By Natasha Anderson
By recently facilitating the purchase of April Flanders’ print installation, Advance, Blue Spiral 1 (BS1) has taken a big step toward achieving its goal of increasing the number of public art objects available to the Asheville community. The piece was bought by an anonymous donor to be given to the Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS), formerly the Colburn Earth Science Museum. AMOS will also showcase works by several other local artists in its new and expanded location.
“The museum is thrilled to showcase April Flanders’ Advance on our exhibit floor,” says AMOS executive director Anna Priest. “Art can be a tool to help people comprehend complicated scientific information and spark curiosity. Advance is a wonderful example of this. Paired with the museum’s exhibits, it will make visitors think about invasive species, biodiversity and the natural world, both broadly and regionally.”
Flanders created the piece, which was part of a recent BS1 exhibit, by collecting invasive plants in her community and cataloging animal species that are invasive to North America. Using the plants as a print element, she produced brightly colored sheets of printmaking paper that she then used for cut-out images of the animals. According to Flanders, the piece took nearly two years and 400 X-ACTO blades to complete.
“Advance addresses the breadth of the invasive species problem in North America and Hawaii, but it also offers a sense of wonderment and joy, with so many creatures represented from around the world,” says Flanders. “I want people to understand the complexity of the invasive species issue and how we are all a part of the system that creates it, so that we can work together on solutions.”
Flanders is a mixed media artist living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. A keen naturalist, her work has been featured in solo and group shows at museums and galleries, nationally and internationally, including the Center for the Book Arts in New York, and the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Nova Scotia, Canada. Recent honors include an online exhibition as a finalist in the 87th Annual Competition at the Print Center in Philadelphia, PA, and a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Amherst, VA. Her work is in several public collections, including the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tucson Museum of Art and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. She has taught printmaking for 17 years at various universities nationally and internationally.
Flanders was one of 15 printmakers featured in BS1’s print invitational Ink + Imagery. By using its expansive exhibition space and almost three decades of collector relationships, BS1 aims to present many more installation works that will have a strong public impact.
Blue Spiral 1 is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit bluespiral1.com or call 828.251.0202.