When Judith Kolva says 2022 will be a “banner year,” she doesn’t mean it idiomatically.
Kolva is chair of ArtScape Hendersonville, an annual public-art program dedicated to displaying images of locally created works — from acrylic paintings to fine jewelry — on vinyl flags around downtown Hendersonville. Since 2017, when Connie Knight founded ArtScape as an initiative of the Art League of Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville has hung banners down Main Street, 7th Avenue, and select side streets.
The idea is to change the 40 banners out each spring, giving another juried cohort of Henderson County artists a year of the limelight (or the streetlight, rather). However, after revealing the ArtScape 2020 exhibit two springs ago, COVID-19 hit and the program took a hiatus. But on Friday, March 18, ArtScape will return to transform the cityscape once again.
“The program demonstrates that we have a strong connection between the arts, local businesses, organizations, and individual art lovers,” says Kolva.
ArtScape also fosters a connection between children and the arts. In 2018 and 2019, the program dedicated one banner to a single youth artist. Then, in 2020, a banner showcased eight aspiring makers in grades 1st through 12th. But this year, ArtScape will expand its footprint and K-12 involvement with a designated youth banner project in Jackson Park.
“Art allows kids to unleash their creativity and express themselves,” says Kolva, noting that the 20 youth banners will be sponsored by ArtScape as opposed to local businesses. “This passion can turn into a vocation. But it can also just be a way of acknowledging a side of the brain that’s oftentimes ignored.”
Simply put, amazing things happen when people — no matter their age — get creative. Kolva tells the story of a microbiologist in Hendersonville who decided to pick up a paintbrush and take an art class. After finishing the course, she submitted her work to ArtScape and was accepted.
“That experience was a turning point in her career,” says Kolva. “She left science behind and became a full-time artist.”
On Friday, March 18, at 5pm, ArtScape 2022 will reveal this year’s banners at the Visitor Center Stage (201 South Main St., Hendersonville). For more information, visit artscapehvl.org. Also on Facebook (@ArtScapeHendersonville) and Instagram (@artscapehvl).