Mahogany House turned into art gallery
The Mahogany House in Frog Level has a new tenant who wants to show local artists’ work as well as give them a place to work.
Artist t.e. siewert, an obvious fan of poet e.e. cummings, has turned the space into a local art gallery while also offering studio and demonstration space in the back of the building — mahogany house art gallery and studios.
“I love Frog Level and this building in particular,” she said. With Frog Level Brewing, Panacea, Mia Salon and a couple of new antique shops, she said Frog Level was experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. While the gallery is nicely put together and features about 40 artists, Siewert said it has all come together in a very short time period.
“I just decided to do all this eight weeks ago,” she said.
With the recent closing of Gallery 262 and the Main Street Artist Co-op, she thought it would be a good time to open a new storefront for those artists and more to showcase their work. The gallery is separated into two sections — traditional art and modern art. Arranging and pairing unique pieces have been half of the fun for Siewert.
She moved to Haywood County about two years ago from Orlando, Florida. She was a registered nurse for 27 years before she decided it was now or never. She wanted to pursue her dream of being an artist. For 12 years she operated a decorative art business, but it was a vacation to Asheville that helped her discover her true calling.
“I fell in love with Asheville — I was so impressed with the open mindedness and the friendly art world,” she said. “It was totally different that Orlando.”
It was in Asheville that she discovered a medium she hadn’t seen before — encaustic and cold wax and oil art. Encaustic, which means “to burn within,” is a blend of natural beeswax and damar resin that is melted in metal containers on a heated palette and applied by brush or poured onto an absorbent substrate. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the preceding one.
It’s a versatile medium with varied outcomes of textures, colors, inscriptions, collages and more. The vast variety of encaustic can be seen throughout the gallery with Siewert’s pieces.
The gallery also features handmade pottery, jewelry, clocks, acrylic mosaics, statues, paintings, photography, woodworking pieces, scarves, purses, and much more. But it is in the back of the gallery where all the magic happens. Siewert has set up several artist stations in the back for artists to rent work space.
The space can be rented for $5 an hour or for $25 a day and artists are welcome to set up their art to display in the space. Siewert said artists that have a home studio might even want to get away from home and work near other artists for inspiration. Or they may be looking for a quiet space where they can concentrate.
Siewert also hopes to bring in glass blowers and woodworkers to demonstrate their craft at the studio. The gallery will hold its first art class from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 25 for people who want to learn the lost art of encaustic.
The mahogany house art gallery and studios is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 828-246-0818 or visit www.themahoganyhouse.com.
Artists showing at mahogany house gallery
Terry Thompson - jewelry
Becki Kollatt - art journals
Cheryl Keefer - oil
Haidee Wilson - acrylic
Diannah Beauregard - jewelry