New Exhibits at Blue Spiral 1 in January

Kitty. Mary Engle, artist

Kitty. Mary Engle, artist

Blue Spiral 1 (BS1) presents four new shows beginning Friday, January 10, and running through February 28. Into the Blue: Artists Invitational 2020 is an annual exhibit by a select group of nine artists who have never before been featured at the gallery. Works include paintings, ceramics, textiles, mixed media, photography and wood.

“These career artists represent individuals with strong exhibition histories and unique, exceptional talent in their areas of concentration,” says BS1 assistant director and curator Candace Reilly.

Invitational All Stars features 18 represented artists, all of whom have been with BS1 for at least ten years. This reunion exhibit includes artists who were invited to join the gallery after participating in an annual Into the Blue: Artist Invitational. The show spans the last decade and includes artists and makers using a variety of mediums.

The work of Peter Olson will be on display for the solo exhibition Into the Blue: Spotlight Artist, in the BS1 Small Format Gallery. His pieces combine photography and ceramics in hybrid vessels, transferring ink decals onto hand-built and wheel-turned pots. The resulting works resemble objects from another time, such as a Stupa reliquary, Romanesque urn or 17th-century Dutch tobacco box.

“Olson was chosen as a spotlight artist because of his distinctive and refined approach to ceramics,” says Reilly.

Toys, an exhibit featuring toy-related works by painters, ceramic artists and sculptors, invites viewers to enter the realm of play and escape the serious tone of many pieces found in galleries and museums. Participating artists elevate what may seem trivial and childish to the realm of fine art with hyper-realist paintings and assembled sculptures. Chris Cosnowski, Michael Fitts, Samuel Hung and John Padlo replace classical still-life subjects with trinkets and toys while Mary Engel encrusts her animal sculptures with small figurines, dice, coins and charms.

“I hope the paintings I create spark within viewers warm and comforting memories of childhood moments spent with toys,” says Fitts. “That applies not just to my paintings but to all of the pieces by all of the artists in this show.”

Blue Spiral 1 Gallery is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit or call 828.251.0202.

Leave a Comment