Asheville Art Museum and Center for Craft exhibits UNCA alumni

Staff Reports

UNC Asheville art and new media alumni, with careers spanning more than two decades, will return to their college hometown for exhibit openings Nov. 14 at the newly renovated Asheville Art Museum and Nov. 16 at the newly renovated Center for Craft.

Image courtesy of Center for Craft official website
Image courtesy of Center for Craft official website

Making Meaning

The inaugural exhibition of the John Cram Partner Gallery at the Center for Craft, Making Meaning, brings together 14 UNC Asheville alumni whose work shifts perceptions of material, method and meaning, creating new vocabularies in clay, digital media, photography, printmaking, assemblage and textiles. Through interdisciplinary practice, rooted in their experiences within a liberal arts model, these artists present expanded possibilities for innovation.

  • Kate Averett ’15 sculpts “clay bodies” while her blog Hysterics probes the relationship between art and the body;
  • Carley Brandau ’13 employs textiles to immerse us in swaths of language;
  • Bobby Emrick’s ’19 renderings transport us to views of the world beneath our feet;
  • George Etheredge’s ’16 photojournalism carries us into the lives of others;
  • Leslie Frempong ’16 embraces absence in her digital photographs;
    Sally Garner ’13 weaves VHS tape, enveloping us in a new textile landscape;
  • D. Forest Gamble ’19 characterizes sound through 3D animation;
  • Lillian Bayley Hoover’s ’02 paintings preserve spaces for a better future;
  • Chas Llewellyn ’11 marries our “junk” with emerging technologies, inviting us to play;
  • Tatiana Potts ’12 builds upon the architectural past and future through printmaking and folded paper reliefs;
  • Hunter Stamps ’02 confronts us with perceptions of our bodies through the visceral manipulation of clay;
  • Jason Watson’s ’97 paintings, cut-outs and found objects present fragmented narratives, making new meaning from old archetypes;
  • Kevin Watson ’16 builds a carnal world from clay and digital manipulation;
  • Matt West ’00 melds the organic and mechanical in hydroponic, living works of art.

Making Meaning looks towards the spaces where these artworks collide and converge, where the viewer is called to change their own perspective and embrace new material languages that create meaning and imagine futures. It is the debut exhibit in the Center for Craft’s John Cram Partner Gallery, which is presented in collaboration with UNC Asheville and Warren Wilson College. Making Meaning: Works from UNC Asheville Alumni is curated by the Center for Craft Partner Gallery Faculty Advisory Committee, organized by UNC Asheville, and supported by The Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Garikai Campbell. The committee is led by UNC Asheville Public Arts and Humanities Chair Brent Skidmore, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Windgate Foundation.

The Center for Craft will host a grand reopening on Nov. 16, 2019 and the exhibition will run through Jan. 7, 2020. Both the event and exhibit are free and open to the public.

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Appalachia Now!

Five UNC Asheville alumni and one faculty member bring their work to the Asheville Museum of Art exhibition, Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia, which runs from Nov. 14, 2019 to Feb. 3, 2020. Appalachia Now! is the inaugural exhibition for the reopening of the Museum, marking the end of an expansion process that took more than three years. The UNC Asheville alumni artists were among 50 selected for this juried exhibition from more than 700 artists considered.
Josh Copus ’07 digs up his own clay in a process that lends an authentic context and connection to land and place. Often collaborating with his community, Copus distills and infuses life experiences into his material.

Constance Humphries ’94 is a choreographer and performer whose work is firmly rooted in the rigorous study and practice of Butoh. Her investigations into this form of dance allow her to express concerns of love, vulnerability, and intimacy.

Melissa Pace ’09 is a multimedia artist whose interests range from printmaking on ceramics to large-scale painted murals. Through the use of symbols, pattern, and design, her work lends itself to personal and philosophical approaches.

Sean Pace ’04, also known as “Jinx,” is an all-around “did it, done it, do it” kind of artist. Free expression maintains that this approach is exactly how one should go about things. A sculptor at heart, he combines technology and sculpture in kinetic and often large-scale works.

Hayden Wilson ’07 is a second-generation glass artist, combining skills in casting iron and bronze to foster an interdisciplinary approach to his making. Always innovating, Wilson perfected a process of screen printing onto glass, whereby photographic images are transferred using powdered glass that is then fused with heat.

The exhibit will also feature work by UNC Asheville Professor of New Media Lei Han, who is inspired by classical Chinese philosophical literature, particularly the Dao De Jing. Her multichannel audio/visual installations play out a tension between form and the formless, questioning the fundamentals of human existence.

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About UNC Asheville’s Art and Art History Department

UNC Asheville’s art program offers rigorous training in the creative sector. Our close-knit, supportive department encourages imagination and experimentation while challenging you to integrate content, concept, and technique to discover your own unique voice. Studio art majors can choose from six areas of concentrations: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. Related majors include art history and arts management and entrepreneurship. Learn more at

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