Though COVID-19 has forced Asheville Gallery of Art to close its doors, member artists are finding solace in their art—experimenting with new techniques and even offering virtual classes—as they self-quarantine and social distance. Under normal circumstances, Asheville Gallery of Art would be hosting a feature show highlighting member artist Jane Molinelli this May. As a 31-member artist co-op, the gallery can only offer members a show every two years as featured Artist of the Month. “We all look forward to the opportunity to present our work in this way,” says Molinelli. But she also feels that this time of isolation has been a special boost for her art work. “My studio is my laboratory and I relish the time to devote all my attention to my work.”
Molinelli, who has been with AGA for six years, defines her work as “abstract and expressive. With each work, it’s as if I’m an adventurer setting off to explore unknown areas of human experience.” This concept of exploring new frontiers of human life is likely to resonate with most people currently living through this pandemic. “Artists are visual journalists of their time,” Molinelli says. “All of humanity faces an enormous challenge right now. We are in this together.”
Molinelli has been an Asheville resident since 1976 and has no doubts about the community’s ability to rise to this occasion. “I know we are a resilient community and will emerge changed but strong,” she says. “In times of distress, artists and their supporters need to understand that the creative spirit is a powerful river that sometimes needs to go underground. But it doesn’t stop flowing. For those of you who are disappointed, I would say just think of the nourishing flood of work you will enjoy when we emerge.”
For more information about Molinelli and the other 30 member artists at Asheville Gallery of Art, as well as the gallery’s plans for reopening, visit AshevilleGallery-of-Art.com.