In town: Asheville Jewish Community Center celebrates Israeli art – Mountain Xpress | Candle Made Easy

Jewish art is diverse and very personal, he says Michael KellyCommunications Manager for the Asheville Jewish Community Center.

“By celebrating Jewish art, we celebrate the depth and diversity of the Jewish people,” she says.

The center will explore Jewish art, music and food through J Art Fest, a three-event series beginning with An exploration of Israeli visual arts at the Contemporaneo Gallery, Sunday 31 July, 3-6pm. The event will highlight the work of prominent Jewish artists Yaacov Agam and Zammy Migdal.

Local artist Denby Dale will give a talk on Israeli sculptor Agam’s influence on the pioneering kinetic art, an experimental style that incorporates light and sound to create a sensory experience for viewers. Agam’s kinetic sculpture fountain is located on Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.

After the lecture there will be a gallery tour with works by Migdal. The Tel Aviv-born artist is internationally known for his mixed media sculptures and paintings that occupy public spaces from Miami to Dusseldorf. Although not kinetic, his sculptures often suggest movement.

“We want this event to connect people,” says Kelley. “All will be able to appreciate the featured works regardless of their artistic background, and learning about the context and inspiration behind it will further deepen that appreciation.”

The evening also includes wine and hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and a presentation of artworks created by participants in the JCC program. Tickets cost $75. If participants purchase artwork from the gallery by Sunday 31st July, 20% of the price will benefit the JCC.

The J Art Fest continues when the JCC hosts a klezgrass concert featuring family-friendly klezmer bluegrass music on Sunday, August 21, 4-6pm. Tickets are $25 per family. Award winning couple Zoe & Cloyd will perform, accompanied by Bennett Sullivan on banjo and Kevin Kehrberg on the bass. Archetype Brewing will be selling food and beverages at the show. The concert will take place at the “Camp Field” at the JCC, 236 Charlotte St.

September brings a culinary art experience. Each of the three courses is prepared by a local chef, accompanied by wine pairings. The meal will be served at the JCC on September 11th from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets cost $180 per person.

The Contemporaneo Gallery is located at 4 Biltmore Ave. The JCC is located at 236 Charlotte St. For more information or to purchase tickets for any of the three events, visit

Everything throws

At the local textile craftsman Judi Jetson As she witnessed the decline in textile production and jobs after the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, she knew something had to change. With a few other local fiber artisans, she founded the non-profit organization Local Cloth to reinvent the region’s once-thriving textile industry.

“We [help] small, local artisans, farmers and designers work together to create clothing and homeware and connect with buyers,” she explains.

The nonprofit organization will be hosting its Anything Fiber Yard Sale for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. The sale will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the AB Tech Conference Center

When the event first kicked off, it functioned as a small exchange among a few friends and took place at the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meetinghouse in Black Mountain, Jetson says. “As word spread, it attracted hundreds of bargain-hunting fiber artists and fabricators from places as far away as Atlanta,” she notes.

Anything Fiber features leftover studio provisions from 45 of the 250 members that make up Local Cloth. Visitors can buy yarn, surplus fabric, tools, looms, unspun fleece, clothing and more. Professional artists participating in the show include wool artisans Joni Marie Davisresident artist of the John C. Campbell Folk School Martha OwenWave weaving specialist Amy Putansu and ghost doll maker Stacy Vajta.

Local Cloth Inc. is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

The AB Tech Conference Center is located at 16 Fernihurst Drive. See for more information.

Party like 1951

Dancer in the summer of 1951 Catherine Litz and composer Lou Harrison performed “The Glyph” with the poet Karl Olson and artists Ben Shahn at Black Mountain College. dancer Polly Motley and pianist Yukiko Takagi bring the work to the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center on Saturday, July 30 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m

“Litz’s performance was a nine-minute solo in which she reappeared six times behind a wall painted with a drawing of Shahn,” says BMCM+AC’s outreach manager Kimberly English. “Every time she appeared, through the manipulation of her body and a jersey tube costume, a new character emerged.”

A glyph is a hieroglyphic sign or symbol. The idea behind the dance was to create a glyph through the representational yet abstract language of performance and text art.

“Music and dance replace image and text as interlocking but independent parts of a composite form,” says English. “Music and dance became the glyph.”

The performances will be presented as part of the exhibition Jo Sandman / TRACKSwhich runs until Saturday September 3rd. Sandman, a multimedia artist, was a student at college that summer.

Tickets are $10 for members and students, $15 for general admission.

BMCM+AC is located at 120 College St. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to

Vox populi

Inspired by the 1940s Voice-O-Graph — a machine that allowed people to record their voices on a vinyl record — the folks at American Vinyl Co. decided to start their own recording booth service.

But Voice-O-Graphs are hard to find these days, so the company got creative by converting an old phone booth into a micro recording studio.

“This stand probably originally came from a general store in the 1920s or 1930s, but was recently found in a closed restaurant in Harrisonburg, Virginia,” he says Ryan SchillingOwner of American Vinyl Co. “We have six record lathes [equipment used to cut vinyl records] in store so we just needed a private area where people could speak into the mic. Most phone booths were built just to stand, so we modified these to fit someone with an instrument, along with an acoustic treatment to make it sound good.”

For $20, guests can bring an instrument or record a message in the cabin while the analog audio is recorded directly to a 7-inch, 45-rpm vinyl record. Within five minutes, the record can be taken home and placed on the turntable.

“I’m sure we’ll be surprised at the ideas people come up with, but we expect messages to friends and family, kids talking or singing, and definitely musicians squeezing in with an instrument,” says Schilling.

American Vinyl Co. is located at 217 Coxe Ave., Suite C. Visit for more information.


Firestorm Books has the former location of Dr. Dave’s Automotive at 1022 Haywood Road and plans to refurbish the 2,880 square foot building before moving there in early 2023.

The new location will feature an outdoor patio, off-street parking, a private meeting room, space for expanded inventory and a rooftop solar array.

Firestorm Books is a collectively owned bookstore and community venue at 610 Haywood Road.

“This gives us the long-term stability we need while creating enduring community value that is being removed from the speculative market,” said a Firestorm Collective member Liberty Valance says in a video posted to the cooperative youtube Channel.

Firestorm will own the building but will donate the land to the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust after the renovations are complete.

To fund the purchase, Firestorm partnered with Seed Commons, a national network of loan funds. Firestorm is also looking for community donations to support renovations.

See for more information.

With additional reporting by Justin McGuire

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