Show Asheville artists some love on February 10 during Second Saturday in the River Arts District (RAD). Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, Second Saturday is the perfect time to consider what distinctive and thoughtful gifts art can be for someone special in your life. Artists have many special events planned on Second Saturday and throughout February.
At CURVE Studios, artists Maria Andrade Troya, Stephanie Ellis and Alice Scott will hold demonstrations in jewelry making and pottery, with vase-throwing demos all day. Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Riverview Station’s GIVE LOVE—Art from the HeART, encompassing multiple studios in the building, returns from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Festivities include music, refreshments, artist meet-and-greets and the chance to enter to win a gift basket full of Riverview Station art valued at more than $500.
Artist Heidi Hoffer, of NorthLight Studios, will hold a Valentine’s Quick-Sketch Portrait Special from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Second Saturday. “I draw portraits by sketching people whilst engaging in a loose interview,” Hoffer says, “and create their particular character using charcoal as the expressive medium. “I always have three or four portraits in process so clients are treated to on-the-spot demonstrations of portraiture throughout the year.”
For the Second Saturday portraits, she requires bookings in advance, with Sunday, February 11, time slots also available. Call or text 405.564.4946 to arrange a time.
Odyssey Gallery of Ceramic Arts will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Second Saturday with artist demos in both hand-building and wheel-working techniques and giftable work from all of the co-op members. “This is an exciting time to see new innovations from our members,” says artist Rhona Polonsky. “It is a time to share our new ideas and pieces for all to admire.”
Additional Second Saturday special events include The Black and White Show at Dee Santorini’s studio at 362 Depot Studios from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and running through February; Marbling—A Brief History, a discussion by Pam Granger Gale, from 2–3 p.m. at Majik Studios, LLC, at Pink Dog Creative; and a reception at Trackside Studios from 2–4 p.m. for The Unmasking, a group show that will be on display through March 9.
With this Leap Year comes energy for change. In the Wedge, Michael J. Hofman hosts the Once A Year Hofman Studios Sale on Saturday, February 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pieces for sale include those that are experimental designs, or have test glazes or slight flaws, and most are two-thirds off the original price.
On Thursday, February 29, artists at Trackside Studios hold a grand reopening from 4–7 p.m. New spaces on the main and mezzanine levels feature nine working studios, numerous display areas and a dedicated classroom. Artist Virginia Pendergrass has been a member of Trackside since its early days. “The building had add-ons, termites, roof leaks and other assorted issues expected of a neglected historic building,” she says. “To my mind, Trackside was a wonderful atmosphere for ‘starving artists.’ So there was some concern last year about a renovation by new owners Deborah, Sam and David Hellman. Surprise! The new Trackside will be an artist’s dream. The renovation will preserve some of the historic feel, but with great lighting, airy layout, a classroom, a bistro, dramatic hanging walls for paintings and space for sculptures and crafts.”
Another change happening in the RAD is the transformation of the building formerly used by Magnetic Theatre, which vacated the space at the end of 2023. The building will become a 2,000-square-foot art gallery showcasing the works of Jaime Byrd. Jaime Byrd Contemporary Art Gallery will open its doors on Thursday, February 1, and hold a “distinctive leap-year celebration and soft opening” on Thursday, February 29, from 4–7 p.m.
The project is a collaboration between Byrd and her husband Adam Cohen, who will be the gallery manager. “Art has a way of transcending boundaries and connecting people, and hopefully by transforming the larger space of the Magnetic Theatre into an art gallery, we’ll be creating a space where Jaime can have more room to create and explore new artistic ideas,” Cohen says. A formal grand opening is scheduled for the spring.
For a 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.