For the month of April, the FW Gallery at Woolworth Walk will highlight the work of Liz Wiesel, The Laurel’s September 2020 cover artist. Wiesel’s portraits of animals—each with a detailed description of their personality and a distinctive outfit—kept her company during the pandemic. “My studio is very tiny so I have been storing my finished paintings in my dining room,” she says. “We have been eating in a rotating gallery of pieces that I think might fit for this Woolworth show, with many opinions and critiques from my three kids along the way. Five months ago, my mother brought up the fact that all my portraits were looking in the same direction without me noticing. The family feedback has been unavoidable, but admittedly helpful.”
Wiesel paints out of a shed studio on her property in Hendersonville, where she lives with her husband, three children and many pets. She also teaches art at Fernleaf Community Charter school. Wiesel says the opportunity to exhibit in the FW Gallery allowed her to create some larger-scale pieces. “I was able to spend longer on each painting, really get lost in the details and spend some time with these characters while they sat on my easel for weeks and weeks,” she says. “I’ve really grown as a painter during the process of building up work for this show, and really enjoyed how the work has developed.”
She hopes her exhibition will inspire a giggle or two and some light-heartedness. “I love it when I can share a chuckle with someone through my paintings—that connection is why I paint,” she says. “I love to squeeze in some ridiculousness with traditional technique.”
Woolworth Walk is located at 25 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit WoolworthWalk.com.