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Exhibition Archive

2021

Pressing Forward

May 8 – June 5, 2021

Pressing Forward is an exhibition of works by Asheville Printmakers, an independent alliance of artists who express themselves through the medium of print. Their membership encompasses both experienced and emerging artists, as well as those new to printmaking. Learn more about Asheville Printmakers at ashevilleprintmakers.org.

What a Relief!

May 8 – June 5, 2021

What a Relief! is an exhibition of the large-scale woodblock prints made by the 18 participants in our October 2020 workshop with BIG INK. After countless hours of carving, participants printed their blocks on BIG INK’s traveling press. The smallest of these large-scale prints is two by three feet, with the largest being four by eight feet.

BIG INK, founded in 2012 by Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet and based in Newmarket, New Hampshire, provides opportunities for large-scale woodblock printing workshops in host institutions. BIG INK’s mission is to inspire a greater public appreciation of large-scale woodblock printmaking and to extend its practice as an artistic discipline. Learn more about BIG INK at bigink.org.

Essential Work

March 20 – April 24, 2021

When the world shut down a year ago, many of us put our lives on pause. People were ordered to stay home, and only work deemed essential carried on. Artists felt an added loss of revenue as exhibitions and festivals were cancelled, sales plummeted, and opportunities vanished. The artists in this exhibition all received grant funding that became available as the need for financial assistance in the arts became apparent. Through the efforts of the North Carolina Arts Council, the Madison County Arts Council, ArtsNC, the federal government, and Toe River Arts, these artists received the help they needed to keep carrying on in hard times. This exhibition is a testament to the resiliency and significance of the arts in our community.

Arts in Education Showcase | Mitchell County

February 6 – March 6, 2021

More than 200 works of student art are on display at the Toe River Arts Gallery in Spruce Pine for the annual Mitchell County Arts in Education Showcase. Kindergarten through 12th grade students from public and private schools in Mitchell County participate annually in this event that celebrates the creative achievements of our students. This showcase is not just a celebration of students, but also a testament to the hard work each art educator dedicates to the job of nurturing creativity and artistic growth.

2020

Studio Tour Preview Exhibition

November 24 – December 30, 2020

The Toe River Arts Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour of artists’ studios typically held on the first weekends of June and December in North Carolina’s scenic Mitchell and Yancey counties. In response to the pandemic, this popular event went virtual from Monday, November 23 through Sunday, December 27, 2020. The Studio Tour is a showcase for local artists to feature their work, processes, and studio spaces.

Full Spectrum: Expressions in Color, Form and Texture

September 26 – October 31, 2020

The Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild creates a visually engaging experience using color, form and texture. The full spectrum of color spans the gallery so that visitors standing within it are encompassed by a colorful flow. The artists explore the themes of exuberance, radiance, introspection and tranquility as a reflection of the ever-flowing spectrum of life.

Works in a variety of media—oil, watercolor, acrylic, cold wax, pastel, photography, printmaking and clay—will be accompanied by artist statements relating the work to the theme of the exhibition, and giving compelling insight into the artists’ inspiration, creative processes and techniques.

Think BIG Prints

September 11 – October 24, 2020
Owen Gallery

This exhibition, curated by Community Outreach Coordinator Melanie Finlayson and Exhibition Manager Kathryn Andree, features work from artists that have participated in past BIG INK printmaking workshops. This exhibition features 37 artists from around the United States, including ten artists from North Carolina. The prints range in size from 2 x 3 ft., up to 4 x 8 ft.

BIG INK, founded in 2012 by Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet, and based in Newmarket, New Hampshire, provides opportunities for large-scale woodblock printing workshops in host institutions. BIG INK’s mission is to inspire a greater public appreciation of large-scale woodblock printmaking and to extend its practice as an artistic discipline.

Pictured: Brian Kreydalus

Zac Trainor | Between Psyche and Matter

August 5 – September 2, 2020
Owen Gallery

Zac Trainor presents a confrontation with the unconscious in an effort to capture or access a glimpse beyond the veil and into the realm of the soul. “The processes taking place in our conscious and unconscious, the conflict of desire versus necessity, the struggle to obtain a sense of place, and the impermanence of our existence are just some of the underlying philosophies and inspiration in the works,” describes Trainor.

Emotional States | Beyond Prison Artist Alliance

August 5 – September 12, 2020

The Beyond Prison Artist Alliance is a community of artists incarcerated at Avery Mitchell Correctional Institution (AMCI) and artists affiliated with the Penland School of Craft and Appalachian State University networks, who joined to facilitate short and long form workshops within the prison. 

Beyond Prison’s mission is to build artistic community through collaborative education efforts within the prison and the pursuit of exhibition opportunities that amplify the voices of incarcerated artists to the outside world. Beyond Prison aspires to be a human and empowering presence that relies on all participants and a broader creative community to imagine art as an essential tool of liberation. 

Pictured: Robert G. Reid

Mitchell High School Student Exhibition

Online exhibition

“This marks the third year Toe River Arts has sponsored the Mitchell High School art students with an exhibition in the upstairs Owen gallery in Spruce Pine. This has always been an opportunity to showcase the young talent and hard work of our young people. At this point it is needless to say that things are anything but normal. That being said, normal is not what we should be aiming for, and that is evident as young people are leading the way in so many needed changes in this moment in history. A few of these pieces reflect on students’ experience navigating the post-COVID-19 world.” – Melisa Cadell

Pictured: Lillian Kline

14th Annual Blacksmith Exhibition

March 28 – May 30, 2020

This spring Toe River Arts hosts its 14th Annual Blacksmith Exhibit at its Spruce Pine gallery, opening online March 28. Featuring the work of blacksmiths from the southeast and beyond, this exhibition offers craftspeople the opportunity to show their work in a place known for its blacksmithing community.

Historically the exhibition runs in conjunction with the Fire on the Mountain Blacksmithing Festival. Spruce Pine Main Street, in collaboration with Penland School of Craft and Toe River Arts, hosts the festival every year on the last weekend in April. The public can explore vendor tents for goods for sale, observe live demonstrations, or try their hand at blacksmithing at scheduled workshops.

Journey at Home | #journeyathome

April – May, 2020

From the day we closed our doors in March 2020, we were trying to come up with creative solutions to continue to support our artists and our communities. We moved our exhibitions and our gift shops online.

We took our Journey of the Arts home with #journeyathome. We wanted to know how our artist members and members of our community were getting creative at home. Submission was free, and the only rule to participate was that work submitted needed to be made after March 15, the date we closed our doors because of the spread of the pandemic.

Pictured: Lynne Hobaica and Rickie Barnett’s Eternal Blooms.

Arts in Education Showcase | Mitchell County

February 25 – March 14, 2020

More than 200 works of student art are on display at the Toe River Arts Gallery in Spruce Pine for the annual Mitchell County Arts in Education Showcase. Kindergarten through 12th grade students from public and private schools in Mitchell County participate annually in this event that celebrates the creative achievements of our students. This showcase is not just a celebration of students, but also a testament to the hard work each art educator dedicates to the job of nurturing creativity and artistic growth.

Arts in Education Showcase | Yancey County

February 22 – March 16, 2020
Burnsville Gallery

Works of student art were on display at the Toe River Arts Gallery in Burnsville for the annual Yancey County Arts in Education Showcase. Kindergarten through 12th grade students from public and private schools in Yancey County participate annually in this event that celebrates the creative achievements of our students. This showcase is not just a celebration of students, but also a testament to the hard work each art educator dedicates to the job of nurturing creativity and artistic growth.