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Pair of Murals by Artist Samantha Bates Grace Back of Momentum Gallery

Samantha Bates, artist

Two dynamic new artworks by Samantha Bates are being completed this week on the rear brick wall of 52 Broadway, home to both Momentum Gallery and Elevation Lofts Hotel. Additionally, new paintings and textile works have been introduced to Samantha Bates’ solo exhibition on the second floor of Momentum Gallery.

A celebration will be held Thursday, November 11, from 4-6 p.m. at Momentum. Stop by to meet the artist and join in a champagne/hot cider toast at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the completion of both murals. Both River Deep and Wade will be visible for all to see around the back side of the 3-story building at 52 Broadway in downtown Asheville.

Bates’ contemporary landscapes are inspired by her time in wilderness areas. Through meticulous mark-making and patterning, thousands of dashes and dots emerge into imagery of forests and water.

“I make work that speaks to the personal relationship of images, the recognition of the familiar in an intangible and reaching sort of way,” Bates says. “My work evokes a feeling, an uncovering. I want the work to be thought about, to invite revisiting and to hold an affinity for the viewer. The work is about glimpses, impressions that build to an awakening at the edges of recollection … it is about coming home in a small way.”

The two murals, totaling about 1,200 square-feet, depict an iconic Western North Carolina wilderness scene. In River Deep, the second-floor mural measuring 17×17 feet, a scene from Pisgah National Forest of a river surrounded by rocks and woods is rendered as a contemporary composition of patterned areas. The lower mural covers the entire 75-foot-wide span of the building’s first floor and features a pattern of energetic, undulating stripes in varying shades of blue and gray. The piece, titled Wade, is an abstract representation of the currents and movement of the Land of Sky’s wind, water, and topography.

Bates is one of Momentum Gallery’s inaugural artists. Represented by the gallery since it opened in 2017, Bates’ work has been featured in two solo exhibitions at Momentum as well as Context Art Fair in Miami during Art Basel.

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