Art in Bloom: Preview Party
Art in Bloom Regional Galleries Exhibit
By Jessica Klarp
It used to be that galleries needed Art in Bloom to be explained in detail, and then quite a bit of
convincing to loan their artist’s work to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts’ (BMCA) Regional
Galleries exhibit. Now they eagerly jump on board.
For the past 16 years, this exhibit has been the cornerstone of this important fundraiser
for the Arts Center. The work is on display from June 15 through Art in Bloom weekend ending
on July 9. Until July 7, the gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm and is free
to visitors. On July 7 the Arts Center is closed until 5pm when the big Preview Party ($45 5-
7pm) features the work of floral designers who interpret the gallery art. On July 8 and 9 guests
can view the floral designs in the gallery for only $5.
This year eleven galleries are loaning work of 20 different very talented artists. The show
on its own is worth the trip up the stairs to the Upper Gallery. Among the galleries are Blue
Spiral 1, Bender Gallery, Grovewood Gallery, Ariel Gallery, Mark Bettis Gallery, Warehouse
Gallery, New Morning Gallery and a little closer to home, the Red House, Bella Gallery and
Seven Sisters Craft Gallery. New this year is Phil DeAngelo Gallery from the River Arts District.
The artists these galleries represent are some of the finest in the region, if not the
country. Local Black Mountain artists Cheryl Keefer, John Almaguer and the red hot Jackson
Hammock will have work in the show.
One of the artists doing double duty as a gallery owner and artist is Mark Bettis, whose
colorful abstract works in cold wax and oil paint are the perfect medium for floral inspiration.
Last year his work Village in the Hills was interpreted by Patti Quinn-HIll, who in addition to
being a floral designer is a talented artist whose basketry can be found at Blue Spiral 1. This
was Bettis’ first involvement with Art in Bloom and the experience did not disappoint.
“It was such an honor to be asked to participate with such an esteemed group of artists,”
says Bettis. “I am so happy to be a part of Art in Bloom for the second year! The preview party
last year was well organized and so much fun to mingle with all the patrons and artists that were
a part of the Art in Bloom.”
Once the Regional Galleries show is hung on June 15, 20 floral designers come in and
choose several works that they’d like to interpret in flowers. A lottery system assigns an art work
to the floral designer. The results of these pairings is a sight to behold. Art in Bloom’s signature
event is a Preview Party on July 7 where guests can see the designs at their freshest, but there
are opportunities on July 8 and 9 to see the pairings for only $5.
Event sponsors include Frame Destinations and Mosaic Realty’s Shane Peters. Gallery
sponsors include Richard Wiedeman DDS, Cheryl Keefer Fine Art and My Father’s Pizza.
Art in Bloom has a wide range of associated events and workshops for anyone who
loves art and flowers. Participating helps support the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, a local
institution who has been bringing arts to the people and people to the arts for the past 22 years.
To find out more about the regional Gallery Exhibit and Art in Bloom visit blackmountainarts.org
or call 828-669-0930. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 W. State Street.