The ®evolving Arts Gallery is a welcome addition to Hendersonville, which has seen galleries closing, changing mission, retrenching, or departing Main Street far too often in recent years. Touchstone Gallery has closed, as has Divine Stained Glass Studio. Silver Fox Gallery has deemphasized their fine art and now emphasizes high quality home decor. Wickwire Gallery closed their second location, reducing the amount of wall space for large-format paintings. Conn-Artist Studios gave up their second-floor toehold on Main Street in order to move a few miles south. In the midst of all these retrenchments, a bright new gallery gladdens the heart just by its very existence and the confidence in the future that the owners have shown.
The ®evolving Arts Gallery will accept only original art created within the last two years. No work of fine art will be shown that is produced in giclée or other prints. No work of fine craft will be shown that is produced in quantity. Initial emphasis will be on local and regional artists, although artists from other parts of the country will be considered. As a matter of policy, the gallery will include emerging and mid-career as well as established contemporary artists.
Attending the June 5 opening reception, one found an inviting space that can be rented to host performing arts events for small audiences. Also planned are special events for the community’s non-profit agencies. The space is uncrowded, and the layout and decor provide good viewing of the sculptures, fine crafts and paintings that constitute the opening exhibition.
Several of the artists and crafters already in the gallery were colleagues of Spalla and Lookingbill during their days in the River Arts District. Ceramic artists include Jenny Mastin and Joey Sheehan, while Barbara L. Perez has clay and bronze sculptures on display. Paintings by Fleta Monaghan and Ralston Fox Smith of the RAD are also on display.
I enjoyed other artists whose work is new to me. Works by Michelle Davis Petelinz included “Sinuous Rhythms II,” composed through applying polymer clay to an 18” bamboo bowl and then painting with acrylic and ink. Jeff Pittman paints familiar landscapes in both acrylic and oil: “Sam’s Gap View” and “Sky over Cold Mountain” were prominently displayed near the entrance. Ila Seltzer’s work in cotton batik was a revelation.
The owners are themselves artists. Julie Spalla’s paintings and sculpture currently on exhibit include the mixed media “Flight” illustrated on the left.
Gallery director Spalla and Assistant Director Lookingbill are intuitive, drawing upon their Native American background to build an atmosphere that promises collaboration with artists fortunate enough to be represented. A sense of spirituality and reverence guides every aspect of this venture. For example, the gallery starts each day with a thought, quote, meditation or intention to guide the actions of the owners and the staff.
The ®evolving Arts Gallery is open Monday through Saturday beginning at 11:00 a.m., closing at 6:00 p.m. except for Fridays when they will stay open until 8:00 p.m. Their website is only partially available as yet at http://therevolvingartsgallery.com/