Arts Galleries

Exploring Sara Bell’s Conversations with Trees at Asheville Gallery of Art in May

(Left) Walking With; (Right) Sharing the Story. Sara Bell, artist

In May, Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA) presents Conversations with Trees, an exhibit featuring Sara Bell, running through Friday, May 31.
The works in this exhibit are inspired by Bell’s time in nature and her group study of Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, a book by professor and social worker Brené Brown. “The group I’m involved with recently transitioned from exploring and defining the multitude of emotional states humans experience into a discussion of how to use those definitions to help create meaningful connections with others,” says Bell. “I was inspired to sketch the beginning of this body of work during our discussions.”

Picking Love. Sara Bell, artist

Trees have been central subject matter in her art for years, and she’s learned to appreciate their surprising—and even human—nature. “We tend to think of them growing straight and tall and then coming down at the end,” she says. “But when you go out in the woods and spend time with the trees, you start to notice that their lives aren’t that simple. Some trees fall over, but keep growing. Others become hollow and send down new roots through the emptiness inside. Others are splayed open and keep going. Their persistence and strength echoes my own life journey over the last few years.”

Bell works in watercolor, pen and ink, a combination of media that she discovered when she started drawing plein air during the pandemic and needed a portable and inexpensive way to create. “My favorite type of printmaking is intaglio where the artist incises lines on a plate,” she says. “Then ink is pushed into those lines and the image is transferred to paper using a press.”

On Friday, May 3, from 5–7:30 p.m., there will be an opening reception for Conversations with Trees, and Bell will present an intaglio printmaking demonstration on Saturday, May 18, from 1–3 p.m. Both events take place at AGA.

Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. To learn more, call 828.251.5796, visit or follow the gallery’s Facebook page.

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