Summer winding down doesn’t mean the good times end in Asheville’s River Arts District (RAD). With so many artists, studios, galleries and businesses, there’s always something exciting going on. On August 13, it’s Second Saturday, with events planned district-wide and throughout the day.
Among the new artists participating is Amanda McLenon, who recently moved from Charleston, SC, and has taken studio space at NorthLight Studios. A self-taught painter, McLenon has a background in marine biology. Her work features impressionistic but accurate portrayals of wildlife. She, along with NorthLight resident artists Angela Alexander, Nadine Charlsen and Nan Davis, will be demonstrating from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. McLenon’s new series Shine Your Light features the glow of real metal leaf. She will show Second Saturday visitors how she uses gold and silver leaf in her oil paintings.
Artist Cindy Walton, who works at Pink Dog Creative, enjoys how Second Saturdays encourage artists to plan something different in their workdays. “Many times I plan special events with artists who don’t have the opportunity to exhibit in the arts district,” Walton says. From August 1–13, Walton will host Regeneration II, showcasing the work of her summer intern Amanda Clark, who uses abstraction and the human figure to explore emotional and physical connections, often tackling such topics as reproduction, including the effects that miscarriage, abortion and mental illness have on future generations. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity to introduce an emerging artist such as Amanda,” says Walton. The closing reception for Regeneration II will be held on August 13 from 5–7 p.m.
Also at Pink Dog Creative, Andrea Kulish will present pysanky egg demonstrations from 12–6 p.m., and hold a fundraiser featuring handmade items from Ukraine and Asheville. One hundred percent of funds raised will go to the Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine sponsored by the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, of which Kulish is a member. The Fund focuses on providing lifesaving medical equipment.
At Trackside Studios, Dee Santorini presents her new show, Elephants Stampeding Trackside!, which opens Saturday, August 6. The artist will be in her studio from 12–4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in August to paint and to share her passion for wildlife. “The show means a lot to me because elephants speak to my heart,” Santorini says. “They have such a strong sense of community, such a strong sense of family.” Santorini donates a portion of sales to organizations that help elephants.
Additional scheduled events on Second Saturday include Travel Sketchbooks, an exhibit and demo at Riverview Station, featuring work by Claire Simpson Jones and Donny Luke Watercolor Studio from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; an artists’ reception from 4–7 p.m. for Nocturnes, a group show at Asheville Print Studio; a fiber art demonstration by Paige Houghton from 1–5 p.m. at Trackside Studios; a showcase of fashion design by guest artist Rachel Friel at Wedge Studios from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and demos by Stephen Lange at Phil Mechanics Studio from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For a complete schedule of events and times, a map and a studio guide to the district’s artists, visit RiverArtsDistrict.com. Studios have varying hours. Information may also be found at websites for studios and individual artists.