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Asheville Art Muesum To Add Significant Pieces

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3/19/2007 - Asheville Art Muesum To Add Significant Pieces
by Paul Clark, Asheville Citizens Times

"The Collectors Circle, a membership and support group of the Asheville Art Museum, has acquired eight new works by significant American artists.

The museum is delighted to acquire so many important and dynamic works of art, said Pamela L. Myers, the museums executive director. Each of these works adds nuance and depth to the museums holdings and is extremely important to our understanding of contemporary American and Southeast art. We are profoundly grateful to the members of our Collectors Circle for the acquisitions.

The Collectors Circle is dedicated to learning about art and collections and to growing the museums permanent collection through annual purchases.

Personal involvement goes into each of these purchases, said circle member Rob Pulleyn. At the end of the night, when the committees funds were exhausted, individual members sponsored individual works.

The works acquired include Willie Coles Stowage (1997); Russell Gillespies Untitled (not dated); Mike Smiths Blountville, TN (1999), Piney Flats, TN (2005) and Blountville, TN (2003); John Cages Haiku (1952); Buckminster Fullers geodesic dome blueprints from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One (1981); and a 2000 work by Sherri Woods.

The group is still trying to raise funds for one more work, Roger Browns Plants That Glow in the Dark, Tra-La.

Brown, whose piece is displayed on the museums second floor, is one of the most well-known Chicago Imagists a group of primarily self-taught artists outside of the mainstream who painted funky and irreverent subject matter with surrealistic whimsy and caustic humor. Brown was born and raised in Alabama, and his work draws on his background.

Stowage is Coles largest and most ambitions print to date. The 8-foot-long woodcut is a piercing social commentary exploring issues of race, consumerism and traditional African beliefs. The work is the gift of circle members Ray Griffin and Thom Robinson, Cherry and Paul Lentz Saenger, Phillip Broughton and David Smith, Nat and Anne Burkhardt, Randy Shull and Hedy Fischer and Joen Goodman and Susan Turner.

Fullers blueprints explore what he is best known for, the creation of geodesic domes. His early experiments with domes took place at Black Mountain College, and he later went on to design the United States Pavilion at the Montreal Worlds Fair Expo in 1967. The acquisition is made possible by circle members Rob Pulleyn and the Saengers.

The Outsider folk art sculpture, Untitled, by Gillespie combines many materials used in early Appalachian rustic furniture but is nonfunctional, fanciful and decorative. Purchasing the piece were Griffin and Robinson, in honor of Nguyen Thi Lieu.

The three Smith color photographs explore the unique beauty of the Southern Appalachian region and the people who call it home. The works were acquired by the generosity of by Fran Myers, in honor of Nat Myers.

Cages Haiku was the first and only piece published by the Black Mountain College Music Press and emphasized this important 20th century composers calligraphy and spare, idiosyncratic musical composition. It was bought by Pulleyn and the Saengers.

The Woods piece explores the boundary between fine art and craft while addressing preconceived notions about womens work and roles and tattoo subculture. The work is courtesy of Randy Siegel, in honor of Ruth Hill."

Paul Clark, March 19, 2007, Asheville Citizen Times

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