18 episodes

Welcome to the Artsville podcast where we celebrate contemporary American Arts & Crafts from Asheville NC and beyond. The Artsville podcast has it all: Painting, Pottery, Weaving, Woodworking, Welding, Glass Blowing and more. Just like Asheville, NC, Artsville is a friendly podcast where good folks like you can discover world class artisans, artists, craftsman and makers who use their hands and natural materials like fiber, clay, metal, glass, paper and wood to create stunning original arts and crafts.

Artsville Crewest Studio + Sand Hill Artists Collective

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Welcome to the Artsville podcast where we celebrate contemporary American Arts & Crafts from Asheville NC and beyond. The Artsville podcast has it all: Painting, Pottery, Weaving, Woodworking, Welding, Glass Blowing and more. Just like Asheville, NC, Artsville is a friendly podcast where good folks like you can discover world class artisans, artists, craftsman and makers who use their hands and natural materials like fiber, clay, metal, glass, paper and wood to create stunning original arts and crafts.

    Rest as Resistance with Mary Farmer

    Rest as Resistance with Mary Farmer

    If you’re listening to this podcast, you already know that there are so many reasons that art is important. It not only beautifies our surroundings, but it is a reflection of the world around us. For Mary Farmer, an artist with a long history as a women’s rights and social justice activist, art is liberation from the stresses of the world. Mary is a renowned encaustic painter based in Asheville, whose paintings create a portal into a timeless and transcendent state of being. It’s easy to get lost in Mary’s tranquil landscapes and travel to a more peaceful place in your mind, which is exactly what she hopes to achieve. At the center of her practice lies a much more quiet activism, a call to take some much-needed refuge from the onslaught of negativity that surrounds us. Referring to some of her more abstract landscape paintings as ‘soft landings’, Mary’s work is created to help you slow down and take time to decompress. Ultimately, rest is a radical and intentional act of resistance in a world that has no pause button. By looking after our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing, we can gather the energy we need to keep fighting for the causes we believe in. So, sit back, relax, and let Mary Farmer take you on a journey of creative self-care!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    The quiet activism at the heart of Mary’s practice.Ways that Artsville offers healing, friendship, and comfort.How art provides opportunities for deeper connection.The ‘mental vacation’ that art offers us in a post-COVID world.Important causes that Mary and Louise have advocated for together.Insight into Mary’s decision to reincorporate activism into her artwork.When Mary’s commitment to women’s rights began.Using art to translate the spiritual connection with nature that one feels in Asheville.Where Mary gets the energy to keep fighting for the causes she believes in.The importance of speaking loudly and clearly about social justice through art.An understanding of Mary’s focus on comfort, shelter, and beauty.Why we have to make time for rest and self-care in today’s world.Attracting attention to the arts as a form of activism.Mary’s approach to marketing as a “mutual exchange of pleasure.”A look at the global community of International Encaustic Artists.Nurturing a mass market for original art to give artists a better livelihood.The responsibility that artists have to put their work out there.Bringing art, education, and activism under one umbrella with Artsville.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Mary Farmer — https://www.maryfarmer.com/
    Mary Farmer on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/MaryFarmerArtist/
    Ep. 12: Looking at the World Differently with Kenn Kotara — https://www.artsvilleusa.com/looking-at-the-world-differently-with-kenn-kotara/
    International Encaustic Artists — https://www.international-encaustic-artists.org/
    Thrive Asheville — https://www.thriveavl.org/
    Artsville Podcast — https://artsville.captivate.fm/
    Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.notarealartist.com/
    Louise Glickman —

    • 54 min
    Fiber Activism with Judi Jetson

    Fiber Activism with Judi Jetson

    Textile-based products are often an underappreciated art form that does not receive the recognition it deserves and leaves many artists struggling to earn a living. What is needed is an organization that facilitates the demand for textile-based art forms and helps artists monetize their products. This is the perspective of today’s guest, Judi Jetson, who has been helping drive the recognition and economic development of textile-based local artists. Judi has a deep passion for textiles and regards herself as a fiber activist known for her love of building communities. Judi combines her experience as a business developer with her adoration for textiles to help grow the industry she cherishes so dearly. For the last 10 years, she has been leading Local Cloth, a nonprofit organization helping develop the fiber economy in North Carolina. Local Cloth achieves this through education, inclusive programming, and creating services by leveraging local farmers, artists, makers, and designers. In our conversation, we learn about the vital work that Local Cloth is doing, the challenges the industry faces, and the future vision for the organization. She also provides insight into the role of supply and demand within the textile industry, how the approach to textiles can help other art forms, and why some artists leave the industry. She also shares her approach to building relationships between artists and farmers, and reasons why this is the foundation of her vision. Tune in to learn about the textile industry and why it deserves to be recognized, with Judi Jetson!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Background about Judi and how she enables artists. The motivation behind Local Cloth and what it aims to achieve.How Judi’s experience in economic development informed her vision.Why she chose textiles as her art medium and focus of her work.She explains the relationship between supply and demand concerning art.Ways in which Judi is helping to increase the demand for textile-based art.Outline of how her approach to textiles can be applied to other art forms.What her long-term plans are for Local Cloth and her overall vision.Hear about an exciting project she has recently started.The benefits of developing local and handmade textile-based art.Discover the role of farmers in helping drive textile-based products.Why handmade and local products are appealing to people.Judi explains her pricing strategy for products from local artists.We discuss the challenges regarding pricing in the current market.An explanation of why some artists decide to leave the industry.She shares her plans to scale the production of her current vision. Learn about the resources Judi leverages to help grow Local Cloth.Whether she specifically mentions Asheville when marketing her products.Judi shares her opinion on the textile business in North Carolina. What she loves most about Asheville and why she chooses to live there.Learn about the moment she fell in love with textiles. The challenges of using platforms like Esty for textile-based products. Details about an upcoming show that Judi has planned with Artsville. 

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Judi Jetson on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/judijetson/
    Judi Jetson on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/judi1jetson/
    Local Cloth — https://localcloth.org/
    Local Cloth on Facebook — a...

    • 1 hr 9 min
    “Don’t Touch the Art!” with Merrily Orsini

    “Don’t Touch the Art!” with Merrily Orsini

    Art collector and entrepreneur Merrily Orsini moved to Asheville so she could be within walking distance of her four grandchildren. The fact that she and her husband have a glass art collection of over 200 pieces has necessitated some well-thought out house designing and strict enforcement of the “don’t touch the art!” rule (although, she sometimes breaks this rule herself). In today’s episode, Merrily shares the story of the artwork that brought her and her husband together, some of her favorite glass artists, how the glass art industry has changed during this century, and how she hopes to change the world for the better through her Art2025 project. If you’re interested in becoming a glass art collector, Merrily also has some valuable advice for getting started! 
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Merrily explains what drew her to Asheville.The value that glass art brings to Merrily’s life.What the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is, and the role that Merrily has played in the organization over many years.How art brought Merrily and her husband together.The size of Merrily and her husband’s art collection.Advice for anyone interested in becoming an art collector.Different types of glass art that exist.Some of Merrily’s favorite glass artists.Where Merrily’s love of glass art began.Merrily’s involvement with the James Renwick Alliance.How the glass art world is changing and the intention behind the Art2025 project.The piece of glass art that Merrily would love to acquire (and why she can’t).

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Merrily Orsini Website — https://merrilyorsini.com/ 
    Merrily Orsini on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/merrilyorsini/ 
    Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass — https://contempglass.org/ 
    Blue Spiral 1 — https://bluespiral1.com/ 
    Blown Away — https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9908860/ 
    Karen Lamont — https://www.karenlamonte.com/ 
    Baldwin Guggisberg — https://www.baldwinguggisberg.com/ 
    Lino Tagliapietra — https://linotagliapietra.com/ 
    James Renwick Alliance — https://www.jra.org/ 
    Penland School of Craft — https://penland.org/ 
    Hoss Haley — https://www.hosshaley.com/ 
    Artsville Podcast — https://artsville.captivate.fm/
    Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.notarealartist.com/
    Louise Glickman — https://www.louiseglickman.com/
    Daryl Slaton — http://www.tailsofwhimsy.com/
    Crewest Studio — a...

    • 53 min
    Helping Asheville Artists Thrive with Kate Pett

    Helping Asheville Artists Thrive with Kate Pett

    Rapid growth has its benefits, but it can also have major downfalls. Kate Pett, the Executive Director of Thrive Asheville, joins us today to explain how her organization is helping her beloved community confront the latter. The lack of high paying jobs, low levels of social mobility, and increasing gentrification in Asheville are causing a decline in the diversity that is part of what makes this place so special. During this episode, Kate explains how Thrive is addressing the interlinked issues of affordable housing and sustainable tourism in order to preserve the arts-and-culture wonder that is Asheville. Complex problems like these require a lot of thoughtfulness to solve, and Kate’s long-term approach to community building through improving communication amongst all sectors is one that cities across the world can benefit from! Tune in today to learn more.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Major problems that artists in cities across the United States are currently facing.Comparing Asheville 20 years ago to Asheville today. Kate explains the mission of her organization, Thrive Asheville.The importance of working across sectors in order to achieve community wide goals. How Kate’s experience of working in the Peace Corps influenced the work she does today.Thrive’s approach to addressing the affordable housing issues in Asheville. Various elements of the affordable housing provision that Thrive focuses on.The role that Thrive plays in enhancing sustainable tourism. Thrive’s biggest challenge right now. An overview of the year-long conversation that Thrive convened. A new perspective on tourism. The three elements that make Asheville a stand-out city!Kate’s thoughts on how tourism money coming into Asheville should be redirected.A run-through of a typical working day in the life of Kate Pett.Some of the people who are helping to bring Thrive’s mission to life. A look at Thrive’s origin story.The complexity of tourism in Asheville, and how Thrive makes it work for city residents.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Thrive Asheville — https://www.thriveavl.org/ 
    Kate Pett on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-pett-7b82aa7/ 
    Artsville Podcast — https://artsville.captivate.fm/
    Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.notarealartist.com/
    Louise Glickman — https://www.louiseglickman.com/
    Daryl Slaton — http://www.tailsofwhimsy.com/
    Crewest Studio — https://creweststudio.com/
    Sand Hill Artists Collective (SHAC) — https://sandhillartists.com/

    • 59 min
    Jim McDowell: The Need to Look Back in Order to Move Forward

    Jim McDowell: The Need to Look Back in Order to Move Forward

    Today, we welcome ceramic artist, Jim McDowell, to the Artsville Podcast! Jim, known to many as the Black Potter, is a ceramicist based in Weaverville, North Carolina, who specializes in stoneware face jugs, a type of vessel that bears the likeness of the human face. Through his work, he honors the origins of these culturally rich vessels and reflects on the experience of being Black in America, in order to call out the racism and injustice endemic to this country. As you’ll discover in this episode, Jim believes that it is important to uncover the histories we don’t want to hear about, and retrieve the knowledge and skills that have been buried by centuries of oppression in order to move forward and make positive progress. This personal excavation and vulnerability is central to his work, which embodies the principles of ‘sankofa’, a Ghanaian word that means “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.” Tuning in, you’ll learn how Jim honors his ancestors through his vessels and gain some insight into the history of Black potters. Jim also offers a glimpse into his process and shares some poignant words of wisdom for artists, plus so much more! You won’t want to miss today’s powerful conversation with the Black Potter, the one and only Jim McDowell!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Jim speaks to the spiritual nature of his work and how his face jugs honor his ancestors.The significance of the Ghanaian word, ‘sankofa’, and bringing forth knowledge and skills from the past in order to move forward.Making the distinction between folk potters and Jim’s work as an artist.What sparked his passion for throwing clay, which he says he has been drawn to all his life.Understanding the practical differences between an electric kiln and a wood-fired one.The wealth of knowledge that our guest has accumulated over his 40 years of experience.Insight into the history of Black potters like David Drake, who Jim sees as a personal hero.How he ensures this spiritual tradition is kept alive through storytelling.Where he garners inspiration for his face jugs and the words he inscribes on them.Honoring Jim’s mother and father, who instilled in him a strong work ethic and tenacity.How he draws inspiration and his entrepreneurial spirit from his grandparents.Why Jim says that his kiln is a testament not only to his parents but his ancestors too.A glimpse into what it feels like for our guest to receive recognition for his face jugs.The community he is building in Weaverville based on the principles of sankofa.Jim takes us through the process of creating one of his face jugs, from start to finish.Hear the story of how he came to call himself the Black Potter.How Jim channels his anger and acts of resistance into his artworks.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Jim McDowell — https://blackpotter.com/
    Jim McDowell on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackPotter/
    David Drake: ‘The Enslaved Artist Whose Pottery Was an Act of Resistance’ — https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/17/arts/design/-enslaved-potter-david-drake-museum.html
    Roots — https://www.amazon.com/Roots-American-Family-Alex-Haley/dp/030682485X
    Artsville Podcast — a href="https://artsville.captivate.fm/" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 46 min
    Looking at the World Differently with Kenn Kotara

    Looking at the World Differently with Kenn Kotara

    Today’s guest on the Artsville Podcast is the one and only Kenn Kotara, a contemporary mixed-media abstract artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Kenn’s practice has been shaped by his lifelong fascination with architecture, philosophy, and literature, and he masterfully expresses himself on canvas, paper, and Mylar, as well as braille, Polaroids, and site-specific installations that evoke a powerful emotional response from those who view them. In this episode, Kenn offers some insight into the evolution of his practice as he shifted from representational to abstract work and we discuss the impact that the ‘nurturing environment’ of Asheville has had on him as an artist. We dive into his work with braille and Kenn emphasizes the empathy he believes he has gained from it, as well as what it has taught him about being present and mindful in the moment. Ultimately, Kenn has devoted his career to looking at the world differently and embracing a myriad of inspirations, and his remarkable braille pieces reveal the thoughtful, multidimensional side of his practice. He also has a strong focus on education and he speaks to the power of art for bridging divides in a world where so many seek to widen them. If you’re looking for a dose of inspiration and, perhaps, a different perspective on life (and art), this is the episode for you! We hope you’ll join us.
    For our full show notes, please visit: https://www.artsvilleusa.com/looking-at-the-world-differently-with-kenn-kotara/
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Kenn’s upbringing, his French Cajun heritage, and the Polish origins of his name, Kotara.The story of what brought Kenn to Asheville more than 20 years ago.What he loves about living and working in the ‘nurturing environment’ of Asheville.The evolution of his work, from representational to abstract, and the impact Asheville has had.Understanding the influence of architecture, graphic design, and technology on his work.How Kenn cultivates discipline as an artist and navigates what he calls the chaos of creation.A glimpse into Kenn’s work with braille and the perspective he says it gave him on perfection.The relationships he has built within the visually impaired community as a result.What working with braille taught him about truly being present in the moment.Insight into the process of writing in braille and the tools and methodologies that he uses.One of the major literary influences on Kenn’s work: Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.Reflecting on the significance of his braille work for those who aren’t visually impaired.The power of art to bridge gaps rather than create them, like so many politicians seek to do.How Kenn’s site-specific installations encourage conversation and facilitate education.Find out how and why Kenn came to be so articulate about his artwork.Why Kenn is so devoted to his work in education, even as he formally retires from teaching.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Kenn Kotara on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenn-kotara-1a74274/Kenn Kotara on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/kennkotara/Kenn Kotara on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/kenn.kotaraKotara Studio — https://www.kotarastudio.com/Walden — a...

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

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4 Ratings

julyandavis ,

Pretty professional!

Thanks for this contribution to Asheville. Cheers.

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