Arts Galleries

Works of David Sheldon Celebrate WNC at Mark Bettis Gallery in August

Black Balsam Song of Life. David Sheldon, artist

Mark Bettis Gallery, in the River Arts District, will present a collection of paintings and sculpture by artist David Sheldon in the exhibition We are the Mountains, opening with a reception on Saturday, August 12, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. The exhibition will run through Saturday, August 26.

Sheldon’s works in this exhibit celebrate the people, animals and nature that make Western North Carolina unique. The title of the show was inspired by lines from a poem by the mystic poet Rumi.

Airbender. David Sheldon, artist

Sheldon says he has always been drawn to the transcendental nature of Rumi’s poetry, how it reveals the spiritual behind the physical. “I’m endeavoring to do the same with my painting and sculpture,” he says. “My landscape works are based on what I call ‘ecstatic moments’ in nature.”

When Sheldon is out in the mountains, he tries to be as present as possible in their beauty, taking in the experience deeply and snapping a few photos for reference. “Once back in the studio, as I approach the painting, I again allow my inner attention to flow down, out of my head, into my body and emotions, re-capturing the experience as I create the painting,” he says. “I’m not attempting to create an image of what I saw—rather, I’m attempting to create a painting that is a sublime experience in its own right.”

Sheldon takes a slightly more abstract approach with his sculpture. “When I am down in the Green River Gorge, for example, I can literally feel the power of the water vibrating through my body,” he says. It is this sensation and primal force the artist endeavors to capture when working in three dimensions.

Sheldon hopes that We are the Mountains will unify viewers in their love of this region and its beauty. “I love David’s ability to create a body of work that embodies the region,” says gallery owner Mark Bettis. “This series will be very representative of the people and surroundings of our beautiful WNC.”

The reception is free and open to the public; refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. All works will be available for purchase. Mark Bettis Gallery is located at 123 Roberts Street, Asheville. For more information, visit or contact Mark Bettis at 941.587.9502 or

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