Sphere of Influence

News from the Art League of Henderson County


David Macvaugh is headed to prestigious ArtFields with his latest sculpture.
Photo by Karin Strickland

Flat Rock sculptor David Macvaugh turns vases, bowls, and other vessels from slabs of hardwood. The artist also turns his material into statement-making public art installations. 

In 2022, for instance, he unveiled “Sphere of Love” — a five-foot round eye-catcher made from wooden rings painted in colors representing the rainbow pride flag. Inspired by Macvaugh’s children, who identify as LGBTQIA+, the piece invites viewers to “recognize our blindness” and “stop taking for granted our inclusion and acceptance.” 

Macvaugh’s latest sculpture — a 360-pound arch of Chinese chestnut he calls “Connection” — speaks on the common ground we all share regardless of our differences.

“It represents the connection all humans have in this birth-death cycle we go through,” the artist explains. 

Though currently on display at local Marked Tree Vineyard, “Connection” will move to Lake City, South Carolina, in mid-April for ArtFields — a nine-day competition that awards more than $100,000 to creatives from across the Southeast. 

“The top prize is $50,000 — the largest prize I’ve ever seen,” says Diane Dean, president of the Art League of Henderson County. Of the 400 artists invited to the event, four are members of the League: Melanie Hopkins, an East Flat Rock-based collage artist; Joel Hunnicutt, a Hendersonville woodturner; Eleanor Palmer, a Henderson County native who specializes in abstract watercolors; and, of course, Macvaugh. 

Since ArtFields is “extremely competitive,” this level of local representation is impressive, says Dean. “[It’s] a statement to the quality of our organization.”

According to Macvaugh, the opportunity to display his art at such a prestigious event is “remarkable.” But getting an emotional reaction from his viewers may be prize enough.

At a soft unveiling of “Connection” last fall, “one of the attendees cried,” says Macvaugh. “That was the ticket for me.”

“Connection” will be on display at Marked Tree Vineyard (623 Deep Gap Road, Flat Rock, markedtreevineyard.com) through mid-April, accompanied by live talks and an on-demand video via a QR code. See artleaguehvl.org for event info. To tour Macvaugh’s workspace, Studio 116, call 828-606-0844.

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