Topography August 4 - December 31, 2022
Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, August 11th from 5-8pm and meet one of our region's most celebrated artists. Hoss Haley’s monumental sculptures in steel, bronze, and concrete identify him as an accomplished artist with a strong point of view. His minimalist explorations of form take inspiration from geological features and architecture. Many of his works require a fair amount of engineering, and he often develops custom tools and processes to realize his ideas. Haley’s iconic work examines concepts of permanence, gravity, implied movement, and more recently, transparency. Haley is also a talented draftsman making paintings on steel panels. Over the past three decades, Haley has achieved a great reputation through the placement of several significant public works, including corporate and museum acquisitions in NC, TN, VA, and beyond. A catalogue is available for this exhibition.
Solo Exhibition Featuring Two New Moku-Hanga Prints, along with works from the past decade
Andy Farkas, Shared Dream, Moku hanga, 11 x 14-3/4 inches.
Meet Andy Farkas on Sunday, August 14 at Momentum Gallery from 2-4pm. A collection of the artist's beloved wood engravings and moku hanga prints occupies our Feature Gallery this summer. Farkas' prints feature personified animals and original sayings in letterpress text. The solo exhibition has several editioned works from the past decade along with the debut of two beautiful, narrative Japanese watercolor woodcuts, Shared Dream and Right Now. All of Farkas' original prints are available framed or unframed.
Andy Farkas, Right Now, Moku Hanga, 12 x 8-1/2 inches
June 30 – August 27, 2022
A collection of narrative and nature-inspired works are presented along with masterful turned wood vessels and blown glass installations. Two of the featured artists – Mariella Bisson and Samantha Keely Smith – create oil paintings that reference the landscape. Bisson's are far more literal representations of place including woodland areas and waterfalls of North Carolina and New York. Smith's are farther toward abstraction. While some elements in Smith's work feel atmospheric or topographical, Smith's sweeping oils are more concerned with creating an emotional space than trying to present any particular place.
Bisson's highly textural paintings begin with a collage layer imbuing them with a sculptural quality. Geometric planes of rock, falling water, and trees colalese in strong, graphic compositions. A new book entitled Paper and Paint explores Bisson's use of paper in her work and accompanies the exhibition. Bisson's most recent work is presented around the gallery's first floor along with turned wood orbs and vessels from David Ellsworth.
David Ellsworth is one of the world’s premier wood turners. Over the past fifty years, he has achieved international recognition for his elegant hollow-formed vessels and sculptures. Ellsworth’s work is included in the permanent collections of forty-five museums. His understanding of material and process, a refined sensibility of form and balance, and an innovative spirit have defined his career and helped advance wood art worldwide. The Smithsonian recently honored David Ellsworth with the Visionary Award. Momentum celebrates Ellsworth this summer with a collection of his work from several series spanning a long and illustrious career. There is a catalogue available for this exhibition.
Samantha Keely Smith's paintings are featured at the back of the gallery's first floor with blown glass by husband and wife artists, Thor & Jennifer Bueno. The Buenos make dramatic wall arrangements with multiple elements that look like metallic river stones. Their latest work is inspired by wildflowers and plants including Dogwood, Hydrangea, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The exhibition also features a wall-mounted branch with three stacked cairns of blown glass stones.
Rounding out this new collection for the summer are wood engravings and moku hanga prints by Andy Farkas. Farkas' beloved images feature personified animals and original sayings in letterpress text. Farkas' solo exhibition has a collection of several editioned works from the past decade along with the debut of two beautiful, narrative Japanese watercolor woodcuts, Shared Dream and Right Now. All of Farkas' original prints are available framed or unframed.
July is the final month to see Seth Clark's solo exhibition in its entirety. Clark's contemporary, mixed media works explore themes of architectural decay. Clark comments, "My work focuses on deteriorating architecture. These structures, designed to be huge forces of permanence, are continually being challenged, destroyed and forgotten. I see an inherent honesty in the face of my subject. Among all of the clutter—the shards of wood and layers of rubble—there remains a gentle resolve. As I work, I study these structures incessantly. The buildings, often on the brink of ruin, have something very energized and present trying to escape from their fragmented reality.”
We look forward to sharing our space and artists' work with you. Stay tuned for announcements of additional programming we'll be doing in conjunction with these exhibitions. In the meantime, check out the following dates already scheduled.
UPCOMING EVENTS – SAVE THE DATE:
Opening Reception for Summer Exhibitions – Thursday, July 7th from 5-8 pm. Bisson, Ellsworth, Bueno and Farkas will be in attendance. Beer/wine and refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.
Artist Reception for Mariella Bisson – Sunday, July 10th from Noon-2 pm. Coffee and refreshments will be served.
Opening Reception for Hoss Haley, Topography – Thursday, August 11th, 5-8 pm. The artist will be in attendance. Beer/wine and refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.
June 11–September 11A collection of oil paintings by contemporary realist John L. Cleaveland, Jr. are currently on exhibit at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA. The View From Here features some of the Georgia artist's most ambitious paintings to date. One such work, The Nature of Remembrance, measures 60 x 120 inches. It is an exquisite scene of a creekbed under a forest canopy with sunlight filtering through a symphony of foliage. As he does in many works, Cleaveland utilizes perspective to his advantage and demonstrates his prowess as a painter. This painting captures a lot of the things Cleaveland does very well, including recreating the powerful experience of coming across a place in naure that causes you pause. I hope people will have the opportunity to experience it in person in Augusta, GA (or perhaps later at Momentum Gallery in Asheville).
The Morris Museum states, "Highlighting the work of three consummately skilled contemporary artists, this exhibition addresses the distinctly different ways that each of them views the subject of landscape. They have this in common with landscape painters of the past: underlying their work are themes related as much to self-discovery and self-exploration as they are to the examination of topography." The View From Here pairs new work from Cleaveland with that of two other landscape painters Julyan Davis and Philip Juras. The exhibition continues at the Morris Museum through September 11, 2022 and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.
Artist Talk, Film Screening, and Furniture Society Zoom
Sunday, May 29, 2:00-4:00 pm – Artist Talk and Gallery Reception
Meet the artist, hear stories from his nearly 60 year career, and learn insights to specific works featured in the current exhibition at Momentum Gallery. Refeshments will be served – FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Downtown Asheville, NC 28801
Friday, June 3, 6:00-8:00 pm – Film Screening of Tommy Simpson Living in a World I Created, a new short film by Robb Helmkamp and Erik Wolken (from the Why Make? Series) – FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
UNCA Steam Studios
821 Riverside Drive
Asheville, NC 28801
Thursday, June 9, 5:00-5:30 pm – Via Zoom – Exhibtion Tour with Object Study in conjunction with Furniture Society Annual Conference – FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Via Zoom, for more information please visit:
Zoom Tribute from The Furniture Society
Sadly, Garry Knox Bennett passed away unexpectedly on January 28, 2022. The Furniture Society and the Center for Art in Wood invite you to participate in a celebration of Garry — the man, the maker, the legend.
We thought the best way to pay tribute to him and his larger-than-life-sized legacy is by coming together and sharing thoughts and memories, not only of his groundbreaking work and prolific career, but also his inimitable character, wit, and spirit. The evening will be hosted by Monica Hampton, Executive Director of the Furniture Society, and Glenn Adamson, noted curator, historian, and writer.
Join us Thursday, April 28 from 6:30 – 8pm EST as we pay tribute to Garry — his life, his work, and to raise a toast in his honor.
(This program will be recorded and available for viewing later)
As the fire flickers and crackles in the family room and orange leaves flutter by the window, we sit in gratitude recalling memories of the past year. All of us experienced transformation in 2021 and Momentum certainly felt a big shift. We moved our downtown Asheville art gallery to 52 Broadway Street and saw tremendous growth in so many ways.Reminding ourselves that this is only possible with our wonderful community of artists, friends, and supporters, we reflect on the tremendous appreciation we have for each of you. Our stable of artists grew and they have created amazing works for us to share with visitors, both tourists and locals. The support of our collectors helps our family, our artists, and our community thrive. Momentum has created a reputation for excellence in the contemporary art world in a very short time – and that is THANKS TO YOU! You have attended artist talks, brought your friends to visit, liked us on Facebook, followed us on Instagram, and your purchases have supported our roster of artists and our family-owned business. Thank you for this opportunity. We are grateful for you on Thanksgiving and every day of the year.Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!With gratitude,Jordan & Shifra Ahlers (and family)
Newest Public Art Installation at Downtown Asheville's Premier Fine Art Gallery
Momentum Gallery's Latest Public Art Offering: A Pair of Murals by Visiting Artist, Samantha Bates
Please join us on Thursday, November 11th to view River Deep and Wade at the back entrance of the 3-story building located at 52 Broadway. Stop by Momentum Gallery between 4:00-6:00pm to meet the artist and join us for a champagne/hot cider toast to celebrate the completion of both murals at 5:30pm.
Two dynamic new artworks by Samantha Bates, for the public and passersby to appreciate, will be 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. Bates' work inspires contemplation and conversation, and we are honored to have her on hand to discuss her process.
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. The artist comments, "I make work that speaks to the personal relationship of images, the recognition of the familiar in an intangible and reaching sort of way. 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 total around 1200 square-feet, and depict iconic Western North Carolina wilderness scenes. In River Deep, the 2nd floor mural that measures 17 x 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 1st floor and features a pattern of energetic, undulating stripes in varying shades of blue and gray. This piece, Wade, is an abstract representation of the currents and movement of the Land of Sky's wind, water, and topography.
Samantha 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. Samantha hails from Washington State and has been in residence in Asheville for the past month painting the murals.
Additional outdoor artwork will be added by Momentum Gallery over the coming weeks. The building's south side will soon welcome a stunning cyanotype painting by Casey Roberts. The gallery plans to install lighting for all the exterior artwork (by Hoss Haley, Samantha Bates, and Casey Roberts) so the works can be seen and enjoyed after the sun goes down.
Article by Kay West in East Coast Lux Lifestyle Magazine
Save the Date -- Thursday, July 15, 5-8 pm
Reception for Summer Exhibitions
We are thrilled to open the following summer shows in our new space located at 52 Broadway Street!
- Picture That - original prints by Chakaia Booker, Will Cotton, Sara Sanders, Raymond Pettibon, Chuck Webster, and Joseph Hart.
- Paul Sattler - paintings and drawings
- Jessica Calderwood, Jennifer Halvorson & Casey Roberts - sculpture, glass, and cyanotype paintings
- Brian Sostrom - paintings
- Ivy Jacobsen - paintings
- Samantha Bates - paintings and textiles
The gallery is honored to provide our clientele access to exceptional graphic works by some of the contemporary art worlds' most exciting artists. Picture That flows between abstraction and representation with works by renowned artists Chakaia Booker, Will Cotton, Raymond Pettibon, Sara Sanders, Chuck Webster, and more. Master printer and Prints and Their Makers author Phil Sanders curated the collection. Sanders comments, "The positive potential of this world is only limited by our ability to imagine it anew. This exhibition of prints and monotypes demonstrates the power of an artist's vision to influence our world with the images they conjure."
Will Cotton, Deferred Promise, 15-color lithograph on
Hahnemuhle Copperplate, 37-1/2 × 28 inches, Ed. 25
Momentum welcomes back Paul Sattler for his second solo show with the gallery. Sattler's recent oil paintings and drawings are a tour de force. With cinematic vision, Sattler presents obscure narratives in complex, multi-character compositions. The artist also occasionally reimagines historic paintings as looser and more abstracted arrangements.
Paul Sattler, Backyard Remedy (by Fire), Oil on canvas on board, 48 x 52 inches (2021)
Three artists --Jessica Calderwood, Jennifer Halvorson and Casey Roberts-- create thoughtful and introspective work with an atmosphere of domesticity. Dreamy cyanotype paintings on paper relate to evocative cast glass and clever mixed media sculptures, depicting still life, figurative, and animal subjects.
Casey Roberts, Cat on rug with bonsai, Cyanotype painting on paper with enamel,
42 x 52 inches.
Jessica Calderwood, Stacked, Aluminum, powder coating,
cast bronze, brass, blown glass, ceramic decals, porcelain,
milk paint, 15 x 6 x 6 inches.
Jennifer Halvorson, group of Thirst Cups. Cast glass, cast
bronze, @2-1/4 x 4-1/4 x 4 inches, each.
The beauty in nature is realized in Ivy Jacobsen's botanical paintings that unfold in great stylized detail, conveying a sense of space through a signature layering technique. The artist comments, "For the last 10 years I've been focused on creating the illusion of depth within my landscapes. It is my hope that the viewer is invited 'into' the picture to explore and keep discovering new things within the layers."
Ivy Jacobsen, Hybrid, No. 6 Red Blooms, Oil, acrylic & collage on canvas, 24 x 48 inches (2021)
Brian Sostrom's landscape paintings feature sweeping skies and intimate woodland moments. The dramatic works appear illuminated from within. Sostrom notes, "Currently I paint with translucent acrylics on a specially developed substrate. I am combining techniques with unusual materials."
Brian Sostrom, Evening Rose, Acrylic on panel, 24 x 30 inches.
Momentum Gallery is extending Samantha Bates' solo exhibition through October. An immersive collection of Bates' paintings, textiles, and works on paper is reimagined on the gallery's second floor. While some works have been removed, the gallery expects to receive additional works in October when Bates visits Asheville to paint a mural (at the back of 52 Broadway).
Samantha Bates, Follow the River, Acrylic, gouache, colored pencil and artist pen on primed canvas, mounted to dibond, 51-1/2 x 84-1/2 inches.
Save the Date -- Thursday, July 15, 5-8 pm
opening reception for these exhibitions
Artist Talk and New Exhibition
MOMENTUM GALLERY WELCOMES PAUL sattler
AT 52 BROADWAY, SAturDAY, JULY 17 FROM 4-6 PM.
Momentum Gallery welcomes contemporary figurative painter Paul Sattler on Saturday, July 17th starting at 4:00 pm. In conjunction with his current solo exhibition at the gallery, the artist will be on hand to discuss his creative practice and the stories behind the works included in the collection. Paul Sattler's exhibition continues on the gallery's first floor through September 7th.
Paul Sattler’s recent oil paintings and drawings are a tour de force. Multiple subjects are captured in moments taken from obscure narratives and imaginative dramas. Drawing upon color theory and surrealism for inspiration, mythology and historical references also inspire Paul Sattler's paintings and drawings. In the robust world Sattler creates, animals and people interact, dance, and perform circus tricks across urban street scenes and backyard backdrops.
The artist draws viewers in to his spectacular compositions of colorful characters and curious situations. Sattler also occasionally reimagines historic paintings as looser and more abstract compositions.
"The functions of my animals are many – beasts of burden, victims of ridicule, fantastical visions, mythical beings, and stand-ins for human emotions, predicaments, and phobias. While striving to avoid the moralizing lessons of traditional fables, many of the narratives are personalized imagery inspired by a variety of literary sources including Grimm Brothers tales, E. T. A. Hoffmann and the vast legacy of children's literature. But primary roots of inspiration reveal themselves when I am not looking for them – such as when I feel a charge coming from the presence of an animal in works of adult literature such as Hermann Hesse, Nelson Algren, James Joyce, Balzac, Poe, among others."
Momentum Gallery is 15,000 square feet and has incorporated various safety features for the health and well-being of our staff, artists, and patrons, including a fully touchless experience (our doors are automatic, just wave them open!) and we have UV light "air scrubbers" in our new HVAC system.
Jessica Calderwood, Jennifer Halvorson, Casey Roberts
Jessica Calderwood, Jennifer Halvorson, and Casey Roberts are featured in a three person exhibition in our North Gallery. These artists create clever and emotive work that tells a story of domestic life. Cyanotype paintings relate to cast glass and mixed media sculpture, depicting still lifes, figurative subjects, and animals engaged in lighthearted and occasionally mysterious situations. All of these artists have a thoughtful approach to the work they create, often imbued with warmth and subtle messages.
Please join us as we welcome these artists to Momentum Gallery, located at 52 Broadway in Downtown Asheville, on Saturday, August 7th, from 4-6pm.
Sunday, July 25th & Thursday, August 19th
Phil Sanders, Master Printer, Author of Prints and Their Makers, and the curator of Momentum Gallery's Picture That summer printmaking exhibition will be in attendance for two special in-gallery events. Picture That features artists Chakaia Booker, Will Cotton, Timothy Cummings, Joseph Hart, Tom Lieber, Raymond Pettibon, Gustavo Rivera, Sara Sanders, and Chuck Webster.
On Sunday, July 25th at 11am, Momentum Gallery will host a light brunch with Phil as he discusses the work and the artists featured in the exhibition.
Additionally, on Thursday, August 19th at 5pm, please join us in welcoming Phil and learn about his various printmaking processes and experience helping renowned artists from across the world achieve their vision.
All are welcome! These events are free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you!
John Littleton and Kate Vogel announce the completion of a new sculpture, Celebrating Muskegon, their latest large-scale project. Situated in a round-about by the shore of Lake Michigan, the assembly of colored glass and stainless-steel soars twenty-two feet into the air above Pere Marquette Park. The work is the latest realization of Muskegon’s community initiative for outdoor art installations.
Seven stainless steel structures—each formed by two intersecting rings—house blue and green glass. The colors symbolize the natural attributes of the city, green for land and plants, blue for water and sky. Rods tether the rings to each other and a concrete slab. The glass is textured with arced lines and lights up within from dusk to dawn. Up close the patterns trace the trails left by particles passing through space.
From a distance, the rings create an impression of the solar system. As the viewer moves around the sculpture, the shifting configuration highlights elements of the landscape. Each ring offers a frame that changes throughout the day, culminating in an illuminated nighttime observatory.
John describes, "We wished to convey a sense of collaboration between the rings themselves, the environment, and the viewer. The rings hold the energy of many individuals. Supported and elevated by a strong structure they join together to create a greater whole.”
This sculpture expanded the scale of their work. Kate Vogel explains, “To see the project evolve from a model on the design table to the finished sculpture has been an amazing journey for us. We hope the local community and visitors to this beautiful place will experience a bit of the joy we have today in seeing the piece completed."
John Littleton and Kate Vogel have ties to Michigan through their galleries, education, and family vacations. They were thrilled with the site proposed by the project manager, and her support throughout the process. Local volunteers and the artists’s on Erik, a SpaceX engineer, participated in the five-day installation of the sculpture.
Celebrating Muskegon was made possible by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation through their Public Spaces Community Places crowdgranting program, MuskegonCity Public Art Initiative of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Howmet Aerospace Foundation, and the generous support of donors. This sculpture marks the completion of the third installation in a series of ten for the community.
Please follow these links to visit the sculpture virtually:
Work featured in Create! Magazine
Amy Gross' extraordinary fiber and mixed media sculptures are getting some nice exposure in the current issue of Create! Magazine.
Create! Magazine #25, Special Edition Women's Issue 2021
Gross also just debuted work she’s been making during the pandemic – a collection of stereoscopic photographs with beautiful, hand-constructed viewers! This project was facilitated with an Artist Innovation Fellowship through the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
“My stereoscopic photographs allow my artwork to do things that they cannot do in real life, that they could only do in my imagination. My sculptures are conglomerations of my encounters with living things, filtered through my experiences and recreated as invented plants and animals and fungi. I want them to seem alive but clearly not be, presented in clean white spaces like artifacts.
I have simultaneously wanted to create backstories for each, to imagine them in equally invented habitats, environments made up of bits and pieces of disparate elements. Through digitally altered photographs, a suburban park turns into a wilderness; a Frisbee golf course trail becomes the deep woods. Because I’ve been sensitized by a once-in-a-century pandemic, they now suggest the mutability of life, of symbiosis and the inevitability of transmission.
"The fellowship has made it possible for me to finally have the time and resources to make real an idea I have been wanting to work on for years, and the ability to work with others to make it possible. It lets the project become a priority at last.”
Look for Amy Gross’ out-of-this-world stereoscopes to be available through Momentum Gallery soon. Please contact us if you’d like to be notified when the works are available for purchase.
Voyage ATL & Asheville Made
July 2 – December 11
Hoss Haley's latest sculptural installation, a monumental steel work from his Erratic series is on display at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC through December 11, 2021. Measuring around 10 feet in diameter, Erratic: Rest has real presence! The sculpture towers over visitors to the space it occupies. We particularly enjoy the way its rounded form meets the floor implying a sense of movement and referencing the way glacial erratics travel from the place they originate.
From Turchin's website:
Sharing space with Hoss Haley’s monumental work transports the viewer to a place where a clear separation between human creation and organic influence is undefined, yet beautifully intertwined. Color and texture are suggested but are ultimately ruled by nature. The marrying of raw nature and human intervention is what makes Haley’s work so captivating, allowing the opportunity to forget traditional rules, and marvel at a creation beyond our understanding.
- Geology – a rock or boulder that differs from the surrounding rock and is believed to have been brought from a distance by glacial action. from Latin errāticus, from errāre, to wander
"The surface of the earth, though seemingly immobile and locked in place, is in a perpetual state of movement – forever shifting and responding to weathering elements and conditions. Rain causes erosion, softening and shaping once jagged mountains to gentle rolling hills. Volcanoes violently erupt, bringing magma from deep within the earth’s surface to form new terra. And on occasion, due to dramatic transformations in a particular region, a mass of bedrock, sometimes as large as a house, will break free from its parenting bedrock. The erratic, now independent of its former position and often carried by eroding glacier ice, begins its own journey through the vastness of time.
"Erratics have been known to travel great distances, sometimes hundreds of miles. When observing the aged and scarred surface of the boulder–– a story-in-the-making that began perhaps thousands of years ago–– the texture can reveal a history, a record of the boulder’s experience. Though the mineral character of the erratic is oftentimes different than its surrounding landscape, the elements and time have cooperated to foster a harmonious existence."
Gallery Visit and Recent Acquisitions
MOMENTum gallery welcomes JOHN L. CLEAVELAND, JR.
at 52 Broadway, Friday, July 9 from 5-7 pm.
Contemporary realist John Cleaveland will be on hand to talk about his artistic practice and the places that have inspired his dramatic oil paintings over the past three decades. The gallery has a selection of recent works on display and available for purchase. Stop by and find out what's on the horizon for this notable southern artist.
John L. Cleaveland, Jr. has been working on two commissioned pieces of Georgia native plants to be part of the permanent collection of the State Botanical Garden. The pair of large-scale oil paintings are now installed at the Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum at the Center for Art and Nature. Cleaveland's two large-scale oil paintings, Delicate Balance and Resilience and Flow, Anthony Shoals, Broad River, GA, each measure 49 x 97 inches. The landscape paintings focus on the habitats of two critically endangered wildflower species included on the State Heritage List - the Shoals Spider Lily and the Smooth Coneflower. The artist comments, "I hope to capture a piece of the viewer's heart and to create a longing or connection that wasn't there before. Because not only are these places beautiful and peaceful, they are also vital pieces of the environment."
The Asheville Art Museum recently acquired a significant oil by John Cleaveland for their permanent collection. An iconic southern scene - the painting features a railroad track in perspective, and like many of Cleaveland's incredible paintings, it looks as if you could walk right into it.
Cleaveland has exhibitions scheduled with the Morris Museum, Augusta, GA (2022) and the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL (2023). We will be sharing more information as time goes on and you may aways check on the museums' websites for specific details.
Old World/New Soil: Foreign Born American Artists from the CollectionChristian Burchard, Another Literary Dynasty, No. 14, 18 x 18 x 26 inches, Bleached and scorched Madrone Burl.
Wood sculptor and Momentum Gallery artist partner Christian Burchard has work included in the current exhibition "Old World/New Soil: Foreign Born American Artists from the Collection." This exhibition continues at Asheville Art Museum through August 2, 2021.
Originally from Germany and now living in Oregon, Christian Burchard enjoys taking risks with his art and works with green, unpredictable wood to create forms that warp and twist as they dry. Burchard’s material of choice is Pacific Madrone, which undergoes dramatic changes as it cures. This process makes his final form unique from other wood sculptures and nearly impossible to replicate.
Stop in the Asheville Art Museum this month to see Christian's work in the exhibition or visit Momentum Gallery anytime. The gallery features a nice collection by the accomplished wood sculptor from various series including his Scrolls, Stacks, Books, wall mounted "pages," and Baskets. If you can't make it by the gallery, you can see Christian's available work online at this link.
Friday, June 4th, 5:30-7:00pm RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Momentum Gallery welcomes contemporary figurative sculptor Lisa Clague on Friday, June 4th at 5:30 pm. In conjunction with her current solo exhibition at the gallery, Lisa will be on hand to discuss her artistic practice and the story behind the works included in the collection. In the interest of public safety, this event is open to a limited number of guests. Please RSVP by phone or email.
Lisa Clague’s fanciful and creative figurative ceramics convey emotion and intensity. Guardian angels, monkey-headed dieties, and crowned queens are some of the icons prominently featured in the collection made during the pandemic this past year. Clague is a highly-accomplished ceramicist and a two-time award recipient of the Virginia Groot Foundation Grant. She has taught workshops at prestigious universities and arts organizations all over the country. Her dream-inspired sculptures with classically modeled visages can be found in many private collections and in the permanent collections of several museums nationally. Momentum Gallery is pleased to pair Lisa Clague's well-known sculptures with a number of the artist's drawings and paintings on resin-coated wood panels. Clague's intricate drawings depict imagery and figures in a stylized and whimsical manner true to the artist's aesthetic.
Back-to-back Artist Visits, Friday May 14th, 5-7:30pm
As part of Momentum Gallery's grand opening celebrations at 52 Broadway in Downtown Asheville, please join us in welcoming two exciting painters for a casual reception at the gallery on Friday, May 14th from 5:00 - 7:30 pm.
Samantha Keely Smith is in Asheville for the first time! This visit is in conjunction with her current solo exhibition that opened Momentum Gallery's new space at 52 Broadway. The show features an exciting collection of over twenty dynamic oil paintings in a variety of sizes and color palettes. Come meet her on Friday, May 14th 5:30-7:30pm.
Casey Roberts delivers a collection of his recent cyanotype paintings and will be on hand to talk about his work and creative process. We are delighted to welcome him from Friday, May 14th from 5-6pm.
We hope to see you! In the interest of public safety, this event is open to a limited number of guests. Please RSVP by phone 828-505-8550 or email. Masks required.
Amber Cowan, David Ellsworth, and Wendy Maruyama
It is a privilege to work with some of the finest makers in the country and share their work with our community. Three of our Artist Partners are receiving some major recognition currently.
AMBER COWAN, 2021 US Artists Fellowship Amber Cowan is named one of “Sixty Bold Artists Shaping Today.” She is receiving the 2021 USA Fellowship by United States Artists. Amber won in the craft category and is the only glass artist to receive the $50,000 unrestricted award that recognizes artists for their contributions to the field.
DAVID ELLSWORTH, 2021 Visionary Award Recipient The Smithsonian Visionary Award, established in 2014, is presented annually to artists who are deemed by curators in the field to have risen to the pinnacle in the world of sculptural arts and design, who have works in major museums, and who have demonstrated distinction, creativity, artistry, and of course, vision in his or her respective medium. This year, David Ellsworth and Michael Hurwitz join the small but prestigious list of past recipients: Patti Warashina, Joyce J. Scott, Faith Ringgold, Dale Chihuly, Toots Zynsky, Wendell Castle, and Albert Paley.
WENDY MARUYAMA – 2021 Masters of the Medium (wood) The prestigious Masters of the Medium Award is presented by the James Renwick Alliance biennially to honor the most significant artists in American Craft. Each awardee is recognized for their excellence in craftsmanship, influence in the medium and overall contributions to the field. This coveted honor is celebrated at the JRA Spring Craft Weekend at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery – our nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft.
We are so proud of all our artists and feel gratified when they receive the recognition they deserve!
Friday, April 30, 5-7 pm RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Momentum Gallery proudly opens its new space presenting a solo exhibition of masterful trompe l'oeil works by Ron Isaacs. Visitors are regularly amazed to learn everything in Isaacs' work is made from painted plywood. Clothing and nature are favorite subjects Isaacs returns to and many of his works address that relationship between man and nature. Ron Isaacs' exhibition continues through May 31st.
The artist visits Momentum Gallery Friday, April 30th. Join us in welcoming Ron for a casual reception at the gallery from 5-7 p.m. If you are interested in attending, please call the gallery at 828-505-8550 to make a reservation. Masks must be worn at all times during this event. We will have limited capacity due to COVID protocols.
Momentum Gallery is 15,000 square feet and has incorporated various safety features for the health and well-being of our staff, artists, and patrons, including a fully touchless experience (our doors are automatic, just wave them open!) and we have UV light "air scrubbers" in our new HVAC system.
Ron Isaacs, Glitch, acrylic on birch plywood construction, 27-3/4 x 42 x 4-1/2 inches.
Human/Nature, a nicely produced 140-page book on Ron Isaacs' work, accompanies the exhibition and is available through Momentum Gallery for $30. The book features an array of impressive works created over the past decade, a current artist statement, and a sequence of process images showing the construction of one of his pieces the show, Polka Oaks.
For additional reading, please enjoy this nicely written interview and article on Ron Isaacs from a recent issue of Chevy Chaser magazine. The article begins on page 7.
Saturday, April 24th, 3-5pm RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Momentum Gallery is honored to present Crystal Gregory at our first in-person event in our new location, 52 Broadway Street, in downtown Asheville on Saturday, April 24th, from 3-5 p.m. Gregory's textile and concrete work is featured in a solo exhibition on the gallery's first floor through May 31st.
Please call the gallery at 828-505-8550 to make a reservation. Masks must be worn at all times during this event. We will have limited capacity due to COVID protocols.
Momentum Gallery is 15,000 square feet and has incorporated various safety features for the health and well-being of our staff, artists, and patrons, including a fully touchless experience (our doors are automatic, just wave them open!) and we have UV light "air scrubbers" in our new HVAC system.
For those who are unable to attend, check out this interview we did with the artist –Interview with Crystal Gregory
Hoss Haley, Samantha Bates, Casey Roberts
Momentum Gallery displays some incredible work within its space. The move to 52 Broadway allows us the opportunity to share artwork on the exterior of the building as well. Recently, Hoss Haley installed a 9 x 10 foot Stainless Ripple on the front of the building along Broadway. Jordan Ahlers comments, "We wanted an iconic sculptural piece on the exterior of our building to offer passersby a taste of what lies within."
Haley's perforated stainless-steel Ripple explores ideas of movement, fluidity, and transparency – a remarkable achievement for a piece made of steel. Ahlers continues, "I love the simplicity and symbolism of the ripple. (A Ripple) speaks to movement and effect; it is timeless and remains one of Hoss' most recognizable forms." A Ripple from Haley's White Series is in the permanent collection of The Mint Museum in Charlotte. "I like how its concentric rings offer a focal point to our façade (in addition to our spectacular front windows). I've been blown away by the transparent effect Hoss achieved by making this piece from perforated stainless steel – it adds another dimension to the piece being able to see through it to the brick! I hope viewers enjoy discovering interesting architecture, sculpture, and murals as part of the rich and unique experience that is downtown Asheville."
Hoss Haley is a renowned sculptor from Western North Carolina. His large-scale sculptures were acquired recently by Charlotte's Mint Museum and Raleigh's North Carolina Museum of Art. He is also the artist behind a pair of major works in downtown Asheville: the Pack Place fountain, made of bronze and stone, and the stainless steel pergola in front of City Hall, both of which draw inspiration from the landscape surrounding Asheville.
Casey Roberts, 2021
Additional outdoor artworks will be added by Momentum Gallery over the coming weeks. The building's south side will soon be graced by a stunning new cyanotype painting by Casey Roberts, and another side will feature nearly 1200 square feet of murals by one of the gallery's stellar emerging artists, Samantha Bates, later this spring. Bates has a solo exhibition of her paintings and textile works on display for the new gallery's opening.
Momentum Gallery is proud to announce a partnership with Chihuly Studio. The move to our new space on Broadway marks the debut of a substantial collection which features glass sculptures and hand-embellished serigraph prints from the studio of the renowned Seattle artist. "We are thrilled to collaborate with Chihuly and provide access to this outstanding work in a region historically significant to the field of studio glass," says Jordan Ahlers, Momentum Gallery's Owner and Director.
In 2018, a collection of Dale Chihuly's glass was assembled at the majestic residence and gardens at Biltmore Estate in Asheville drawing tens of thousands of visitors to see works by the Washington-state based artist. This is not the only connection Chihuly has to the mountains of western NC. The artist previously visited the area at the invitation of one of his mentors, Harvey Littleton (1922-2013). In the late 80s and again in 1994, Littleton and Chihuly worked together on a series of original vitreograph prints (a process invented by Littleton which involves etching on glass plates). Momentum illustrates this connection, exhibiting original vitreographs from Dale Chihuly along with work by the late Harvey Littleton.
As part of our collection, Momentum Gallery is pleased to offer three dramatic works released earlier this month! The 2021 Chihuly Studio Editions - Viola Plum Macchia, Rosetta Persian, and Seagrass Seaform - are exuberant works that exemplify Chihuly's passion for color and form.
Viola Plum Macchia, 2021 Chihuly Studio Edition
Two defining characteristics of Dale Chihuly's Macchia series are the contrasting interior and exterior colors and the "spots" created by colored-glass frit, or "jimmies." To achieve these qualities, the interior color of the sculpture is applied to the molten clear-glass bubble. The bubble is then rolled over chunks of white glass, which keep the interior and exterior colors separate and provide a clean, white canvas on which to apply more color in the form of mineralized, organic pigments such as glass powder, dust, and frit. These colors then stretch and striate under the ministrations of breath, heat, and gravity to become vessels pulsing with energy and free-form abandon.
Chihuly's passion for color is born out of his mother Viola's extensive gardens and glorious sunsets over Puget Sound. The 2021 Viola Plum Macchia is a landscape of abundant colors with exterior spots and striations of purple, red, blue, and yellow yielding to an interior of deep plum. A low-profile form encourages views of the center, where the exterior colors converge in a kaleidoscopic manner. A steely blue lip wrap complements both the interior and exterior palettes.
"For Chihuly is no formalist; he needs to imply movement and growth. His technical innovations and refinements serve only to provide more options-relating to what he can make glass do and what associations he can suggest to natural phenomenon." -Linda Norden, Dale Chihuly: Glass, 1982
Dale Chihuly's Persian series, which began as an exploration of new forms, serves as a contemporary expression of timeless beauty and a demonstration of wild asymmetry that borders on defiance. Whether presented on pedestals or in large wall or ceiling installations, Persians elicit wonder in their beholders and notions of exotic ancient civilizations.
Rosetta Persian, 2021 Chihuly Studio Edition
Opening in waves of voluptuous rose red, the 2021 Rosetta Persian Studio Edition reveals the molten glass's responsiveness to gravitational pull and gestural manipulation in the blowing process. A thin red body wrap spiraling around the fan-shaped element adds to the dimensional agility of the composition, while the smaller interior element invites introspection. An earthy green lip wrap grounds and defines the tensile scalloped edges of the sculpture.
Dale Chihuly began assembling elements from within a series while developing his Baskets in the 1970s. By nesting smaller elements within larger vessels, Chihuly creates compositions that encourage viewers to look through the walls of the outer form to discover a microcosm of color and transparency. Seaforms, which evolved out of Chihuly's Basket series, continue this exploration of transparency and environment.
"The various glass vessels nestling within each other create a satisfying sense of intimacy and enclosure-they are protective but not defensive; the translucency of glass invites one to look in without feeling that one is invading a private territory." -Robert Hobbs, Dale Chihuly: Objects de Verre, 1986
Seagrass Seaform, 2021 Chihuly Studio Edition
The first Seaform Studio Edition composed of three individual elements, Chihuly Workshop's 2021 Seagrass Seaform is a remarkable representation of Chihuly's penchant for assembling distinct forms into one unified vision. The largest element presents a transparent center that directs attention to the brilliant blue "ribs" and kelp green edges, while a smaller form in opaque chartreuse rests within. Echoing the palette of blue and green, a curlicued element winds its way from within the composition to bring balance to the juxtaposed qualities of transparency and opacity. A dramatic red lip wrap on all three elements contributes a vibrant contrast.
Please contact Momentum Gallery with any questions on this work and be sure to visit our website to find images and information on all the Chihuly work currently on display at the gallery. Feel free to inquire on any Chihuly works you may be interested in, whether or not they are currently at Momentum Gallery.
Following a two-year construction period, we are thrilled to be opening our two-floor, 15,000-square-foot gallery in a 100-year-old building in downtown Asheville's Broadway Arts District, located at 52 Broadway Street. We are NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS PER WEEK!
The space on Broadway opens with stunning solo exhibitions by five artist partners. Art enthusiasts will discover brand new collections debuting by several gallery artists including Samantha Bates (painting and textile), Lisa Clague (ceramics), Crystal Gregory (textile arts), Ron Isaacs (trompe l'oeil wood), and Samantha Keely Smith (oil paintings). Momentum announces a new partnership with Chihuly Studios and is honored to present a special collection of Chihuly Studio Editions. New works from a number of other popular gallery artists will be on display, including Mariella Bisson, John Cleaveland, Amber Cowan, Wendy Maruyama, Casey Roberts, Andy Farkas, Joanna Manousis, Alli Hoag, David Ellsworth, Thor and Jennifer Bueno, Ron Layport, Gil Bruvel, Dana Brown, Michael Barringer, and many more. Additionally, a showcase of studio glass artists will be featured, including Western North Carolina's John Littleton and Kate Vogel.
Momentum presents a sophisticated collection of museum-quality paintings, original prints, sculpture, and unique furniture pieces with an emphasis on material-based work, especially studio glass.
The new gallery is spacious, making it easy for simultaneous social distancing and art appreciating. Momentum offers a contactless experience; we have implemented a variety of safety-minded features such as touchless front entry, faucets, and hand dryers, as well as a brand-new HVAC system with integrated UV light "air scrubbers." We will also provide masks and hand sanitizer for the safety and comfort of all guests. The two-floor space is ADA compliant and easily accessible for everyone. For those who cannot visit at this time, we will incorporate a detailed virtual tour on our website in the near future, along with dedicated viewing rooms and artist interviews. Additionally, a limited number of off-hours private tours will be available to those who do not feel comfortable visiting during public gallery hours. To make an appointment, call (828) 505-8550.
Hoss Haley's Stainless Steel Ripple adorns the front of 52 BroadwayMomentum Gallery is thrilled to announce we have installed our first piece of public art in Downtown Asheville! Stainless Steel Ripple by Hoss Haley, a 90-sq.-ft. sculpture that now graces the entryway of our new 52 Broadway location in downtown Asheville, is the first of many works we hope to share with the community. It is Momentum Gallery's belief that public art has the ability to humanize architecture and enliven public spaces.This iconic piece by one of our region's most celebrated makers explores ideas of movement and transparency, a major feat considering its material is not glass, but steel. Two of Haley's large-scale sculptures in corten steel are among recent acquisitions by Charlotte's Mint Museum and Raleigh's North Carolina Museum of Art. Hoss Haley is the artist behind other major works in downtown Asheville - the Pack Place (bronze and stone) fountain and (stainless steel) pergola in front of City Hall, two works that draw inspiration from the landscape surrounding Asheville. A solo exhibition of Haley's latest work is currently planned for Momentum Gallery's summer season.As we settle into our forever home at 52 Broadway, we couldn't be more grateful for the artists we represent and the value they bring to this community. Momentum Gallery is now open by appointment only. The new gallery space will open to the public on March 15th. Please call the gallery at (828) 505-8550 to schedule your appointment. We are looking forward to sharing our new space with you!
February 6 - May 31, 2021
Works by two Momentum Gallery artists, Hoss Haley (metal) and Andy Paiko (glass), are featured in a current exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR. Shifra Ahlers comments, "We were thrilled to host Jen Padgett and tour her through Momentum Gallery in May 2019, introducing her to artists and works from our extraordinary collection. And we are so pleased to see our artists' work featured in this exhibition!"
July 2021 – UPDATE:
Crafting America is currently on view at the Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn, AL through September 12, 2021.
Hoss Haley, Architectural Coil Maquette
(From Crystal Bridges' website) Crafting America celebrates the skill and individuality of craft within the broad context of American art. From jewelry to furniture to sculptures and more, this exhibition is dazzling and full of surprises.
Featuring over 100 works in ceramics, fiber, wood, metal, glass, and more unexpected materials, Crafting America presents a diverse and inclusive story of American craft from the 1940s to today, highlighting the work of artists such as Ruth Asawa, Beatrice Wood, Shan Goshorn, Nick Cave, and more. Craft has long been a realm accessible to the broadest range of individuals, providing an opportunity to explore personal creativity, innovation, and technical skill. This exhibition foregrounds varied backgrounds and perspectives in craft, from the vital contributions of Indigenous artists to the new skills and points of view brought by immigrants to the United States.
Developed by Jen Padgett, associate curator at Crystal Bridges, and Glenn Adamson, guest curator and scholar of craft, design history, and contemporary art, Crafting America asserts craft's integral role in expanding the story of American art and is accompanied by a major multi-author illustrated publication published by Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas Press.
For more information, please visit https://crystalbridges.org/exhibitions/crafting-america/
Luxe Lifestyle Magazine
From the article:
In 2017 Ahlers took the leap and opened his own gallery in downtown Asheville. Regarding his newest venture, Momentum Gallery, Ahlers comments,"I wanted to continue to raise the bar for the local art scene and provide a venue that introduces museum-quality work from around the country while simultaneously showcasing the best of this region. We are passionate about elevating the Asheville community as an Arts Destination, propelling our artists' careers, and promoting their work to national and international audiences." Momentum Gallery presents a highly-curated collection of some of the finest artwork being made in the country. Ahlers says impeccable craftsmanship plays a role in the works he selects, as the gallery celebrates material-based traditions rich in the area and reflects a contemporary aesthetic in harmony with natural surroundings.
Momentum Gallery currently features about forty artists' work, several of whom Ahlers has worked with for nearly twenty years. "It's a privilege to have that kind of longevity with an artist, to witness larger arcs in their career or see a relationship between ideas they're working through now and something they may have explored a decade or more ago."
Ahlers cites the collection at Momentum is constantly evolving with incoming works, curated exhibitions which typically run for two months, visiting artists, and more. The gallery offers considerable diversity, showing paintings, original prints, sculpture (both wall-mounted and freestanding), and unique studio furniture pieces.
Master of the Craft
Hoss Haley, Glacier, Repurposed washing machine skins, 60 x 132 x 24 inches.
Read this article on Hoss Haley and learn more about him and his work!
From the article:
Haley compares the artists’ ideal process to children stacking blocks — as they’re building a tower, kids don’t question how high it’ll go: “That’s not on their mind; they’re just responding. And I think we learn our way out of that, and we learn that everything we do has to be with certain intention,” he says. “The goal is to kind of get back to that and say . . . ‘Now I need to get out of the way and let it do what it’s going to do.’ I think there’s a lot [to be said] about just getting out of your own way.”
Saturday March 7th with Marilyn LauferMaltby Sykes (1911 - 1992), Abstract Drawing, Pen & ink, 22 x 17 inches.
In conjunction with our exhibition of Maltby Sykes' (1911-1992) work, Momentum Gallery is pleased to welcome Marilyn Laufer, Director Emerita of the Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University, Saturday, March 7 at 2:00 pm, for an in-gallery reception and informative talk on Maltby Sykes' work at our 24 N Lexington Avenue location in downtown Asheville.
This event is free and open to the public.
Emergence with Vicki Grant, Ivy Jacobsen & Alysia Fischer
As spring unfolds and bare winter branches give way to budding blooms, Momentum Gallery presents Emergence, a collection of recent works by three artists that reveals the magic and mystery of the season. Artist, archeologist, and anthropologist Alysia Fischer incises intricate leaf patterns into rubber innertubes, upcycling them into draping wall pieces and freestanding stitched sculptures that reference seed pods and chrysalides. Vicki Grant’s architectural compositions of textured and painted porcelain integrate with actual seed pods, mineral specimens, and live-edge sections of wood evoking the surface of stone and tree bark. The exhibition features new works from Grant’s ongoing Botanical, Windows to the Earth and Quilted Whimsey Series along with elongated cylindrical Spirit Sticks and the debut of the NC artist’s latest 16 x 16 inch wall sculptures, Woodland Harmonies, that sandwich Grant’s textural clay between spalted maple boards. Ivy Jacobsen’s moody and atmospheric paintings of trees, wildflowers, and hanging gardens offer an unexpected look at flora and the drama and beauty of her botanical subjects. Rendering space through layers of veiled elements, Jacobsen’s paintings evoke a sense of calm and wonder.
Emergence continues at the gallery’s 24 N Lexington Avenue location through May 2020.
Alysia Fischer, Daisy Chains, incised rubber.
Alysia Fischer, stiched rubber
Exhibition Opening Thursday, Feb 13th, 5-8pm
Momentum Gallery, located at 24 North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, hosts an opening reception for its first exhibition of the new year - Maltby Sykes (1911-1992) - Thursday, February 13, from 5-8pm. Light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.
This solo exhibition features a collection of original lithographs and mezzotints printed in the 1950s and 60s by southern modernist Maltby Sykes. Sykes (1911-1992) enjoyed a robust life of world travel and rich experiences learning with noteworthy artists. Having trained with John Sloan in New York, Diego Rivera in Mexico, and André Lhote and Fernand Léger in Paris, Sykes learned about painting and mastered numerous printmaking techniques. Revered by generations of students, Sykes openly shared the knowledge he gained from these masters and retired Professor Emeritus at Auburn University where he taught for many years.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Momentum Gallery is pleased to welcome Marilyn Laufer, Director Emerita of the Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University, Saturday, March 7 at 2:00 pm, for an in-gallery reception and informative talk on Maltby Sykes' work at our 24 N Lexington Avenue location in downtown Asheville. This event is free and open to the public.
Maltby Sykes' sophisticated, mid-century modern prints are often monochromatic with bold and graphic subjects inspired by his travels, mythology and religion, and world events during his lifetime. Momentum Gallery is pleased to present this collection acknowledging the importance of Sykes' contributions in the field of printmaking and his legacy. Sykes once stated that "artists are witnesses of their time." The power of these words cannot be overstated as Sykes presented works representing lunar expeditions, Asian, Cuban and American landscapes, and other pieces relating to the time period he lived. Sykes was the recipient of a NEA grant (1967) and his works are in the permanent collections of a number of museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; and Asheville Art Museum, NC.
Twenty-five rarely seen original prints and paintings by Maltby Sykes are presented along with a select group of sculpture and studio furniture pieces by gallery artists. This exhibition continues at Momentum Gallery's 24 N Lexington Avenue location through Saturday, March 28th.
Their work debuts at Momentum February 13th, 5-8pm
John Littleton and Kate Vogel
Momentum Gallery is pleased to welcome our newest artist partners - John Littleton and Kate Vogel. Internationally known and highly regarded, the husband and wife team have worked collaborativey for the past forty years, designing and creating some of the most recognizable sculptures in contemporary art glass.
Germination, Cast glass, gold leaf, mica, and fiberglass, 17-1/4 x 7-1/8 x 6-1/2 inches.
An initial collection of unique sculptures from a few of their most iconic series debuts at Momentum's location on Lexington Avenue during the Maltby Sykes opening reception, Thursday, February 13th, 5-8pm. Littleton and Vogel's dramatic ikebana-inspired works combine glass flowers, bronze, and patinaed steel, beautifully-detailed cast hands hold, examine, and offer precious objects, and the meditative and boat-like 'vessels for the soul' suggest the symbolic journey. Recurring figurative imagery combines with lotus blossoms, faceted gemstones, and other clever pairings that tell a story of discovery, wonder, and reverence.
Vessel for the Soul, No. 2, Cast glass, steel, 10-1/4 x 33 x 9-3/4 inches.
John Littleton and Kate Vogel met at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where they received their Bachelors degrees. Since 1979 they have lived in the mountains of North Carolina where they began their collaboration on blown and cast glass in the studio of John's father, Harvey Littleton. In 1980 they moved to Bakersville, NC where they maintain their home and studio.
Ikebana Inspiration, Glass, steel, and bronze, 54 x 41 x 10 inches.
John and Kate's work is in public and private collections in North America, Europe, and Asia. They have been spotlighted in magazines, newspapers, television, and are featured artists in the film "The Blue Ridge Parkway - America's Favorite Journey" showing at the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center.
We are very proud to be working with John and Kate again and to welcome them into the Momentum family.
Momentum Gallery’s construction at 52 Broadway continues to unfold – we seem to have really turned a corner with the project! Most of the structural work is complete, the sprinkler system and plumbing have been installed as the front awning begins to emerge. Contractors have started framing, and the gallery is quickly beginning to take shape beyond the wide-open space it’s been the past few months. There are a lot of exciting things in store for our new space and a number of new artists we’re planning to bring in! Momentum Gallery will reopen on Broadway this summer – please stay tuned!
This year, Wendy Maruyama was honored with a USA fellowship. It is an annual award of $50,000 to distinguished artists of varying disciplines. We are so happy to congratulate Wendy on this achievement and incredibly proud to represent her at Momentum Gallery!
Wendy Maruyama, Tule Lake, Wood, steel, ink, plant material, 48 x 20 x 15 inches.
Wendy Maruyama is a furniture designer, installation artist, and professor emeritus of woodworking and furniture design at San Diego State University. After studying for two years at Boston University, Maruyama went on to complete her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She was one of the first women to graduate from the program. Although best known for her work in designing furniture pieces that verge on the conceptual, Wendy has worked for decades working with numerous mediums. She frequently explores themes that stem from her Japanese heritage, as well as feminism and social practice.
Wendy Maruyama, Fractured, Tarpaper, nails, oak (reclaimed from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Estate) 12 x 85 x 14 inches.
Maruyama has exhibited around the world and has work within many public and private collections, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Mint Museum of Art + Design, North Carolina. Maruyama was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2008. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2010 California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant; the Japan/US Fellowship; several National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Visual Artists; and a Fulbright Research Grant to work in the United Kingdom.
Opens Thursday, November 14
Heather F. Wetzel
This year’s curated exhibition of intimately-scaled works by gallery artists and special guests addresses themes of memory, the passage of time, mortality, and the natural world. Although small in scale, these works have real presence, conveying the sensibility and proficiency of their accomplished makers. Delicate wood feathers, atmospheric landscapes, narrative figurative work, haunting photography, and works addressing climate change come together to form a provocative collection.
Small Works | Big Impact is an annual exhibition that affords our clientele the opportunity to discover and acquire exquisite original works by artists new to the gallery. They are great options for intimate spaces and make unique holiday gifts* – even if you're just treating yourself! *The gallery will allow purchased works to leave in time for the holidays and plans to introduce new works periodically through the exhibition, which continues into the new year. Participating artists include: Samantha Bates, Jessica Calderwood, Miriam Carpenter, Rosa de Jong, Ivy Jacobsen, Mark Matthews, Greg Sand, Paul Sattler, David Shingler, Brian Sostrom, Heather F. Wetzel, and more!
Rosa de Jong
Small Works | Big Impact opens at our 24 N Lexington Avenue location Thursday, November 14th with a reception from 5-8pm. All are welcome. Free and open to the public. Additionally, We are thrilled to give back to our community with our first ever HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY! For every guest at the Opening Reception on November 14th, we will donate $1 to Make A Wish Foundation that creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illness! We will also give one lucky visitor an original work by one of the gallery's artists! Your presence is the best present! Help us give generously to Make A Wish and you might win a gift too! Check out our Facebook event for more info!
Our annually curated collection of intimately-scaled works perfect for holiday gifts, SMALL WORKS | BIG IMPACT, begins with an Opening Reception this Thursday, November 14th, from 5-8pm at our downtown Asheville art gallery, located at 24 N Lexington Avenue. During the reception, we will be hosting Momentum Gallery's first ever HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY! For every guest at the Opening Reception on November 14th, we will donate $1 to Make A Wish Foundation that creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illness! Help us give generously to Make A Wish and you might win a gift too! We are delighted to share that all attendees will be eligible to win a gift from Momentum Gallery! One lucky visitor will be the recipient of an original piece of art by one of our thoughtful makers! We are excited to show you the newest work arriving to the gallery, and we look forward to giving someone a gift of original art! We hope you'll join us this Thursday – your presence is the best present! We are grateful for your support and this is just one way we are giving back!
For more information, please visit our Facebook event! We look forward to seeing you!
We just returned from SOFA Chicago and enjoyed an enthusiastic reception to our artists' work at the 2019 installment of the international art fair! It was great visiting with our collectors from year's past and meeting so many new people. Highlights included giving a tour to the Smithsonian Women's Group, spending time with our artists and clients, placing work for several new artists, and sharing information about the incredible artwork and studio furniture we brought to Chicago! We exhibited works by eighteen different artists. It was all incredibly well-received – each one garnered attention for their thoughtful creations. Below are some images from the fair. Enjoy!
New Work is Already Coming In
Mariella Bisson, THE STREAM OF MEMORY, Oil & mixed media on linen, 38 x 60 inches.
Upon seeing Mariella's highly textural landscapes, we just knew they would resonate with our collectors! The artist's process invloves painting watercolors en plein air and having those works become the origin of her collage-based oil paintings. What we didn't know, was that Mariella would love this region so much, that she would be inspired to visit waterfalls around western North Carolina time and again, capturing the colors and geometry of our beautiful area. Collectors have fallen in love with her aesthetic and we have placed works around the country and even beyond our borders. Congratulations to our dear friend for her immense success and selling out her recent solo show with us! We are honored to be her representation!
Mariella Bisson, 5 TREES, 5 MOUNTAINS, Oil and mixed media on linen, 50 x 38 inches.
New works have already been received here at our downtown Asheville art gallery and Mariella's book, Setting Shapes, is currently available for sale for $25. Highlighting recent works in addition to significant paintings created over the past decade, Setting Shapes examines the behind-the-scenes of each piece, providing insight into the inspiration and process. With studio shots, drawings, and history lessons, the book allows you to experience the paintings to their fullest extent and appreciate the energy and contemplation behind them.
Mariella Bisson, HIKERS BRIDGE, Oil and mixed media on linen, 38 x 60 inches.
Papua New Guinea
We are proud to share that Momentum Gallery artist partner, Amy Gross, recently completed a series of nine wall mounted showdowbox works for the US Embassy in Papua New Guinea. Gross notes, "They're a merging of my vocabulary and the native plants, birds, plants, fungi, and sea life of Papua New Guinea. It's a fascinating place, and the subtropical nature there was such a strange combination of familiar and completely new to me, a symptom of my living in a place where much of the nature comes from somewhere else." The works are framed at 10 x 10 x 3 inches/each. Congratulations, Amy!
Here are some images of some individual works and the overall collection.
THIRD FRIDAY DURHAM - OPEN UNTIL 8pm
Momentum Gallery at Hamilton Hill (MG@HH) is open late for THIRD FRIDAY DURHAM! On Friday, November 15th, visit MG@HH, located at 905 W Main St, Durham, North Carolina, until 8pm!
Hamilton Hill Jewelry, located in Brightleaf Square, and Asheville-based Momentum Gallery, are parterning to provide the Durham and Triangle area new access to museum-quality artwork. Hamilton Hill, a boutique-style jewelry store focusing on modernist designers, continues its mission of nearly twenty years while adding visual arts to its offerings. We opened MG@HH to much fanfare just two months ago and the partnership is already off to a great start! There's still time to catch our initial collection featuring nine prominent NC artists' work along with paintings by Momentum artist partners Michael Barringer, Casey Roberts, and Ron Isaacs! We're replacing works as they sell, and before Thanksgiving, MG@HH will have a special, small collection of small works in conjunction with the show in Asheville! Both can be seen through the end of the year. Join our Facebook event!
Wednesday, November 13th, 1-1:30pm
On Wednesday, November 13 from 1-1:30pm, all are invited to the Asheville Art Museum for the official Ribbon Cutting ceremony of the new facility! The museum will be open that day free of charge from 1-6pm. The new building is a celebration of our arts community, with high tech features and a warm atmosphere. Congratulations to Pam Myers, the staff and volunteers of the Asheville Art Museum, and our entire community! The museum's displays rotate through their collection, so you'll want to become a member and revisit often! Also, our friends Tony and Matthew of Food Experience provide sumptuous treats (and cocktails!) in the cafe!
September 12 – November 9, 2019
Momentum Gallery, in downtown Asheville, hosts an opening reception for its fall group exhibition –
A New Leaf, Thursday, September 12, from 5-8pm.
A New Leaf is a sophisticated collection of original works celebrating the charm and beauty of one of nature’s great wonders – foliage. From atmospheric photography to glass sculpture, trompe l’oeil relief paintings, and eye-popping infinity mirrors, exquisite works are cast or constructed from actual leaves while others imitate their natural counterparts. Coinciding with leaf season in the mountains, this exhibition continues at 24 N Lexington Avenue through Saturday, November 9.
Demetra Theofanous collaborates with her partner Dean Bensen to compose arrangements of remarkably detailed, cast glass leaves into cascading, wall-mounted arrangements that appear as if they’re being blown by the wind. Painted birch plywood constructions by Ron Isaacs cleverly replicate clothing and foliage, fooling the eye and prompting viewers to question the subject's reality. Artists Jo Stealey and Hillary Waters Fayle utilize actual foliage in their imaginative works. Fayle deftly arranges and embroiders leaves to make intricate mediations, while Stealey fashions tonal wall-hangings with bold geometric patterns reminiscent of layered tapestries.
Other artists participating in A New Leaf include: Elizabeth Busey, printmaking; Jeri Eisenberg, photography; Linda Ethier, cast glass; Amy Gross, mixed media; Kit Paulson, lampworked glass; Sandy Rothberg, photography; Jim Sams, wood sculpture; and Tim Tate, mixed media.
Momentum Gallery returns to Chicago in early November
Momentum Gallery is pleased to announce we will once again be a participating exhibitor at SOFA 2019. The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design.
Garry Knox Bennett
Once again, Momentum Gallery will present a diverse collection of work in a variety of media. This year Momentum's booth will include studio furniture by acclaimed artists Garry Knox Bennett and John Dodd, monumental steel sculpture by Hoss Haley, contemporary painted wood by Gil Bruvel, trompe l'oeil dresses by Ron Isaacs, and exquisitely designed work by Thor & Jenifer Bueno (glass), Jeannine Marchand (ceramics), and Crystal Gregory (textile). The gallery is also proud to include new sculptural wood work by masters of the medium – Christian Burchard, Ron Layport. and David Ellsworth.
Critically acclaimed and continuously running since 1993, what distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation, with an elite selection of international dealers presenting for sale one-of-a-kind masterworks in handsome, custom-designed gallery exhibits. SOFA is held annually in the fall at Chicago's major destination, Navy Pier, with an average of 80 dealers and 35,000 people attending.
Thor & Jennifer Bueno
With a strong educational emphasis, SOFA CHICAGO includes an acclaimed lecture series and special exhibits exploring the artworks on view and surveying new trends in the art world. A VIP program includes exclusive events tailored to high-profile gallery clients and collector/museum groups. SOFA has evolved into a dynamic international marketplace and community – a confluence of perspectives where art, design and people intersect.
Opening Night Preview
Thursday, October | 31 5 - 9pm
VIP Ticket Holders Only
Friday, November 1 | 11am - 7pm (10 - 11am VIP hour) | All Ticket Holders
Saturday, November 2 | 11am - 7pm (10 - 11am VIP hour) | All Ticket Holders
Sunday, November 3 | 12 - 6pm | All Ticket Holders
Festival Hall, Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Contemporary Textile Artist
MOMENTUM GALLERY INTERVIEWS CRYSTAL GREGORY
(photo credits: Stephanie Land)
Momentum Gallery inaugural artist, Crystal Gregory, is a fiber artist and sculptor dividing her time between Brooklyn, NY and Lexington, KY. She received her BFA from the University of Oregon and her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago via a full Merit Scholarship. Gregory's seemingly weightless sculptures often explore the feminine qualities of fiber juxtaposed with the masculine qualities of industrial materials like concrete and iron. The artist recently completed a residency with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, where she explored the limits of fibers and the history of the widely celebrated material in a collection of new works.
Josef and Anni Albers are known for their impressive work with the Bauhaus School, an early 20th-century Avant-Garde school in Germany focusing on innovative design and crafts, and Black Mountain College, a school outside Asheville that incubated a number of the most progressive and influential creatives in the mid-20th century. Crystal Gregory is particularly inspired by renowned fiber artist, Anni Albers, known for blurring the lines between traditional craft and art. Anni was first a student of weaving at the Bauhaus and later invited onto the faculty, helping to propel the weaving department to world-class standards.
With World War II approaching, the Bauhaus closed its doors in response to harsh regulations under Nazi regime. Upon immigrating to the US, Josef and Anni Albers were invited to join the faculty of Black Mountain College where they ultimately encouraged students to experiment with materials and push the boundaries of craft. Anni founded the weaving workshop at BMC, and while writing, teaching, and making art herself, she introduced a new type of curriculum, defined by John Dewey's exhortation to "learn by doing."
Crystal Gregory's residency in the summer of 2019 delved into the works of Anni Albers and a portion of her research was conducted here in Asheville at The Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center. Having just completed this residency, Gregory is excited to share some thoughts on and the inspiration behind her latest series.
MG: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
CG: I have always been curious about and driven to make things, but it wasn't until I moved to New York City that I understood it as an identity, a career, and a lifestyle. New York City was a completely liberating and compelling place to spend my 20s. The people I met and love there are driven and passionate and excited to pursue their dreams. This energy ignited a confidence in me that I hope to pass forward.
MG: What first drew you to working with fiber and concrete? Is there a particular message you think these materials convey individually and together?
CG: My work uses cloth construction as a fundamental center, a place to start from and move back to. With a background in weaving, I see myself as a builder. I draw a clear connection between the lines of thread laid perpendicularly through a warp and the construction of architectural spaces.
In The Pliable Plane, Anni Albers considers architecture in relationship to woven textile. If the nature of architecture is the grounded, the fixed, the permanent, then textiles are its very antithesis. If, however, we think of the process of building and the process of weaving and compare the work involved, we will find similarities despite the difference in scale. Functionally, both divide space and create shelter. Both are created from individual parts which retain their identity - brick by brick or thread by thread. Textile, however, has the advantage of flexibility. It is a semi two-dimensional plane that has the ability to be folded, draped, moved, and changed to its surroundings. It is pliable. It is moveable.
In these works, I challenge myself not only formally and technically but as a thought exercise. Both materials are drenched in collective experience. We know and understand these materials because they surround us in our everyday. Maybe because of this familiarity they are charged with specific identities; hard/soft, strength/pliability, cold/warmth. Through our materials we come to understand these words; to wrap our experiences in them to use them in speech to express to one another. My work is to go deep into these understandings and try to tease out how they color our world, our relationships, and our attitudes.
MG: Were there any challenges with finding a way to engineer fibers and concrete to coexist so seamlessly?
CG: Definitely. I have been working in this series (among others) for over five years now. In that time, I have learned a lot about both materials. Weaving is a forever process and although I have been weaving for almost fifteen years, I only obtain a drop in the well of her vast knowledge. She keeps teaching me every time I come to the loom. Concrete is an antithetical process to that of weaving. Where one is slow and meditative the other is fast and unforgiving.
MG: You've also explored glass as a material. Can you tell us about those experiences?
CG: I was so thrilled to have been invited to be an artist in residence at Corning Museum of Glass in March of 2018. There I worked with a team of glass blowers headed by Eric Meek to produce of series of glass textiles. I was interested in working in glass as a vehicle to think through the similarities between the properties of glass and those of textiles - structure, pliability, strength, translucency, vulnerability. Through this comparison important and interesting embedded understandings surfaced.
What has become interesting to me was thinking of these forms in the relationship to the hand of a fabric. The hand of a fabric refers to the feel of the fabric against your skin. There are many adjectives that can be used to describe the hand, or feel, of a fabric. Words like cool, slick, smooth, loose, stiff, heavy, and stretchy can all be used to tell someone about the hand of a fabric. In relation to glass these adjectives talk about not only the material process, but the relationship between the material and the body.
The result of this work were five pieces that resembled folded and stacked fabrics. The series undulated color and patterns mimicking those of woven fabrics but in a cool hard and breakable material.
MG: You received a full merit scholarship for the Art Institute of Chicago for your MFA, how did that program impact your work?
CG: My grad school experience shaped my life as well as my art practice. I was able to work with incredible artists and now mentors like Anne Wilson, Christine Tarkowski, Diana Guerrero-Maciá as well as a truly wonderful group of peers. Those two years in Chicago challenged me in ways I could never have expected, and I believe are still teaching me.
MG: You teach at the University of Kentucky; do you have a favorite lesson or piece of advice you give to your students?
CG: Every day and every person is different, which is part of what makes teaching interesting. I do love to teach weaving though. I find that people can lean on the structure and the rhythm of making a cloth to find a certain freedom. It takes time, concentration and focus and through that practice many unconscious ideas arise. The textile is often only the vehicle that allows you to tap into what is deeper.
MG: Is there a particular material you would like to work with more in the future?
CG: I have been thinking a lot about the knitting machine and looped structures. I love the metaphor it builds of making a plane out of a single line. The grace it captures through this shapeshift. It bends and folds back on itself making interlocking loops that work together to form a material with elasticity.
MG: What do you hope clients and viewers will take away from your work?
CG: I don't know if I have a good answer to this question. Making to me is very personal and I think looking is as well. We all come to our present moment through a history of experiences. And use those experiences to understand the moment. My work, I believe, lives in a realm of universal experiences because of the materials I choose. I guess I hope to draw attention to that by representing them to the viewer in an unfamiliar way, allowing for a re-recognition whatever that means to the individual.
MG: Can you tell us a little bit about your recent residency at the Joseph and Anni Albers Foundation?
CG: June and July (2019) were spent as artist in residence at the Albers Foundation. The Foundation maintains two residential studios for visiting artists who exemplify the seriousness of purpose that characterized both Anni and Josef Albers. Residencies are designed to provide time, space, and solitude, with the benefit of access to the Foundation's archives and library. Residencies are awarded by invitation and by application.
My time at this residency was entirely focused on thinking and making and for that was extremely productive. There I competed a new body of work of woven concrete constructions which will be exhibited across the country as well as in the Netherlands over the next 6 months.
I also had the time and space to develop a new project titled Pliable Plane. This project is a collaboration between a modernist dance group, the Moving Architects, and myself. The work is of a monumental scaffolding structure interwoven with a complex textile. The dancers will interact and change the shape and environment of the sculpture through movement.
MG: What originally inspired you about the work of Anni Albers? What did you learn at Black Mountain College and Arts Center?
CG: Anni Albers was and continues to be a hugely influential artist not only because of her works, but because of her philosophies, the way she wrote and the ways she taught. From Bauhaus to Black Mountain College, Albers was an advocate for experimentation and invention not only in the field of art but also in education.
With a grant from the Great Meadows Foundation I traveled to Asheville, NC in March of this year. During my time there I was able to visit the exhibition, Politics at Black Mountain College, which looked closely at "the politics surrounding the college and its controversial faculty and students." This exhibition was inspiring and gave world context of how and why this revolutionary school developed at that point in history. The exhibition looked at global politics and how with WWII being fought in Europe, the school was able to create a place that held space for the cultivation of creativity and experimentation. The exhibition looked at race and gender politics within the context of the school as well as within the American South during the 1930's and 40's.
On the second day, I got to spend an afternoon visiting with the program director Alice Sebrell. Alice is incredibly passionate about Black Mountain College and spent time showing me the textiles that came out of the weaving studio. This was a highlight of my trip.
What interested me the most in my visit was a notebook kept by one of Anni Albers students while at Black Mountain College. The notebook was a clear articulation of different woven interlacements, drafts and notes on content of the class. This was such a wonderful object to get to spend time with. It allowed me insight into how Albers' philosophies on weaving were presented within a course of study. I teach a course titled Woven Structure at the University of Kentucky, and I look forward to sharing this with my students.
MG: Is there a particular work of Anni's or moment in her career that speaks to you the most?
CG: That is a great question. This answer might change over the years, but for now it is no. I am inspired by the wholeness of her career. Her persistence, her process and her dedication as her focus undulated from weaving to writing to print and back again. I admire her insight and ability to go deeply into what she studied.
MG: Is there anything you would ask Anni if she were still alive?
CG: I believe it would be my job in that relationship to listen. I think that may be the most profound thing she taught, even if she never quantified it in those terms. She asked herself, her readers, her students to listen to the materials and respond to what they are saying. This is a forever challenge not to be overlooked.
MG: What do you think a major takeaway from this project was and how do you think it will impact your future work?
CG: My time at the Albers Foundation was incredibly grounding. My goal is to take with me that level of insight and the silence it takes to do the work and to do the listening back into my hectic day-to-day life.
MG: Thank you for your time, Crystal.
Third Friday in Durham, September 20th, 6-9pm
ASHEVILLE GALLERY EXPANDS WITH “MOMENTUM AT HAMILTON HILL”
SATELLITE GALLERY IN DURHAM – FIRST SHOW OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th, 6-9PM
Hamilton Hill Jewelry, located in Brightleaf Square, and Asheville-based Momentum Gallery, announce a partnership to provide the Durham and Triangle area new access to museum-quality artwork. Hamilton Hill, a boutique-style jewelry store focusing on modernist designers, will continue with its mission of nearly twenty years while adding visual arts to its offerings. The partnership with Momentum Gallery commences with a reception during Third Friday Durham on September 20 when Hamilton Hill will debut original 2-D and 3-D works by several notable artists from North Carolina and beyond. Please join us from 6-9pm! All are welcome.
The initial Momentum at Hamilton Hill collection will consist of recent works in a variety of media by several premier North Carolina artists including Thor & Jennifer Bueno (blown glass); Hoss Haley (fabricated steel); Bill Hall (minimalist collage); Anne Lemanski (original prints); and Jeannine Marchand (abstract ceramic sculpture). The inaugural collection will also feature works by artists Michael Barrringer (paintings); Ron Isaacs (trompe l’oeil constructions); Casey Roberts (cyanotype paintings); and Michael Enn Sirvet (powder-coated aluminum sculpture). Artwork will be refreshed quarterly and exhibitions showcasing individual or paired artists are planned.
Hamilton Hill Jewelry offers one of the finest and most exclusive selections of designer jewelry found in the U.S. With the addition of selling fine art curated by Momentum, owner Sarah Hill and founder Michael Hamilton are realizing a dream as both consider art their avocation and once considered pursuing curatorial roles and museum work. It is their shared passion for art and design that has inspired their jewelry choices and influenced Hamilton Hill’s gallery-like decor and environment. Seeking design excellence, style variety, and a broad price range, Hamilton Hill curates the best in contemporary jewelry from the US, Europe, South America, and beyond. Jewelry includes modernist platinum, high-karat gold made with ancient techniques, naturalistic sterling silver, sleek stainless steel, and even rubber and aluminum jewelry.
Hamilton Hill's mission is To Serve and Delight, making them the perfect partner for Momentum Gallery. We are delighted to welcome you and look forward to serving you at our new satellite location in Durham!
This summer we installed a new Air Conditioning system at Momentum Gallery on Lexington Avenue! Some of you may recall we are located in a building that's about 100 years old – which has tremendous character, but can also present some challenges... Last year our air conditioning unit provided some respite from the heat – but not nearly enough! With our brand new system in place, we love hearing visitors say, "wow, it's so cool in here!" We agree!
We are so proud of all our artists! Read about the fantastic work of Momentum Gallery's artist partner Amy Gross in the lastest issue of luxe. interiors + design magazine (Palm Beach | Broward edition) and see some of Amy's most recent work at the gallery in our contemporary foliage-themed exhibition, A New Leaf, September 12 – November 9, 2019.
Amy Gross in her studio working on Flora Heredita. The work appears in our foliage-themed exhibition, A New Leaf (September 12th, 2019 to November 9th, 2010)
Momentum will also feature several of Amy's mixed media pieces at SOFA Chicago, October 31 – November 3, 2019. Please contact the gallery for complimentary tickets to attend the international art fair, held annually at Navy Pier.
Thanks to Asheville Made for featuring us in August's Gallery Watch! Check it out!
Opens June 27th 5-8pm
Give Me Wood is a mind-blowing collection of contemporary painting, sculpture, and studio furniture unlike anything Asheville has seen. Central to the identity and creation of all the extraordinary two- and three-dimensional works in the exhibition is the common material of wood. The exhibition celebrates the Asheville debut of several innovative artists. Please join us for the Opening Reception of Give Me Wood on Thursday, June 27th, from 5-8pm at our downtown Asheville art gallery located at 24 N Lexington Avenue. Drinks and refreshments will be provided. All are welcome. This event is free and open to the public.
Give Me Wood includes three works from Wendy Maruyama’s recent EO9066 series. The series refers to Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry. It also led to the establishment of internment camps that housed 120,000 US citizens forced to remain there until the end of WWII. Sadly, some of these same internment camps are now being reinstated for migrant children.
The exhibition also introduces renowned furniture maker and American Craft Fellow, Garry Knox Bennett. It’s been said Bennett, “combines enormous talent for sculptural form with unique genius for finding beauty in unconventional objects.” Bennett’s innovative work exhibits meticulous craftsmanship and articulates the artist’s sense of humor and robust spirit.
Other notable works in Give Me Wood include Gil Bruvel’s dynamic sculptures of faces formed of painted sticks, Tom Eckert’s marvelous, veiled trompe l’oeil sculptures, Michael Alm’s constructions depicting woodland animal cross-sections, Sylvie Rosenthal’s wood skull and marbled stop watch, and exciting new works by Momentum Artist Partners Christian Burchard, David Ellsworth, and Ron Layport. The exhibition continues through Labor Day at our Lexington Avenue location.
Opening June 27th 5-8pm
Mariella Bisson’s tranquil and dynamic oil-over-collage paintings feature built-up texture, suggesting the complex surface of stone and tree bark, lichen, and moss. Mariella will be at Momentum Gallery for the opening of her show as we welcome a dozen never-before-shown paintings, all of which were inspired by local waterfalls and landscapes from the area, including scenes from Pisgah National Forest to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Let’s celebrate the region’s beauty with a refreshing take on contemporary landscape paintings!
In addition to Bisson’s solo show, her brand-new book, Setting Shapes is available for sale for $25.
Highlighting recent works in addition to significant paintings created over the past decade, Setting Shapes examines the behind-the-scenes of each piece, providing insight into the inspiration and process. With studio shots, drawings, and history lessons, the book allows you to experience the paintings to their fullest extent and appreciate the energy and contemplation behind them.
Introducing new fantastic and contemplative oil paintings
A collection of recent narrative works by Paul Sattler occupies our Feature Gallery. An accomplished oil painter, Paul Sattler was the recipient of the John R. Solomon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Dramatic narratives unfold in his charged and enigmatic oil paintings which reference historic and literary sources. Sattler comments, “A diverse population of animals are enmeshed in my works’ human-inhabited environments, theatrical locales, and domestic dramas.”
New oil paintings convey complex emotions through abstract landscapes
Samantha Keely Smith creates inspired and stirring abstract paintings in oil. The Brooklyn-based artist sees her paintings “as an expression of our internal turbulence. They reflect the overwhelming reality of being constantly aware of what is happening in the wider world – Change is the only constant.” Smith’s nebulous compositions are evocative of luminous cloudscapes and primordial oceans. Brilliant areas of stained pigment collide with waves of painterly brush strokes ultimately conjuring imagined environments with a timeless quality. “These paintings are about the essence of who we all are, as human beings… We all want love and connection.” Smith’s works give form to fluctuations between turbulence and calm present in everything from our emotions to the temporal world. Overall, Smith’s focus is on the underlying psychological impact of the dawning awareness of our shifting reality.
World renowned word turner and Momentum inaugural artist, David Ellsworth, is currently featured in Asheville Made. Ellsworth has work in over 40 museum collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Ellsworth's aesthetic embraces nature's irregularities and might be compared to the Japanese principle, wabi-sabi, where anomalies that arise through the process of making add uniqueness and elegance to the work. Commenting on his distinctive technique, David offers, “I know how it feels to do work through a process of feel rather than sight. That intimacy needs to be reflected in the final form.”
While his work is regularly represented in the gallery, Ellsworth is one of the featured artists in our upcoming invitational wood show, Give Me Wood opening June 27, 5-8pm and continuing through Labor Day.
The full article can be found here.
Veil will be a part of the permanent collection of the Huntsville Museum of Art
We are thrilled to announce the placement of Joanna Manousis’ Veil in the permanent collection of Huntsville Museum of Art! British artist, Joanna Manousis, lives and works in the United States, creating sculptural objects and installations in glass and mixed media.
Manousis comments, “Taking on the formation of a 16th Century Dutch bridal veil, Veil is fabricated with thousands of individual round glass disks (murrini) – whites, creams and ivories – in an assortment of sizes. Assembledover a 3-month period, like stitching embroidery into fabric, the glass pieces are fused in 4 panels in a kiln and then laminated onto waterjet-cut sheet mirror. The veil covers its viewer with intricate adornment, just as its textile counterpart did hundreds of years ago.”
Dissolution: Seth Clark and Jason Forck
Join us at 24 N Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, Thursday, May 2nd, from 5-8 pm, for an Opening Reception with artists Seth Clark and Jason Forck. Their collaborative show, Dissolution, explores what becomes of architecture with the passing of time. Jason and Seth present works they collaborated on as well as pieces created independently. Original collages are featured along with freestanding sculpture and wall installations made from glass and wood. Detailed architectural formations, in various sizes, play a significant role in the cohesive collection, with shingles made from glass and exposed beams and interior bracing lending to the works' authenticity.Clark and Forck came together through a mutual interest in Americana landscape and the concept of abstraction through decay. They are attracted to the aesthetics of buildings and architectural systems that are dissolving and dissipating. Dissolution describes their work formally in terms of architecture in collapse, but it also describes their collaboration in terms of disassembling ideas and then bringing them back together. Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Dissolution is a result of a one-year, Idea Furnace residency at Pittsburgh Glass Center that pairs glass and non-glass artists for explorations in material, content, and process.
Detailed architectural formations, in various sizes, play a significant role in the cohesive collection, with shingles made from glass and exposed beams and interior bracing lending to the works' authenticity. About the work, Seth Clark comments, “I see an inherent honesty in the face of my subject. Among all of the clutter—the shards of wood and layers of rubble—there remains a gentle resolve. The buildings, often on the brink of ruin, have something very energized and present trying to escape from their fragmented reality.”
Momentum Gallery is pleased to bring these artists and their dynamic body of work to Asheville for the first time. A strong collection of two- and three-dimensional work by two artists speaking in one voice—the Jealous Curator comments about Dissolution, “Perhaps one of the most amazing collaborations I’ve ever seen! They truly figured out how to blend their artistic skills and talents to create something beautiful.” Dissolution opens with an artist reception Thursday, May 2nd from 5-8 pm and continues at the downtown gallery’s Lexington Avenue location through Saturday, June 22nd.
Summer Exhibitions Open at Momentum Gallery
Thursday, June 27, from 5-8 pm Momentum Gallery, located at 24 N Lexington Avenue, hosts an Opening Reception for the following new collections, coming in for the summer: Mariella Bisson, Setting Shapes; New Work by Lisa Clague & Paul Sattler, and the sensational invitational Give Me Wood, featuring stimulating, contemporary sculpture and paintings that share wood as the central material. These exhibitions continue at 24 N Lexington Avenue, our downtown Asheville art gallery, through the end of August. More details to follow in our next newsletter!
Mariella Bisson deftly delineates the sculptural planes of regional waterfalls and sylvan scenes creating refreshingly contemporary landscape paintings. Her oil-over-collage paintings feature built-up texture, suggesting the complex surface of stone and tree bark, lichen, and moss. Bisson's paintings demonstrate a strong understanding of formal composition and reflect a sensibility honed from time she's spent immersed in the outdoors. Of note, Bisson is a two-time recipient of the Pollock-Krasner grant and was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in painting.
Lisa Clague is an internationally known sculptor. She has been the recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship and the Virginia Groot Foundation Grant. Clague’s dreamlike ceramic and mixed media figures are elegant and mysterious. While a psychological component is evident, many of Clague’s works suggest the relationship between mankind and the natural world.
An accomplished oil painter, Paul Sattler was a recipient of the John R. Solomon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. In 2004, he was selected to exhibit at the 179th Annual Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art at the National Academy of Design in New York, where he received the Wallace Truman Prize. Dramatic narratives unfold in his charged and enigmatic oil paintings which reference historic and literary sources. Sattler comments, “A diverse population of animals are enmeshed in my works’ human-inhabited environments, theatrical locales, and domestic dramas.”
Give Me Wood is an imaginative and evocative collection of contemporary painting and wood sculpture. Central to the identity and creation of all the extraordinary two- and three-dimensional works in the exhibition is the common material of wood. The participating artists defy logic, explore space (both real and imagined), carve, bend, turn, and otherwise construct some truly amazing and innovative work! Featuring Garry Knox Bennett, Gil Bruvel, Christian Burchard, Tom Eckert, David Ellsworth, Ron Layport, Wendy Maruyama, Jason Middlebrook, Sylvie Rosenthal, Dan Webb, and more.
Selected as Finalist for 2019 Southern Prize
Please join us in congratulating Momentum Gallery inaugural artist Amy Gross as the finalist (second place) for the prestigious 2019 Southern Prize, a fellowship which recognizes and celebrates the highest quality artwork being created in the American South! Based on the sole criterion of artistic brilliance, Amy was chosen as the finalist from a pool of more than 800 applicants by a national jury. Her imaginative and refined, hand-embroidered and beaded fiber sculptures "suggest not only what can be seen, but also what cannot: the early alterations of time, the first suggestions of disintegration." More can be read about Amy's work and the fellowship here.
Imagine our delight when we saw Bryce Lafferty's work featured in Hi-Fructose Magazine! We were so pleased that they included a number of works currently appearing in our In the Landscape and Of the Landscape exhibition (March/April 2019). Lafferty's elaborate drawings in watercolor and gouache take us on a journey of discovery, eluding to the story behind the geology and inner connections within the landscape.
Reflections on three decades as a master printer at Pace Editions, NYAs master intaglio printer at Pace Editions in New York for almost thirty years, Bill Hall collaborated on hundreds of print editions and worked with many well-known artists, including Helen Frankenthaler, Jim Dine, Chuck Close, Mary Heilmann, Robert Mangold, and James Turrell. On Saturday, May 25, from 3-5 pm, Hall will share prints and stories from his career at Pace. We hope you'll join us Memorial Day weekend at our N Lexington address for a rare opportunity to experience these works in an intimate setting.A number of Bill Hall's works will also be displayed, of which the Asheville artist comments, "Contrary to a lot of minimalist art, I am not reaching for pure abstraction. Instead, I pose questions about reality with contrasts, random design, movement, and ambiguities. In my work, flat shapes move in or out of the picture plane. Surfaces are stained and scarred, as if seen from a topographical viewpoint. I often use grids to establish order, then employ random means, like the throw of dice, to bring tension and disorder."
North Asheville home featured in CH+G Magazine
We love seeing Momentum in clients' homes! Check out this cool profile in the latest issue of Carolina Home + Garden and try to spot works by the following Artist Partners – Mariella Bisson, Christian Burchard, David Ellsworth, Brian Fireman, Drew Galloway, and Ron Isaacs! Thanks to Carolina Home + Garden, Samsel Architects, David Dietrich Photography, and of course our North Asheville clients for loving our artwork!
International glass survey during Venice Biennale
We are excited to announce that Momentum Gallery artist, Tim Tate, has been selected to participate in the sixth edition of GLASSTRESS, an international collateral event of the Venice Biennale investigating the relationship between contemporary art and glass. Each artist was invited to explore ‘how glass redefines our perception of space’, which, for those of you who are familiar with Tim’s work, describes his groundbreaking and conceptual glass pieces perfectly. Other artists invited to participate include Ai Weiwei, Tony Cragg and Thomas Schütte. Debuting in 2009, GLASSTRESS aims to revive the traditional craft of Murano glassblowing by creating new unions with internationally renowned artists. It has since become an unmatched platform demonstrating innovative and cutting-edge works in glass. Representing the United States, Tate's contribution to this prestigious exhibition is Endless Cycle, an infinity mirror Momentum Gallery was honored to show. Referencing gun violence, this provocative piece will surely garner a lot of attention worldwide. To read further, please visit the Washington Glass School’s website here. Congratulations Tim Tate! We are so proud of you!
Best of WNC – Mountain Xpress Poll
We hope you agree that Momentum Gallery is the Best Local Art Gallery in Asheville! Vote here! You must register and vote in 30 categories in order for your vote to count, so here are some suggestions. We appreciate your support!
M O M E N T U M G A L L E R Y
✔Local Art Gallery
✔Store that Represents the Spirit of Asheville
✔Business that Represents the Spirit of Asheville
✔Best Customer Service
✔Craft Oriented Gallery
✔Local Asheville attraction
✔Place to take Your Eccentric Friends
Some other suggestions for local artists:
✍Best Ceramic Artist: Lisa Clague or Jeannine Marchand
✍Best Metalsmith: Hoss Haley
✍Best Woodworker: David Ellsworth
✍Best Painter/Illustrator: Andy Farkas
In the Landscape and Of the LandscapeWilliam Henry Price, The Dawn Chorus, Acrylic on panel, 20 x 16 inches
Please join us for an
Artist Talk and Reception
In the Landscape and Of the Landscape
Jennifer Bueno | Bryce Lafferty | William Henry Price
Sunday, March 31 st,
3:00–5:00 pm (Artist Talks begin at 3:30 pm)Jennifer Bueno, Air Pollution Over China, Watercolor, hot-sculpted glass, copper, wood,60 x 96 x 8 inches
We hope you will join us this Sunday afternoon for a special reception and informal artist panel, offered in conjunction with The Collider's Climate City Expo. Meet the three artists featured in the current exhibition: In the Landscape and Of the Landscape at Momentum Gallery, 24 N Lexington Avenue in Downtown Asheville. Each artist will speak individually about their work, followed by an open discussion citing shared influences and overlapping themes they explore, and an opportunity for Q&A. Beverages and light refreshments are offered. This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome.
Bryce Lafferty, Megaflora, Watercolor and gouache, 40 x 51 inches
Featured in the Laurel of Asheville Magazine
Thanks to the Laurel of Asheville for featuring Momentum Gallery artist, Jennifer Bueno, in the March issue of the magazine. Check out this article on Jennifer - and then come and see her work in our current exhibition, In the Landscape and Of the Landscape, up at Momentum Gallery in Downtown Asheville through April 27th, 2019.
Jennifer also appears on an Artist Panel at a Gallery Reception on Sunday, March 31st, from 3-5pm, at 24 N Lexingotn Avenue. Come meet the artist and enjoy a drink with us! We look forward to seeing you!
At 24 N Lexington Avenue
Bryce Lafferty, West (The Tree of LIfe), watercolor & gouache, 46 x 94 inches
On Thursday, February 28th, Momentum Gallery opened two new exhibitions with three artists featured in each show. In the Landscape and Of the Landscape and Vernacular both feature regional artists whose work is influenced by the world around them.
Jennifer Bueno, Mississippi and Kazakstan in the Same Time, glass, 24 x 60 inches
In the Landscape and Of the Landscape
Jennifer Bueno | Bryce Lafferty | William Henry Price
Three regional artists draw inspiration from nature, creating imaginative and intuitive works that respond to environmental conditions, explore unseen interconnections, and incite investigation.
William Henry Price, Astarte, 42 x 52 inches
Three artists convey their wonderment with the natural world and allude to its unseen, inner workings. Through abstract expression, imaginative cross-sections, and works that depict satellite views of our planet, they take viewers on a journey of discovery and introspection. Dimensional blown glass and mixed media works, emotive paintings, and original drawings attempt to reveal the impermanent and transient nature of things as well as the consequence of Man’s presence in the landscape.
Phil Blank | David C. Robinson | Sasha Schilbrack-Cole
Narrative paintings, original prints, and ceramic sculpture by three regional artists reference subjects such as faith, race, and identity in the South.
Phil Blank, The Bean Kings, watercolor, gouache, ink
Sasha Schilbrack-Cole, Comforted, but not for long, etching, 8 x 6 inches
David C. Robinson comments, “I hope to encourage the viewer to reflect on the not-so-distant past and to perhaps invite a reexamination or reevaluation of one’s own prejudices and assumptions associated with race, religion, and cultural differences. There is something almost mythical about the deep south that is every bit as dark, powerful and timeless as a Greek tragedy or as absurd, complex, and ironic as a Shakespearean comedy.”
David C. Robinson, Question of Faith, ceramic
featured in WNC Magazine
Image courtesy of WNC Magazine
The sensual curves of Jeannine Marchand's unglazed ceramic Folds Series have delighted visitors to Momentum Gallery since we opened our doors in October 2017. Since then, the gallery has taken Marchand's distictive work to art fairs in Chicago and Miami placing pieces in several major collections. WNC Magazine recently caught up with the ceramist to discuss her process and inspiration. The full article can be seen here.
Jeannine Marchand is one of Momentum Gallery's original artist partners. Her understated and elegant works–framed (and unframed) wall sculptures, vessels, and dramatic free-standing sculptures can always be seen at Momentum Gallery. We are proud to work with some of the region's most talented makers!
featured in Asheville Made
Image courtesy of Asheville Made
Anne Lemanski is one of the local makers profiled in the current (February 2019) issue of Asheville Made magazine. One of Momentum Gallery's original artist partners, Lemanski was one of six artists the gallery represented at CONTEXT Art Miami last December. For CONTEXT, Lemanski made one of her most ambitious pieces to date, a life-size tiger standing on a 32 inch diameter ball! The sculpture, Tigress T1, was named after a tiger in India that made news while Lemanski was working on it. Tigress T1 features an impressive "skin" composed of kaleidoscopic photographs of plastic drinking straws. Lemanski quite deftly hand-stitched adjoining panels ensuring continuity to the mosaic pattern over the surface of the multi-faceted piece. An image of Tigress T1 and the Asheville Made article can be seen here.
Lemanski's tiger, a blue shark, and a rabbit may be seen along with the artist's prints at Momentum Gallery's Lexington Avenue location. We hope you'll stop by to see this amazing artist's work!
featured in Asheville Made
Image courtesy of Asheville Made
It is a privilege to work with such amazing artists! Asheville Made magazine recently featured local superstar, Cristina Córdova, on their cover! Cordova's work can be seen at a number of museums including Charlotte, NC's Mint Museum and the Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI.
From Racine Art Museum's website... "Córdova has become nationally known for her large-scale figurative sculptures. Because they are representational, her works suggest to viewers some form of narrative or a literal story. However, upon closer examination, her figures express a wide range of emotions for they are much more personal in meaning and open to multiple interpretations.
"Córdova was a dancer throughout her youth and her figures demonstrate an understanding of stance, gesture, and body language that is almost theatrical. The artist remembers studying statues of saints in Catholic church, while attending services with her family as a child. She was struck by the emotions expressed by these figures but also their hand gestures, body positions, and the drape of their robes. Some of Córdova's sculptures recall the openness of devotional statuary as their glistening eyes and open faces invite one's gaze. At the same time, her works challenge the viewer, as if the subject has been interrupted in a moment of thought or reflection.
"Córdova was born in Boston to parents who were studying in medical school, but spent her childhood in their native Puerto Rico once her parents had completed their studies. She received her BA degree at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 1998 and her MFA in Ceramics at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2002. In 2003, she entered a three-year residency at the Penland School of Art in North Carolina and has remained in the community since then."
Cristina Córdova's two-headed piece "Arco" received a lot of attention in Momentum Gallery's latest installment of Small Works | Big Impact, an annual exhibition of smaller scaled pieces by visiting and represented artists. You can read the Asheville Made article here.
Friday, February 1st, at 5PM at 24 N Lexington Avenue
Pam Longobardi’s Drifters Project, an exhibition of photography and installations made from ocean plastic, draws to a close at 24 N Lexington Avenue at the end of this month. It has been a real privilege to share her work with you, and we’re excited to welcome Longobardi for a closing reception/gallery talk/book signing on Friday, February 1st, at 5PM. This event is free and open to the public. The artist will talk about her experiences with refugees in the Mediterranean and her work that addresses the environment, climate change, and humanitarian issues. Light refreshments will be served during this Artist Reception and Book Signing. We hope to see you there.
Longobardi’s artwork involves painting, photography, and installation to address the psychological relationship of humans to the natural world. She has exhibited her artwork across the US and in Greece, Monaco, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Costa Rica and Poland. She currently lives and works in Atlanta and is Professor of Art at Georgia State University. Presently she drifts with the ongoing Drifters Project, following the world ocean currents. With the Drifters Project, she collects, documents and transforms oceanic plastic into installations and photography. The work provides a visual statement about the engine of global consumption and the vast amounts of plastic objects and their impact on the world’s most remote places and its creatures. Longobardi’s work is framed within a conversation about globalism and conservation. Longobardi participated in the 2013 GYRE expedition to remote coastal areas of Alaska and created project-specific works for the exhibition at the Anchorage Museum February 2014. Longobardi was featured in a National Geographic film on the GYRE expedition and her Drifters Project was featured in National Geographic magazine. Also in 2013, Longobardi created a site-specific installation for a special project of the Venice cultural association Ministero di Beni Culturali (MiBAC) and the Ministry of Culture of Rome for the 55th Venice Biennale, on the Island of San Francesco del Deserto in the Venetian Lagoon, a work made from plastic water bottles, mirrors and a satellite dish that signaled an apology to St. Francis across the lagoon to the island of Burano. She exhibited photography in Seescape at George Adams Gallery in New York, and won the prestigious Hudgens Prize (2013), one of the largest single prizes given to an artist in North America. She has an ongoing collaboration supported by the Ionion Center for Art and Culture in Metaxata, Kefalonia, Greece. In 2014, Longobardi was awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor, and has been named Oceanic Society’s Artist-In-Nature.
About Drifters Project, Longobardi comments:
“In 2006, after discovering the mountainous piles of plastic debris the ocean was depositing on the remote shores of Hawaii, I began collecting and utilizing this plastic as my primary material in my project called Drifters. Since then, I have made scores of interventions, cleaning beaches and making collections from all over the world, removing thousands of pounds of material from the natural environment and re-situating it within the cultural context for examination. These collection missions were originally done solo, as part of my process, but soon grew to encompass thousands of people in hundreds of global sites. I approach the sites as a forensic scientist, examining and documenting the deposition as it lay, collecting and identifying the evidence of the crime.
Plastic objects are the cultural archeology of our time. These objects I see as a portrait of global late-capitalist consumer society, mirroring our desires, wishes, hubris and ingenuity. These are objects with unintended consequences that become transformed as they leave the quotidian world and collide with nature to be transformed, transported and regurgitated out of the shifting oceans. The ocean is communicating with us through the materials of our own making. The plastic elements initially seem attractive and innocuous, like toys, some with an eerie familiarity and some totally alien. At first, the plastic seems innocent and fun, but it is not. It is dangerous. We are remaking the world in plastic.
In keeping with the movement of drift of these material artifacts, I prefer using them in a transitive form as installation. All of the work can be dismantled, reconfigured but nearly impossibly recycled. The objects are presented as specimens on steel pins or wired together to form larger structures. I am a conceptual artist with a strong affinity to materials and process. I was trained as a painter and printmaker, and continue this in my studio practice, but have always worked in varying mediums from photography to painting and collage to installation, allowing the ideas to dictate the materials I work with. I am interested in the collision between nature and global consumer culture. Ocean plastic is a material that can unleash unpredictable dynamics. I am interested in it in particular, as opposed to all garbage in general, because of what it reveals about us as a global culture and what it reveals about the ocean as a type of cultural space, as well as a giant dynamic engine of life and change. As a product of culture that exhibits visibly the attempts of nature to reabsorb and regurgitate this invader, ocean plastic has profound stories to tell.”
What will your story be for 2019?Momentum on Broadway, downtown Asheville's newest contemporary art gallery, located at 52 Broadway Street, hosts a storytelling event with local printmaker and raconteur Andy Farkas, New Year's Day 2019.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Free and Open to All Ages
Refreshments servedAndy's beloved fables are inspiring to young and old alike. We encourage you to plan a visit to Momentum on Broadway for this special welcome to the new year! What will your story be for 2019?Ring in 2019 with a special New Year’s Day Artist Talk! Please join Momentum Gallery to welcome Asheville-based printmaker Andy Farkas for a casual, storytelling event that is free and open to the community.
Printer and bookmaker Andy Farkas combines the art of wood engraving and moku hanga (Japanese watercolor woodblock printmaking) with handset letterpress text to create narrative vignettes that engage and inspire. Like fables, his enigmatic and imaginative stories delight audiences of all ages.
On January 1st at 2pm, please join Momentum on Broadway and welcome Andy Farkas to share several original stories and talk about his creative process. The gallery will also have Andy Farkas original watercolors, never exhibited before.
At this reflective time of year Farkas’ work reminds us that, while we are sure to be presented with new challenges, we can let the experiences flow through us while we continue to grow and adapt.
Please bring your families and enjoy this storytelling event in our gorgeous new location in the heart of Downtown Asheville at 52 Broadway. The gallery will offer light refreshments. We look forward to sharing a sense of community with you on the first day of the New Year.Andy Farkas, THE TRANSFORMATION, Moku hanga, 11-1/4 x 8-3/4 inches, Edition of 70
Celebrate with Us: Thursday, November 15th, 6-9pm
We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new space, Momentum on Broadway! On Thursday, November 15th, from 6-9pm, join us for grand opening! Located at 52 Broadway Street, the opening of our new downtown Asheville art gallery brings more of the intriguing work you have come to love! New artists, new works, and a brand new space will all be highlighted during this celebration! All are welcome! Please join us!
Momentum Gallery hosts a special reception to celebrate the highly-anticipated opening of its new space located at 52 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville, Momentum on Broadway, on Thursday, November 15th, 6-9pm. A number of Momentum’s Artist Partners plan to be in attendance. The reception is free and open to the public.
Ron Isaacs, Couple, No. 17, acrylic on birch plywood construction, 8 x 8 x 1 inches.
This event marks the official unveiling of the first phase of renovation, for a 4000-square-foot space on the ground floor of the historic, three-story building Momentum acquired earlier this year. Clean lines and a brighter, more open venue await visitors who were familiar with the space previously occupied by Stuf Antiques. Momentum Gallery intends to continue upfitting additional square footage in the building over the coming months while maintaining locations on both North Lexington Avenue and Broadway Street.
Kate MacDowell. Memento Mori 2, Slip cast and hand built porcelain, glaze, 4-1/2 x 5-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches.
Select works by Momentum Gallery artists occupy the new space along with two exhibitions which also open November 15th, Small Works, Big Impact and Casey Roberts – Cyanotype Paintings. The former is an annual curated collection of paintings, sculpture, and mixed media works by gallery artists and special guests. Emotive ceramics, surreal painting, intricate glass curiosities, embroidered foliage, and memento mori come together in a provocative collection of intimately-scaled works by familiar and new gallery artists. Although small in size, these works are nonetheless powerful, conveying the vision and prowess of their accomplished makers and taking on themes of mortality, natural phenomena, and discovery. The exhibition features new works by Samantha Bates, Cristina Córdova, Amber Cowan, David Ellsworth, Hillary Waters Fayle, Amy Gross, Alli Hoag, Ron Isaacs, Kate MacDowell, Kit Paulson, Lawrence Tarpey, and more.
Casey Roberts, Moon Lit (River Without End), Cyanotype on paper w/ collage, 37 x 47 inches.
The gallery is thrilled to announce the Asheville debut of Casey Roberts with a one-person exhibition to open the new space on Broadway. Dreamy and contemplative – Roberts’ large-scale cyanotype paintings on paper depict a variety of domestic and wilderness subjects which evoke a still and wonderous world. Subjects the artist often revisits include trees, water, animals, and sky. About these works, the artist comments, “there is an intuitive wisdom in nature.” Through his thoughtful use of silhouettes and selective color, Roberts’ ethereal works, profound in their simplicity, tap into our longing for connection through nature.
Jordan Ahlers is fulfilling his vision of two decades to elevate the Asheville art scene with the opening of Momentum on Broadway. Already a cornerstone in the downtown gallery district, Momentum Gallery (and now Momentum on Broadway) add to the expanding cultural offerings Asheville is currently enjoying. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, November 15th! Have a drink with us - beer, wine, champagne, and craft cocktails by Troy & Sons will be provided!
What an honor!
Check out Amy Gross' interview on Colossal! Amy creates hand-embroidered and beaded sculptures that are beautiful and full of life - and yet they are created from all man-made materials, so there is no decay!"I do not collaborate with the nature that fascinates me, the myriad of visible and invisible interactions that lie at the heart of every insect, bacteria, tree, and spore. I collaborate with manufacturing. I use no found objects, nothing was ever alive." - Amy Gross
Trompe l'oeil Master
AN INTERVIEW WITH RON ISAACS
AF: Can you tell me about the trajectory of your art career?
RI: My parents were from eastern Kentucky, very rural, and they moved to Cincinnati before I was born. I was born in Cincinnati in 1941 and started drawing fairly early. And for some reason, we’ve never figured out why, when anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I never said anything but an artist. I don’t know where it came from or why. But at any rate I never questioned it. Didn’t even go through the cowboy stage or the fireman stage or anything.
My parents moved back to Kentucky when I was 12. I had no opportunity to take art in high school at all. What I did was self-taught until I got to college. I went to Berea College in Kentucky and majored in art there and then went on to grad school at Indiana University and majored in painting. So I was trained as a painter.
About 1970, while I was working on canvas as a normal painter would, I happened to get the idea of attaching a piece of sawed out plywood to the surface of the canvas with an image on it to add another level and a little bit more interest. After I did about three of those, painting images on the surface of the cutout wood, I said why do I need the canvas? I can make any shape I want! So that was my big epiphany and eureka moment and I started sawing out everything and layering them first.
I was doing figurative imagery at the time, based on magazines, newspaper, photographs and other sources. I was stacking things, lots of multiple images. And eventually that led to an improvement in craftsmanship and learning to construct things out of many pieces of wood, trying to make relief sculpture. These were then painted and the trompe l’oeil things came along, you know ‘fool the eye’. Garments were my first subject matter for that, filled often with figurative imagery pouring out of them or other things.
AF: And when was that?
RI: This was the early 70s, about 1972. I think the first piece was my own raincoat. It took me forever to try to build it out of 3/8 inch regular domestic plywood, which is pretty raw stuff. Lots of cheap filler and so on. Eventually I discovered Finnish birch plywood, which is much higher quality with no fillers and many layers. That was a big step up in improvement. That’s what became my career, basically, are these relief constructions. I now define them as being almost exactly halfway between painting and sculpture. I used to have a sculpture friend who would kid me that someday I was going to invent sculpture all by myself.
I sort of did because I stumbled in through the back door, I think. It’s still hard for me to think of myself as a woodworker or as a wood craftsman at all because I’m still making surfaces to hang paint on. I sometimes have to define myself as a sculpture or a painter. The works came out of painting but they really are exactly halfway between. That breaks down into the division of labor too, because it usually takes about half the work to construct and half the work to paint. Some are harder to build, some are harder to paint. The idea is to translate flat panels or sections of birch plywood of various thicknesses into something that flows, behaves, like fabric or leaves. That’s just my way of working that evolved out of the original imagery.
Ron Isaacs, TROUSSEAU, Trompe l'oeil. Acrylic on birch plywood, 19-1/2 x 33 x 2-3/4 inches
AF: How do you construct the pieces?
RI: A lot of Elmer’s carpenter’s glue...it’s very high tech [laughs]. Basically the garment or leaves, or whatever object it is, is pinned up to a Styrofoam board gridded off into one inch squares. It’s always a 1:1 relationship, I’m always looking at something. Then on paper gridded off in one inch squares I make a contour line pattern, just an accurate drawing of where all the edges are and the shapes involved and then I start making tracing paper patterns based on that and looking at the garment or object, trying to analyze it in terms of planes that I can saw out and join together to make a surface. A large piece may take hundreds of pieces of wood, a dress for instance.
If you get enough pieces of wood going you can build about any surface. They’re layered various ways. They aren’t carved, there are no knives or chisels involved, but there is a lot of sanding, which is a form of carving, I realize. But I’ve never learned to carve. And you don’t carve plywood easily anyhow. My strategy is to build as much of the surface as I can without making myself crazy and then to rely on the paint to carry the rest of the illusion.
I very much enjoy the fusion and confusion of real and illusory form. So part of it is actual form, which is where I have a leg up on the old trompe l’oeil painters, and the illusion of form I get from color and value changes and details that are painted on that. I use acrylic paints, I couldn’t possibly deal with the drying time of oil. This means I’ve had to develop some drybrush techniques and other techniques to be able to blend smoothly because you can only do so much wet into wet. Actually I do very little wet into wet. This is not the way I was trained to paint, I was actually a fairly painterly painter using oils until 1967. I’m still painterly because I see painterly. You can’t see a lot of brushwork in my pieces, but I’m not afraid for you to catch me painting. I’m not trying to completely hide the presence of a painter.
Ron Isaacs, PASSERINES, Trompe l'oeil. Acrylic on birch plywood, 23 x 42-3/4 x 6 inches
AF: What is your favorite tool?
RI: That would be a scroll saw, which allows me to make whatever shape I want. The only tools I really use are a scroll saw and a belt disk sander and a Dremel that I use with a ½ inch sanding drum. Mostly the scroll saw and the belt disk sander. I use about a #3 blade on the scroll saw.
One of my main strategies is to set up something as being real and then violate it. I’ll find a way to interrupt it or create a metamorphosis or a transformation of some sort to make you go back and say wait a minute, how did I get here and question the reality of it.
I don’t consider myself a woodworker, truly, because I’ve never been into the romance of wood. Wood is sort of a friendly mystery, but basically I’m trying to make a surface to paint on. And the wood is all covered up. Before the pieces are painted they aren’t bad looking relief sculptures, actually.
Ron Isaacs, LITTLE SISTER, Trompe l'oeil. Acrylic on birch plywood, 32 x 22-3/4 x 3 inches
AF: Do they always hang on the wall?
RI: Yes. I guess I’ve done one or two pieces that didn’t have a back side but you can’t go all the way around. That would make me nuts completely to try to deal with an object in the round. One nice thing about garments is they stay close to the wall and present a surface that I can actually construct. I never made it all the way to 3 dimensions, I’m a 2.5 dimension artist.
Ron Isaacs, COUPLES, Acrylic on birch plywood construction, 8 x 8 x 1 inches
AF: You mentioned the first piece you did was your raincoat. Does that mean you always have a reference garment in front of you?
RI: Yes, that’s right, and I worked my way finally to trompe l’oeil because I like the authority that it gives the work. The authority of something seen directly that becomes convincing. I’m not actually fully committed to or terribly interested in the trompe l’oeil part of it. It’s just my way of making an image and the image is the important thing. It’s just to give the image authority. I think a lot of trompe l’oeil paintings…while I can be entertained by them, it isn’t terribly deep. It’s mainly a demonstration of skill, I think. You do get some surprising and remarkable and impressive images that way but I’m not that interested in just demonstrating technique. I’m trying to make a strong image.
I was trained as a formalist. When I was in grad school we didn’t talk about content much, we talked about the formal elements. We talked about composition and things like that, and that’s still the major element in the work to me, what it’s doing visually. I’m very concerned with shape and negative space, with color and form in general. If I can get an interesting—I don’t know if I like the word interesting or not because it has a reputation as being sort of a weak word, but sometimes it’s the best word—I’m trying for an interesting image, a strong combination of visual elements that presents itself in a striking way. After that I’m very lucky if I can make something with a good degree of psychological resonance as well. Something that’s evocative.
I think my job is to make an interesting object that’s as evocative as I can make it that draws responses from the viewer without being pretentious about it. I find that the more I talk about content the worse it gets in general, so I’m better off to present the work and let the viewer bring what they will to it, and get what they will from it. I know that’s sort of a cliché of contemporary art, you know the open content idea where I bring my life to the work and now you bring yours. It sounds terribly corny and pretentious. But you know, your experience in front of a work of art is yours. I try not to mess too much with it. I present something that could have a number of readings, and probably can’t predict what you will get from it.
AF: Thank you for talking with me today.
Momentum Gallery proudly represents Ron Isaacs' work. Stop by to see his marvelous painted constructions at the gallery in Asheville anytime and at CONTEXT Miami, December 4-9, 2018. Please contact us if you'd like to attend the contemporary Miami fair – we are happy to provide you complimentary passes.
Tickets Available for Miami Art Week
Momentum Gallery is proud to announce our return to Miami Art Week in early December! We look forward to seeing the many collectors and friends that we met at the last two Miami art fairs and in our downtown Asheville art gallery over the past few months. We have enjoyed participating in Miami's dynamic and cosmopolitan art market, and it's an honor to have been selected to join CONTEXT Miami, December 4-9th, 2018.
We are bringing incredible new work by six Momentum artists to the celebrated contemporary art fair – this one is not to be missed! We are excited to represent Asheville in Miami's prestigious, international art event with dramatic new works by Samantha Bates, Hoss Haley, Ron Isaacs, Anne Lemanski, Michael Enn Sirvet, and Tim Tate. If you can't make it to Miami, be sure to keep an eye out on our Instagram page in December. If you would like complimentary tickets to CONTEXT, please call the gallery at 828-505-8550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – we are happy to assist you.