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BLACK MOUNTAIN - The Black Mountain Center for the Arts welcomes the art of Fred Feldman to the Upper Gallery beginning July 8.

The show will feature more than 20 of Feldman’s distinctive mixed media pieces representing 60 years of productivity. From pottery to wall hangings to pen and ink, the viewer will be delighted to find a wide range of objects and body parts embedded in these whimsical works.

This will be the Arts Center’s newest show since slowly reopening in mid-June. It seems fitting to exhibit Feldman’s work because for many years Feldman was a fixture in the BMCA Clay Studio; his work has been part of many December Clay Studio Exhibits and other group shows in the Upper Gallery.

Countless children have been soothed by sitting in a tiny Fred Feldman rocking chair that was in the BMCA lobby for at least 10 years. The vibrant, upbeat nature of his work feels appropriate for the reemergence. Feldman’s work is as idiosyncratic as the artist: multilayered, spontaneous, colorful, smart, humorous and thoughtful. He works from his home studio and makes his art from wood, clay, pen-and-ink and mixed media, including found objects.

“I almost always listen to music when in my studio,” Feldman says. “I like Willie and Waylon, Kris with or without Rita, genuine blues men like Freddie King, blues women like Alberta Hunter and Bonnie Raitt, and the music of the 50s, like Clyde Mc Fadder and the Drifters. My artwork reflects that background, as I experiment (my wife would say “play”) with a variety of materials. I have a special attraction to found objects, particularly items seen as useless by others, and to the juxtaposition of texture and color.” 

Feldman is a professional artist who has lived in Black Mountain for the past 13 years. He earned his undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at Rutgers University in his native New Jersey. He studied art at the graduate level at SUNY Oswego, Syracuse University and the Danish craft school Det Dankse Selskab, taking art therapy courses at Salve Regina College. A Fulbright award enabled him to study art in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

He has taught art at both the high school and college levels. He has served as a consultant to the New York State Department of Education and, reflecting his life-long interest and involvement in stereo equipment, to the Ohm speaker company. In the show there will be a speaker that appears to be a chair, “but is not to be sat on,” says wife Lynda.

Feldman’s work can also be found at Seven Sisters Gallery, the Old Depot and Filo Pastries. This show is sponsored by Tyson Furniture.

“I like my work to be accessible and price it accordingly,” he says.

Proceeds from this show will benefit Black Mountain Center for the Arts located at 225 W. State Street. The Upper Gallery is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit blackmountainarts.org or call 828-669-0930.

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