More of what’s going around:

-The town of Woodfin is planning to open a new arts incubator space called River Arts North. Town manager Jason Young, during a meeting of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission last week, said the town had a “handshake agreement” on a location for the space, which the town is calling River Arts North. Young said the idea is to offer affordable space for artists getting priced out of the fast-developing River Arts District in Asheville. Young declined to offer any more details, saying that the town board has yet to take a formal vote on the project.

-New development rules for Asheville’s River Arts District are headed to the riverfront commission for review in April. City planner Sasha Vrtunski said the rules, called a form-based code, would then move on to the Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission for review and then to Asheville City Council for final approval.

-The riverfront commission agreed to recommend that the city rename Clingman Forest Greenway the Bacoate Branch Greenway in honor of Ossie Bacoate, mother of Matthew Bacoate, a well-known African-American businessman in Asheville. A tributary of the French Broad River will also be named Bacoate Branch. The riverfront commission also recommended that the word “forest” be considered

-The city of Asheville is preparing to put a group of River Arts District greenway and road construction projects out to bid, city planners told the riverfront commission at its meeting. There area  total of six different projects packaged into 14 different bid packages. Some $14.6 million in grant money will go to pay for work on greenways, a roundabout and other road work in the RAD.

-Driftless Kitchen is the name of a new pizza joint planning to open in the Asheville Food Park down on Amboy Road. Follow them on Twitter @driftlessavl.

-An auto repair shop at 202 Haywood Road in West Asheville is listed for sale for just under $1 million. Haywood Road has been a major redevelopment corridor in recent years, with the opening of new retail, restaurant and residential offerings.

-Speaking of Haywood Road, a new tire and lube business has opened in an old tire and lube shop that recently closed. West Asheville Tire and Lube is the new name for the old Shook’s tire and lube location.

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is opening the doors of the new triage facility in Western North Carolina and is expected to see more than 2,000 injured and orphaned wild animals in the first year of operations, according to the organization’s website. The group has created a wish list of items it needs to help care for the wild animals. One item that can help: old mascara brushes, which can be used to help remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of animals. Clean off the old wands with some hot water and send them to Appalachian Wild, P.O. Box 1211, Skyland, NC 28776.

-There’s a new art exhibition coming to The Wedge Studios. From the press release:

Tucked away on the second level of The Wedge Studios is a hidden gem known as whiteSPACE, a working gallery of four artists whose experiences, talent and passion come to life in their diverse creations.
The galleries of whiteSPACE will be adorned with new paintings and spring flowers as its four partners host an opening reception for “Thallo: Four Artists Welcome Spring,” on Saturday, April 29, 1-6 p.m., upstairs at The Wedge Studios in River Arts District, 129 Roberts St. “Thallo” continues through the end of May.
Thallo, the Greek goddess of spring buds and new shoots, is a fitting icon for this exhibit. Each of the artists – Sandra Bottinelli, Lissa Friedman, Mark Harmon and Melanie Norris – have created several new paintings that radiate with seasonal colors.
The afternoon reception is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.
The participating artists are:
Sandra Bottinelli: The founder of whiteSPACE, Bottinelli came to Asheville in 2012 after successfully exhibiting and earning accolades in Portland, OR, and Orlando, FL. Her current work explores animal forms placed into abstract, atypical environments. The large canvases have a contemporary appeal but certainly pay homage to classic oil panting techniques.
Lissa Friedman: If art mimics life, then there is no greater example than the paintings of Lissa Friedman. Life experiences derived during relocations from the East Coast to California and now to Asheville have redirected the path to her imagination. Her current work – dreamscape environments filled with the world’s most threatened species – stem from soulful introspection and “deep listening.”
Mark Harmon: With a background rich in art history and an eye honed from his globe-trotting experiences, Harmon has turned his attention to the delicate flora of the Western North Carolina Mountains. Large canvases of naturally vibrant colors take viewers into the abstract world of lichens that populate the region’s rocky trails and ancient trees.
Melanie Norris: The Johnson City, TN, native has not ventured far from her roots – but travels instead into the being of her portrait subjects. Norris alternates between delicate, layered watercolors and bold swaths of color as she builds very intimate and emotional portraits that reveal character, passion and energy. Norris has a mastery of seeing faces and suspending portraits in space that highlights the subject without being a literal interpretation.

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