In conjunction with the National Arts and Crafts Conference taking place from Friday, February 15, through Sunday, February 17, at The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville’s Grovewood Gallery will host craft demonstrations by local chair caning teacher Brandy Clements and painter Bryan Koontz. Both Clements and Koontz will demonstrate their craft from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with Clements providing additional demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Clements is a fourth-generation chair caner and co-owner of Silver River Center for Chair Caning, the nation’s only chair caning school and museum. She and her partner, Dave Klingler, have taught more than 250 lessons out of their school in the River Arts District. “I am obsessed with the history of the craft,” she says. “It dates back thousands of years to ancient Egypt and China and is still quite similar to today’s woven chairs. Chair weaving is a meditative craft that combines history, geometry, botany, physics and engineering, and the result is a functional piece of art that lasts generations.” Clements will be demonstrating a variety of seat weaving techniques, including hand-woven chair caning (laced caning), Shaker tape weaving and Danish cord weaving. Visitors will be encouraged to participate in the hands-on demonstration. “It is important for people to realize the work that goes into something like a chair that we generally take for granted,” Clements says. “When I’m weaving a chair, my hands are executing the same motions that someone was doing by the Nile when King Tut walked the earth.”
An Asheville native, Koontz paints in a realistic style similar to that of the mid-to-late 19th century American landscape painters. He was chosen to create the artwork for Biltmore’s 2018 Christmas wine labels and has spent more than 30 years working in the graphic design industry. “Oil painting ranks as my favorite medium,” he says. “For me, it is the most difficult to work with and master. However, the richness of color, subtlety of detail and luminance that can be achieved through layering of oils and varying varnishes gives me the greatest satisfaction over other media.” Koontz will be demonstrating traditional oil painting techniques to create a landscape, either using photos to aid his memory or painting en plein air. His finished works will be on display and available for sale. “We are blessed to be in one of the world’s most beautiful places,” Koontz says. “I am endeavoring to capture, in paint, a little of that beauty that we have been privileged to enjoy.”
Grovewood Village is located at 111 Grovewood Road, adjacent to and below the Omni Grove Park Inn, in Asheville. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking is available onsite. To learn more, visit Grovewood.com or call 828.253.7651.