Following a two-year construction period, Momentum Gallery has opened its new 15,000-square-foot space in a 100-year-old building in downtown Asheville’s Broadway Arts District. The gallery will represent nearly 70 world-class artists across many disciplines, including world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.
“Relocating to 52 Broadway gives us a chance to honor things that are important to us,” says Momentum Gallery owner and director Jordan Ahlers. “We’re a historic building that is also state-of-the-art—accessible, green and smart.”
The first two floors comprise the gallery and the third floor houses six urban lofts. Both the gallery and the building itself pay tribute to the space they occupy, with exposed brick walls, wood beams on the third floor and ghost signs (hand-painted signs from the first half of the 20th century) on exterior walls. The gallery has implemented a variety of safety features including touchless front entry, faucets and hand dryers, as well as a new HVAC system with integrated UV light. The two-story gallery is ADA-compliant and fully accessible.
“We planned our space to feel comfortable for everyone and to make our day-to-day operations run as smoothly as possible,” says Ahlers. “The gallery is designed for flexibility, with numerous spaces that can be cordoned off for all manner of exhibitions and events.”
The Broadway location opens with new works from a number of popular gallery artists including Mariella Bisson, Amber Cowan, Wendy Maruyama, Casey Roberts, Andy Farkas, Joanna Manousis, Alli Hoag, David Ellsworth, Thor and Jennifer Bueno, Ron Layport, Gil Bruvel and Michael Barringer. Solo exhibits are also on display by five artist partners: Lisa Clague (ceramics), Crystal Gregory (textiles), Ron Isaacs (trompe l’oeil wood), Samantha Keely Smith (oil paintings) and Samantha Bates (painting and textiles).
“The work in my solo exhibition deeply investigates the natural habitats that made me who I am,” says Bates. “I hope viewers can recognize something of their own, a place special to them, real or found.”
A showcase of studio glass artists is featured as well, including WNC’s John Littleton and Kate Vogel along with Chihuly. Momentum is one of only a handful of galleries in the country to offer Chihuly’s work for sale.
Above the building’s facade, Ripple, a new 90-square-foot piece made by local sculptor Hoss Haley from perforated stainless steel explores ideas of movement, fluidity and transparency. The building’s exterior south side will soon feature a new cyanotype painting by Casey Roberts and another side will feature nearly 1,200 square feet of murals by Bates.
“I see my upcoming murals as a way to bring the devotion, passion and care of my practice in Washington state to the land of North Carolina,” says Bates. “I’m excited to bring something to Asheville that pays tribute to the natural world I find so extraordinary.”
The gallery is open to walk-ins, with limited capacity. For those who prefer to visit virtually, a detailed virtual tour, dedicated viewing rooms and artist interviews are available at MomentumGallery.com. A limited number of off-hours private tours are available to those who do not feel comfortable visiting during public gallery hours. To make an appointment call 828.505.8550. Learn more at MomentumGallery.com.