By Natasha Anderson
Blue Spiral 1 (BS1) presents Folk + Figure, opening in the Main Gallery on Thursday, September 6, and running through November 9. The exhibit features brightly colored narrative works by BS1 permanent artists Ke Francis, Bethanne Hill, Matt Jones, Charles Keiger, Noah Saterstrom and Deborah Rogers. Their paint, print, sculpture and ceramics rely heavily on history, memory and folklore to explore themes of family, culture and the natural world.
“My paintings are populated by characters, animals and a natural environment that doesn’t follow the rules of the real world,” says Keiger. “Magical realism is a term that has been used in describing my pictures.”
Humor is also an important element in Keiger’s paintings, which are created using oil and mixed media on wood and canvas. “If the viewer gives a chuckle and shakes their head as they walk away from my work, I know I got them,” he says.
Though Saterstrom’s work is autobiographical, featuring himself and his family in their home, studio and neighborhood, a current of the metaphysical runs through his paintings as well. “Thoughts, memories and phantoms intrude, as they do in everyday life,” he says. “I aspire for the hard facts to be inseparable from the reveries of memories, fantasies and unresolvable questions.” Both Francis’ and Hill’s work is narrative in intent, with Francis depicting a variety of settings and situations and Hill focusing largely on southern landscapes influenced by her love of primitive art. Rogers’ ceramics depict fantastical animals and scenes and Jones creates functional pots inspired by the traditional ceramics made in the Carolinas during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Blue Spiral 1 is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. To learn more, visit bluespiral1.com, call the gallery at 828.251.0202 or follow @bluespiral1 on Facebook and Instagram.