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Posts Tagged ‘Arts 2 People’

by Rebecca Sulock in Vol. 16 / Iss. 6 on 09/02/2009 Mountain Xpress

www.mountainx.com

Here’s one for the annals: The first-ever Freaks of Asheville calendar, set to debut at LAAFF this year. Photographer Michael Traister (Sock Monkey Dreams, Faces of Izzy’s), known for his stunning portraiture, turns his deft lens to some of our town’s “cultural creatives,” creating portraits of some local eclectic personalities.

Sister Bad Habit, aka LaZoom Tours' Jim Lauzon. Photo by Michael Traister.

Sister Bad Habit, aka LaZoom Tours' Jim Lauzon. Photo by Michael Traister.

“Each month will feature a classic portrait of a noted Asheville ‘freak’ and tell the story behind their uniqueness,” writes Erin Scholze of Arts2People. Included in the calendar are some key milestones in local counter-culture history. Partners in the endeavor include LAAFF founder Kitty Love, Mountain Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston and Asheville Fringe Festival co-organizer Jim Julien. The project is a fundraiser for Arts2People. Here’s to all those with an abundance of creative energy, each month of the year.

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by Alli Marshall in Vol. 16 / Iss. 6 on 09/02/2009

The Mountain Xpress

www.mountainx.com

090209laaff-football

Greenlife Electric Stage (bottom of Lexington Avenue)

• The Swayback Sisters (singer/songwriter trio with Nikki Talley, Laura Blackley and Lyndsay Wojcik), 11-11:45 a.m.
• Eymarel (keyboard & drum duo), 12:05-12:50 p.m.
• Roberto Hess (spoken word), 12:55-1:05 p.m.
• U-N-I-Verse (reggae), 1:10-1:55 p.m.
• Hunab Kru (break dance),  2-2:10 p.m.
• The Poles (rock) 2:15-3 p.m.
• Hunab Kru (break dance), 3:05-3:15 p.m.
• Dehlia Low (bluegrass), 3:20-4:25 p.m.
• Parade (begins at Bobo Gallery, ends at stage), 4:15 p.m.
• Zabumba! (Carnival rhythms), 4:25-4:40 p.m.
• Mad Tea Party (vintage rock), 4:45-5:50 p.m.
• Melmacpink/Asheville Hoops (hula-hooping), 5:55 – 6:05 p.m.
• The Blue Rags (blues-ragtime boogie), 6:15-7:15 p.m.
• Jen and the Juice (folk rock), 7:45-9 p.m.

Mountain Xpress Walnut Stage

• Ceol Leinn (traditional Celtic), 11-11:50 a.m.
• Blackjack (kid rockers), 12:10-12:45 p.m.
• Asheville Dance Revolution (kids’ dance group), 1-1:30 p.m.
• Now You See Them (folk-pop), 1:40-2:15 p.m.
• Runaway Circus and Loose Caboose (comedy, music & sideshow act), 2:25-2:55 p.m.
• Galen Kipar Project (folk blues), 3:10- 3:50 p.m.
• Taylor Martin (singer/songwriter), 4:15-5 p.m.
• The Chx (female drummers), 5:15-5:50 p.m.
• Velvet Truck Stop (rock), 6-6:35 p.m.
• Brushfire Stankgrass (psychedelic bluegrass), 6:50-7:30 p.m.
• Baraka Mundi the Bandit Queens of Bellydance, 7:45-8:15 p.m.
• Modo (jazz rock), 8:25-9 p.m.

BoBo Stage

• Dip-N-Flip (DJs) 11:10 -11:45 a.m.
• Lulo (free jazz), noon-12:45 p.m.
• The E.Normus Trio (jazz), 1-1:45 p.m.
• Pierce Edens (gritty rock), 2-2:45 p.m.
• The Poetix Vanguard (spoken word), 3-3:45 p.m.
• Arundas (world) 4-4:45 p.m.
• The Secret B-Sides (soul) 5-5:45 p.m.
• Pilgrim (indie-folk) 6-6:45 p.m.
• Angi West (singer/songwriter), 7-7:45 p.m.
• Dip-N-Flip (DJs), 8-9 p.m.

LaZoom Tour Bus

• LEAF in Schools and Streets: Youth at Jazz (kids show), 2-2:45 p.m.
• Ash Devine (singer/songwriter), 3-3:45 p.m.
• Hillbillyonaire$ (alt-country), 4-4:45 p.m.
• Oso Rey (acoustic folk), 6-6:45 p.m.
• La Feral Zoom: Rollin’ Barks of Laughter (adults only), 7-7:45 p.m.
• Unitard: hilarious one-woman show from Kelly Barrow (adults only). 8-8:45 p.m.

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by Alli Marshall in Vol. 16 / Iss. 6 on 09/02/2009

The Mountain Xpress

www.mountainx.com

If LAAFF is a free pass to dress and act as our most wildly creative selves (keeping it PG, of course: The festival is for the kids, too), it’s also an opportunity for local musicians to get experimental.

090209tuba

That’s the case for The Swayback Sisters, which features singer/songwriters Nikki Talley, Laura Blackley and Lyndsay Wojcik. All three of these ladies have viable careers on their own. They also all have very different styles. Talley’s brand of indie rock is acoustic-instrument fueled — sometimes it’s driving, sometimes it’s mellow — and serves as the perfect backdrop for her dusky, comfortable vocals. Blackley’s bands over the years have run the gamut from folk-rock to country blues, but no matter the genre, Blackley’s rich and swampy vocals color the music. Her songs are a blend of folklore, family-inspired tales and love songs. Wojcik has a breezy-pretty presence, a relaxed banter with her audience and a penchant for roots and soul-tinged sounds. One thing to be said about this trio: There’s not a diva in the bunch. Just solid performers who know how to shine individually and blend their styles — and their voices — for something utterly fresh.

Of course, being experimental doesn’t have to mean a break from form. Alt-country band The Hillbillyonaire$, who claim to have started as a “three piece autoharp and dulcimer orchestra that catered to playin’ for the Ladies Auxillary,” puts its own unhinged and bass-heavy spin on chestnuts like the gospel tune “Ain’t No Grave.” Pilgrim shares little with the Hillbillyonaire$ beyond being a trio. Fronted by poet/musician Jaye Bartell, the slow-core band crafts atmospheric notes and haunting imagery. Themes of birds, nature and loneliness are palpable in these quiet songs.

And then there are the traditionalists (though it could be argued that, amidst the alt-ness of LAAFF, orthodoxy is new heterodoxy). Celtic band Ceol Leinn, from Hickory, plays traditional Scottish and Irish music. In kilts. With highland bagpipes, penny whistles and a marching snare. And, perhaps every bit as exciting (and immemorial) as a double dose of bagpipes is classic rock. Think: The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds.” That’s what Hendersonville-based BlackJack brings to the stage. The departure for these rock purists is that the entire group is middle school-aged.

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by Alli Marshall in Vol. 16 / Iss. 6 on 09/02/2009

The Mountain Xpress

www.mountainx.com

Photos by Jonathan Welch

Photos by Jonathan Welch

If memory serves, my eighth birthday involved a swimming party in our backyard pond and carob cupcakes that none of my friends would eat (but decades later still laugh about). For the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival’s eighth, the day-long celebration promises costumes, a parade, a couple dozen performers, jam sessions, DJs, visual art, costumed revelers, bicycle jousting, local food and beer and spontaneous creative expression (and heck, maybe a carob cupcake, too). LAAFF knows how to throw a party.

So, as downtown Asheville’s most unique shopping district gears up for its most unique festival, what sort of tricks does LAAFF have up its sleeve? For starters, a new director. In July, Frank Bloom stepped into that leadership role, and really, who better? Bloom brings a wealth of experience (he’s managed food and beverage outlets for a NASCAR track, booked shows for Emerald Lounge, run sound for both Donna The Buffalo and Acoustic Syndicate, worked as drum tech for Mickey Hart’s Global Drum Project and performs with Asheville’s Thunderdrums).

Next on the roster of important deets: Beer. LAAFF has, since the beginning, taken a local-brews-only stand. This time around, better than a selection from a single local brewery, Asheville Brewers Alliance (comprised of eight beer crafters) is involved. Wash the suds down with an array of snacks from Crepes of Wrath, Rosetta’s Kitchen, Blue Daisy Cafe, Mela Indian Restaurant and more. You’ll need the sustenance — this is a marathon day of fun.

090209hulahoopJonathan WelchSpeaking of fun, the best way to get into the spirit of LAAFF is to come in costume. Yeah, Asheville is pretty open to all manner of dress. Jeans and flip-flops are de rigeur, dresses are paired with boots, dudes wear skirts, wings and horns are perfectly acceptable accessories. Even so, why pass up a chance to spend a day in full festive regalia? Dress as your favorite alter ego and then cut loose with the newly added Big Wheels for Big Kids activity or saddle up for a round of bike jousting. (What not to look for this year: Daredevil Michael Mooney won’t go for a third attempt at a Guinness World Record for the three-story tall bike ride. Mooney — as “Medieval Knieval” — will lead the foam armor- and banana-seat bicycle jousts.)

Don’t have a costume? Never fear: Honeypot hosts Sew Your Own Art Clothes.

OK, LAAFF is a whole lot of activity, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of chances to cool your heals and just be entertained. Sit back and take in a (mobile) show on the LaZoom bus (LEAF in Schools and Streets’ Youth at Jazz and singer/songwriters Oso Rey and Ash Devine with Quetzal perform on the 40-minute tour loops. Tickets are $2 for kids and $3 for adults. Sketch comedy troupe The Feral Chihuahuas put on an adults-only show). Beat the heat in one of Lexington Ave’s shady courtyards where Celtic, bluegrass, old-time and DJ sessions take place.

There’s more, of course. LAAFF tends to morph the way organic, homegrown things do. Most of it’s mapped out (check the festival Web site for more info), but the street performers, musicians, artists and attendees who show up have a way of adding their own personal, unique and perfectly wacky touches.

090209gracieJonathan Welch

Gracie May is adorable, but please leave dogs at home!

There’s more, of course. LAAFF tends to morph the way organic, homegrown things do. Most of it’s mapped out (check the festival Web site for more info), but the street performers, musicians, artists and attendees who show up have a way of adding their own personal, unique and perfectly wacky touches.

who: Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival
what: All-local music and arts celebration
where: Lexington Ave. between the I-240 overpass and College St.
when: Sunday, Sept. 6 (11 a.m.-9 p.m. Free. http://www.lexfestasheville.com)

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By Carol Motsinger • August 30, 2009 12:15 AM
Asheville Citizen Times Sunday Edition
www.citizen-times.com

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop.  At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

ASHEVILLE — For Frank Bloom, directing the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) is more than a day job. The festival, which is taking over a few blocks downtown Sept. 6, is one of the reasons he moved to Asheville.

Before making the permanent move, Bloom traveled from his home in Charlotte to help with the sound for the festival’s stages. One group turned out to be a sound engineer’s nightmare: There were more people than square footage on the stage. The group of dancers and drummers had never performed together.

“They weren’t even a band,” Bloom said. “They were more like an experiment.” But despite Bloom’s handwringing, the performance went off without a hitch.

“It was really cool…it was a little welcome to Asheville,” Bloom said. “It was one of those experiences that was a decision-maker for me moving here.”

Four years later, Bloom is no longer behind the sound board; he’s up front at the helm of the 8th annual event celebrating all things arts, music and Asheville. The free festival will fill three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.

And in a lot of ways, Bloom’s new gig isn’t too far removed from the afternoon he made sure the sounds of that 20-person band got the crowd dancing. “It’s organized chaos,” Erin Scholze, who booked the bands, said of the planning process.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

But organized it is. In just one day, the festival will showcase more than 30 bands and 70 artists. Not to mention a kids area, a circus side show, street performers, a new stage in the La Zoom purple bus and whatever other spontaneous acts of creativity decide to show up.

“It’s a showcase,” Scholze said. “For us, it’s really about maxing it out and sensory overload.”

Forget the stages: Scholze’s favorite part of the festival is the “fabulously freaky” characters who make up the crowd.

“I always love seeing the people in costumes,” she said. “You might see the person who just served you at Zambra walking around in this random costume.”

“That’s the spirit of LAAFF…it’s very eye-opening,” she added.

Bloom’s primary goal this year “was to continue the spirit and the atmosphere of the festival,” he said. And what is that spirit? It’s celebrating everything that makes up Asheville: Local art, food and beer, he said.

“This has a party atmosphere,” he said. “We definitely want to keep that identity.”

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival.  A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

That certainly doesn’t mean there haven’t been changes. “In eight years, the area around the festival has definitely changed,” he said. “The festival celebrates that indie spirit that was the beginning of the re-birth of downtown.”

As the city center has flourished, so has the festival. When Scholze started working with LAAFF in its second year, some 3,000 people came out to the party. The event now draws 12,000 people downtown, she said.

Festival organizers also try to “integrate the evolution” of Asheville, Bloom said. For instance, they will be serving six local beers instead of just one, as they have in previous years. When the festival started, Asheville wasn’t known as a beer city, Bloom said.

There will be some subtractions this year as well. Michael Mooney will not be attempting to ride the world’s tallest bike this year, a stunt that’s so fundamental to the festival that it’s part of the official poster. They also won’t paint a donated car this year, Bloom said. But bicycling jousting (another Mooney original and crowd favorite) is still planned and they have some new surprises Bloom wanted to keep hush-hush.

But the most unique part of the festival may not be the break-dancing pirate or the kooky couple hula-hooping to funky beats. What makes this event special is the personal investment of the people who volunteer their time to make it happen, Scholze said.

“The community really takes ownership of it,” she said.

The same folks show up year after year. “It’s like a big family reunion,” Scholze added.

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)


Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival performers
Blue Rags, Dehlia Low, Eymarel, Hunab Kru, Jen and the Juice, Mad Tea Party, Melmacpink, Roberto Hess, Swayback Sisters, tHE POLES, U-N-I verse, Zabumba!. Asheville Dance Revolution, Baraka Mundi, Blackjack, Brushfire Stankgrass, Ceol Leinn, Galen Kipar Project, Modo, Now You See Them, Runaway Circus and Loose Caboose, Taylor Martin, The Chx, Velvet Truck Stop, Angi West, Arundas, Dip-N-Flip E.Normus Trio, Lulo, Pierce Edens, Pilgrim, Poetix Vanguard, Secret B-Sides, Ash Devine w/ Quetzal, Hillbillionaire$, La Feral Zoom: Rollin’ Barks of Laughter, LEAF in Schools and Streets: Youth at Jazz, Oso Rey, as well as a bluegrass jam, celtic jam and old-time jam.

LAAFF Performers Schedule

IF YOU GO
What:
8th Annual Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival.
When:
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.
Where:
Three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass.
Cost:
Free.
For more
about LAAFF 2009 www.lexfestasheville.com
about Arts 2 People www.arts2people.org

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Carol Motsinger • August 14, 2009 12:15 AM
Asheville Citizen Times
www.citizen-times.com

A mermaid graces the cover of the  A mermaid graces the cover of the "Freaks of Asheville" calendar that's being celebrated in an exhibit starting Friday at Pack Place.

A mermaid graces the cover of the A mermaid graces the cover of the "Freaks of Asheville" calendar that's being celebrated in an exhibit starting Friday at Pack Place.

ASHEVILLE — A nun with a bad habit and a mountain-living mermaid sound more like characters in a bizarre dream than glossy calendar girls. Yet these individuals have found a home in the Arts 2 People’s Freaks of Asheville Calendar.
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The images in the calendar, as well as photographs and artifacts from the organization’s Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, will be celebrated in an exhibit opening 5-7 p.m. today at Pack Place.

The calendar features some of Asheville’s creative professionals, “a certain slice of the Asheville experience,” said Kitty Love, Arts 2 People’s executive director and driving force behind the calendar.

“I really just wanted to highlight who these people are,” she said. The calendar also features important dates in freak culture, such as moon phases and death and birth dates of some of the important people who contributed to the current community.

Love teamed up with John Elliston and Michael Traister, photographer for Sock Monkey Dreams and the Faces of Izzy’s project, to create a series of black-and-white portraits of Asheville’s “freaks.”

But what exactly is a freak? For Love, freaks “have been deformed by the power of their own creative potential,” she said. “They have an overwhelming creative urge, insatiable curiosity, but difficulty being amused.”

The calendar is essentially 12 months of performers and artists like burlesque performer Corky Bordeaux and folk artist Bob Seven.

“I mostly just wanted to celebrate the people who are constant contributors to the magic I see every day,” Love said.

Traister kept the setup simple — neutral background and no props other than what the subjects brought with them — to make sure the “subjects come out more,” he said. Traister thinks that part of what makes Asheville special is that there is a sense of freedom for people to be who they want and to express who they are, however they see fit.

It’s exactly that spirit that Love hopes the calendar will highlight — and help preserve. “It’s important that we retain this part of our culture as we develop into a bigger city,” she said. “I want to see the creative culture considered in terms of economic development, in terms of tourism and everything else Asheville does.”

The calendar is just the beginning for the project. Love hopes to produce a set of Asheville freak-themed Tarot cards and possibly a larger collection of portraits for a book. Organizers hope to have the calendar available for sale at the upcoming LAAFF, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6, and at downtown retailers soon. A portion of the proceeds will go toward Arts 2 People.

The Pack Place exhibit also includes images previewing next month’s LAAFF, an arts celebration organized by Arts 2 People. The exhibit will also host Michael Mooney’s bike jousting gear, a sport regularly featured at the festival. Mooney, also known as “Medieval Knievel,” a co-founder of LAAFF, also has a spot in the calendar.

Through all of its projects, “Arts 2 People has worked really hard to try to create something that can move the creative cultural experience forward,” Love said. “We want to create an opportunity for self-expression and community building.”

IF YOU GO:

What: Exhibit for the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival and the Freaks of Asheville Calendar.

When: Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Friday. The exhibit runs through Aug. 29.

Where: Pack Place Front Gallery at 2 S. Pack Square.

More information: http://www.arts2people.org or http://www.lexfestasheville.com.

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by Rebecca Sulock in Spork

Mountain Xpress Vol. 15 / Iss. 50 on 07/08/2009
http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2007/070809spork/

Photo By Jonathan Welch

Photo By Jonathan Welch

AMPlight shines: Harper Leich, Steve Lister and Kurt Thaesler paint on the Lexington Avenue mural.

Walking from midtown (the nickname I’ve tried and failed to give the land between Merrimon and Broadway, but it never catches) to downtown has gotten a lot different over the years. Used to be, you’d walk past punk/art houses and under the blandy I-240 overpass into what was really just prime hobo territory. Now you’ve got the Pioneer Building and this bright, sparkly mural gracing the concrete of those freeway pillars.

That mural is growing larger and bolder even as I type. Three deft painters are working to finish the Lexington side — watch for them up on the scaffolding, bikes parked beneath. And now the Asheville Mural Project has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the small, family Chaddick Foundation. Organizers hope to raise another $5,000 to match that grant and finish both Merrimon Avenue sides.

“It’s incredible, so awesome, we’re so grateful,” says Molly Must, AMP’s director, of the grant money. AMP is a giant community project that couldn’t exist without the talent and labor of many artists, and the money from dozens of sponsors. It took years to navigate the red-tape involved in painting a mural on N.C. DOT property, but now even the DOT is singing praise for the project.

“Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty, writes operations engineer Ken Wilson, who says he hopes the mural inspires graffiti artists (once frequenters of the same area) to use their talent and energy in creative, constructive ways. A few updates:

• If you’ve walked or driven past the project during a summer storm, you may have seen the water pouring off the overpass. A break in the roadway meant water was dousing the mural. AMP has found someone to build flashing and caulk the whole thing to where that should be solved.

• After Must took a trip to learn about Philadelphia’s massive, $6 million-per-year mural program, she brought back some tricks for AMP. The Merrimon sides of the project will be created with a new, less-expensive and more collaborative technique that may actually be more durable, too. It involves painting squares of parachute cloth and gluing (OK, it’s really strong glue) to the side of the piers.

• The Merrimon murals have more decidedly Asheville themes. One side will be devoted to our local agricultural community, and will focus on the farm-to-market movement and local farmers markets. The other will showcase the chess players in Pritchard Park, including Charles O’Kelley, who plays the outdoors boards every day the sun shines (he shows up playing chess in the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher).

• Soon enough, Harper Leich, Kurt Thaesler and Steve Lister will have finished the Lexington side, and the dialogue between the two murals will begin. Check out the drum circle theme that builds between them.

• Along with Arts 2 People, the city of Asheville and the Chaddick Foundation, sponsors include the Asheville Downtown Association, Greenlife Grocery, Downtown Asheville Residents Association, Julie Vann, EcoBuilders, Ted Warner, the Lexington Avenue Bizarre Bazaar, Public Interest Projects/The Orange Peel, Rosetta’s Kitchen, Ken Sehested, Jason Rector, Whitt Rylee, On a Roll Screen Printing, Bionic Man Painting, Izzy’s, Henco Graphics, Shanda Christian, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, Malaprop’s, Asheville Arts Council, Sherwin Williams, Stephen Jones and Joan Goodman.

Sponsors could also include you. If you’d like to get involved, donate money or equipment (AMP is currently setting up an office in Riverview Station and needs a computer, scanner and digital projector), check out http://www.arts2people.org/amp.html or e-mail Must at molly@arts2people.org

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Macon News

http://www.maconnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5110&Itemid=85

fullpic

ASHEVILLE – As motorists drive down heavily traveled Lexington Avenue in Asheville, they will see something other than graffiti.

The I-240 bridge underpass is now home to the Asheville Mural Project. It strives to replace the graffiti with elaborate and colorful paintings, which reflect the unique history, context and culture of Asheville.

The project is an unprecedented collaboration between the N.C. Department of Transportation, the city of Asheville and the non-profit organization Arts 2 People. To date, 11 local artists have volunteered to work on the project.

Before the project began, commuters driving on Lexington Avenue under the I-240 bridge saw concrete “tagged,” or written on, with offensive graffiti. Despite efforts by NCDOT and the local police to stop the graffiti, the “taggers” continued to deface the property.

“We hope this mural inspires graffiti artists to use their talents and energies in other ways,” said NCDOT Division 13 Operations Engineer Ken Wilson. “Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty.”

Asheville artists have painted a mural on the I-240 bridge underpass that had previously been defaced by graffiti. Eleven different artists have worked on the project. A local non-profit called Arts 2 People is raising money to complete the project.

The Asheville Mural Project was proposed in May 2005 by Project Coordinator Molly Must. She became inspired after seeing concrete art in Canada. A little over a year after approaching the city of Asheville and NCDOT, she received permission to start the project.

Must held a “call to artists” and selected six artists who volunteered to work on the project. They worked collectively to design and paint the mural. Five more artists are now working to complete the project.

In contrast to graffiti, these artists do not use spray paint. Instead, they use a specialized form of acrylic paint, which is expensive. To afford supplies for the remainder of the project, they are accepting donations on these two Web sites, www.ashevillemuralproject.org or www.arts2people.com.

For more information on the Asheville Mural Project, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 733-2522.

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Thursday, 16 July 2009
NCDOT, town and local artists beautify Asheville bridge

http://www.maconnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5110&Itemid=85

Macon News

ASHEVILLE – As motorists drive down heavily traveled Lexington Avenue in Asheville, they will see something other than graffiti.

The I-240 bridge underpass is now home to the Asheville Mural Project. It strives to replace the graffiti with elaborate and colorful paintings, which reflect the unique history, context and culture of Asheville.

The project is an unprecedented collaboration between the N.C. Department of Transportation, the city of Asheville and the non-profit organization Arts 2 People. To date, 11 local artists have volunteered to work on the project.

Before the project began, commuters driving on Lexington Avenue under the I-240 bridge saw concrete “tagged,” or written on, with offensive graffiti. Despite efforts by NCDOT and the local police to stop the graffiti, the “taggers” continued to deface the property.

“We hope this mural inspires graffiti artists to use their talents and energies in other ways,” said NCDOT Division 13 Operations Engineer Ken Wilson. “Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty.”

Asheville artists have painted a mural on the I-240 bridge underpass that had previously been defaced by graffiti. Eleven different artists have worked on the project. A local non-profit called Arts 2 People is raising money to complete the project.

The Asheville Mural Project was proposed in May 2005 by Project Coordinator Molly Must. She became inspired after seeing concrete art in Canada. A little over a year after approaching the city of Asheville and NCDOT, she received permission to start the project.

Must held a “call to artists” and selected six artists who volunteered to work on the project. They worked collectively to design and paint the mural. Five more artists are now working to complete the project.

In contrast to graffiti, these artists do not use spray paint. Instead, they use a specialized form of acrylic paint, which is expensive. To afford supplies for the remainder of the project, they are accepting donations on these two Web sites, www.ashevillemuralproject.org or www.arts2people.com.

For more information on the Asheville Mural Project, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 733-2522.

Read Full Post »

Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in downtown welcomes Asheville Earth Day presented by Greenlife Grocery on Saturday April 19th from 10am – 10pm.  The City of Asheville, The Asheville Music Jamboree (AMJam), Arts 2 People and Foothills Brewing are sponsoring this free event.

If, in years past, you have enjoyed Greenlife Grocery’s Asheville Earth Day efforts you will appreciate the change in venue and boost in entertainment.  Greenlife, the presenting sponsor, has teamed up with Mountain Roots Management to bring this years event to a new level.  Plenty of WNC-based vendors will be on hand for the day’s activities.

Asheville Earth Day will feature an expansive Eco-Village, Earth Eco Stage and a variety of musical entertainment.  The Eco-Village will feature conscious cause-defending organizations participating with information booths and calls to action.  The Earth Eco Stage is a platform for educational speakers to develop awareness of how our community members can get involved in creating a sustainable planet.  Participating organizations include Blue Ridge Bio-Fuels, Clean Water for NC, Canary Collation, Mountain Area Information Network, WNC Green Building Council and many others. HeadCount, a national voter registration group will also be on hand to register voters for the upcoming May primary.

Asheville Earth Day  will have live music stage with New Orleans funk masters, Porter, Batiste and Stoltz (PBS) headlining.  Other artists include Josh Phillips Folks Festival, The Asheville Horns, Shining Rock, Boo Ray, Grand Pappy, Mother Song and The Mayan Dancing Group. Music begins at 11am and continues until 10pm.

Beer is being provided by North Carolina’s Foothills Brewing.  A portion of the proceeds from beer sales will be donated to local arts non-profit Arts 2 People, whose projects include the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, REACH Programming and the Asheville Mural Project.  To find out more visit http://www.arts2people.org.

Asheville Earth Day is fun for the whole family and will have a Kids Universe featuring arts, crafts, face painting and story teller Laura “Lulu” Edmonds, from the Oakley Library in East Asheville, telling her favorite children’s stories.  Everyone can join in the fun and use their imagination in creating an earth-friendly sculpture project using trash and recycled materials.

Everyone is encouraged to ride their bikes to the event. The first 50 cyclists will receive a free basket for their bikes from Cynthia’s Twigs.  There will be a bike corral hosted by Strive Not to Drive whose goal is to raise awareness about the connection between transportation, air quality and health.  Strive Not to Drive will take place May 12-16;  organizers encourage people to avoid driving their cars part of a day or several days to experience the benefits and opportunities of walking, bicycling, riding the bus, carpooling, rollerblading, telecommuting and other forms of alternative transportation. To find out more visit http://www.blueridgecommute.com.

Another way to take advantage of alternative transportation is to ride Lazoom Tours, the purple biodiesel art bus, from MLK Park to the post-event party at Stella Blue.  Porter, Batiste and Stoltz will take the stage for a late-night set starting around 11 pm.  The ticket price for the after-party is $12.

Mountain Roots Management, an event company based in Black Mountain, has handled the logistics of Asheville Earth Day Celebration for 2008’s edition. Volunteers, non-profit organizations and like-minded individuals interested in participating are encouraged to get in touch with the event organizers at mtnbob4@gmail.com.

Greenlife Grocery sponsors this free event at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

For general information, please email ashevilleearthday@gmail.com.

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