Arts Galleries

Topography, Ecology, Biology and More at BS1

Gray Gather Study. Amber Marshall, artist

By Natasha Anderson

Blue Spiral 1 hosts five new exhibits from Friday, May 6, through Wednesday, June 22. TOPO, in the Main Gallery, considers topography as explored by artists working in different contexts, media and locations. It illustrates the various respects in which the representation of space shapes a range of differing sensibilities related to topography or landscape: travel and exploration, the natural world and narrative.
“Sometimes when I look at the landscape there is an unexpected moment when the light changes and everything is dramatically altered,” says exhibiting artist Bobbi Allen. “These moments are the jumping-off point for my monotype/collages.”

Blue Murrine Egg. Hayden Wilson, artist

The exhibit also includes work by Peter Alberice, Ed Nash, Michael Poness, Amy Putansu, Jeremy Russell, Brad Sells and Gregor Turk.

In the Showcase Gallery, Suzanne Stryk: The Middle of Somewhere presents mixed media works informed by Stryk’s recently published book by the same title. The pieces are visual interpretations of the vast ecology found in Appalachia and her home state of Virginia. As she traveled and found inspiration for this series, her mantra became, “There’s no such thing as the middle of nowhere. Everywhere is the middle of somewhere for some living being.”

Douglas Miller: The Night Watch is a series of drawings with animals as their subject, on display in the Small Format Gallery. He uses a combination of media including ink, pencil, coffee, make-up, paint and just about anything he can find in his studio to arrive at indeterminate resolutions about the animals and insects he hears at night.

“These drawings were all made in 2022 during a few months of researching nocturnal patterns of animals,” says Miller. “These nighttime habits seem enigmatic and uncertain, which are two themes that have run through my work for years.”

Land Mountain Sky 2. Bobbi Allen, artist

While MIller’s previous drawings used negative space and fragmentary images to communicate this sense of uncertainty, in The Night Watch he incorporated dark backgrounds to both conceal the animals and have them emerge from an unknown darkness.

Glassville, in the Lower Level Gallery, celebrates the studio glass movement that took root in the mountains of Western North Carolina. This area is now home to more than a hundred glass artists who make both functional and sculptural works. Glassville highlights a group of talented emerging artists contributing to the aesthetic and technological advancement of the field.

Participants are Kathryn Adams, Robert Burch, Courtney Dodd, Ben Elliot, Nickolaus Fruin, Michael Hayes, Asher Holman, Cole Johnson, Christopher Kerr-Ayer, Amber Marshall and Hayden Wilson.

Woodfire Takeover, in the Upper Galleries, is an exhibition of woodfired pots and sculptures held in conjunction with the 2022 International Woodfire Conference, Woodfire NC: Envision. The organizers of the PreHEAT, including artists on display at Blue Spiral 1, have assembled the region’s top woodfirers and a host of national and international guests for seven days of complete immersion into the world of woodfiring.

Exhibiting artists also include Will Baker, Josh Copus, Will Dickert, Judith Duff, Candice Hensley, Matt Jones, Eric Knoche and David Stuempfle.

Learn more at

Leave a Comment