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      Mural Opening Celebration in Asheville

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      November 22, 2020

      Sunday   2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

      217 Coxe Ave.
      Asheville, North Carolina 28801

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      Mural Opening Celebration

      Public Mural Opening on November 22 from 2 to 5 PM at Open Hearts Art Center - 217 Coxe Ave.

      Open Hearts Art Center is thrilled to announce the opening celebration of a public mural recently installed at their studios and gallery in Asheville's thriving South Slope. The mural is a collaboration between renowned painter Ian Wilkinson and the artists and staff of Open Hearts and was funded by a Grassroots Art Program subgrant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and the Asheville Area Arts Council, along with East West Capital and additional private donors.

      Open Hearts Art Center Co-Founder and Director of Arts Debbie Harris explained the process of creating the images depicted in the mural by saying, "Brit Davis Klepac, a former art instructor with our program, led a class during which the Open Hearts artists created avant garde fashions." Klepac is a photographer, who then captured the artists in a professional photo shoot while wearing their colorful and whimsical creations.

      Harris went on to discuss, "We wanted to use imagery that spoke to who we are as an organization, as well as being bold and impactful to attract visitors into our community and gallery." Open Hearts Art Center, recently voted one of the best nonprofits that serves the arts in Western North Carolina, is a supportive studio and gallery dedicated to representing and empowering adults with disabilities to connect to and reach their full potential through the arts.

      Ian Wilkinson is a nationally recognized muralist with works included in the national mural registry. It is hard to miss his impressive and prolific work around Asheville, examples including the 240 overpass on Lexington Ave., the iconic silo in the River Arts District, and Joan of Arc painted in the East West area of Haywood Rd.

      Of the most recent mural project, Wilkinson wrote, "The folks at Open Hearts are just a total delight, and they are really doing amazing work. This mural was made in a very elaborate collaboration...and I am very honored to have been involved." The mural images were completed over time in both Wilkinson's studio and the Open Hearts Art Center studio and then installed by Wilkinson on Oct. 23 - 25.

      The public is invited to attend the opening celebration of the mural on Nov. 22 between 2 and 5PM. Due to the importance of social distancing at this time, the opening will be an outdoor celebration, and community members are invited to drive by to see the mural and some of the Open Hearts artists and staff outside the facility or to stop and shop art for sale on the sidewalk in front of the gallery. Masks and appropriate distancing are required while shopping.

      During this season of Thanksgiving, Open Hearts would like to express heartfelt, sincere thanks to the donors that made the project possible, to Ian Wilkinson for sharing his artistic expertise and collaborating, and to the Open Hearts artists and staff, who worked persistently to complete the mural. Open Hearts would also like to express gratitude to the Asheville community by offering a thank you prize bag to the first 25 attendees to drive by the opening celebration.

      Written by Salley Williamson

      Development and Communications Specialist
      Independent Contractor for Open Hearts Art Center

      Categories: Kids & Family | Fundraising & Charity | Art Galleries & Exhibits

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