Arts Galleries

Chasing Joy Opens at American Folk Art & Framing

Season Of Harvest. Danette Sperry, artist

This month, artists at American Folk Art & Framing present new work that explores some of life’s joyful moments. “Chasing Joy,” says gallery owner Julia Mills, “is a celebration of all those precious things that make our hearts beat faster: the exhilaration of birds in flight; the wild abandon of romping children; deep, soul-nourishing communion with nature or the quiet glee that comes from being close to someone who shares part of your soul.”

The exhibition goes live on the website on Wednesday, June 5, at 11 a.m., with telephone sales beginning promptly at 12 p.m. The gallery opening happens Friday, June 7, at 11 a.m., with a reception from 5–8 p.m. Works will be on exhibit through
June 26.

Noble Grace. Jackson Hammack, artist

“All of my work in the group exhibition is focused on wildlife,” says artist Jackson Hammack, “many of which visit me at my studio while I’m working—hummingbirds, rabbits, woodpeckers, bluebirds. Songbirds of many species sing throughout the day, followed in the evening by night birds, owls and the distant calls of the coyotes. All are inspiring to me and ‘food for my soul.’”

Hammack has been represented by AFA for about a year, but he has painted since childhood. From abstracted faces to landscapes, he now finds himself drawn to native fauna as subject matter. “Since moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, the natural world with all of the gifts she possesses has enveloped me and calmed my psyche,” he says.

Danette Sperry’s artistic background includes creating sculpture and furniture from salvaged wood and found objects. Her paintings, also, present a sculptural quality. She uses a combination of palette knives, brushes and fine pottery tools to create textures for the trees, leaves and flowers in her paintings, as well as for the backgrounds. The frames are also textured and painted. “My pieces are very time-consuming,” she says, “and full of details. Each one has its own character, textures and images, and talks to me in some way.”

Additional artists whose work will be part of Chasing Joy are Jack Klippel, Ellen Langford, Peter Loose, Lonnie and Twyla Money and Trés Taylor.

“A central theme at AFA is joyful artwork,” says Mills. “Often that’s one of the first things visitors to the gallery comment on: how bright and spirited our space feels. The artists we represent create with joy in their hearts, and folks can sense that energy as soon as they walk through the door.”

American Folk Art & Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 828.281.2134.

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