Teddy Jordan, buffet

Teddy Jordan, buffet

Memorial Day Weekend

Artists living and working in Asheville’s historic Kenilworth neighborhood are tidying up their studios for the annual two-day Kenilworth Artists Association’s Art Studio Tour on Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This will be the eighth art tour in the small neighborhood where over forty artists live, work and flourish. This year, a diverse group of eighteen painters, illustrators, potters, jewelers, glassworkers, bead artists and woodworkers will welcome visitors into eight different studio locations. Four new artists and one visiting artist are included in this year’s tour.

Chris Perryman, woodworker extraordinaire and owner of Goldsplinter Woodworking Studio, returns again this year with his collection of functional wooden items for the home. A fourth generation woodworker with a BFA in visual art, he is continually refining distinctive and clean designs. His serving boards and vessels always delight tour-goers.

“I’ve been concentrating on a line of functional objects for the kitchen and table again this year because I spend so much of my play time in the kitchen.”

When Perryman was eight years old, he completed his first project in wood. He sold his first piece of furniture at the age of twenty-one. Always open to exploring new materials and ideas, many of his conceptual pieces are sculptural as well as utilitarian.

Teddy Jordan, President of the Kenilworth Residents Association, joins the tour as an artist again, after several years of working behind the scenes to make the tour a success. A former corporate executive, Jordan began painting reclaimed or abandoned furniture in 2004.

Her lifelong interest in color, patterns, illustrations and painting led her to develop a unique style that combines floral and geometric designs using acrylic paints. An element of surprise is the only thing that’s predictable on her pieces, such as little chicks lined up on the interior of a drawer. Squeals of delight and laughter are often heard wherever Jordan’s work is exhibited.

Jordan looks for furniture that “has good ‘bones,’ great lines, interesting shapes or a ‘high-smile-factor.’ “I’ve single-handedly saved many pieces from landfills…it’s like going on a treasure hunt, plus it’s the ultimate form of recycling.”

Art is just one of Jordan’s passions, and the Kenilworth neighborhood’s revival in recent years has been attributed to her tireless commitment to building a community of active and civic-minded neighbors. The art tours have sprung from the resulting increased sense of community. Prior to the development of the tour, many neighborhood artists worked in isolation, unaware that other artists were living all around them.

“This tour promotes our awesome neighborhood and some of the truly creative, unique folks that live here. It also creates the opportunity for artists to gather, showcase, and promote their work.”

Local businesses are sponsoring the tour, which is organized by the artists. Shouldn’t we say more about the neighborhood businesses that are supporting us?

Nancy Darrell will be a Visiting Artist from Madison County, and she will be showing her woodcuts at Studio 1.

The Kenilworth Residents Association will make lunches available in front of the Kenilworth Presbyterian Church during the tour, with proceeds going to the neighborhood organization. Café menus will be available at each artist studio.

Tour brochures with maps are available at area art galleries, retail stores, hotels, and tourist information sites. A tour map and brochure can also be downloaded online at www.KenilworthArtists.org.

Every year, each artist donates 5% of sales to Loving Foods Resources, the Kenilworth-based charity that provides basic necessities to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Additional information, photos, and tour map can be found by visiting www.kenilworthartists.org