Arts Galleries

From Artistic Deception to Honest Homage: Five New Exhibitions at Blue Spiral 1

The Bod. Peter Olson, artist

On Friday, July 5, from 5–7 p.m., Blue Spiral 1 will host an opening reception for five new exhibits. The exhibits will be on view at the gallery through August 28.

In the Small Format Gallery, a solo exhibition of work by Andrew Hayes features his unexpected sculptures that combine the contrasting materials of book pages and steel. A large centerpiece of the exhibition is made with the complete edition of the last printed Encyclopedia Britannica, gifted to the artist by late Blue Spiral founder John Cram. “I’ve sat on this collection for years not knowing how or when to best address them, but I think I have the idea now,” says Hayes, who first landed on his sculptural style during a Radical Bookworks class with Doug Beube at Penland School of Craft. “This exploration of the relationship between paper and steel has kept me motivated to make sculpture exploring the balance in both form and materials.”

Everyone thought Frank was a company man. Sharon Harms, artist

Two group shows will be on display as well. In the Main Level Gallery, The Nod: Pastiche Art celebrates historical artists and movements and the practice of contemporary homage. “All of the paintings I made for this show were created with the specific intention of emulating or imitating the styles or subject matter of artists that have inspired and shaped my own work,” says Jon Sours. “While these influences often find their way into my work unconsciously, it was an interesting exercise to really embrace the parameters and methods set by other painters and attempt to synthesize what it was that inspired me in the first place.”

In the Lower Level Gallery, Hyperrealism explores artistic deception through the optically tricky work of 10 skillful artists. Ishmael Leaver, for example, transforms PVC panels to look like steel. “I paint, then age, the surfaces to look old and rusted and heavy all while being new and lightweight,” says Leaver.

Vista and Vessel in the Showcase Gallery exhibits the baskets of Carole Hetzel alongside oil paintings by Luke Allsbrook. For this exhibition, Hetzel is exhibiting a continuation of a specific style she calls the Brendan Basket, named after her son. “Brendan motivated me to go outside my comfort zone of weaving by encouraging me to combine stainless steel with the natural fiber,” says Hetzel. “The Brendan Basket was conceived by weaving one continuous strand of steel cable with natural reed.”

Sunset on Silvers Cove. Luke Allsbrook, artist

Allsbrook’s paintings in the exhibit are scenes rendered in contemporary realism, from the farmland of Haywood County to the city of Venice at night. “Most often, a painting happens when I come across a view of something that overwhelms me with its beauty,” says Allsbrook. “I think as artists, me and Carole share a love of precision in craft, and a love of clarity and design.”

In the Upper Level Gallery, The Will Henry Stevens Estate: Past, Present, and Future explores the expansive collection of Stevens, one of the most prolific Modernist painters of the American south, alongside sculptures by Matt Byrd. “Will Henry Stevens is a very important American painter and is very connected to many places including the Appalachian Mountains,” says Byrd, a stone carver with a background in traditional stonemasonry. “I have been focusing a lot more on texture and elements that feel more authentic to me and whatever my surroundings may be. I hope they fit well with the motifs and styles of Will Henry Stevens.”

Blue Spiral 1 is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Sunday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit or call 828.251.0202.

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