Emerging Artists exhibit

Student artists return to the Upper Gallery at Black Mountain Center for the arts. During the shutdown, the staff cleared everything out of the art classroom, deep cleaned and then re-painted everything a clean, welcoming white.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA) presents the work of artist and instructor Bob Travers and his students in the annual “Emerging Artists” exhibit through March 26. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is available for online viewing anytime through the BMCA website, blackmountainarts.org.

“It’s hard to create art during a pandemic,” said Travers. “We were out for six months and many of us lost the passion to create. For me, when you don’t have anything to work toward, you go into a sort of limbo. There is such a sense of community we’ve created here in this little studio, there is so much camaraderie, and that was just gone. It was very difficult.”

“If I’m not taking a class, I’m not creating. I’m so happy to be back,” said longtime student Sandy Harris.

During the shutdown, the staff at BMCA cleared everything out of the art classroom, deep cleaned and then re-painted everything a clean, welcoming white, a project there was suddenly time and space to complete. HEPA filters were purchased, space was reconfigured and calculated for proper distancing, and as soon as it was feasible, in August, Travers sent out an email to all his students. His expectations were low, so the response surprised him. Right away 16 students were eager to get back to the canvas.

“I’m very cautious,” said Travers. “And I’m ready for this to be over, but I want to be there for my students and clearly they want to be here as well. We are doing everything possible to stay safe and still meet in-person. We’ve limited class size to four students instead of seven or eight and the positive outcome is I have more time to offer individual attention.”

Travers is a nationally recognized wildlife artist whose career has spanned 30 years in the fields of fine art and illustration. He is versed in a wide array of mediums, styles and subject matter, with the goal of guiding students in the mediums that inspire them including in acrylics, watercolor, oil, scratch board, colored pencil, charcoal, and pastel.

This exhibit marks the 15th consecutive year the group show has been featured in the Upper Gallery.