painter Liz Sullivan, whose work will help decorate this year’s US Capitol Christmas tree. A reception will be held from 5–7 p.m. during Asheville’s First Friday Art Walk on December 2 and the exhibition will run through Friday, December 30.
Among the items available are wood reliefs, carved songbirds, paintings, sculptural assemblages and pottery, including ornament-sized face jugs. “And as a new addition this year, our very own NC potter Ben J. North has created a selection of wood-fired ornaments patterned with intricately carved lines and decorations—a gorgeous addition to any tree and lovely enough to remain in your home all year-round,” says Mills.
North’s “tree baubles,” as he prefers to call them are inspired by nature. “They reflect everything: flower buds, seed pods, tree bark, wood grain, blooming flowers and even snakes,” he says. “For me, the cold season represents rest and reflection—no clay digging, no gardens to weed. The quiet cold of winter gives the opportunity to slow down and contemplate the beauty of the small and simple things.”
This year, the US Capitol Christmas tree is being harvested from Pisgah National Forest. The Forest Service has invited local artists, schools and crafters to donate ornaments to decorate the tree. Sullivan donated 20 hand-painted wooden ornaments that feature the Cardinal and the dogwood, NC’s state bird and flower.
The holiday show at AFA, where Sullivan has displayed her work for many years, is one of her favorites during the year. She will display traditional wooden holiday miniatures done in her signature folk art style. “Some of my miniatures will feature traditional Christmas themes while others will feature woodland critters such as birds and bears,” Sullivan says. “They are the perfect stocking stuffer for the art lover.”
American Folk Art & Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit AmeriFolk.com or call 828.281.2134.