City of Asheville holds Visiting Artist Program finalists meet and greet

Jefferson Pinder
Jefferson Pinder is a finalist Asheville’s Visiting Artist program.

Jefferson Pinder



The Public Art and Cultural Commission and the City of Asheville announce that three artists/artist teams have been chosen as finalists for the City’s first-ever Visiting Artist Program. The artists are:

  • Jefferson Pinder;
  • Monique Luck, Flavia Lovatelli and Francisco Gonzalez;
  • Amir Shakir and Ivette Cabrera.


Fifty-nine artists applied for the program, which is focused on creating community-driven artwork that will diversify the mediums, themes and backgrounds of artists featured in the City’s public art collection.


This year, artists that have extensive experience in community engagement are being asked to develop proposals for a project that will celebrate the past, present and/or future of Asheville’s unique African-American culture. The type of public art to be created has not been specified and is open to interpretation by the finalists. The three finalists were chosen by a team that includes artists, arts educators and administrators, community activists and community organizers.  Find more on that team here.


Meet the artists, discuss the project

Meet-and-greet: The artists will be in Asheville July 27 to meet with the community. The meet-and-greet will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. July 27 at the Ingles Mountain View Room at the Sherrill Center on the UNCA campus. Come enjoy refreshments, help these artists get to know our community and get to know them yourself!


Panel discussion: Another opportunity for public discussion has been set for 10 a.m. to noon July 27 at The Refinery, 207 Cove Ave. The topic: how will the City reflect Asheville’s African-American community with new public art? This discussion will be moderated by Darin Waters and the panel will include Buncombe County Commissioner Al Whitesides, along with Cortina Caldwell, Rima Vesely-Flad, Aisha Adams, Cathering Mitchell and Stephanie Hickling Bechman.


A month after their visits, artists will submit proposals to develop public art with the community. Those proposals will be available for the public to view online, at public meetings and in community centers. The community will be asked by the program’s leadership team for their input before a decision on a final Visiting Artist is made. Around the same time, the Public Art and Cultural Commission will be looking for several local (Asheville area) artists that want to collaborate with the finalist on both the community engagement activities and the creation of public art.


These artists will receive a stipend for their work.