Arts Craft Arts

Inspiring Motives Features the Varied Media of Five Guild Members at the Folk Art Center

Cheryl Mackey Smith, artist

Through August 21, the Southern Highland Craft Guild presents Inspiring Motives in the Folk Art Center’s Focus Gallery. This exhibition features the work of five Guild members: Mike Lalone, Asia Mathis and Cheryl Mackey Smith in clay, Joanna White in fiber, and Richard Flottemesch in wood.

Asia Mathis, artist

Joanna White will be displaying her Sedona Collection of Art to Wear in the Inspiring Motives exhibition. As the name suggests, “Sedona, Arizona, with its red rocks, desert landscapes so varied and unique and the beautiful sunsets” was her inspiring motive for this body of wearable work, she says. “Silk is the perfect medium to project light and luminosity—the dyes flow and move on silk like beautiful clouds in the sky or light on water. This beauty and light is what motivates me to paint on silk versus canvas because the dyes flow with ease, one stroke at a time to project the light inherent in all of nature.”

Mathis, who holds a BFA in ceramics from Middle Tennessee State University, calls her inspiring motivation “primal memory,” and says that her work “is deeply rooted in what it means to be a human.” The artist says she doesn’t spend much time analyzing why she chose clay as her medium. “That is what my hands desperately want to do,” she says. “There is a magic there I do not wish to interrupt with too much intellect. I feel compelled to create the images that drop into my head; usually after time spent in nature I will do a frantic amount of sketching and see what emerges.”

SHCG is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1930 to cultivate the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation. The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of the Highway 70 entrance in East Asheville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Learn more at

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