Community

Barn preservation benefit to help artists and historic group

by Susan Kokora

Asheville – There’s just something about an old barn. They have so much character. Something modern-day medal barns lack. The Appalachian Barn Alliance (ABA) is partnering with local artists for a benefit art exhibit in the Asheville River Arts District during the month of October.  

“A Pastoral Palette Resized—Rural Spaces for the Soul” opens Sunday, October 4 and continues through October 31.

Lovers of old barns and art looking for a way to get out safely to a benefit art exhibit are in luck with two organizations committed to saving local history and heritage for future generations. These groups have partnered for a fundraising art exhibit. 

The organizations had to get creative about hosting such an exhibit this year, and thus, instead of a ticketed Gala like last year, they decided to have an exhibit in the River Arts District for the entire month of October and to have the art available for sale online at the same time.

Fire Truck out to Pasture by Christine Enochs.
Fire Truck out to Pasture

The artists create paintings and sketches to sell at these events.  In this quarantine time, rural spaces have been a place where people can feel safely distanced. And, what a choice for the palette of the artisans! 

Susan Kokora, one of the artists, expressed it beautifully: “There is still so much to be thankful for.  I feel a sense of wonder when I’m in the natural world and discover the beauty surrounding me….and I’ve taken out my paints leading to the name of the event—“A Pastoral Palette Resized— Rural Spaces for the Soul.” 

The rural areas offer views of farmsteads. The heart of the farms—the barns served as gathering spots for families and communities. 

What ABA and Saints had as a challenge was how to make those who attend feel safe and socially distant. Thus, a space was found next to the studio of the founder of the Saints of Paint, and restrictions on the number of people will be strictly enforced as will the mask requirement. The exhibit will be in the studio space next to #234 in the Riverview Station building in the River Arts district, 191 Lyman St. in Asheville.

The non-profit Appalachian Barn Alliance has been working since 2012 to help save the rural agricultural heritage of the southern Appalachians. The ABA has partnered with a group of artists in the Asheville area—who call themselves “The Saints of Paint” —who have been teaming with non-profits for the past few years for unique fundraising Galas. John Mac Kah, the founder of the Saints, is happy to find a way to “honor our rural heritage through paintings of those iconic barns and the farmscapes surrounding them.”

For more information, contact Sandy Stevenson 828 380-9146 about the Barn Alliance organization or John Mac Kah 828 225-5000 about the Saints of Paint.