What Expressing Yourself in Summer 2020 Feels Like

Since Asheville Made last caught up with him, James Love was chosen for representation by a gallery in South Africa. At home, he launched a series of online art classes. Portrait by Matt Rose.

Among the local artists who’ve switched to Zoom and other kinds of online art initiatives during the COVID era is James Love, featured last year in Asheville Made. Love, who has a degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College, is a man of many mediums who says he is “intentional about writing and/or creating art every day.” His prolific body of work has been shown regionally, at Asheville’s First Presbyterian Church and in From Here and Far Gallery in Biltmore Village. (An early-spring show at Pink Dog Creative in the River Arts District was postponed.) Love is also represented internationally, by Obtain Art gallery in Johannesburg,  South Africa. 

The artist offers online “Expressive Drawing” classes Wednesdays from 6-7pm. Good news for parents facing the closing of summer camps and other kid-centered activities in 2020: These weekly classes are geared toward children age 5-10, and Love frequently posts his students’ work on his Facebook page. 

By James Love

He also conducts private art workshops for schools, churches, children, and adults, and stages art performances for religious services and private events. Love is currently working on assemblage pieces and what he calls “heartfelt abstract works.” Starting in July, he’ll be holding in-person workshops at Creative Hub Studios in Asheville.

His strikingly layered, visionary drawings and paintings are destined to be a favorite of collectors, as well; Love now creates original works to fit into people’s spaces, either by house call or after seeing pictures of their interiors. 

Trying to advance an art career during a pandemic “has had its up and downs,” the artist tells Asheville Made, “but I have enjoyed the time to be able to stop and refocus. With so much going on, it’s easy to be lost in the noise, so the practice of being aware of what’s happening in the world, but not being consumed by what’s happening in the world, has been beneficial. 

“I love us as humans, even though we can be the worst.  I don’t want the worst in us to stop me from loving us and using my gifts to bring life-giving art into the world, so I constantly show grace to myself and others. To be sound-minded is a form of wealth.”

For more information or to sign up for classes, keep up with James Love’s newsletter via ipaintforgod.com, e-mail officialipaintforgod@gmail.com, see @ipaintforgod on Instagram, or call 336-264-8737. Creative Hub Studios is located underground at 124 College St., Suite B, in Asheville. See creativehubstudios.com or call 828-412-3631 for more information. 

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