An exhibition highlighting the works of John James Audubon juxtaposed with the work of 21st-century artists who continue his tradition of animal allegories and metaphors is currently on view at the Asheville Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 40 works and will be on display in the Explore Asheville Exhibition Hall through November 30.

A Telling Instinct: John James Audubon & Contemporary Art was curated by former Associate Curator Cindy Buckner, with the assistance of Marilyn Laufer, director emerita of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on the campus of Auburn University. The exhibition first opened on February 21, but the Museum closed its doors shortly after due to COVID-19.

Buckner believes visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the fantastical nature of many of the contemporary works in the exhibition.

“The artists have taken their inspiration from the animal world but allowed their imaginations to really take over with the stories they are trying to tell,” she said.

The exhibition includes prints by John James Audubon from the private collection of Bill & Peg Steiner, and recent works in diverse media by Minnie Adkins, Bo Bartlett, William Beckman, Beth Cavener, Walton Ford, Laurie Hogin, Evan Kafka, Pamela Earnshaw Kelly, Adonna Khare, Anne Lemanski, Kate MacDowell, Mark Messersmith, William Morris, Joel Sartore, Tom Uttech, and William Wegman.

The Museum would like to thank Bitsy & Jim Powell for their support of this exhibition.

The Museum’s galleries, the Museum Store, and Perspective Café are open with limited capacity. Art PLAYce, our intergenerational makerspace, and the Frances Mulhall Achilles Art Research Library remain temporarily closed. The Museum welcomes visitors Wednesday through Monday from 11am to 6pm, with late-night Thursdays from 11am to 9pm.

The Museum is closed on Tuesdays. General admission is always free for Museum Members, UNC Asheville students, and children under 6; $15 per adult; $13 per senior (65+); and $10 per student (child 6–17 or degree-seeking college students with valid ID). Visitors may become Members at the welcome desk during their visit or online at ashevilleart.org/membership.

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