A new 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 opens at the Asheville Art Museum on Feb. 21. The exhibition features more than 40 works and will be on display in the Explore Asheville Exhibition Hall through May 4.

A Telling Instinct: John James Audubon & Contemporary Art is curated by 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.

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.”

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.

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