Expanding on All Fronts

Art League hosts first juried show in its new space

A flourishing local group announced an upcoming juried show.
Photo by Clay Nations Photography

“The local community doesn’t always get to see highly acclaimed artwork from other places,” explains Diane Dean, president of the Art League of Henderson County. “That’s because many established artists are very far along in their careers and are known nationally or internationally. That keeps them busy elsewhere and can make it difficult to attract them for an exhibit in a smaller town. 

Rich figurative and abstract paintings, including (top) a current show by Isabelle Klauder, are on display in the League’s gallery.
Photo by Clay Nations Photography

“But creating a competitive juried show with cash prizes is a great way to attract many of them, plus emerging artists, because just being accepted into a juried show is a big thing for an artist.”

Photo by Clay Nations Photography

That’s one of the strategies Dean and her team are excited about deploying for the Art League’s upcoming “Celebrate Art” event. The juried exhibit offers various cash prizes (first place is $1,000) and honorable mentions, and is open to artists from North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, including both Art League members and nonmembers.

Photo by Clay Nations Photography

“There used to be an annual Art League show, which was our only judged show, but it had to be held at different venues when they became available,” explains Dean. “Now that we have our own gallery spaces, we look forward to doing a lot more events like this, and I encourage artists to submit their work.” (The deadline is July 15, and folks can submit three pieces of work for one application fee.) Elizabeth Goddard, executive director of the Spartanburg Art Museum, will serve as a juror for the show, and the judge is artist Lucy Clark, who owns Lucy Clark Gallery in Brevard.

Painter/illustrators Carole Norris, Isabelle Klauder, Charlotte Horton, and Kara Ashley-Gilmore at work in the new studio space adjacent the gallery.
Photo by Clay Nations Photography

To make it all happen requires a concerted, diligent effort from members of the nonprofit volunteer organization. “We have grown a lot,” Dean says, “and have a great team of volunteers who make this possible.”

Photo by Clay Nations Photography

Even “a lot” is an understatement. When Dean began leading the team in 2019, there were 80 members, and now there are more than 365, plus nearly 2,000 supporters. The League, founded in 1972, recently held a grand opening for both the new 2,500-square-foot Art Place Gallery and adjacent 4,500-square-foot Art Place Studios — which includes workshop, gallery, and studio space.

Photo by Clay Nations Photography

Art Place Studios is now home to 23 artists working in media including oil, acrylic, mixed media, watercolor, clay, encaustic, wood, metal, glass, and fiber — and hosts dozens of workshop programs. 

Photo by Clay Nations Photography

“Everyone who walks in [Art Place] is flabbergasted by the whole variety of mediums and how well all the artists complement each other,” Dean reports. The juried show will accept both two- and three-dimensional artworks and even works in digital art. 

Diane Dean presides over the League’s greatly expanded venues and opportunities.
Photo by Clay Nations Photography

“A few of our artists are creating with AI,” Dean notes. “It’s getting a lot of talk these days, so we decided we should include it.”

The Art Place at Art League of Henderson County, 2021 Asheville Hwy., Hendersonville. For more information, including classes, exhibits, and other activities, visit artleaguehvl.org. Deadline to exhibit at the “Celebrate Art” juried exhibit is July 15. The show runs from August 5-31, and the opening reception is Saturday, Aug. 5, 11am-5pm. (The Juried Show Judge’s Luncheon, a ticketed event, is August 4.)

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