Arts Galleries

New Works Fill the Galleries at Blue Spiral 1 in September

Blue Spiral 1

Fading Light. Ward Nichols, artist

Blue Spiral 1 hosts four new exhibits beginning Friday, September 4, and running through October 30.

Main Gallery: Ward Nichols with Eric Knoche and Matt Tommey
Award-winning realist painter, Ward Nichols, presents a body of oil paintings exploring the remnants of historic buildings, workshops and industrial sites. Accompanying these paintings are the sculptural works of ceramic artist Eric Knoche and basket artist Matt Tommey, which also reflect an appreciation for the heritage of cultures past.

“One line of connection between our work is place and materiality,” says Knoche. “Nichols captures the light and air of North Carolina, Tommey weaves its fallen sticks into objects of beauty and I dig up its dirt and turn it back to stone.”

Small Format Gallery: Anna Wehrwein
Wehrwein’s brightly colored paintings reimagine domestic and recreational spaces as sites of creative action and communal agency. The exhibit considers woman absorbed in her environment, with a recurring character, the bather, appearing in different forms throughout the works. Wehrwein describes the figure as both real and an archetype, the observed and the observer. The paintings also engage with the idea of landscape. At times the line between body and landscape, figure and ground, becomes fluid.

“I consider how the experience of a painting can change drastically from up close and far away, how an image can come together and fall apart depending on where you are standing, or how colors or textures can change from different angles,” says Wehrwein. “I hope viewers appreciate these shifts and surprises as well.”

Lower Level Gallery: SHE
This group exhibition showcases female artists who focus on the female subject in their work. Artists are Joanne Arnett, Alice Ballard, Tamie Beldue, Nancy Kubale, Jan Kransberger, Sara Morales-Morgan, Kirsten Stingle, Akiko Sugiyama and Manuela Thames.

“I have been blessed to come from a long line of tenacious and audacious women,” says Kubale, who will exhibit figurative ceramics incorporating mixed-media elements. “The truths I’ve learned in life have been on their shoulders, combined with the experience of being a daughter, sister, wife, mother to two daughters, and friend. I have always been acutely aware of how that has informed my work.”

Showcase Gallery: Will Baker, Shane Fero, Deborah Squier and Scott Upton
Bakers ceramics, Fero’s glass work and Squier and Upton’s paintings all gain inspiration from nature. The surface patterns of Baker’s functional pottery evoke solar fields, layers of soil or bright patches of rock. Fero utilizes the lampworking technique of glassmaking to create expressive and engaging birds in unexpected colors. Squier blends realism and impressionism to interpret Appalachian landscapes and Upton’s abstract paintings subtly suggest landscapes through color, texture and instinctive compositions.

Blue Spiral 1 Gallery is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12–5 p.m. Sunday and Monday. For more information, visit or call 828.251.0202.

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