Friday, September 26, 2008

Asheville’s oldest art gallery celebrates 20th anniversary

From Asheville-Citizen Times:

Years ago, before downtown Asheville became known for its art galleries, there was a time when an artist couldn’t find a place to hang his hat, much less his art.

Much of downtown was boarded up. There were only a couple of art galleries open. So in 1988, artist Jim Morgan organized 30 other artists and opened the Asheville Gallery of Art, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary, in the same location it occupied 20 years ago — 16 College St.

The current 28 members of the co-op gallery are gathering 1-5 p.m. Sunday to celebrate. The public is invited.

“Just about everyone has come and gone,” Cathy Searle, a resident of Beverly Hills, said of her fellow founding members. The gallery was a big idea in its days, she said. “Jim was excited about the idea and got us all pretty excited,” she said.

Each member has 8 feet of wall space to display his or her work (as well as the responsibility to man the shop one day each month). Each 8-foot display area has its own look, affording visitors a quick overview of some of the city’s two-dimensional artists.

“It has certainly given me the opportunity to have my work where the community can see it on an ongoing basis,” watercolor painter Ann Vasilik said.

Not having galleries to show in when she and her husband moved to Asheville in 1988 was a frustration, she said.

“In other parts of the country, there was a show to be entered or an organization to be joined just every other block, especially in California, where we had lived,” she said.

For six years, Vasilik ran the fine arts show at the old Biltmore Dairy property near the Biltmore Estate. The show provided one of the few opportunities for artists in the area.

That made the Asheville Gallery of Art all the more appealing to artists and people who wanted to buy original work, Vasilik said.

One of the things she loves most about it is the camaraderie the gallery makes possible among the member artists.

She also loves that it gives them an opportunity to meet people who love art.

“We artists love nothing better than to talk art to other people,” she said.

Asheville Gallery of Art Website

Small Business of the Month October 2008: Mail Management

Small Business of the Month: Mail Management The Small Business of the Month for October is Mail Management Services, LLC located in Asheville. Mail Management was established in 1998 and has grown to a staff of seventeen.

Mail Management provides full mailing services including collating, envelope insertions, addressing and postage as well as pick up and delivery for certain jobs. They are currently expanding their print capabilities.

The company serves as a model for mail services in other cities such as Charlotte and Denver, providing guidance and instruction for their employees. Mail Management supports numerous non-profits with donations or in-kind work.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Asheville in the top 50 Best Perfoming Cities

Asheville placed 46 on the list of Best-Performing Cities 2008 released by Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners, up 71 spots from the 2007 rank. The gain is the second largest among all 200 cities in the list. The annual study, Best-Performing Cities: Where America’s Jobs Are Created and Sustained, ranks metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Factors used to determine the ranking include: short- and long-term job growth; wage and salary statistics; and concentration of high-tech industries. Asheville’s rise in the rankings was driven primarily by strong one-year job growth, earning a rank of 14, and five-year job growth, ranked at 52.

“This ranking will help strengthen our case in telling how special the Asheville economy is,” said Robert Sipes, Chairman, Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County. “The report places Asheville among an elite group of top performing metros.”

The Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC) is a unique public-private partnership whose goal is to promote quality, sustainable high-paying jobs and responsible community investment. This Coalition is dedicated to the continuous improvement of the local and regional economy and well-being of its citizens. Since its inception in 1994, the EDC has assisted new and expanding firms with capital investments totaling over $585 million and the creation of more than 8,500 new jobs in Buncombe County.

Big week in networking next week...

Next week will be a busy week for networking in Asheville with both Business Before and After Hours taking place. Business After Hours presented by Clear Channel Asheville will part from its normal Thursday time for a special Tuesday edition hosted by Clear Channel Asheville. Business After Hours will take place on Tuesday, September 23 at 5:30. The rescheduled Business Before Hours presented by BB&T will be held on Thursday, September 25 at 8 a.m. at the new Capital Bank location on Market Street in downtown Asheville.

Eco Driving, huh?

Driving is a part of all of our lives, it is certainly part of our businesses. With the recent gas shortage and spike in prices we thought we should share some simple steps we can all take to improve our fuel efficiency.

Our friends at the Detriot Regional Chamber have joined forces with the Auto Alliance to help spread the word on EcoDriving. What is EcoDriving you ask? It is simple there are many small things we can do as drivers to help reduce the amount of gas our vehicles consume. The website is full of helpful hints and videos that can make a difference. Do you know how or why using your air conditioner help reduce fuel at high speeds, but might hurt at low speeds, check out Tip #5 at