The “InsBEARation” Art Event [July 6-31, 2024]

Ode to Kusama, Melanie Christian

“InsBEARation” Art Event Opening, 12-3 PM, Saturday July 6

The anthropomorphizing of bears (ursines) is nothing new. Baloo began crooning about the “bear necessities” way back in 1967 in the animated classic “The Jungle Book”, and Winnie-the-Pooh started musing on the meaning of life in the Hundred Acre Wood about 100 years ago.

And of course, starting in 1944, the US Forest Service’s Smokey Bear burst onto the scene wearing cuffed jeans and his trademark Mountie hat, determined to teach the public about the importance of putting out matches and preventing forest fires.

This month, here at Mountain Made, we are excited to host “InsBEARation,” featuring the whimsical and charming works of painter Melanie Christian.

Read more: The “InsBEARation” Art Event [July 6-31, 2024]

Melanie jumped on the ursine bandwagon around 2021, when she retired moved from Savannah, Georgia, to Asheville.

Recognizing the Western North Carolina’s deep respect for the local black bears, she painted a cuddly couple in the style of Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic.”

This homage painting was so well-received that she hasn’t quite stopped creating other bear “portraits” inspired by her favorite painters.

Today, her portfolio includes whimsical pieces like “Mona Bear” and “Starry Lake Bear,” as well as tributes to contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, and Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.

Melanie says that the goal of each of her pieces is to capture each bear’s unique spirit and personality, “mainly in their eyes and facial expressions, just like people.”

We invite you to join us for the event opening on Saturday, July 6, from 12-3 PM. This reception is FREE and we will be offering refreshing “Beary” Fruit Punch and delicious “Bear Nibbles” (trail mix and snacks).

And we will be passing out sheets with lots of unBearablely cute jokes like “What do you call a bear with no teeth?” A Gummy Bear of course!

Melanie will also be demonstrating how to make these funny folding bear cards … for children of all ages!

Come to Mountain Made, a downtown art gallery and immerse yourself in the delightful world of Melanie Christian’s bear-inspired art and celebrate the unique charm of these beloved creatures!

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