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Flood Gallery Fine Arts Center is celebrating its recent move from Swannanoa to Black Mountain with an exhibition of art and writings by the late Phil Kurz.

The exhibit opening will be from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, April 14 at the gallery's new space, 850 Blue Ridge Road, near Veterans Park. The work, curated by Cynthia Hatfield, Kurz' sister, will be part of an evening that also feature introductions by Oguz Erdur and Keith Frederick and includes live American folk music by Trio of Friends.

Kurz was born in Washington, D.C. in 1951 and lived, worked and exhibited within a few miles of there, in Kensington, Maryland. His work shows the influences of the Russian expressionists and Asian artists he admired.

In addition to his myriad drawings and paintings, he was a prolific writer who developed an extensive comic strip/graphic novel. He produced journals, scrapbooks, abstract visual narratives and a revolutionary manifesto, all enclosed in his custom wood-crafted boxes. Kurz's art ranges in style from graphic figures to geometric abstractions. 

"Phil's art attracts me, draws me in and promises a tragic encounter — tragic in the sense that life itself is tragic; we all know what happens at the end," said UNC Asheville anthology professor Oguz Erdur. "But that tragedy becomes a beautiful one when we encounter those whose company gives us joy and solace by allowing us to recognize a piece of ourselves in their lives, past and present. And that to me is the definition of anthropology anyway: a detour to the self that goes through the other."

A percentage of sales of select works will go, in Kurz's memory, to the UNICEF Safety in School Fund and the Asheville Southside Kitchen. An 84-page full-color exhibition catalog will also be available for sale.

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