An Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia
OPENING EXHIBITION: Summer 2019
Asheville Art Museum (2 South Pack Square, Asheville 28801)
Appalachia Now!An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia will be the inaugural exhibition of the newly renovated Museum. The exhibition provides a regional snapshot of the art of our time—a collective survey of contemporary Southern Appalachian culture. This exhibition explores the amalgamation of tradition and present-day perspectives extant in contemporary artistic representations of life in this region. Appalachia Now! situates artists within a regional and national dialogue that spans time and socio-economic status. Whether works are bio-bibliographical, or address larger, universal themes, this cross-disciplinary exhibition invites visitors to participate in the individual experiences that make this part of the world so unique. It will celebrate contemporary artists living and working in Southern Appalachia, focusing on Asheville as a nucleus of creativity within the broader area of its adjacent states of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Appalachia Now! builds upon the Museum’s mission of collecting and interpreting 20th- and 21st-century American art in all media relevant to/produced in the Southeast and WNC. Inclusive and ambitious in scope, the exhibition will present a survey of works by emerging and established artists selected by Jason Andrew, a curator and juror of national renown. Andrew and Curatorial Assistant Lola Clairmont drove over 40 hours around the Southeast and made 54 studio visits with artists. Recognizing the importance of Affrilachia, a field a literary and artistic history that reclaims the previously overlooked African American history of Appalachia, Andrew hired Marie Cochran, founder of The Affrilachia Project, as a consultant. In order to promote underrecognized and emerging artists, Appalachia Now! will feature artists whose work is not yet represented in the Museum’s Collection.
The following 50 artists have been selected through recommendations from regional museums, curators, and art organizations and through an open submission process. The overwhelming regional interest in this exhibition was demonstrated in the participation of artists in the free, public open call; over 400 artists applied through the call. Overall, the Museum and Andrew researched over 700 artists for consideration in the exhibition. The selected artists represent all media, including painting, sculpture, new media, dance, and film.
Groups of at least 10 students or adults are invited to schedule a tour of the Museum’s Collection or special exhibitions. Our inquiry-based group visits, led by volunteer docents or Museum staff, challenge visitors to hone their observation skills.