by Indy Srinath, staff writer
On April 21st, downtown’s newest art space, The Coop, will be teeming with Warren Wilson students in an exhibition curated by Bryce Dow-Williamson. The glossy hardwood floors and sleek modish decor of the gallery will reflect the hard work, dedication, and talent that embodies the Warren Wilson community. The theme for the show is Alternative Building. Dow- Williamson describes the event as, “The combinaton of the weathered man-made meeting the organic.It is taking the old and disregarded and applying creativity to bring out beauty. It is the simplicity of tradition with the complexity of reinvention.Like eating with antique silver spoons on paper plates…”
The Coop, named for its historical proximity to a chicken processing plant, is located on Carolina Lane ( also known as ‘Chicken Alley); or probably better recalled as ‘that street downtown embossed in neon graffiti.’ The Coop has become a hub for up and coming Asheville artists– it was started by local artist Chad Adair and his wife Jeannie and has since featured local artist exhibits in the upstairs room as well as the downstairs “Low Brow Gallery.”The space is complete with a full kitchen and expansive counters that, at night, become the gallery’s bar scene.The Coop is a wide bay windowed, hardwood floored, and lacquered counter topped manifestation of the Asheville art scene. It presents itself as the archetype for all art spaces to come.Says Bryce, “I did an art show at this place a year ago with 11 local artist friends of all different mediums from painting to leatherwork. there were also four musicians and four poets, two from warren wilson. It was called Makers&Lovers and about the passion of creation and springtime. I had a friend from california who played at the commune/venue I used to work at. He played at the Coop last winter and this winter. He introduced me to the owners and they wanted a guy that could help curate, I had some experience getting people together for art.”
The exhibition is brimming with talent as evidenced by the vividly stunning photography of Wilson alum, Nicole Jacobs. Her photographs, posted on The Coop website, feature subjects such as an indigo, cloud swirled sky suspended over a carnival scene or a bird whose insides have been replaced with copper switches and gears–obeying the theme by bookmarking nature’s tendency to lean towards the mechanical in our advancing society.
Says Bryce, “this show …is a Warren Wilson showcase of talent with students, teachers, alumni, artists, musicians, dancers and cooks. To me, this place is an alternative to other colleges and other ways of life. We are building an alternative to the future we fear; the one we have inherited. I wanted to do something involved with warren wilson people outside of the fences.”
The exhibition will include work from Wilson students, faculty, and alumni. There will be a myriad of food, music, art, and dance from 7pm to 11pm. Says Bryce, “ …at Warren Wilson College we are all trying to do our Good Work in the world; building an alternative from our Triad of academics, work, and service.”
On Saturday, April 21st, find yourself brushing shoulders with the artistically inclined members of the Wilson community. Support our local artists by appearing at The Coop for a spring night of unfiltered artistic expression– a happening dedicated to the juxtaposition of the artificiality of the evolving world as it combats the inevitability of nature.Says Bryce, “One could expect a lot of amazing creations from a variety of talented and down right nice people. An alleyway, some confusion, difficult parking, new faces, new expression from the old and Asheville people that want to know you or tell you what they’ve heard about warren wilson.”