December 7, 2018 – January 11, 2019

The Asheville Area Arts Council is excited to welcome Asheville Through Brown Eyes into the Thom Robinson and Ray Griffin Exhibition Space Friday, December 7, 2018  – January 11, 2019.

Curator, Joseph Pearson says:

‘I, like many people we have met since moving to Asheville two and half years ago asked the same question, “Where are the black people?” Since then I have learned that the city has a rich and varied African American history and culture. I have also heard that there is a lack of diversity in the city. Diversity, the quality or state of having many different… I have seen many different races and ethnic people, so my conclusion is that the diversity is here, a lack of integration of that diversity into mainstream Asheville is what I perceive as lacking.’

Asheville Through Brown Eyes will offer the people of Buncombe County an opportunity to learn more about this culturally rich treasure. Pearson believes art allows for typically sterile information to be presented in a more approachable and appealing context and brings people together. Social gatherings provide an opportunity for people who ordinarily would not come in social contact to meet and converse. This contact within the context of a creative environment will foster greater awareness of how Black Asheville has contributed and continues to contributes to a better Asheville.  Joseph is a believer in transformative potential of creativity to the enhancement of our community life. Personal contact encourage us to see each other’s humanity. We hope to inspire a fresh look and appreciation for Asheville people of color. This exhibition is an opportunity to bring the Asheville communities together.

Asheville Through Brown Eyes will highlight the works of seven Buncombe County residents who are not only fine artists, but have extensive knowledge of the history and culture of people of color in Asheville.

Join us on Friday, December 7, 2018, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Asheville Area Arts Council’s Thom Robinson and Ray Griffin Exhibition Space to celebrate the opening of Asheville Through Brown Eyes.

To celebrate the opening reception of Asheville Through Brown Eyes, an Ancestor Walk Butoh will form a procession on Coxe Ave. Participants will gather at 4:15 in the parking lot of Ben’s Tuneup (Hilliard Ave. and Coxe Ave.) The group will walk down Coxe Ave to the Refinery, staying on sidewalks, walking slowly, entering the gallery, circling the gallery perimeter and stopping when signaled by Joseph Pearson and drummers. Participants are invited to wear costumes and carry musical instruments.  The Asheville Butoh Collective community is invited to join us as we honor our Ancestors and thank them for all they have done. The group will be welcomed into the gallery by Adama Dembele, a 33rd Generation Master Djembe Player from Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The festivities will commence with a welcome talk from curator, Joseph Pearson.

Participating artists: Joseph Pearson, Cleaster Cotton, Valeria Watson, Noel Jefferson, James Love, Jenny Pickens, Viola Spells

Images by: Joseph Pearson, Cleaster Cotton, Viola Spells