Louise Glickman grew up in New Orleans taking art classes and living in a home filled with art. Her own home at Biltmore Lake is filled with art from around the world. She is an artist, and she is married to Daryl Slaton, also an artist, with whom she owns Artsville USA, a gallery in Asheville’s River Arts District.

And if her vision becomes a reality, art will fill what she sees as a cultural desert in the Enka-Candler area in southwest Asheville, birthing an artistic economic boon in the former industrial area that would rival Asheville’s RAD.

Her first step? BLISS, Biltmore Lake’s Imaginative Studio Stroll, set to debut Saturday, May 6 at Biltmore Lake. From 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 25 artists will show and sell their art from 15 Biltmore Lake homes along with guest artists. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

“Artsville’s mission is to connect artists and art enthusiasts, and with BLISS we’re excited to do so in an imaginative way that hasn’t been done before in Enka-Candler,” said Glickman. “BLISS will play an important role in positioning Candler as a creative outpost and strengthening community networks in Western Buncombe and nearby counties.”

The Biltmore Lake Clubhouse will serve as BLISS’ hub. It’s where attendees will first stop to pick up a map and a wristband before starting the tour through Biltmore Lake’s neighborhoods. The Clubhouse also will host that day an art quilters exhibit. Gardeners will demo along the lakefront as a prelude to spring planting season. Food and drink will be available by Candler favorites Sand Hill Kitchen.

Artists included on the art stroll are: Bee Sieburg, Jo Miller, Sara Moser, Susie Robson, Karen Wippich, Kelly Saunders,Carol McCrory, Cecilia Halverson, Patricia Cotterill, Katrina Chenevert, Maggie Whitney, Glickman, Kurt Ross, Molly Courcelle, Judy Spark, Tanya Franklin, Bob Ware, Jan Helm, Meryl Sheetz, Bronwen McCormick, Sascha Frowine, Sara Hall, Anita Ray, Megan Hartman and Daryl Slaton.

Glickman is part of a team of Biltmore Lake residents and art lovers committed to injecting a measured dose of creative energy into their neck of Asheville’s woods. Elaine Scherer, BLISS chairman and a Biltmore Lake resident, said the art tour offers a unique way to explore Biltmore Lake.

“Attendees will be able to meet our immensely talented residents, participate in the demos along [the lake], and view all varieties of art,” Scherer said. “BLISS is an invitation to visitors to drive or walk through Biltmore Lake’s six beautiful neighborhoods.”

BLISS has galvanized the Biltmore Lake community to take a proactive approach to beefing up its commercial offerings at its southwest Asheville location, a subject that Glickman knows well. In the 1970s, she worked for the city of New Orleans turning its cultural history into a tourist attraction.

“This has become really an economic development project,” Glickman said of BLISS. “Cultural tourism is economic development. I’ve always worked with small communities that have lost jobs to Asia, lost furniture manufacturing, lost farming business. That’s when people call me into semi-rural communities … to bring visitors to their area as an income source. Mardi Gras is the biggest tourism draw to New Orleans. There are others now, Jazz Fest being preeminent. And so I understood this early on. I was dedicated to making New Orleans a cultural and preservation haven rather than a place to get drunk. That’s really how I got into this gig.”

Glickman also hopes BLISS will attract a young crowd of creative types who will see that good art doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. “You can buy a piece of art for $100 and put it up in your home and move on from there,” she said.

For more information about BLISS, visit www.BiltmoreLakeArtists.com or www.Instagram.com/BLArtStroll.

Sara Moser

Asheville has been good to Sara Moser since she moved here from Chicago 6 ½ years ago. After her husband had died of cancer and the youngest of her two children left for college, she decided to head to the mountains and pursue her desire to paint.

Moser arrived in Asheville knowing no one, save for the cousin of a friend of hers in Chicago who introduced Moser to other artists. One of them was Patricia Coterrill, who took Moser under her wing and then encouraged her to fly on her own.

Moser did.

“I came to [painting] much later in life, when I moved here,” said Moser, 60, who specializes in oil painting. “I was always interested in painting, but I didn’t have the opportunity. I had a professional career (healthcare marketing) and was a mom to two children,” she said.

But she has found her way, learning by doing, she said, and combining her love of nature and color. “I love to be outdoors. I take photos when I’m out hiking,” she said. “A lot of my inspiration is nature. I seem to be really focused on tiny creatures.”

Dragonflies, especially. Someone asked for a painting of a dragonfly, which represented the person’s mother, and the person loved it. “So now, everytime I paint a dragonfly someone buys it. I just really like to focus on things we take for granted, and sometimes don’t see the beauty in, like a butterfly, a dragonfly, a bluebird or a sunset,” she said.

She also does pet portraits — more dogs than cats. “I can’t believe how many people ask me to paint their pets,” she said.

Moser is so grateful for the acceptance she has received by the Asheville art community. “This was just an easy place to really engage and get familiar with other artists and just explore and just do it,” she said.

She’s thrilled that others enjoy her paintings as much as she has enjoyed learning the craft. “I did it because I wanted to explore it. So the fact that someone else looks at my work and gets joy from it is an amazing thing,” she said.

Kelly Saunders

For Kelly Saunders, music and art have been intertwined for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until about two years ago that she brought them to the forefront in the form of paintings.

“I have no formal training. I just do what feels right,” she said.

When Saunders was a child, she took piano lessons from a teacher who saw an energy in her young student that didn’t necessarily reflect exceptional musical talent. But she encouraged Saunders to explore it anyway.

“I loved my piano teacher. She said to me, ‘You have this passion. Do something with it. Play the piano, paint the piano, do whatever it takes until it clicks,’” Saunders said.

And Saunders did; she started painting piano keys, finding an undeniable synergy in her relationship to both music and art. But then life happened. She married — she met her husband Jake Saunders at a My Morning Jacket concert — had children and pursued a corporate career in public relations, relegating her art to the back burner, until 18 months ago when her husband encouraged her to give it another go.

She didn’t skip a beat. A live music junkie, Saunders, 43, said she finds inspiration for her paintings in the concerts she attends.

“I love guitars because they can be just so moody and sexy. There’s so much feeling and personality in the shapes, their tones and such,” she said. “I also love to paint guitars of the musicians that I really enjoy because it reminds me of being at that concert and seeing that guitar.”

Saunders works primarily with acrylics and embraces the “messiness and forgiving nature of palette knives.” By painting layers upon layers, she achieves her signature style of rich texture and unique harmony of colors, specifically turquoise, rust and golds.

“Every time I start [a painting] I have no idea [where it’s going]. It leads me, the painting goes where it needs to go. I’m just the conduit for the paint,” she said.

But something cerebral happens, too. The music she ingests registers deep inside, revealing itself later in her art. “My paintings are me putting my memories and stories on a page. It’s a full story and a memory for me. I get letters so often from buyers saying this brought back this memory,” she said.

For Saunders, bliss is when she and her husband — an anesthesiologist by day, and the keyboardist for the local band My Man Henry by night — are home with their two youngest children, each engaged in their respective artistic passions. “When he’s playing and I’m painting, I just think how wonderful it is,” she said.

Katrina Chenevert

Katrinia Chenevert spent 28 years in the Navy. When she retired, she moved to Asheville in 2008 and enrolled at UNC Asheville to study art. But she was torn as to which medium to focus on. Print making? Stone lithography? Neither, it turns out.

“I was also taking painting classes. I was the last class to go through UNCA with Virginia Derryberry. Had she not retired, I may have graduated as a painting art major,” Chenevert said.

But she didn’t, thanks to a 3D painting assignment that introduced her to Marisol Escobar, a famous sculptor who died in 2016. “I saw how she built things, boxes made of wood, and sculpted things. I fell in love with her work and that was it,” Chenevert said.

Chenevert uses watercolor, acrylic or oil, depending on the theme or composition of the subject. Her 3D work is constructed using mixed media to make soft sculptures, 3D assemblages and installations. Theme and subject often dictate whether her work will be a 2D or 3D creation.

Chenevert was the artist-in-residence at 310 Art at Riverview Station for five years before opening her own gallery in December 2020, at the height of COVID, but closed in November. Now her work is shown at Marquee in the River Arts District.

Art makes her happy, she said, in ways others have noticed.

“People who have known me say, ‘You’re so happy.’ It’s a creative space in my mind, there are tabs open all the time. I have so many projects in my head; it’s exhausting,” she said.

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