May Artist Roundup: More Local Art from Mountain Made

Captivating Contemporary Crafts:
Discover Some of WNC’s Unique Artistic Voices

Here at Mountain Made, we like to think of our art gallery as a vibrant hub for local creativity, where Appalachian traditions merge seamlessly with innovative modern artistic expressions.

This month’s artist roundup shines a spotlight on five local artists who are masters of their crafts and through their art pieces invite us to see the world through their unique lenses.

These creators aren’t just making art; they’re weaving narratives … stories that deeply connect us to their passions for nature, culture, and the spirit of Asheville.

From gourd masks to handcrafted jewelry and finely crafted woodwork, each artist brings something uniquely beautiful to the table.

Check out the artwork of these wonderful professionals…

Philip Hulsey: Gourd Spirit Masks

Philip Hulsey transforms simple gourds into profound artistic statements with his “Trail Spirit Masks.” Drawing inspiration from his deep connection to nature and animistic beliefs, Philip crafts masks that encapsulate what he sees as the essence of the Appalachian spirit.

These masks are a deviation from their traditional uses and so are reimagined into wall art that evokes the personality and presence of the spirits they represent. Each piece is a celebration of the local flora and fauna, handcrafted with materials collected from the surrounding mountains.

Philip’s work is a dialogue with the wild, a narrative thread that ties myth with reality. His artistic process is a spiritual journey, capturing the transitory and making it tangible. His masks are not merely decorative but serve as a channel through which people can connect to the untamed aspects of nature and perhaps, within themselves.

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Amy Pike: Jewelry with an Elegant & Confident Style

In the quiet mountains near Asheville, Amy Pike crafts jewelry that goes beyond mere decoration to empower and inspire confidence in those who wear her pieces. Raised in a family of artists, Amy’s approach to jewelry is deeply personal, blending skill with a passion for creation.

Each piece she designs is a testament to her craftsmanship … “Creating adornments to enhance your beauty and give you the confidence to meet any challenge.”

Amy’s creations are not just accessories; they are pieces of art, each telling its own story. Her studio is a place of metalsmithing alchemy where she elegantly merges metals and gemstones together to form her stylish and refined jewelry.

For Amy, jewelry making is not just a profession but a way to connect with others on a profound level, providing them with a piece of wearable art that celebrates their individuality.

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Phil Pratt: The Language of Woodworking

Phil Pratt, known affectionately as the “Master Sawdust Maker,” has a unique relationship with wood. Each piece he creates, from charcuterie boards to trivets, is a conversation between craftsman and material.

Phil allows the wood to guide him, shaping it into items that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. His journey into woodworking began as a hobby but quickly grew into a vocation as more people sought his expertly crafted pieces.

Phil’s approach to woodworking is grounded in respect for the material and an understanding of its inherent properties. Each creation is a celebration of wood’s natural beauty, enhanced by Phil’s careful and considered craftsmanship. His work invites us to appreciate the simple elegance of handmade wooden items in our everyday lives.

Bill Wanezek: Master of Woodturning

Bill Wanezek’s journey in woodturning is marked by a passion for transformation and precision. From elegantly simple toothpick holders to intricate handcrafted cheese knives and wood pens, Bill’s creations are examples of what can be achieved when raw material meets masterful techniques.

His work is driven by a fascination with the process of turning raw wood into functional art. Bill’s ability to produce a finished piece in a matter of minutes is not just a testament to his skill but also to his dedication to his craft.

Bill’s work exemplifies the fusion of function and artistry that is central to the craft of woodturning. Each piece he creates is both a utility and a work of art, inviting us to reconsider our perceptions of everyday objects.

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Kim Anderson: Alcohol Ink Illustrations

Asheville artist Kim Anderson has had a pencil in her hand and been drawing something since she was 3 years old. She is a self taught artist and is an illustrator at heart – which lends itself well to a variety of artwork.

She works in many different mediums, and enjoys learning new materials and techniques such as her new alcohol ink drawings on boards. She is also known for her works in colored pen, watercolor, Sgrafitto on board, block printing, and silk painting. Kim’s intricate bird illustrations are also available as printed note cards.

This Memorial Day’s Weekend Come Explore Mountain Made’s Local Art

These artists represent just a slice of the rich collection of local crafts that Mountain Made has to offer. If you find yourself in downtown Asheville, during Memorial Day, be sure to visit the Mountain Made gallery to see these treasures in person and perhaps take a piece of our creative mountain spirit home with you.

Directions to Mountain Made, inside the Grove Arcade

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