Thursday, September 21, 2017

Of Time and the River fine art show to benefit RiverLink and the French Broad River

What: 4th Annual Of Time and the River
When: Friday, October 27th 2017
Where: Zealandia Castle on Beaucatcher Mountain, Asheville. 40 Vance Gap Road, Asheville, NC 28805
Why: A Fine Art Show to benefit RiverLink

Asheville’s premier landscape painters celebrate the French Broad River’s rise from polluted obscurity to the defining element of the South’s most exciting city at Of Time and the River IV: the Annual Art Show and Gala to Benefit RiverLink. The gala event will be held Friday, October 27 from 6pm until 9pm at the mysterious Zealandia Castle, the historic 1908 Tudor Revival mansion on Beaucatcher Mountain overlooking the city of Asheville. The art will be available for free purchase and free public viewing on Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29 from 11am until 5pm. Tickets for the opening are available for $75 through the RiverLink website

The event grew out of a shared joy that binds artists, activists, river enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs in connecting people to the French Broad River. John Mac Kah, painter and the show’s curator, ascribes the show’s success to the partnership between RiverLink and the contributing artists. “This organization is great to work with,” he notes. “They continue to achieve positive results for the river.”

RiverLink promotes the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River's watershed by providing public access to the river through conservation and recreation easements, by reclaiming contaminated land for public use, through greenway development, by creating overnight camping sites, through adaptive reuse of historic structures, by educating the public and students about the importance of the river and by empowering 2,800 volunteers annually .Anyone living in or travelling to Asheville is impacted by their work. Empty a generation ago, now the French Broad River is host to hundreds of paddlers, anglers and tubers on a daily basis. Mirrored by parks on its left bank, the French Broad and its greenway curls through the city like a jade necklace.

Likewise, the region’s artists enjoy what RiverLink offers them. Christine Enochs, a contributing oil painter, frequents the many launch sites nurtured by RiverLink. “I've been paddling the river for years and always enjoy seeing it from the water itself, immersed in its dynamic power. Painting it is a joy and a challenge, and I am happy to share my work for the river's continuing health and vitality.”

The shared purpose of participating artists is bringing engagement with the river through their work. Most complete their work en plein air, remaining at riverside locations while painting and avoiding the use of photographs. Attendees in 2015 and 2016 appreciated not only the spirit of the event but the years’ collections of newly created artwork, which boasted a variety of approach and technique. There were sumptuous botanical renderings of local flora and moody renderings of abandoned riverside buildings in walnut ink brewed by the artists.

At this year’s event there will be a large map indicating the locations where the artists painted their works of art along the river’s 218-mile run that straddles North Carolina and Tennessee.
This year’s gala event once again features the music of renowned composer and cellist Ron Clearfield, who has recorded with Paul McCartney and Steve Martin. Whole Foods is providing food, while Oscar Blues Brewery is donating beer.

Zealandia, the gala’s venue, was built by Philip Henry in 1889 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts a grand staircase and oak woodwork, with ample room for paintings by this year’s 23 artists spread over two stories. The current owner, Zealandia Holding Company, has graciously offered the use of the house for the event.

This year’s exhibiting artists are Paul Blankinship, Cecil Bothwell, Caleb Clark, Rachel Clearfield, Tony Corbitt, Jr. Theresa Darling, John Dempsey, Christine Enochs, Matthew Good, Mark Henry, Dana Irwin, Susan Kokora, Bryan Koontz, Anselme Long, Alisa Lumbreras, John Mac Kah, Cathy Mandeville, Brennen McElhaney, Carol Parks, Jason Rafferty, Deborah Squier, Alison Webb, Colleen Webster.

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