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23 dAYS and 24 Nights

23 Days and 24 Nights: My Curatorial Residency

an accounting by Melissa E. Feldman

Agenda: Work on two exhibitions, one on the role of Asian aesthetics and philosophy on the development of West Coast art in the mid-century decades, and another on the legacy of craft traditions associated with indigenous and rural cultures on contemporary art produced outside the urban mainstream, in regions such as the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. The latter began with this project:

Curators and gallerists met: Tracey Morgan/Tracey Morgan Gallery, Marilyn Zapf, curator at Center for Craft, Colby Caldwell artist and director of Revolve, Pam Wyler, director, and curators Whitney Richardson and Alexis Meldrum at the Asheville Art Museum, Michael Manes director of Blue Spiral, Julie Caro, art history professor at Warren Wilson College

Favorite local beer: Appalachian Cream Ale by Homeplace, Burnsville, NC

Hikes on T10 grounds and E. Fork Rd.: 19

Items bought: Akira Satake tea cup (to be used as a wine glass by my significant other left home with the cats), a second hand dress at Maison Mary, and a cast iron pan from the Tobacco Barn

Mileage: 1,028 (round trip from Harrisburg, PA)

More artists (Southern and not) discovered at Asheville Art Museum: Matt Jones (local potter), Beauford Delaney (abstract painter active in Harlem, NY and Paris), Dirck Cruser (local wood sculptor), Southern Folk artists: Barry Gurley Huffman, Mary Greene, Benny Carter, LaVon Van William Jr., Karen Karnes (Black Mountain School potter)

Other artists discovered: ceramics of Judith Duff and Josh Copus, Carole Hetzel baskets (Blue Spiral), Rachel McGinnis, Stacy Kranitz, Mike Smith, Luke Whitlatch (Tracey Morgan Gallery), Harvey Littleton (father of American Studio Glass movement, in Center for Craft collection)

Restaurants patronized: Rhubarb, La Bodega by Curate, Tupelo Honey, Stackhouse Pub

Studio visits made: Ivan Carmona, Jeffry Mitchell (outgoing T10 residents), Kyle Lawson (T10 manager), Rob Amberg (lauded up-close chronicler of Appalachian rural life), Amber Jensen (abstract weaving), Molly Sawyer (process-based, organic mixed media), Jackson Martin (conceptual craft), Thomas Campbell (minimalist welded sculpture), Danielle Burke (conceptual weaving about agro-social histories of craft)

Thanks: To Marjorie Dial and Township10 for giving space and time to curators (not the norm) in addition to artists and writers (the norm). Curating is not strictly an academic discipline; it is a very much a creative practice. Curators make exhibitions. As with art-making, research, experimentation, criticality, formal analysis and invention are involved.


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