VOTE! and Make It Yours
Vote for your Favorite Artwork

The Museum has been hard at work with a team of experts to bring our visitors an exciting reinstallation of the Collection. Thanks to a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for American Art, visitor favorites as well as new acquisitions will help tell the vibrant story of 20th- and 21st-century American art both here in WNC and beyond.

The reinstallation will be accompanied by the first-ever catalogue of the Collection. Comprised of essays, information about specific works of art, and color illustrations, the catalogue will allow visitors to “bring the Collection home.”

Reinstalling Your Favorites from the Collection

Help shape the new installation by voting for your favorite work from the Collection. Choose one work from the ten detailed below, and tell us why it is your favorite artwork by clicking the email link below your selected artwork; participating in our online poll; calling 828.253.3227 x122, or by visiting us at 175 Biltmore Avenue.

Which of these artworks would you like to see in the new Museum? Why? Cast your vote by October 14, 11:59pm!

Below, we’ve included a quote from a member of the Asheville Art Museum’s staff about each of the works.


1. Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.372), c. 1954, iron wire, 30 × 24 inches. Black Mountain College Collections. Gift of Lorna Blaine Halper.

Laura Wheeler, Visitor Services + Museum Shop Manager: “In my admittedly overly scheduled lifestyle I crave and appreciate moments of quiet peace. Ruth Asawa’s ability of expressing peace, grace and permanence with sharp, woven wire into flowing curvy shapes provides a needed rest in an increasingly stressful world. The opportunity to share with museum visitors and myself a moment of mediation and sense of quiet calm is a cherished gift.”

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2. Stoney Lamar, Blue Tree Shoes, 2009, walnut, steel, and milk paint on wood, 73 × 20 × 22 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by John & Robyn Horn and Blue Spiral 1.

Kristen Boddy, Membership + Events Manager: “I love how such a simple piece can be so powerful. Depending on my mood, this work can seem serene and meditative or it can be a symbol of strength and energy. I would really enjoy seeing this piece in the exhibition.”

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3. Romare Bearden, Sunset Express, 1984, collage on panel, 12 × 14 inches. Museum purchase.

Jen Swanson, Communications Manager: “I love Romare Bearden’s explorations of collage, and this artwork has vivid details, texture and color juxtapositions that capture the eye. Bearden was born in Charlotte, grew up in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance and traveled quite a bit, giving him unique political, intellectual and cultural points of view that shape his work.”

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4. Yaffa & Jeff Todd, Glenn Ayer Forest, 1986, glass, 10 × 11 × 3.5 inches. Gift of Sonia & Isaac Luski.

Lola Clairmont, Curatorial Assistant: “Explorations in the medium of glass are part of the ingenious spirit of this region, and local artists Jeff and Yaffa Todd exemplify creative collaboration within our inspiring natural landscape. Drawn in by the depth of the glass, I find myself immersed within the forest of their making, a calm escape eternally encapsulated.”

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5. Rowena Bradley, Rivercane Planter with Walnut Dye, c.1994, 12 × 12 × 12 inches. Gift of Billie Ruth Sudduth.

Whitney Richardson, Assistant Curator: “I like Rowena Bradley’s rivercane basket because if you’ve ever tried to make a basket yourself, you’ll understand just how talented she was! It is also important to have in the collection because she was carrying on a Cherokee tradition that was almost lost.”

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6. Jonathan Williams, Beauty and the Beast (Francine du Plessix and Joel Oppenheimer), 1951, photograph, 15 × 15 inches. Black Mountain College Collections. Gift of the artist.

Erin Shope, School & Family Programs Manager: “A woman poised for strength, ready to fend off anything the world sends her way, perhaps even the scheming antagonist we see sneaking into the foreground. There are many ways to view this image by poet Jonathan Williams but I can never see it as anything but artistic fun, three writers and college friends photographing their shenanigans long before the era of social media. It lightens my mood each time I see it.”

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7. William C.A. Frerichs, Western North Carolina Landscape, c. 1860, oil on canvas, 30 × 38 inches. Museum purchase with the assistance of the 2011 Collectors’ Circle.

Cindy Buckner, Associate Curator: “Nowadays it is not so unusual to see a painting or a photograph of Western North Carolina scenery created by a European artist, but that wasn’t the case in the 19th century! Our region has been drawing in visitors and immigrant families for centuries, and this beautiful painting is one product of that phenomenon. A native of Ghent (then part of the Netherlands), William Frerichs lived in Greensboro, NC with his family during the 1850s and 1860s.”

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8. Kenneth Noland, NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST, 1990, acrylic on canvas, 66-5/8 × 120 inches. Black Mountain College Collections. Gift of the artist.

Lindsey Solomon, Capital Campaign/Development Associate: “I’ve always been drawn to abstract, color field paintings. In North South East West, I think the soft acrylic wash in the center of the canvas is really beautiful against the hard lines near the edges – it seems like an expansive world in one rectangle. Knowing Kenneth Noland is from Asheville makes his work even more special.”

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9. Karen Karnes, Untitled Sculpture, 2003, wood-fired and glazed stoneware, 8-1/2 × 5-3/8 inches. Black Mountain College Collections. Museum purchase with funds provided by June & Vito Lenoci, Helga & Jack Beam, and Pamela L. Myers in memory of James Roy Moody.

Hilary Schroeder, Curatorial Assistant: “The Museum has several wonderful ceramic works by Karen Karnes, including a functional batter pitcher from her years running the ceramics studio at Black Mountain College. However, I’m partial to this much later sculptural form. I see a playfulness that revels in the squishy tactility of wet clay. Since the work is untitled, I feel as if the artist invites me to see something new every time I look at it: a sea creature, melting chocolate, or even a wild pair of bell bottom pants!”

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10. Luke Haynes, [The American Context #16] Christina’s World, 2012, used clothing, new fabric, cotton barring, and thread, 110 × 90 inches. 2015 Collectors’ Circle purchase.

Kristi McMillan, Adult Programs Manager: “Luke Haynes has roots in Asheville, and now works as an artist and textile designer internationally. His inventiveness with materials and techniques make him a standout as a quiltmaker. Several of his quilts, including Christina’s World, were featured in our exhibition Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters a few years ago; visitors loved the way he mixed art history with contemporary life to make truly original artworks.”

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