New Arts in the New Year
After the rush to wrap up the old year, even artists need a break. Some of the venues that kept you entertained in 2007 will now close for a mid-winter nap. As local organizations such as the Upstairs Artspace, Purple Onion, and Tryon Fine Arts Center take a break from producing events this weekend, take the opportunity to venture out to something new.
Cross the state line to Landrum tonight , as the Red Clover Gallery holds a reception from 6-8pm "Pastorals: The Art of Gregory McPherson." A professor of art at Western North Carolina University, McPherson's abstract landscapes are warm with earth tones. His describes his work as such, "I am looking toward the landscape for visual impact in my work. The poetry of process weighs heavy in the material evolution and construction of these works. They are snapshots of experience, variation and sanctuary. I endeavor to capture the rhythmic energy of reinvention with contemporary abstraction." The show will run until February 6th. For more information please call 864-457-3311 or visit www.redclovergallery.com.
After the opening, if you venture up the hill to Flat Rock, you'll discover the cozy little smoke-free den of the Back Room at the Flat Rock Wine Shoppe. The room is set up to allow an intimate chat over a beverage while also letting you see and hear the performer clearly. Once on a Wednesday open mic night, I walked in to find the whole of the place silent and transfixed by the performance of Jacob Johnson. His virtuosity on the acoustic guitar was accompanied by clever lyrics and energetic wit that immediately pulled me in as well. You can catch this talented fellow tonight at 9pm. For more information call 828-697-6828 or visit www.flatrockwineshoppe.com.
Or, perhaps you'd like to take a trip up to Asheville and visit the Grey Eagle Music Hall to catch the highly talented multi- instrumental musician Tyler Ramsey at 9pm before he heads out on the road with his new CD opening for, and playing guitar with Band of Horses. The Grey Eagle is a smoke-free hall that serves up tasty Creole/Cajun fare and is easily accessible if you take the Patton Avenue exit and turn right at the second light on Clingman. It's a straight shot to a lovely venue big enough for a crowd of dancers or rows of seating featuring couches in the first row depending on the music. They offer a wide variety of music and Saturday night at 9pm will feature the vaudevillian entertainment of Holiday Childress of The Goodies with a looping machine and a variety pack of musical guests. In the past year this venue has celebrated the release of CDs from WNCW 2007 Top 100 Artists Steep Canyon Rangers, Band of Horses, David Childers, The Everybodyfields, Uncle Earl, Firecracker Jazz Band, Menage, Eliza Lynn, Shannon Whitworth, David Holt, Amy Steinberg, Stephanie's Id, and Malcolm Holcombe. For more information call 828-232-5800 or visit www.thegreyeagle.com.
You don't have to drive all the way to Asheville though to hear guitar talent. On Sun at 3pm you can catch Wesley Arnold at the Saluda Library in the upstairs conference room. This guitar recital will feature works of J.S. Bach, Mauro Giuliani, Yuquijiro Yocoh, Nikita Koshkin and Guido Santorsola. For more information call 828-749-2117.
Plan ahead for next week when Tryon Fine Arts Center will reopen its doors Thursday morning to welcome Artpower USA with their production of Madeline and the Bat Hat. They will present two morning shows at 9am and 11am fit for young and young at heart theatre lovers.