1 year ago

September 2019 final

  • Text
  • September
  • Asheville
  • Arts
  • Rapid
  • Artists
  • October
  • Clarinet
  • Riverview
  • Continued
  • Parkway

FINE ART Focusing on

FINE ART Focusing on light and color — a conversation with Christopher Peterson BY RICK HILLS • RIVER ARTS DISTRICT, ASHEVILLE Christopher Peterson is a modern painter and illustrator, new to the Asheville area Christopher Peterson recently moved to Asheville after a successful 35-year career as an illustrator and painter in their Bay Area. He is best known for his concert posters and urban landscape paintings. He has designed over 150 posters for the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, some of which have won awards. His urban landscape paintings are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They’re represented in numerous public and private collections throughout the US and Canada. Rapid River Magazine: What made you decide to move to Asheville? Christopher Peterson: Well, first of all, we have an amazing arts scene here. The fact that we have art tourism here was very compelling when I was making the decision. I also have family here — my sister and uncle, and a wonderful girlfriend; not to mention the cost of living and quality of life in the Bay Area has been getting more and more unsustainable in recent years. RRM: Where can people see your work? CP: I have a small gallery space in the Riverview Station building in Vicky Pinney’s space I share with my sister, Stephanie Peterson-Jones and her husband Paul, and a few other artists. RRM: If you could, please describe your process. CP: I go around taking photographs of things that appeal to me, usually because there’s some interesting light going on. I like reflections, sunsets and sunrises, and artificial light. I also like the unusual subject matter — for instance, the reflected light on the wing of an airplane, or a gas station pump. I also like to paint people. Sometimes I even go out with my little kit and paint outdoors. I paint in oils with bold impasto strokes, and I like to use strong color combinations. I also make my floater frames. RRM: Who are some of the more famous rock stars you’ve designed posters for? CP: Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Willie Nelson (twice), Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Los Lobos, Susan Tedeschi, and the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. The list goes on. IF YOU GO Christopher Peterson Riverview Station • 191 Lyman St., Studio #101 • Asheville, (510) 384-4995 8 |RAPIDRIVERMAGAZINE.COM | RAPID RIVER’S ARTS & CULTURE | VOL. 23, NO. 1 SEPTEMBER 2019

FINE ART Light through the glass — Guardians by Deb Williams BY STAFF REPORTS • RIVER ARTS DISTRICT, ASHEVILLE The Asheville River Arts District’s Mark Bettis Studio & Gallery will present a solo exhibition of stunning thought-provoking glass art by local artist Deb Williams entitled “Seen and Unseen: Guardians in Glass.” Williams takes the highly subjective concept of who and what a “guardian” can be – in our relationships, in our dreams and spirits, and our everyday lives, and runs with it artistically. The artist notes in the many homes she has shared with her husband over the years, each one has had a symbolic guardian at its entrance, whether it’s a dragon, tree, or sculpture. A recent project led her to think even more deeply about the symbolism and varied meanings of guardians. “In our current home, we’ve been working on a large sculpture to put at the entrance to the property. I started thinking about other people and their ideas of guardians or protectors. It seems we all have them, consciously or unconsciously,” she says. A natural inquisitor, Williams posed the question “What does the word ‘guardian’ bring to mind?” as she and fellow artist, Mark Bettis, conceptualized this show. The works that inhabit the exhibition illustrate just how many types of guardians watch over us: those rooted in imagination, earthly, and heavenly. Williams’s take on translating these ideas into a cast and fused glass offer up a wild and varied cast of characters, from gracefully grounded pink flamingos and ethereal angel’s wings to a dramatic life-sized horse head – and who knows what else. Williams’s joy is evident in her fluency with a diverse array of glass techniques. These include Pate de Verre, a kiln-heated method that utilizes molds, an organically-inspired naturalistic cast glass process, and even a “deconstructed-reconstructed” glass approach in which she reinterprets and reassembles shattered glass. She also creates pieces using mixed media. Though a good portion of her work is influenced by the world around her – the mystery of a mountain shrouded in mist, the brilliant sparkle of a moving stream, the delicate translucence of a fallen leaf – it also uses symbols and kaleidoscopic color to impart meaning, humor, and memory. Deb Williams, “Spirit Guide,” 2019 IF YOU GO Seen and Unseen: Guardians in Glass The show opens with a reception on the evening of September 21, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Mark Bettis Studio & Gallery, located at 123 Roberts Street in the historic WEDGE building, the heart of Asheville’s vibrant River Arts District. Visitors will be able to enjoy and purchase pieces from this evocative exhibition should they desire, from September 21- October 5. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. Following the evening reception, guests can access the exhibition during the studio’s business hours, which are Monday through Saturday, from 10-5pm. For additional information on the show and the Mark Bettis Studio & Gallery, please visit or contact Bettis at (941) 587-9502 or VOL. 23, NO. 1 — SEPTEMBER 2019 | RAPIDRIVERMAGAZINE.COM | RAPID RIVER’S ARTS & CULTURE | 9