By Natasha Anderson
Blue Spiral 1 presents four new exhibits opening Friday, May 7, and running through Friday, June 25. In the Showcase Gallery, Isolating Mass: Zack Noble and Frank Hursh features the work of Noble, a forged metal sculptor, and Hursh, a former Black Mountain College painter. The exhibit explores the emotive, nuanced interplay between line and shape.
Hursh’s collection of black-and-white abstractions shows off his keen sense of the modern aesthetic. The lines and imagery in his drawings and paintings have strong vertical orientation and often cascade forward like waterfalls. Noble’s work, like Hursh’s, emits a feeling of energy. Some pieces convey a sense of whimsy while others are bold statements. His inspiration includes everything from architectural shapes to bird’s-eye views of highway systems.
“The subtle nuances, whether hard, short lines or flowing curves of Frank’s work directly relate to my work,” says Noble. “I feel really fortunate to exhibit alongside an artist whose history and life is intertwined with so many other artists, and who started his career in this region.”
Bearing Witness: Deborah Squier, on display in the Small Format Gallery, showcases Squier’s latest landscapes, painted as a way to bring awareness and empathy for nature. Each work, according to Squier, is an expression of her direct encounter.
“I see the landscape not as separate from me, but rather as a part of my being, as sacred, and as the very essence of life force,” says Squier, “The pulse of gratitude exists in every mark I make, for without nature’s support, we would cease to exist. ”
In the Old Showcase Gallery, Finding Nature includes the work of clay artists Deighton Abrams, Alice Ballard, Nina Kawar, Elaine Quave, Sandy Singletary, Michael Vatalaro, Megan Wolfe and Valerie Zimany. Their pieces visually describe the way that meaningful interactions with nature can make one feel whole. The exhibition was organized by Elaine Quave.
Judith Duff: International Wood Fire Artist, Peer and Mentor, on display in the Conference Gallery, is a special tribute exhibition honoring the impact of Judith Duff’s career of more than 25 years in wood-fired pottery, and the influence she has had on the field, her peers and her mentees. Participating artists in addition to Duff include Jamey Biggs, Josh Copus, John Dix, Stephen Driver, Nancy Green, Dian Magie, Shozo Michikawa, Ron Myers, Jason Serres, Joy Tanner and Akira Satake.
“Seeing Judith’s work made me want to have my own wood-fired kiln, and I couldn’t have built one without her knowledge and guidance,” says Satake. “She also generously introduced me to the community of Western North Carolina potters when I moved to the Asheville area in 2003.”
Blue Spiral 1 Gallery is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Sunday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit BlueSpiral1.com or call 828.251.0202.