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Asheville Art Museum: Rick talks with artist, Henry Richardson

The first thing visitors will notice when they arrive in Downtown Asheville at the Asheville Art Museum is Henry Richardson's giant glass orb, Reflections on Unity.

Reflections on Unity is an orb, Richardson’s iconic form, created out of layered circles of reconstructed, fractured glass. Each ring of bonded, shattered glass was mathematically calculated to correspond to a correct circumference for each layer, the sum of which forms this almost 5,000 lb, six foot diameter, hollow crystalline sphere. Reflections on Unity, composed of thousands of pieces of bonded glass, represents the hope that our collective acts of grace will ultimately, like these shattered fragments, contribute to a better world: a sparkling, crystalline whole.

Rick was lucky enough to talk to Richardson as he stood beside his creation at the opening of of the Asheville Art Museum.

Here, Rick talks with Henry.

The Asheville Art Museum, the hub for 20th- and 21st-century American art in Western North Carolina, will open to the public on November 14. The $24+ million, state-of-the-art facility encompasses 54,000 square feet and adds 70 percent more Collection gallery space. For the first time in the Museum’s history, it has the capacity to host major traveling exhibitions from nationally recognized museums. The expansion increases its physical space and dramatically increases its role as a community center, educational resource, economic engine for WNC, and cultural concierge for the region’s residents and visitors.

Working with local general contractor Beverly-Grant, local architecture firm ARCA Design, and New York-based architectural firm Ennead Architects, the project consisted of three main components:

The historic preservation of the Museum’s current North Wing (formerly the 1926 Pack Library) to house the new John & Robyn Horn Education Center and Frances Mulhall Achilles Art Library.

Renovation and new construction of the East Wing including two special exhibition halls (Appleby Foundation Hall and Explore Asheville Hall) and more Collection storage.

Entirely new construction of the West Wing with a stunning glass façade.

Features of the new Museum:

A rooftop sculpture terrace and Perspective Café offer gorgeous mountain views.

The Oculus, a 15-foot viewing window in the SECU Collection Hall affords unmatched immersive city views and a place for reflection.

Public art installations and programming on the Plaza.

Wells Fargo ArtPLAYce, a hands-on creative space for people of all ages.

The Windgate Foundation Atrium, a light-filled place to take in large-scale works of art. SECU Collection Hall’s 10 new galleries

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