'Meeting the Moon' Exhibition Highlights Lunar Themed Works at Asheville Art Museum

  • January 22, 2021 11:59

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John Lewis, Moon Vase , 1978, blown, hot - worked glass, 7 × 7 × 7 inches. Asheville Art Museum. © John Lewis.
James Rosenquist, Mirrored Flag , 1971, lithograph with mylar foil on paper, 29 × 22 ¼ inches. Asheville Art Museum. © James Rosenquist Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Robert Hunter, Cape Canaveral , 1976, screenprint on paper, 16 ⅜ × 16 ⅜ inches. Asheville Art Museum. © Estate of Robert Hunter
Newcomb Pottery, Vase from Moss and Moonlight series, 1930, glazed earthenware, 9 ¼ × 4 ¼ × 4 ¼ inches. Asheville Art Museum. Image David Dietrich.

The Asheville Art Museum will present Meeting the Moon, an exhibition featuring prints, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, and more from the Museum’s Collection. This exhibition will be on view in the Asheville Art Museum’s McClinton Gallery February 3 through July 26, 2021, in Asheville, North Carolina.

2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Apollo space program at NASA, but its inception was hardly the beginning of humankind’s fascination with Earth’s only moon. Before space travel existed, the moon—its shape, its mystery, and the face we see in it—inspired countless artists. Once astronauts landed on the moon and we saw our world from a new perspective, a surge of creativity flooded the American art scene, in paintings, prints, sculpture, music, crafts, film, and poetry.  

This exhibition, whose title is taken from a 1913 Robert Frost poem, examines artwork in the Asheville Art Museum’s Collection of artists who were inspired by the unknown, then increasingly familiar moon. Meeting the Moon includes works by nationally renowned artists Newcomb Pottery, James Rosenquist, Maltby Sykes, Paul Soldner, John Lewis, Richard Ritter (Bakersville, NC), and Mark Peiser (Penland, NC). Western North Carolina artists include Jane Peiser (Penland, NC), Jak Brewer (Zionville, NC), Dirck Cruser (Asheville, NC), George Peterson (Lake Toxaway, NC), John B. Neff (NC), and Maud Gatewood (Yanceyville, NC). 

Meeting the Moon offers the opportunity to combine science and popular culture with works of art in the Museum’s Collection,” says Whitney Richardson, associate curator. “I think all visitors will find something that draws them into this exhibition, whether it’s the artwork, poetry, music, or science of space travel. It’s such an affirmation of humanity to find these mysteries, like the moon, which enchant us all.” 

This exhibition is organized by the Asheville Art Museum and curated by Whitney Richardson, associate curator. Visit ashevilleart.org for more information about this and other exhibitions.

Helen Gerardia, Moonlight , circa 1965, screenprint on paper, 16 × 20 inches. Asheville Art Museum. © Estate of Helen Gerardia

From Robert Frost's poem Going for Water:

We ran as if to meet the moon
  That slowly dawned behind the trees
, The barren boughs without the leaves,
  Without the birds, without the breeze.

But once within the wood, we paused
  Like gnomes that hid us from the moon,
Ready to run to hiding new
  With laughter when she found us soon.


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