‘Thallo’ Opens April 29 in River Arts District whiteSPACE

"Remembering" oil painting by Lissa Friedman

Unique, local art is no surprise to River Arts District visitors. However, tucked away on the second level of The Wedge Studios is a hidden gem known as whiteSPACE, a working gallery of four artists whose experiences, talent and passion come to life in their diverse creations.

The galleries of whiteSPACE will be adorned with new paintings and spring flowers as its four partners host an opening reception for “Thallo: Four Artists Welcome Spring,” on Saturday, April 29, 1-6 p.m., upstairs at The Wedge Studios in River Arts District, 129 Roberts St.

The exhibit “Thallo” continues through the end of May. Thallo, the Greek goddess of spring buds and new shoots, is a fitting icon for this exhibit. Each of the artists – Sandra Bottinelli, Lissa Friedman, Mark Harmon and Melanie Norris – have created several new paintings that radiate with seasonal colors.

The afternoon reception is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

The participating artists are:

Sandra Bottinelli: The founder of whiteSPACE, Bottinelli came to Asheville in 2012 after successfully exhibiting and earning accolades in Portland, OR, and Orlando, FL. Her current work explores animal forms placed into abstract, atypical environments. The large canvases have a contemporary appeal but certainly pay homage to classic oil-panting techniques.

Lissa Friedman: If art mimics life, then there is no greater example than the paintings of Lissa Friedman. Life experiences derived during relocations from the East Coast to California and now to Asheville have redirected the path to her imagination. Her current work – dreamscape environments filled with the world’s most threatened species – stem from soulful introspection and “deep listening.”

Mark Harmon: With a background rich in art history and an eye honed from his globe-trotting experiences, Harmon has turned his attention to the delicate flora of the Western North Carolina Mountains. Large canvases of naturally vibrant colors take viewers into the abstract world of lichens that populate the region’s rocky trails and ancient trees. 

Melanie Norris: The Johnson City, Tennessee, native has not ventured far from her roots – but travels instead into the being of her portrait subjects. Norris alternates between delicate, layered watercolors and bold swaths of color as she builds very intimate and emotional portraits that reveal character, passion, and energy. Norris has a mastery of seeing faces and suspending portraits in space that highlights the subject without being a literal interpretation.

For more information, email info@sandrabottinelli.com or call 828-329-4785.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.