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Images from UNC Asheville's History

Seeley's Castle

Botanical Gardens Plans

1932 Biltmore Junior College Graduates

Future university site

First university seal

Seely's Castle Library

The Family Store - A History of Jewish Businesses in Downtown Asheville, 1880-1990

South Main Street Panel from Exhibit

The Family Store: A History of Jewish Businesses in Downtown Asheville, 1880-1990

On Exhibit: August 10 - November 27, 2020 in Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery

Created by Jan Schochet and Sharon Fahrer, this exhibit "showcases a time when all downtowns were destinations of purpose, providing the items necessary for daily life, from groceries to clothing to restaurants." Previously the exhibit was located at sites around downtown Asheville, North Carolina where these former Jewish businesses used to thrive. Most of the documents, interviews and images used to create this exhibit are held in the Special Collections of D. H. Ramsey Library and were part of existing collections, or were donated as part of the research efforts of Schocket and Fahrer while creating The Family Store exhibit. Description from Special Collections' Web Exhibit, which is still available with all shown panels viewable online

Scribes: Work in Image and Text from the Goodyear Arts Collective

Scribes Exhibit Paintings Picture

Scribes: Work in Image and Text from the Goodyear Arts Collective

On Exhibit: March 1st - 31st, 2020 in Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery

Reception: TBA

Exhibit Description: Image and text are the basic building blocks of meaning in visual language. Artists combine and contrast pictures and words to explore a wide array of possible meanings, to expand and expound on the way we “read” a work of art. The five artists in this exhibition, Amy Bagwell, Renee Cloud, D’Angelo Dia, Liliya Zalevskaya, and Jason Watson all play with image and text in their drawings, prints, designs, and installations. As active members of the Goodyear Arts Collective in Charlotte, NC, this show illustrates the many threads of their ongoing creative conversation. -Artist Jason Watson

MISSING: Stories of Urban Renewal in Asheville's Historic East End and Valley Street Neighborhoods

MiSSING Exhibit Poster Example

MISSING: Stories of Urban Renewal in Asheville's Historic East End and Valley Street Neighborhoods

On Exhibit: February 1st - 27th, 2020 in Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery

"“Urban renewal” as a technical term dates back to the US Congress’s Housing Act of 1954, which granted the federal government authority to claim “blighted” properties from private owners and redevelop the land those properties occupied in the name of civic progress. Though many urban renewal projects were undertaken with the best of intentions, on the whole they resulted in the dislocation of millions from their homes and businesses, most powerfully affecting communities of color. MISSING, crafted by UNC Asheville students enrolled in Patrick Bahls’s first-year seminar on urban renewal, examines the impact of urban renewal on specific locations in the East End and Valley Street neighborhoods of Asheville, neighborhoods among several local predominantly African American neighborhoods impacted by urban renewal during the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s." -Professor Patrick Bahls

A Progressive Escape by Greg Vineyard

Greg Vineyard Painting

A Progressive Escape by Greg Vineyard

On Exhibit: January 2nd - 31st, 2020 in Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery

"My conceptual illustrations are often inspired by current events, daily life observation, societal behaviors, psychology, and nature. "A Progressive Escape" is a visual interpretation of one lifespan, energetically displaying the duality of simplicity and chaos, and ultimately an arrival at some form of peace. While I don't personally view death itself as an "escape," I do think that if we're lucky, each stage of a life can provide some relief from whatever came before. As has often been said, life is about the experiences along the way, which I do think are cumulative." -Artist Greg Vineyard

BA Senior Group Exhibition Fall 2019

BA Student Show Fall 2019

BA Student Senior Group Exhibition

On Exhibit: December 4th - 15th, 2019 in Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery

Students will present a portion of their senior portfolio in Blower’s Gallery in Ramsey Library. This show is the last step for students to earn their Bachelor’s of Arts in Art. Students’ studio art concentrations include Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. 

Black Resistance in Western North Carolina Exhibit

Black Resistance in Western North Carolina

Black Resistance in Western North Carolina Exhibit

Exhibit Open: October 24th - November 30th, 2019

Location: Blowers Gallery

Come see the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina through poster-sized photos from Ramsey Library's own Special Collections & University Archives. These photographs and others are available to be viewed online from this Special Collections Webpage.

Stories of the Snowbird Day School

Swinging at Snowbird Day School

Stories of the Snowbird Day School

On Exhibit: October 1st to 30th, 2019

Reception: October 17th, 2019 from 6 to 8pm

Where: Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery

The Stories of the Snowbird Day School project consists of 474 digitized photos and 35 oral histories, mainly in the Cherokee language. Additionally more than 1500 recovered documents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) highlight life in and around the School for students, teachers, staff and the Tuti Yi community. These are their stories. 

Library Staff Exhibit

Art by Brandy Bourne

Ramsey Library Staff Exhibit

Artists: Ramsey Library Staff

On Exhibit: July 15th to August 13th, 2019

Where: The Blowers Gallery in Ramsey Library

Come see the creative works of Ramsey Library's own staff: now until August 13th. Exhibit includes poetry, paintings, and photography by our Public Services Coordinator, Librarian Brandy Bourne, E-Resources Librarian Susan Terry, Head of Special Collections & University Archives, Librarian Gene Hyde, Technical Services & Resource Management Librarian Barbara Svenson, and our Information Literacy Librarian Jon Morris. Thank you everyone for contributing! Many of these displayed works were professionally printed using the library's own CrAFT Studio, open to all UNCA students, staff, and faculty.

Next month, starting August 16th, we will be highlighting an exhibit of works by UNCA alumni! 



BA Senior Group Exhibition

On Exhibit: May 3 - May 11, 2019 in Ramsey Library's Blowers Gallery and in Highsmith Union's Intercultural Galler

Reception: Friday, May 3 from 6 - 8 pm.

Fourteen students will present a portion of their senior portfolio in Blower’s Gallery in Ramsey Library and Highsmith Intercultural Gallery. This show is the last step for students to earn their Bachelor’s of Arts in Art. Students’ studio art concentrations include Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. The opening reception will be held on Friday, May 3rd from 6:00pm-8:00pm in both locations and the exhibits will be up May 3 – May 11, 2019. 

Students included in the exhibition: Brianna Speight (painting), Deanna Brown (painting), Amanda Foor (painting), Ariel Shefsky (painting), Brent Boehmer (sculpture), Amanda Emery (drawing), David Hallyburton (drawing), Sydney Khan (drawing), Konrad Sanders (sculpture), Carly Gee (ceramics), Corabelle Brindle (ceramics), Natalie Rossetti (printmaking), Jonathan Freeze (printmaking), Karly Hartzman (photo)

In Pursuit of Freedom and Equality: Brown vs Board of Education

Brown V. Board of Education

Brown V. Board of Education

In Pursuit of Freedom and Equality: Kansas and the African American Public School Experience, 1855-1955

On Exhibit: April 4-24, 2019 Ramsey Library, Main Level

This exciting visual presentation uses images and text to share little known facts about the history of the Brown decision. Today few people realize that as early as 1849 African Americans fought the system of education in this country that mandated separate schools for their children based solely on race. In many instances these schools were substandard facilities with out-of-date textbooks and often no basic school supplies. What was not in question was the dedication of the African American teachers assigned to these schools.

This chronological look at the history of Brown leaves the viewer with a clear understanding that efforts still continue across the country to realize the dream of individuals and organizations that challenged a system that would deny them access to equal educational opportunity and their basic civil rights. This Exhibit was created and is circulated by the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research.

Additionally part of this display are a collection of banners depicting the history of desegregation in Buncombe County. These posters can be seen on the walls surrounding the In Pursuit of Freedom Exhibition and will be available throughout the exhibition in Ramsey Library. 

International Photo Contest 2019

International Photo Contest

International Photo Contest 2018 Winners

Artist: Students, Faculty, Staff

On Exhibit: April 1-16, 2019

Ramsey Library Blowers Gallery is proud to host this exhibition of winning photos from the Study Abroad Office's International Photo Contest. A reception with the photographers will take place from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, in the gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to everyone.

Photos were awarded in four different categories: cross-cultural, nature’s beauty, people, and reflections. The Chancellor’s Purchase Award photo, Llama en los Andes, was taken in Peru by UNC Asheville senior Virginia Taylor. The Chancellor’s Purchase Award Runners Up are My Kindergarten Students in China, by senior Amy Brown, and Fire in the Amazon, taken in Ecuador by senior Brenna Tull. Blowers Gallery is open during regular library hours.

Appalachian Studies Association Exhibit

Appalachian Studies Association Exhibit

Appalachian Studies Association Exhibit

On Exhibit: March 1-31, 2019

Part of UNC Asheville and Mars Hill University’s co-hosted 42nd annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference held March 14-17, 2019 on the UNC Asheville campus, this exhibit features materials from various Western North Carolina Archives and Special Collections.

The exhibit was assembled by Gene Hyde, Head of Special Collections at UNC Asheville, and Karen Paar, Director of the Southern Appalachian Archives at Mars Hill University.

Participating collections include UNC Asheville, Mars Hill University, Western Carolina University, Appalachian State University, NC Room at Pack Library, Western Regional Archives, Blue Ridge Parkway Archives, Warren Wilson College, Penland School of Crafts, Biltmore Industries, Carl Sandburg House, and Swannanoa Valley Museum.




Artist: David Hopes

On Exhibit: February 1-28, 2019

Perimeter explores the possibilities of the heavily textured canvas. In a usually narrative and representational painter such as myself, these works also investigate the question of how little is enough to make a coherent statement.  All works are oil and mixed mediums (usually sand) on canvas.  -David Hopes

What We Saw

Ad Lucem Exhibit

Ad Lucem: Masking and the Resilience of a Human Spirit

Artist: Shawn Winebrenner

On Exhibit: January 10–30, 2019

My photography process involves dissecting the fundamental aspects of the things that are a part of my overall being — as a human, as an artist, and as a same-gender loving man of color. It works as an extension of my personal journey, commentary on human interactions, and the varied commonalities that unite us. My creative process is moving me closer towards better understanding the juxtaposition of who I authentically am, as an individual, and the person the world thinks I am. This body of work explores masking, a human coping mechanism used to conform to collective social pressures which often locks individuals into a continuous engagement of behavioral modifications. In an attempt to please others, maintain relationships, and hold appearances genuine emotions are frequently substituted for artificial ones. This work visually interprets the practice of masking, shown through a series of photographic images, as it relates to my own personal experiences. My hope is to initiate dialogue among people about similar life occurrences and establish connections as they relate the images to their own practices of masking.

What We Saw

Photo from exhibit "What We Saw"

What We Saw

On Exhibit: November 1–16, 2018

Images made for the Resettlement and Farm Security Administrations in the 1930s documented dire environmental conditions in rural America caused by drought, erosion, and crop-killing pests such as grasshoppers, all exacerbated by the collapse of the stock market and economic depression. The result was widespread need and desperation in the American heartland. Photographs by Arthur Rothstein and others provided visual evidence of the extent of the crisis as well as justification for new federal programs to help alleviate the suffering.


In Character Halloween

In Character at the Library

We're excited to host our 3rd annual IN CHARACTER event on 10/31 from 1PM-3PM. The library celebrates the stories and characters that populate our collective imagination. Halloween allows us to both playfully encounter fear and to engage with the characters inhabiting our culture. This event celebrates both. The library invites students, faculty and staff to enter our contest and have photos taken or simply enjoy our treats and Halloween and Day of the Dead resources. This is always a favorite event, and a fun afternoon addition to students' Halloween festivities.

Wonderful costume contest prizes have been provided by Argo TeaBiltmore Fitness, and Horse+Hero Art, Craft and Design.

The festivities continue on Nov 1 and 2, with a Dia de los Muertos display, to which all are welcome to contribute photos of those they would like to remember.

Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection

New Orleans

Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection

Special Collections recently added the Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection to our archives. Containing over 1,000 images taken by Isaiah Rice, the collection documents Asheville’s African American community from the 1950s through the 1970s. The collection was officially unveiled on October 23 at the second annual African Americans in Western North Carolina Conference at UNC Asheville.

Asheville native Isaiah Rice (1917-80),  a World War II veteran, was active in  community and civic affairs. He was a recreation supervisor at the Burton Street Community Center in his neighborhood, and served on the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council. He was employed as a warehouseman and beverage salesman for 40 years. He often carried one of his many cameras, seizing countless opportunities to capture his family, neighbors, and community members on film. He photographed people at church, his neighbors and friends as they gathered for social events, folks attending parades and football games, as well as many scenes of people working and going about their business in downtown Asheville.  His photos document a thriving African American community in urban Asheville during the mid 20th century.