Dear Museum Members,
A little over a year ago, we unveiled the long-awaited new Asheville Art Museum and welcomed you into a vibrant, art-filled center for the community that we created together. I think I speak for many who worked so hard and contributed so generously throughout the capital campaign, planning, and construction when I say that we were elated to see the Museum truly come alive, hosting many visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Not only had we reopened, but we also had new, exciting, and inspirational exhibitions and programs planned for 2020 and beyond. I, for one, never envisioned what we as a community, a country, and in fact the entire world would experience in 2020: unimaginable loss, great hardship, anxiety, and dismay.
We enter 2021 in a world forever changed by our shared experiences. What a “new normal” may look like, we have yet to discover. I believe we must all be part of creating a new landscape and hope that what we have learned this past year will stand us in good stead as we do so. I honor and thank all of those on the front lines in so many capacities. I am grateful for new partnerships and fruitful collaborations across all disciplines and areas of expertise in the community, region, and country.
As someone who has spent her life surrounded by the arts, I am in awe of the strength of the human creative spirit in all fields. As we move forward, we are committed to keeping our doors open to all, to being a place for everyone to find relief, respite, and inspiration, to keeping our amazing team employed, and maintaining the Collection we hold in the public trust. We will continue to develop our technical and virtual skills, revise and revamp our programs to keep everyone safe and engaged, and look for innovative ways to support our educators, families, artists, friends, and community.
The Museum was founded in 1948. In our seventh decade, Josef Albers’s famous desire “to open eyes,” remains ours as well. With our eyes open, meaningful learning and dialogue are possible. A recent visitor told me that she had experienced being immersed in almost all three hours of the Question Bridge: Black Males installation in the Museum’s multipurpose space. She shared that she was brought to tears, to laughter, and ultimately to new understandings about the lived experiences of others. That is the power of art. As we have, we will surely face challenges. Creatives always find new ways forward and new ideas to explore. As we re-envision the future, please join us. Share your thoughts via survey, email, mail, phone, or in-person. We value your input always.
Please be well and safe as we move into the new year.
Pamela L. Myers