Asheville artist Andy Herod is hosting artist Lucien Shapiro in his studio at The Cotton Mill Studios in the River Arts District in July. There’s a 8 p.m. reception for Shapiro on July 5 at Herod’s place. If Andy says the exhibition will be cool, then I’m there. Here’s more on Shapiro:

Artist Lucien Shapiro Embarks on Fear Collecting Rituals Tour

Acclaimed artist, Lucien Shapiro is traveling the country in the “Fear Collecting Rituals Tour” giving local audiences an interactive opportunity to discover that the light we seek simply exists within ourselves. The multi-part show features a film screening and the ritual with an accompanying film that asks the audience to acknowledge that fact that we all have fears.

The ANALECT Rituals

Each show will start with a screening a new, three-part short film entitled “The ANALECT Rituals.” Created in collaboration with Shaun Roberts and scored by Edison, the film is a creative expression of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Exploring a symbolic loss of speech, hearing, and sight, the film stars Lucien Shapiro and features his artfully crafted masks. As each of the senses is lost, a different mask is worn, and the wearer goes on a quest for understanding in an attempt to regain what was lost.

The Ritual

The first opportunity to experience the Light Collector ritual live, the ritual shows that all darkness desires light and is symbolic of the continual search for guidance along the path of life. The ritual commences with the candles of the mask being lit and then the candles of “The Light Vessel” are lit. The mask-wearer lifts the vessel and walks a circle around the

“Fear is the Mind Killer Mask” and the “Relinquishing Fear Vessel,” swaying the vessel from side-to-side, and maintaining a steady and patient stride. During this time Shapiro asks participants to enter the circle of light, write down their greatest fear on provided strips of Palo Santo, a mystical tree that is energetically cleansing, and then place it in the Relinquishing Fear Vessel. The ritual requires the mask-wearer to provide a constant circle of light, helping participants to walk out of the darkness one faces through the realization of the light held within, and the journey does not end.

The “Relinquishing Fear Vessel” will continue along with the artist across the country until a final destination is reached. Then all the fears will be relinquished and released together in a final ceremony led by Shapiro.

“Fear is the Mind Killer”

Alongside the live ritual, the newly produced “Fear is the Mind Killer” is projected. Addressing the greatest challenges each person faces throughout life, the Fear Ritual symbolizes one’s ability to relinquish the doubt and despair that prevent us from conquering and moving forward on our personal journeys. The film portrays the mask-wearer, placing the “Relinquishing Vessel” in front of himself, kneeling and repeatedly dipping the glimmering stone hanging from his mask into the vessel while chanting “I release you.” After a healthy repetition of the chant, the mask-wearer stares at the reflective liquid, feeling the escape of fears into the vessel. The mask-wearer then pours the vessel’s contents in a circle around him, and through a long meditative sleep amongst relinquished fears, conquers his challenges in order to progress.

For more information on the artist and the Fear Collecting Rituals Tour, please visit www.lucienshapiro.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lucien.shapiro.

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