Katrina Chenevert, whose eponymous gallery in Biltmore Village recently launched, talks about the venue’s “very soft opening” last winter, which was little more than an unlocking of the doors. Well, “soft” is part of her artistic identity, after all: Chenevert creates larger-than-life soft sculpture via dry needle felting (with mixed media). The pieces are kitschy, deeply crafted, funny, and magical; like most work in the Pop Art genre, they acknowledge consumer culture in a retro or nostalgic context. Imagine a giant chocolate pop tart busting out of its aluminum wrapper, or a set of Mid Century-style fake grapes done in the dimensions of an armchair.
Chenevert, who previously worked in the River Arts District before moving to the Brook Street site — part of an all-women-owned business courtyard, she points out — admits that opening a gallery during a pandemic was a “leap of faith.” But her work had literally grown too large to showcase in her old studio. In her new, 1,000-square-foot space, she’ll stage her own work and that of other national artists working in contemporary 3D and Pop Art styles.
“There’s really not another gallery/studio in the WNC area that features this kind of unique work — whimsical, satirical, contemplative,” says Chenevert. Expect “rotating exhibitions, special events, and artwork that you’ll not experience elsewhere. I hope it will be a conversation starter.”
Katrina Chenevert Gallery, 18 Brook St. Suite 102, Asheville (Biltmore Village), open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am-5pm, and by appointment on Sunday. For more information, see katrinachenevert.com.