Asheville Arts: Talent with a Special Touch

Asheville Artist Painting

Asheville and its neighboring mountain towns are not lacking in talent! From the potters, painters, and jewelry makers in the River Arts District to the broom makers and ceramic artists in Leicester, expressive artistic talent abounds.

Tucked away in West Asheville along the railroad tracks is a very unique art studio unlike any other in the town. It’s called the Open Hearts Art Center; a non-profit arts education program for adults with physical and mental health challenges. Serving approximately 60 adults annually, Open Hearts was incorporated in 2005 by three artistic woman (Sonia Pitts, Jessie Francis, and Debbie Harris) with a passion to serve western North Carolina’s underserved community. Weekly art teachers at Open Hearts include students from local colleges/universities and retired community volunteers.

Although North Carolina offers other day programs for adults with disabilities, Open Hearts is unique, due in no small part to its Boundless Arts program. Boundless Arts offers participants/artists the opportunity to explore local art galleries and studios (travel!), while simultaneously building community volunteer skills at festivals, recreational events, and unique arts exhibits. In short, Open Hearts allows its special artists the opportunity to operate physically and artistically in a non-restrictive, creative environment that embraces physical, emotional, and mental health challenges. The opportunity to express raw emotion and life frustration with the stroke of a brush produces powerful art work.

Asheville Art Painting

Asheville’s broader professional artistic community has enthusiastically embraced the Open Hearts Center, with frequent invitations to display work in local galleries, at fundraisers, on the walls of restaurants, and even in local homes. Perhaps you’ve read other media articles about Open Hearts, including a January 2016 Asheville Citizen-Times piece, or you’ve seen their artistic work on display. If not, then you’re missing a treat! Stop by the Woolworth Walk (25 Haywood Street) in downtown Asheville during the month of February, as Open Hearts is the “featured artist.”

If you’re reading this and thinking, “That’s pretty cool! I’d like to get involved with this unique arts effort and give back to my community,” then have no worries. Open Hearts has plenty of volunteer and donation opportunities.

If you’re also reading this blog and thinking, “I’d like to explore Asheville’s broader arts scene,” or “I’d like to volunteer, but the arts are not really my thing,” then we can hook you up with information. Click on the links below to identify galleries, studios, festivals, and other volunteer opportunities.

Plan now to hit the streets of Asheville and its vibrant arts scene, with special attention to the artists who have made “giving back” their life’s mission.

Links to the Asheville area Art Scene:

Local Volunteer Opportunities

This blog post was brought to you by Lori Brown!

New Asheville Art At The Social Lounge

jennings ingram asheville artist

If you have not been to the Social Lounge and Tapas Bar on Broadway in downtown Asheville lately, you need to pass by and check out the new art on the walls by Jennings Ingram!

artist asheville jennings ingram

So many beautiful pieces to choose from. Lots of horses on the walls this month, but several have already sold.

kate jennings ingram asheville

Supporting up and coming artists such as Jennings Ingram in the Asheville community allows more creativity to flow!

fine artist jennings ingram

She also offers custom art requests, so contact her for more information.

4 Asheville Artists Featured on Artisan’s Art Walls

asheville artist dave brockman

Artisan Cafe and Coffeehouse in Candler had recently re-invented their interior with beautiful design and decor. But something was missing. The walls were empty and screamed for local Asheville area art. Kris, the owner, decided to call them “Artisan Art Walls” and reached out to a few folks in the area. Today the place is filled with creativity from several artists. Artist Dave Brockman has filled the largest area with custom artwork.

asheville artist alligator jane

Alligator Jane is the newest Artist featured at Artisan. After several shows in Asheville, her work is now displayed at several venues, and they also ship to customers nationwide.

asheville artist stacy hana

Artist Stacy Hana believes that “everyone has an artist within” and teaches painting with a focus on seniors and children. As a graduate from Peace College, and then furthered her art potential at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro NC.

asheville photography barbara gershenson

Barbara Gershenson is a photography Artist with a collection of pieces from her traveling experiences across the United States of America.

Artisan Cafe and Coffeehouse in located at 1390 Sand Hill Road, Candler NC 28715 and has openings for three more local Artists to feature their work. All of this art is for sale. 10% of all sales will be designated to MANNA Foodbank, and the Artist keeps the other 90%. Stop by, check out the great work, and try some of their delicious food while you are at it.

Ikebana International Conference in Asheville

Ikebana Asheville Conference It all started with a text from my mom, she is the contest chaser in the family, always entering us into these drawings. She told me that I had won 2 tickets to go to the Ikabana International 17th North American Regional Conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville North Carolina. And there was also a Facebook post on AskAsheville from Craig at Pristine telling me that I had won some tickets and to take him. I then received an email from Holly Headrick at WLOS telling me where to pick up the tickets. ikebana asheville north carolina There were demonstrations from the likes of Jennie Sterling, Emiko Suzuki, and Akihiro Kasuya. We went through the aisles and viewed the beautiful art, arrangements and styles. When I got back home, I jumped on the website to learn more about Ikebana. ikebana international artists We met some new friends while we were there, and hope to see them again, somewhere around the world! ikebana international in asheville nc Ikebana Asheville Chapter #74 usually meets the fourth Tuesday of each month February through October at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 10am.

Fun Times at Montford Music and Arts Festival in Asheville

montford music and arts fest So many great events happen during the Spring and Summer in Asheville. Montford Music and Arts Festival is one of those times that feature music, art, food, drinks and a wonderful community gathering. montford music dance fest asheville We always start by walking down the street and getting an overview of what is going on, meet a few people and get in festival mode. asheville music montford fest The music on the stages featured many local artists in the Asheville and WNC area. asheville on bikes montford fest Asheville on Bikes had a “Bike Corral” where you could park your bike, saving you from looking for a parking spot. Plus, we are all Strive Not To Drive minded lately, so it fit in perfectly. gianna grace gigi demyan gary josiah Here is a personal photo I took of two of my older sons walking my baby daughter down Montford Ave during the festival. asheville fairy And, we got to meet a real-life fairy! Well I guess Asheville is known for that already, but I am always happy to see one of these breeds.

We also took a few 8 second Vine videos of Music, Dancing and even a Dragon! The Montford Music and Arts Festival happens every year for the last 11 years. Make plans to come out and enjoy the fun with us for 2015.