In Vision – New Work by C.L. Kunst

Mom had it right.

When I was born my mother named me Cynthia Lea, which is an elegant and regal sounding set of names that I am only just now beginning to embrace. Now Lea is easy. Lea means shelter. Lea is an integral part of my Grandmother’s and my oldest daughter’s first name. But that uppity sounding first bit always seemed so far out of my reach.  Originally a reference to a Greek baby name, it literally means of Cynthus, and refers to the location of the birth of the Greek Goddess Artemis and the personification of the first phase of the moon. But modern definitions are more liberal and include ideas that relate to the moon’s more ethereal qualities such as its role as a mirror and reflectors and light in dark places.

When I was growing up I remember feeling intimidated by the big ideas that went with this name. Was this really me? Did this have anything to do with who I was meant to be? I didn’t feel particularly shiny or reflective, much less somehow related to any phase of some classical Greek goddess.  Turns out the answer is yes!!! I get so excited by light! Shining it, flashing it, catching it, teaching it how to dance funny, little flickers in dark places, whatever, just bring on the light! And I don’t think this is an accident either. My birthday comes right in front of the Spring Equinox and the sweet annual return of milder temperatures and longer days. I definitely experience my own personal quickening around this time of year.

March is when the phone starts ringing for portrait sessions again and the art shows, festivals and events for the summer start getting lined up.  So far this year has already been a major hustle-bustle with a pop-up show at a Blind Pig dinner in early February and this week  where I get ready for my latest show at The Circle Asheville that opens Saturday from 3-6.  I’ll be offering a bunch of new work as well as a few old favorites in a new way. Glass!! I’ve gotten together with a local printmaker who helping me create some gorgeous glass art tiles to go along with my other prints and photo art this year. Of course Pop was invaluable and helped me out by making some really cool stands for each tile so you can plunk it in the nearest window and let the sun (or the moon) do all the work backlighting it! They also make really pretty votive shades with a tea candle put on the stand behind the tile for your bookshelf or dining table.

This new body of work represents a jumping off point for me. After making what I call Radiants  for over 10 years I realized that what I’ve really been doing was picking up little pieces of flotsam and jetsam with my camera; bits of visual ephemera that might not mean much now but someday I felt I might find the puzzle this fits into. This year is the year I realized the scope of the puzzle and began to reassemble the pieces into a picture that made sense to me. After looking outward for a very long time I’m beginning to find the worth in looking in. So that’s In Vision, new looks at old works and a re-”in vision”-ing of their purpose in my bigger image. Come see.

In Vision

Show poster at The Circle March 14 – April 10


The Circle’s 4-20 Weekend Sale!

Happy 4-20!!

I was approached a few weeks ago by my friend Shannon Covart who owns the Circle on Haywood Road in West Asheville. She asked if I would come in and photograph some the amazingly beautiful, locally blown, custom glass that they sell in preparation for their big 4-20 sale which starts today!  Of course I said yes! I love working with Shannon and everyone at the Circle Crewe! She also asked me to make a few special radiants for her to use for the sale and design some flyers. Yes again! So here is one of the custom radiants I created for the Circle’s 4-20 sale event this weekend. Go check it out!!



Behind Orbit

Noticed the pear and cherry blossoms behind Orbit DVD are busting out there blooms!

Behind Orbit

Canie Creek Greenway Project

Canie Creek Greenway Project

Canie Creek GreenwayFriends and neighbors, I just found out a few weeks ago about a community project that is coalescing around a historic piece of property and I’m so excited!  This is an amazing opportunity to conserve a piece of  Asheville’s shrinking urban woodland areas and extend the Hominy Creek Greenway to West Asheville. A group of neighbors has already put together this excellent presentation regarding their proposal to gather community support to acquire the 32 acre tract of land, currently privately owned, leading along the creek valley from Smokey Park to Sand Hill Rd. There will be a brief summation of their presentation at the Malvern Hills Community Meeting on March 23rd with a more detailed presentation tentatively scheduled for early April.  This property, which Canie Creek twists and bends the length of, has historical significance in Asheville’s past as well as being a key location to bring nearly continuous access to the larger Asheville greenway system to residents in West Asheville.

A while back I dug into some history research for a friend which acquainted me with many of the stories and local lore surrounding the creation and growth of West Asheville in the late 1870′s through the 1930′s. While doing this research I found several references to the Sulphur Springs Hotels ( both Deaver’s & Carrier’s “The Belmont”), and an old photo  of the spring house where folks would go while staying at the hotels  to breathe the vapors and I guess drink the water as a curative (at least is wasn’t radium water).  Since I saw that photo my curiosity has been peaked to see if the spring house was still there. When I heard about the new greenway project I contacted the group for permission to visit the property and see for myself.

Buncombe County’s observation and brief history of the property references concrete ruins still existing from the Belmont Hotel that burned in 1892.  And so it is, the only standing piece left of that era,  just within earshot of the bustling whine of Smokey Park Hwy. Overgrown in ivy and crumbling in places, but still there and still leaking it’s potent drip into the basin of the floor. It was an echo of the structure I had seen in the photo but undeniably the same place.  This small spot of water, that smells faintly of eggs and rust, was a key part of the Asheville health craze which brought the likes of E. G. Carrier and G. Vanderbilt to this area in the first place. A significant piece of the puzzle to present day Asheville’s historical mystique. What would Asheville be now if these people had not sought the “curative restoration” that being here offers?

What an exciting opportunity we have as a community to step up and do the right thing and keep this property intact for the public to enjoy.  Instead of a small highway marker 1/2 a mile a way as a reminder of this time and place we can protect and maintain this green space so our community as a whole can appreciate it’s unique ‘curative’ properties and history.




Popcorn’s Blue Pools

Gus Cutty‘s tribute piece for Popcorn Sutton outside the Double Crown on Haywood Rd.

Dyslexic Blue

Jailhouse Angels Play the Blues

In Christopher’s Garden, he catches the little angels and keeps them in his bird cages.

2.3.14 – Back Alley Blues

Blue Bear in a Back Alley

This lost blue bear paste up glyph by “Ronald Reagan” was in a little back alley off of Haywood Rd. 2 years ago and is long gone now. I never got around to posting it then, guess I was saving it for a bluer day.

Window Shopping in East West Asheville

Window ShoppingYesterday I broke out of the house and “snow day” lock down with the kids to head up to East West Asheville for a little fun, window shopping and cupcakes with my friend Jennifer over at Blog Asheville. She wanted to check out Whist, the sweet new gift shop on Haywood Rd. I wanted to check out Flora for plant ideas and maybe a few little sprigs of green for the house or greenhouse and of course I always have to check in with my good friends up at the Circle. I wanted to see if any of my art had sold (I have photo prints of Radiants and Asheville  for sale at the Circle BTW) and check out the new show by Hannah Rochester they have hanging up at the store this month.  All of these sweet little local shops sit right in a row together on Haywood Rd. which makes it so easy to enjoy them all.

Well worth the trip and so many needful little things I had no idea I was craving.  Whist had the PERFECT little gift for my sister’s birthday plus a card I know she’ll like which is rare to find both in the same place. The new store is bright & pretty, filled with lots of fun gifts and well laid out.

Going into Flora is like having Spring kiss you on the nose, as long as you’re into that kind of thing. Sweet smells, beautiful flowers, lush plant arrangements, terrariums all misty green, and little ferns, air plants and green bits you can bring home with you for just a few dollars that just possibly will restore your hope that cold weather will be vanquished and the world will be warm again.

I lost myself for almost half & hour at the Circle discovering sweet hand knitted hats and all their other hand made local wares and art that they are so good at putting right out front. The Hannah Rochester show is original and interesting. I especially liked her pieces that were described as “I had a lot on my mind” and while the originals were out of my budget the prints were just $20.

Then we went around the corner and down the hill to Short Street Cakes and made a late afternoon cupcake run, scoring a couple vegan chocolate, a couple Lemon Lavender, some “ugly but delicious” apple cake and a mini king cake to share. Came home feeling all warm and happy for spending time with a friend doing some local retail therapy.

1.18.14 – Long Shadows & Light Snow

Light snow overnight and long shadows at dawn.

We start early in the morning, just after dawn, when the first fat, juicy beams of light come creeping their way up the hill.  Scooby was born ready for our regular morning patrol of the yard and green house, he’s always first out the door. His legs look ridiculously long in his shadow this morning and the light dusting of snow we got the night before gives everything a crisp blue edge. We go about our morning work feeding the birds, freshening water dishes and watering plants fostering our green and color among winters cool tones. Life is sweet.

Light Snow

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