Photo courtesy of Castell Photography
Photo courtesy of Castell Photography

This is an exciting new mural project for downtown Asheville. Check this, from loyal reader Heidi, gallery director at Castell Photography Gallery:

I hope all is well! I wanted to let you know about a mural project that we at Castell Photography Gallery are organizing for this Friday.

As you may know, Molly Freeman painted a really lovely mural across from our space on Wilson Alley a few years ago. It’s been a great addition to the alley and has barely been tagged or marked since Molly first painted it. It’s been great for making the alley a bit more of a destination and bringing more people down here to our beloved neighborhood, “The Block”!

For awhile we’ve been wanting to continue those first efforts, and it’s finally happening this Friday before AND during the July art walk!

Our current artist, local Adam Void, has helped us organize a mural painting of the entire Alley. We have received permissions from Blue Spiral, Bellagio, The Fine Arts Theatre, Barley’s, and Chesnut to paint the backs of all of their buildings (which face the alley). Void has coordinated with 10+ artists to create a unified piece throughout the alley, and we are thrilled to watch it all unfold on Friday + have a permanent piece on our alley…

The painting will start early on Friday, and the downtown art walk from 5-8 will be a great time to see it all unfolding! We’re thrilled to have the support of our neighbors on this project, and can’t wait to see what is unveiled this weekend! We’ll have a keg to celebrate the Mural, and this is also a great opportunity for patrons to see our current exhibition of Adam Voids work in our space: Adam Void | Instant Photography: 2003-2014 (now), a collection of roughly 800 polaroids which will be on display through July. We’ll be there all day, but the art walk (a great chance to visit all downtown galleries…) will be from 5-8 on Friday evening!

For more details please be in touch! I’ve included an image of the alley, as well as a few shots of our current show…

Thanks, Jason!




  1. Tired art for back alleys created by artists that can’t get their work shown in galleries because it’s not really art. Illustration is just that. There are pretty photos too, by a lot of people. How many photographers are artists? Having technical abilities to paint big pictures of faces is wonderful. But, of all the “mural art” in Asheville, does any of it make an statement? Diego Rivera was a true mural artist, a radical who painted for change. How about the artists that are putting brush to city alley consider his legacy and actually make a statement with what their doing, rather than paint the same crap we see all over downtown.

    • hauntedheadnc says:

      Further proof that if anyone in Asheville ever actually expressed joy for the city or for the people who live here, they’d burst into flames and die. There’s just something about this town that brings out a primal urge to bitch. I wonder why that is?

    • bob smith-jones says:

      Bitchy bitch bitch… Waaaaaaaaaaa!

    • Several strange point. First, several of the artists regularly show in galleries. Second, to assert that great art be judged by the ability to be shown in major galleries is both lacking in respect to subjectivity and to the politics of the fine art world. Beyond all of that, I understand your wish for more political murals, but do you really want every mural to be political? Their have been several in Asheville, and in my opinion it is the diversity of background and choice of subject matter which make the Asheville mural scene such a unique one for such a small town. Lastly I will say that if you love political murals you would have liked my version of the X, Charles Manson in red white and blue as an association with our presidential leaders who manipulate others in to murder for their own motives, which is not pictured because it was demanded to be painted over in less than 24 hours. Perhaps it has less to do with the artists and more to do with the Asheville business owners’ fear of upsetting tourists dollars.

  2. check out the artery they send out notices about some stuff. But! I agree. Its who you know as it always has been in the art world and in everything. You have to really push the limits if you want to get noticed in this town and anywhere.

  3. Jenny Bowen says:

    The piece going on the side of 51 Biltmore/Aloft Hotel is a mural/ceramics installation by Ian Wilkinson & Alex Irvine commissioned by the City of Asheville (it’s a COA parking deck) and awarded through a lengthy jury process that included an open national call to artists and several steps of public input and comment. It should be installed sometime in September if the timeline is going as planned.

  4. boatrocker says:

    If that picture is indeed from the parking lot in back of Barley’s, etc, then I have learned something here
    (Wilson Alley?). I always called it ‘parking for folks who know the short cuts’.

    Paint a bird on it and be done with it after changing the name of our town to New Portland.

  5. What happened to letting other artists know about mural projects in this city? Is Asheville all about having a designated club for muralists (a pre-approved 10 artists who do every mural in the city). I saw no advertising, or call to artists, for this project…but of course, I’m not in the club.
    Maybe this is why we have a tagging problem around here? Perhaps it’s time to let some other talent into the mix..

    • This project was curated by the artist Adam Void, it’s not public, it’s permission. The vast majority of murals here are artists specifically hired on their own merits by the business. I started back here 2 years ago, no one gave it to me, I had to work hard to get my name out. Get your marketing game on, it’s a small town so relatively easy. Good luck!

      • Thank you for this important detail. I’ve been here only 1 year, so still working on the marketing aspect. I’m glad to see that so many businesses are willing to lend this space to artists, that’s certainly promising.

  6. Adam Strange says:

    They should mention the names of the nine other artists. Artists like (& need) free publicity! -also, I want to know…..

  7. Sweet! Can’t wait to see it.

    whatever happened to the big piece commissioned by Aloft, across Biltmore from this Mural Project?

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