In July, Asheville Gallery of Art will highlight several of its members in a show titled Infinite Possibilities. The 31 members of the gallery cooperative had abundant time in their home studios during the pandemic and this creative space sparked a number of insights. “Prior to this pandemic, my comfort zone was painting people, pets and places in watercolor,” says Jane Snyder. “My work was always personally challenging yet predictable. With the onset of COVID-19 and the recommendation to stay home, I now have even more time to spend in the studio. This has fostered a willingness to live on that intriguing edge of creative uncertainty.” Snyder has explored new artistic worlds like mixed media and paper collage, which she combines with her advanced watercolor and acrylic painting skills. “My contribution to this show will be a recently completed mixed media piece of an African woman titled Red Dhuku,” she says. “Her face is painted in watercolor and her bright red headdress is made of collaged marbled paper—examples of the kind of work the pandemic has given me time to explore.”
Watercolor painter Robin Wethe Altman is known for her whimsical, colorful style, but more recently she’s been drawn to a more quiet, traditional aesthetic. “I’m very interested in artwork that depicts deeply calm and peaceful scenes where time is slowed down and the appreciation of simplicity is emphasized,” she says. Altman also says she is bringing more of herself to the easel these days. “More and more I find myself wanting to paint more personal artwork, whether or not it gets sold,” she says. “The pandemic has helped me to go deeper into what actually matters to me the most.”
Oil painter Judy Rentner echoes the sentiments of her fellow member artists. “I find that living without a schedule during this isolation period has been a time of reflection and rest,” she says. “Instead of focusing on fear and anxiety, I wanted my paintings to reflect hope and gratitude for the beauty all around us. Many good things are happening and will continue to happen despite the circumstances.”
Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. To see hours and get more information, call 828.251.5796, visit AshevilleGallery-of-Art.com or follow the gallery’s Facebook page.