December is a festive time to stroll through Asheville’s River Arts District. This month’s Second Saturday will be held December 11, with many artists offering holiday exhibitions and sales, demonstrations and refreshments.
Jim Ostlund will hold a live portrait demonstration from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mitchell and Ostlund Fine Art (Suite 267) in Riverview Station. Ostlund and Michele Mitchell were trained in Classical painting, combining elements of both Classicism and Impressionism.
Also in Riverview Station, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Asheville Print Studio (Suite 224) presents its first pop-up event, a group show with 100 small works perfect for holiday gift giving offered for under $100 each. “These are photos, original prints, printed soft furnishings, bags and small sculptures,” says Denise Markbreit. “Affordable art, locally made, makes great gifts and there are no supply chain issues!” The show will run until Sunday, January 2.
Additional events during Second Saturday include a demonstration of dimensional landscape painting by Cindy Lou Chenard at 362 Depot Street Studios from 1–4 p.m. as well as small works available by the gallery’s nine artists, and demonstrations by artists at Art Garden AVL at Riverview Station (Suites 316 and 320) throughout the day.
Trackside Studios presents Gifts of the Season, with a reception on Second Saturday from 2–5 p.m. Works representing diverse styles and mediums from the gallery’s more than 30 artists will be available. The exhibition runs Saturday, December 4, through Friday, December 31. “It’s an awesome time to come down to the River Arts District,” says artist Michelle Hamilton. She will be working on projects in encaustics and mixed media all day during the Stroll.
Other December events include Refraction Art Market, a curated market showcasing work from multiple artists on Sunday, December 5, from 12–6 p.m. at the Wedge at Foundation. Among the mediums represented will be painting, ceramics, woodwork, jewelry, fiber and printmaking.
On Saturday, December 18, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Michele Mitchell will hold a floral still life demonstration at Mitchell and Ostlund Fine Art. During the presentation, Mitchell will show how to approach and complete, in oils, the blocking in of a still life. “It appears to be simple, but making it look simple is the challenge in painting something simply and efficiently while drawing out the beauty of something living and feeling the richness of its presence,” says Mitchell.
On Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, December 3, through Saturday, December 18, The Magnetic Theatre presents It’s the Most ______ Time of the Year: Oil on Canvas, a holiday production written by Erin McCarson and directed by Jessica Johnson. Check TheMagneticTheatre.org for times and ticket information.
For a complete schedule of events and times, a map and a studio guide to the district’s artists, visit RiverArtsDistrict.com. Studios have varying hours. Information may also be found at websites for studios and individual artists.