As of press-time, Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA) has not identified a reopening date, but the gallery has decided on a theme for the reopening show. Time to Create will fill the walls of AGA with works from several members whose once-familiar styles have been transformed, changed or impacted by COVID-19.
Cathyann Burgess, a landscape painter who works in oils and pastels, was supposed to have her work exhibited at AGA in June, but the show has been cancelled due to COVID-19. She says the pandemic has caused her to experience “pent-up rage at our country’s mishandling of the entire situation,” which she expresses through abstract art, rather than her more familiar representational style. “I use non-objective mark making as a kind of therapy or even warm-up exercise before I address my normal, representational style of working,” she says. “My inclination in producing my imagery is not to highlight the suffering, but to record the beauty of the earth and its ability to survive us.”
Before the pandemic, Sally Lordeon worked primarily in acrylics on gallery canvas, with her works mostly depicting contemporary representations of landscapes or objects. Three galleries where she exhibits closed in mid-March and she also had a planned exhibit at the Asheville Airport that was cancelled. “I found myself alone in my home studio contemplating how massively serious and huge the pandemic is,” says Lordeon. “This deep introspection started showing up on my canvases and, instead of reproducing something I saw with my own style, I found that a more nonrepresentational style that depicts emotions was emerging. In a practical sense, I’m still using the same mediums, but have been doing mixed media artworks, using materials I have on hand because of the stay-at-home order and a diminishing supply.”
Other artists, like Sandra Brugh Moore, have become increasingly prolific with their existing artistic style. Moore challenged herself to do a painting every day for the month of April. “I have time to plan and dive deeply into studying my chosen path, which is painting the landscape that is dear to me and exploring and appreciating the inspiration in my own backyard,” she says.
While we have been denied the privilege of viewing art in person for far too long, we can undoubtedly look forward to an abundance of it when gallery doors reopen.
For more information, visit AshevilleGallery-of-Art.com, where you can find contact information for each of AGA’s 31 artists, as well as information about the gallery’s plans for reopening.