ZanZan Gallery, a pop up gallery concept by Zander Stefani, is partnering with local boutique blu29 to present Back 2 Basics, a contemporary art and fashion exhibition. The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, September 10, from 5–8 p.m. at blu29 and runs through Sunday, September 26.
There will be a wide range of media on display including painting, ceramics, jewelry and prints. Zander says he curated the show with the mission of highlighting underrepresented artists. “I define an underrepresented artist as an artist who would like to make art their full-time job and has been working exceptionally hard but has yet to reach that place in their career,” he says.
“I also think some artists who are very talented can easily get pigeonholed by the art world or even in their own approach to their work, so I like to present them with opportunities to step outside of their box.”
The theme of the show was intentionally broad to invite a variety of interpretations. “To me, the concept of Back 2 Basics emphasizes the beginning of the art-making process,” says Andrew Mastriani. “ZanZan Gallery has left a lot of room for artists to create works with this idea in mind.” Mastriani will be contributing two large charcoal works to the exhibition.
“I implored artists to look back at their work and figure out what it was that made them want to paint, sculpt, create in the first place,” says Zander. “Emily Borner, a potter out of Portland, is creating large vessels with illustrated etchings on the outside of them—a very simple process for her that exemplifies the basics theme.” Another participating artist, Lisa Blackshear, chose to create work using only the three primary colors.
The fashion element of Back 2 Basics will be styled and curated by Heather Stefani, Zander’s mother and the owner of blu29. The exhibition will also feature collaborations between Zander and some brands carried by blu29. “Heather and I saw a great opportunity to collaborate on this exhibition,” says Zander, “and I think this effort to interweave high-end fashion and art is something fun, exciting and refreshing for Asheville and the art world in general.”
blu29 is located at 146 Church Street in Asheville. The first 20 people to arrive at the opening reception will receive a free signed and editioned poster. For more information, follow the gallery’s Instagram page @zanzangallery.