One looks mischievous. Another seems grumpy. A third merely considers the viewer, eyes locked, demanding honesty or an explanation. Animals in art have always interested LouAnne Jordan, but when she saw the central creatures in Taylor Robenalt’s new line of sculptural work, her experience was profound. “I fell instantly in love. Her animals had so much personality you might expect them to start talking,” says Jordan, who arranged a solo show, Interactions, for Robenalt at Grovewood Gallery in North Asheville. The curator praises the intricate lines of the glazed-porcelain works, where Robenalt’s mythological palette sets splashes of gold against matte blacks, royal scarlets, and antique pinks. Beasts and humans tangle with vines and roses, giving the folkloric effect of dark fairy tales. The sculptor holds an MFA in ceramics from the University of Georgia and was a resident at Odyssey ClayWorks from 2016-2017; she’ll return to the area this year to teach at Penland School of Crafts as she prepares for national shows later in the season and beyond. In 2020, her work will appear at SOFA in Chicago. But Robenalt says she’s always admired Grovewood and is “honored” to be featured in her adopted hometown. “I remember a few years ago, they had a show of Kristen Stingle’s work there, and I thought it was great. I hoped it could be me one day.”
Interactions opens Saturday, May 5, with a 2-5pm artist’s reception and runs through June 3. Grovewood Gallery, 111 Grovewood Road, Asheville. www.grovewood.com. 828-253-7651.