Arts Galleries

Exhibit of Vibrant, Flowing Paintings and Ceramics Featured at Woolworth Walk

By Hannah Van Vlack

Through July 31, Woolworth Walk celebrates form and flow by featuring the works of ceramicist Brenna McBroom and visual artist Amy Massey in the FW Gallery. The opening reception for this exhibition will be Friday, July 5, from 4–6 p.m., where attendees can meet the artists.

Aqua Crystalline Lamp. Brenna McBroom, artist. Photo by Steve Mann

McBroom creates wheel-thrown pottery that has been high-fired in an electric kiln and crystalline-glazed with a unique technique of skillful precision. “I enjoy combining forms that celebrate crisp, clean lines with this very organic-looking glaze,” says McBroom. “The glaze itself is created via a chemistry trick: zinc and silica combine in high heat to grow two-dimensional crystals on the surface of the glaze. Slight temperature fluctuations in the firing cycle allow me to create ‘halos’ in the crystals that can be read like the rings of a tree. In order to allow this to happen, the glaze is formulated in such a way that it’s very runny and flows down into a pedestal.”

Massey will feature paintings from her most recent body of work, Portals and Passages, a series of delicate, ethereal vignettes created with watercolor and gouache. “My most recent works are intended to be meditations on the intangible aspects of being: a flowing exploration of the complexities of growth, grief, motherhood, spirituality,” says Massey. The artist, who holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design, shows an evolution of her creative vision with this collection. “I used to be very drawn to symmetry in my work, but my more recent works are about striking the perfect balance of asymmetry, which I think brings with it an enticing visual tension.”

Of Canyons and Cathedrals. Amy Massey, artist

Both artists are enthusiastic to be paired with one another and find similarities between their artistic interests despite their different mediums. “I was so excited to be paired with Amy Massey for this exhibition,” says McBroom. “In our work I notice a throughline of precision and restraint, but within that paradigm I also see a juiciness created by our choices around color and line.”

The complementary contrast of painting and pottery is also not lost on the artists. “I think Brenna’s pottery is similar in its alluring balance of symmetry and organic, flowing nature,” says Massey. “I think paintings and pottery are a phenomenal pairing—the tangible and intangible, representing, but the felt, functional, physical aspects of life as much as the more contemplative, cerebral, ethereal musings.”

Woolworth Walk is located at 25 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828.254.9234 or visit Hannah Van Vlack is a senior at Western Carolina University studying Writing and Editing in Professional Environments and Music.

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