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The Asheville Art Museum Plans to Expand

Monday, December 7th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary and its extraordinary growth and success since it relocated to Pack Square in 1992 as a founding partner in Pack Place, is pleased to announce plans for a future expansion. These plans were discussed at a meeting with the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

As Pack Place partner The Health Adventure plans to leave downtown, the Asheville Art Museum is taking advantage of this opportunity to expand and create larger, state-of-the-art galleries, public art-filled space and education space to meet the demands of the large and diverse audiences it serves. With the agreement of all Pack Place partners, the Asheville Art Museum determined that it could develop its facility creating a central arts destination and 21st-century museum for the community by expanding in its current location.

“The new design will bring a contemporary feel to the most important corner of downtown. It will also honor our great history of architecture and the sense of place on Pack Square. My dad, Roger McGuire, helped found Pack Place, and he hoped that Pack Place would grow and change. This is exactly the kind of exciting evolution he would have wanted,” said Kim McGuire, a community leader and Museum supporter.

After an exhaustive recruitment process conducted by the Asheville Art Museum staff, board and a building committee of local design professionals including Jim Samsel, John Rogers, Peter Alberice and others, the renowned firm Polshek Partnership Architects of New York has been chosen to design the new Asheville Art Museum and restore the historic Pack Memorial Library building. Polshek is continuing to work with John Rogers, Beverly-Grant and the building committee.

The Museum needs to expand in order to better serve Western North Carolina and visitor audiences of all ages and to help Asheville remain competitive with other cities’ as a top arts destination. A study completed by the Asheville Art Museum documented the overall economic impact of the Museum’s current activities and the future increase that will be generated by the expansion. The Museum’s planned expansion project is anticipated to generate as much as $31.7 million in local economic impact with up to 80% of construction funds spent regionally. The new Museum will be a destination and art-filled civic center.

The Pack Place Board and the Asheville Art Museum are planning with all of Pack Place’s partners for a successful transition and even more success in the future. The new building will anchor the new Pack Square Park and continue to be the central arts destination spurring economic and cultural activity in the region and downtown Asheville.

Hotel Indigo Opens in Asheville

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The newest Hotel Indigo opened its doors today in downtown Asheville, N.C. Nestled near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 100-room new-build boutique hotel is the second of five properties planned for the state; additional deals are signed in Charlotte, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Located at 151 Haywood Street, Hotel Indigo Asheville is within walking distance of locally owned-shops and art galleries, distinctive restaurants and exciting entertainment venues. Nearby attractions include Historic Downtown Asheville, Biltmore Estates, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“Asheville’s historic and architecturally diverse downtown has been beautifully preserved and is a perfect location for Hotel Indigo,” said Barbara Kulweic, general manager of the Hotel Indigo Asheville. “Through the brand’s interpret indigo design platform, we’ve been able to truly embrace the neighborhood by incorporating the work of local artists and vendors into every corner of the hotel.”

Working with a talented team of local artists, photographers and designers, Hotel Indigo Asheville has captured the essence of the Asheville region by using locally-inspired artwork and regionally-sourced materials throughout the hotel. For example, the lobby features a Gabion wall stacked using native stones of various shapes and sizes, and locally-inspired photographic murals of outdoor scenes taken by Asheville artist Zen Southerland are featured in the hotel lobby and guest rooms. This small, yet urban town encompassed by the Blue Ridge Mountains is reflected in the hotel design with a juxtaposition of urban concrete and steel versus the warmth of materials, texture and colors found in nature. The hotel aesthetic is light and open, featuring glass tiles, stained concrete, quartz-like countertops, decorative pendants, and large graphic wall coverings.

The Hotel Indigo Asheville is owned and managed by Hospitality and Lodging Investors II, LP, under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group. Meeting the desires of today’s traveler, Hotel Indigo is an upscale boutique brand that delivers a refreshing and inviting guest experience that is truly reflective of the local community. From the locally-inspired murals to the renewal program where the images, music, scent, and menu items change throughout the year, Hotel Indigo gives guests a vibrant, engaging and genuine boutique experience.

“With the fall foliage season upon us and the holiday season ahead, we are thrilled to be able to offer guests a memorable and engaging experience that’s reflective of the downtown Asheville neighbourhood,” said Mary Dogan, director, Brand Delivery, Hotel Indigo, the Americas, IHG. “Keeping the guest in mind at all touch-points within the hotel experience, the Hotel Indigo model strikes a great balance by providing guests the refreshing design and intimate service synonymous with a boutique along with the consistency, reliability, and accessibility of a branded hotel.”

The Hotel Indigo Asheville features inviting guest rooms with oversized beds, plush bedding, hard-surface flooring for a fresh residential feel, and spa-inspired showers with Aveda products. Each guest room includes a 32-inch high-definition flat screen TV with 150 channels and iHome/MP3 alarm clock radio. The hotel also offers gourmet menu items and a full service-bar at Phi Bar and Bistro, complimentary parking, complimentary wired and wireless high speed internet access, a 24-hour business center and meeting space for business functions or special events. The hotel also features a pet-friendly policy.

With the addition of Hotel Indigo Asheville, there are 34 Hotel Indigo properties open worldwide and more than 60 hotels under development, either in the pipeline or in final negotiation. By the end of 2009, Hotel Indigo is forecasted to almost double its footprint in the Americas. The brand’s global roll-out is also going strong with the recent announcements of new deals in Liverpool, England, Glasgow, Scotland and Hong Kong.

Fine Arts Theater Hosts Special Showing of Herb and Dorthy on Thursday

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum invites you to a special film screening of Herb and Dorothy at 7:00 p.m. the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville on Thursday, October, 29, 2009.

With the tagline: “You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art, “this film tells the extraordinary collecting career of New Yorkers Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal clerk and librarian respectively, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history — now mainly housed at the National Gallery of Art (NGA). The Vogel Collection at the NGA was the main lender to the Asheville Art Museum’s recent exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects.

At one point over 2,000 pieces of art filled every square inch of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. This gem of a film has received numerous awards since it debuted last year; the Museum is pleased to premiere the film in Asheville.

Purchase your tickets in advance with cash, check or credit card by calling 828.253.3227 or get tickets at the Fine Arts Theatre beginning 30 minutes prior to the film with cash only. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 Museum Members, students and seniors.

After the film, if you find you need your own Christo and Jeanne-Claude work in your home, come by the Museum Shop or visit us online! The Shop has high-quality framed posters signed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude available for purchase! (The artists derive no profit from the sale of these works. The works were donated to raise funds for the Museum’s fine programming to serve the community.)

Maura Michelle Garcia Comes to Diana Wortham Theatre

Friday, October 23rd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum is pleased to present a performance of The Little People by MIXED BLOOD WOMAN at Diana Wortham Theatre at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MIXED BLOOD WOMAN is a contemporary dance theater company founded by Maura
Michelle Garcia. Garcia performs her original multi-media piece that explores the world of the ancient Cherokee fairies, the Yvwi Tsvsdi or “little people,” and the having, loosing and reclaiming of traditional Cherokee beliefs and a conscious Native identity.

“We’re thrilled to host Maura Michelle Garcia in conjunction with the Museum’s
exhibition of contemporary Cherokee carvers. Maura is a contemporary dancer and
choreographer of Cherokee descent and this is a wonderful opportunity to connect two
different art forms that both relate to the past and continue the dialogue of what it means to be Cherokee today,” says Nancy Sokolove, Asheville Art Museum Adult Programs Manager.

Garcia has recently been awarded a studio residency through the Charolotte Street
Foundation’s Urban Culture Project in Kansas City, MO. Tickets are available at the Diana Wortham Theatre Box Office, by calling 828.257.4530

Biltmore Park Town Square Welcomes New Tenants

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – As fall brings crisp weather and beautiful scenery to Asheville, Biltmore Park Town Square is bringing new retail offerings, and whether it’s your closet or your home that needs updating, these new tenants are sure to meet your shopping needs. Fall is already full with wonderful events that include Music in the Park every Saturday, the Fall Fest on the 17th, and even more highly-anticipated restaurants, so now is a better time than ever to explore the happenings in Town Square.

This month, Bon Bébé, Dwellings, and Moda will join the growing number of retailers in Biltmore Park. Bon Bébé specializes in children’s playwear and interior design; Dwellings will offer one-of-a-kind French Industrial decor and furniture; and Moda will feature contemporary and chic apparel and accessories for women. In addition, Hickory Tavern Grill and Raw Bar will be opening this month to satisfy all of your comfort food cravings–from hamburgers and wings to shrimp and oysters.

All of these new businesses will be located along Town Square Boulevard, making for a convenient and hassle free opportunity to peruse national and local retailers without having to jump in the car and drive to several different destinations. Pick up your next read at Barnes & Noble, and then head across the street to admire the talent of the Echo Gallery artists. Then treat yourself and stop by one of the three new stores, or try a new restaurant, and stock up on all of your fall must-haves

WNC Nature Center to Celebrate ‘Hey Day’

Monday, September 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Come to Hey Day, on Saturday, October 10th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road in East Asheville. We’ve made the event a little greener with the addition of demonstrations on solar energy, chicken tractors, sustainable agriculture and water catchment. While being educated, families can still enjoy our special visiting animals and the following local entertainers:

– Jay Brown (10 a.m. – 11 a.m.) Founding member of the old time, swing band Lazybirds, Jay has toured throughout the southeast and as far as Alaska and has performed at festivals such as Merle Fest, Bele Chere and the Rhythm & Roots Reunion. He has shared the stage with artists including Doc Watson, Ritchie Havens, Gillian Welch and Sam Bush.

– Mountain Thunder Cloggers (11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) dance to many types of music – from Bluegrass & Country to 80s/Pop/Hip-Hop. A family-oriented team, they encourage the families watching them to join in!

– Haw Creek String Band (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Whoop it up to the music of the Haw Creek String Band, featuring banjoist Brad Searson and ole time fiddler Bob Hill

– Forge Mountain Cloggers (12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.) LOVE to clog and they bring smiles and energy to their audiences.

John Bowers and David Ray (guitar/mandolin) (1:30 – 2 p.m.) play a mellow alternative country genre and play weekends only.

Sherry Lynn and the Mountain Friends Band (2 – 3 p.m.) play acoustic country and contemporary bluegrass. This is a strong team that combines fine musicianship and pure joy, giving audiences a highly entertaining show.

Mark DeVerges (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.) is a true balloon artist. He will create a massive custom object/animal/creature right before the audience with the help of many volunteers in a way that incorporates science, education, and visual art! Following the show, Mark will amaze the kids with his award winning balloon twisting!

Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children, and FREE to Members of Friends of the Nature Center. Scrumptious food will be available at the Classroom Café onsite, so families can spend the whole day! This year’s generous Hey Day Gold level sponsors include Animal Hospital of Reems Creek, Harrington Electric Company and Dr. Ryan Haldeman, Orthodontist. Silver level sponsors include ABC Pediatrics, Allergy Partners of Asheville, Steven Cahan, Eye M.D., Greenworks Healing Center, Doug Sherry with Preferred Properties and the Toy Box. Media sponsors include Advantage Printing, Mountain Xpress and WOXL-FM.

Hey Day will be filled with fun for the whole family. Events include pony rides (extra $), weaving and spinning demonstrations, soapmaking, crafts, face painting($), a clown show, The Rainbow and You – a special storyboard performance, watercolor painting, pumpkin painting (extra $) and the always popular cake walk (extra $). Visiting animals include rescue Llamas, Fjord Horses and Miniature Ponies. Enjoy educational exhibits from the Asheville Fire Department, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Ashevillage, a chicken tractor expert, Doubletree Farm, Rainbow Recycling (inventors of the Recycling Stomp!), Riverlink, Greenworks, Higher Ground Gutter Cleaners and Sundance Power Systems.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of the WNC Nature Center’s College Summer Internship program. The Friends’ mission is to support the programs, facilities and the residents of the Western North Carolina Nature Center, which showcases the fauna and flora of the southern Appalachian region. The Nature Center’s mission is to educate the public about the flora and fauna of Western North Carolina and foster an interest in the conservation of native plants and animals. . The Center is operated by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department of the City of Asheville. For more information on the Friends or Hey Day, contact Sarah Oram, Director, at (828) 298-5600 ext. 308

Newly Founded Echo Gallery Opens in Biltmore Town Square

Monday, September 21st, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – It’s undeniable that Asheville is inundated with talent, and the arts are the heart and soul of the city. From Appalachian crafts that have been carried down through generations to contemporary and novel creations, the galleries in the area host world-class offerings with a unique hometown twist. Biltmore Park Town Square is now adding to the mix as host of the newly-founded cooperative Echo Gallery, which opens on Friday, September 18th.

Founded by seven artists whose studios are currently headquartered in the River Arts District, Echo Gallery is a welcome expansion into South Asheville. While each artist is different in medium and style, each piece complements the other by showcasing skill, perspective, and method. Whether eager to observe a sample of what makes Western North Carolina such an appealing destination or shopping for your home, the quality of the paintings, ceramics, sculptures, textiles, and photography are sure to inspire.

The artists are excited about gaining more visibility in their new location, and Town Square couldn’t be more excited about their contributions to the area. Asheville is one of the Southeast’s most popular arts destinations, and Biltmore Park is glad to feature local culture and talent among its unique mix of national and local tenants. The founding artists of the Echo Gallery include Anna Kolosieke, Barbara Fisher, Susan Web Lee, Laurie McCarrier, Lori Therault, and Heather Tinnaro.

Echo Gallery is located in Suite 160 at Eight Town Square Boulevard across from the newly opened Barnes & Noble. The hours are Thursday-Saturday from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., making it a wonderful destination for restaurant and movie-goers in Biltmore Park. Learn more at www.echoasheville.com

NC Arboretum Gets Small During During the 14th Carolina Bonsai Expo

Friday, September 18th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The city of Asheville, NC, transforms into the bonsai capital of the Southeast the second weekend every October when The NC Arboretum hosts the Carolina Bonsai Expo. Visitors to the show will find an abundance of miniature trees and landscapes, creatively displayed at the Arboretum’s Education Center.

This two-day horticultural extravaganza on October 10 and 11, situated in the midst of the colorful mountains during fall foliage season, features a juried display of bonsai by clubs from across a six-state region, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations, and a popular Ikebana exhibit.
The expo is also a perfect occasion to explore the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden, which offers a world-class display that innovatively establishes bonsai in the context of the Southern Appalachians.

Now in its 14th successful year, the Carolina Bonsai Expo includes an expanded bonsai and ikebana exhibit and a live auction of bonsai plants and related materials.
The two-day event features juried exhibits by bonsai enthusiasts from throughout the southeast including Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. In addition, workshops are available for those interested in learning bonsai and ikebana techniques from master artists.

“Bonsai are amazing, and there’s more to it than most folks know,” said Arthur Joura, The NC Arboretum’s Bonsai Curator. “The Carolina Bonsai Expo is the largest and finest bonsai show in the Southeast. Whether you know something about bonsai or not, it’s a fun and fascinating world to lose yourself in for awhile, and the Expo offers the best opportunity to do just that.”

People often ask Joura where they can purchase a bonsai, and he highly recommends the marketplace at the Expo, adding, “There are only two days each year to find such a diverse selection, and we are proud to host such a rare offering.”

Joura, a nationally recognized expert who is dedicated to making the art form of bonsai accessible to all audiences, has developed one of the finest public bonsai collections in the country since the Arboretum received its first bonsai donation in 1992. The collection is particularly distinctive because it artfully blends traditional bonsai with plants native to the Southern Appalachians such as American hornbeam, red maple and eastern white pine.

There is no charge for visitors to attend the Carolina Bonsai Expo although usual parking fees apply. Visitors can purchase lunch items from the Arboretum’s Savory Thyme Café, open during Expo hours. To register or for more information about the auction, workshops and presentations, call 828-665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org

Film Series Art:21 Premieres at the Asheville Art Museum this October!

Friday, September 18th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum is pleased to once again be the official Asheville site for the premiere of Season 5 of the exciting bi-annual film series, ART:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century, screening Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. each day. These screenings are free with Museum Membership or admission.

Compassion, Fantasy, Transformation and Systems are the four themes explored this year. Each one-hour episode profiles contemporary artists loosely organized around each theme.

Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their processes as they transform inspiration into art and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic visions.

Episode 1: Compassion will be screened on Saturday; Episode 4: Systems on Sunday. Compassion features artists including William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo and Carrie Mae Weems. Systems features John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum and Julie Mehretu. For a sneak peek of Season 5, visit www.art21.org and watch the trailer.

Art Nouveaux Celebrates Local Photographer

Sunday, September 6th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum group Art Nouveaux invites you to join in on a visit to photographer Tim Barnwell’s studio Monday, September 21, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Art Nouveaux is a special group of Museum Members interested in learning about
collecting art.

The group meets several times a year for social and educational programs exploring fine art collecting and connoisseurship. The group supports the Museum’s permanent collection through the annual purchase of works of art with their yearly dues of $250 per member.

Try the group for only $15 for this session!

At this meeting of Art Nouveaux, the group will visit photographer Tim Barnwell’s
downtown studio for an intimate evening with the artist, exploring his portraits and
landscapes of Appalachia. In documenting this area for more than 25 years, Barnwell has captured the essence, beauty and rugged character of a quickly disappearing rural
landscape.

For more information or to join, please contact Rebecca Lynch-Maass, Membership
Manager, at [email protected] or 828.253.3227, ext. 114.