Filed under: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts

Register now for the Senior Games and Silver Arts Showcase!

It’s time again for the Senior Games! Here’s the registration info from the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department:

senio0rgames
Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games & The Silver Arts Showcase
May 13-June 3, 2014

The 2014 Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games are fast approaching! Competitors from around the area will gather for a few unforgettable weeks of athleticism and fun. Spend your morning shaking it up on the shuffleboard court, and your afternoon hitting the track. Pummel your peers in racquetball and spend the afternoon watching your buddies in a game of Pickleball. The possibilities are endless, and even if you don’t bring home a medal, the memories are all yours to keep.

Are you the more artistic type? The Silver Arts Showcase, a major component of the Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games, is the perfect time for you to debut your latest masterpiece or hit the stage with your musical skills.

Click below for more information for these exciting events!

Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games 2014 Application and Information

Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games 2014 Schedule

Silver Arts Showcase 2014 Application and Information

Questions? Contact Dee Black at 828-259-5809 or dblack@ashevillenc.gov\

Leave a Comment April 9, 2014

An eye for art at 51 Biltmore ***UPDATED***

51biltmore

Here’s the news on the next step in the public input process for the public art project at 51 Biltmore. From the Parks and Recreation Department:

CITY OF ASHEVILLE SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON PUBLIC ART

51 Biltmore Public Art Project

Asheville, NC – The City of Asheville is developing Asheville’s next public art in the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project on the exterior of the public parking garage next to the Aloft Hotel at 51 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville.

The next public comment period for the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project begins on April 4 with the First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Asheville. The artists’ proposals will be on display at the Blue Spiral 1, 38 Biltmore Avenue, 5:00 to 8:00 pm during the Gallery Walk, and continue through April 6 during regular business hours. April 7 – 11 the proposals will be on display at the Aloft Hotel in the second floor lobby, 51 Biltmore Avenue, during regular operating hours. The public is invited to review and make comment on the proposals, with the option to select their preferred design. Comment can also be made on line at the City of Asheville website at www.ashevillenc.gov/parks during April 4-11.

“More than 50 people showed up at the first public forum in January and we received great input to support the artists’ concepts,” said Brenda Mills, Economic Development Specialist. “We want to continue the momentum with this week-long opportunity to help choose Asheville’s next piece of public art.”

Public input on the artists’ proposals will constitute 25% of the selection process. In addition to public comment, the Selection Panel will consider artistic merit, originality, appropriateness for the site; and practical factors such as maintenance, feasibility and budget.

The City issued a call for artists in September 2013. The finalists were chosen by a Selection Panel from an application pool of over 150 artists. The Public Art and Cultural Commission hosted a forum in January 2014 in which the public could meet the artists and provide comment to inspire them in their design proposals. Once the second round of public comment is complete, the Selection Panel will choose the final artwork. The public art installation is expected to be complete in fall 2014.

For more background on the selection process, and to see the artists’ proposals, go to the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project Page at www.ashevillenc.gov/parks. For more information contact Basil Punsalan at 828-259-5552 or bpunsalan@ashevillenc.gov.

The City of Asheville Public Art Program oversees Asheville’s public art collection. The Public Art and Cultural Commission is responsible for approving the site and content of public art, and the development of an inclusive selection process that involves community feedback. Members also act as public art ambassadors by advancing the City of Asheville as an “arts destination” in cultural and economic development efforts.

And here’s the background on what has already happened:

The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department announces the next step for a public art project for 51 Biltmore.Click here to see more on this project, including examples of the finalists’ work.

CITY OF ASHEVILLE SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON PUBLIC ART: 51 Biltmore Public Art Project

51 Biltmore

The parking deck wall at 51 Biltmore awaits its new look.

Asheville, NC – The City of Asheville announces the top artist finalists for the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project to be installed on the exterior wall of the pubic parking garage next to the Aloft Hotel at 51 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. The Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) will host a public forum with the artists on Friday, January 24, 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Trinity Episcopal Church located at 60 Church Street. Parking is located on the south side of the church and across the street. Enter the church at the Church Street entrance to Tuton Hall.

The following are the top artist finalists:
Artist team Alex Irvine (Santa Fe, NM) and Ian Wilkinson (Asheville, NC)
Marc Archambault (Asheville, NC)
Mike Allison (Joelton, TN)

At the public forum, the artists will be in attendance and seeking ideas, images and stories to inspire their design proposals for the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project. To learn more about each artist and to make comment, go to the City of Asheville’s website at www.ashevillenc.gov and select City Projects to see project under Central Business District. The final design proposals are expected to be revealed in April, followed by a second round of public feedback to assist the Selection Panel in choosing the final design for the public art project.

The City of Asheville recently conducted a call for artists to create a permanent public art feature for the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project. After reviewing over 150 artist applications, the Selection Panel selected the top artist finalists.

The 51 Biltmore Public Art Project Selection Panel:
David McCartney, Aloft Hotel
Sharon Trammel, Public Art and Cultural Commission
Jenny Bowen, Asheville Artist and Photographer
Elizabeth Barr, Asheville Artist Resource Center
Susie Millions, Asheville Visual Artist
Sarah Larson, 51 Biltmore Neighborhood Resident and Art Advocate

The City of Asheville Public Art Program oversees Asheville’s public art collection. The Public Art and Cultural Commission is responsible for approving the site and content of public art, and the development of an inclusive selection process that involves community feedback. Members also act as public art ambassadors by advancing the City of Asheville as an “arts destination” in cultural and economic development efforts.

The city’s public art collection includes the popular Urban Trail, a historic walking tour of downtown Asheville; along with other prominent works in the downtown area including but not limited to the Pack Fountain, Energy Loop, Deco Gecko and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The 51 Biltmore Public Art Project is part of the City’s Percent for Art Program.

For information about the 51 Biltmore Public Art Project, contact Basil Punsalan at 828-259-5552 or bpunsalan@ashevillenc.gov.

Leave a Comment March 27, 2014

Public input wanted for improvements at Carrier Park’s velodrome

The velodrome at Carrier Park is a popular attraction for bicyclists, walkers, joggers and inline skaters alike. Now the city’s Park and Recreation Department, with the help of community groups, is looking at ways to make the track even better and more accessible to everyone. A March 20 drop-in event will give the public a chance to hear about those improvements and give feedback to city staff. See the full announcement below.

velodrome

The City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with the Asheville Bicycle Racing Club and VeloSports Racing is hosting a public drop-in event on Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center, located at 285 Livingston Street, to gain input on proposed renovations for the Velodrome at Carrier Park. The proposed renovations, which include resurfacing and increased safety measures, were generated by members of the local cycling community including Olympic silver medalist Lauren Tamayo and United Health Care Pro Cycling Team General Manager Mike Tamayo through a six-month focus group process.

The Velodrome, known to many locals as the “Mellowdrome”, is a multi-use facility located in Carrier Park that is enjoyed by walkers, runners, inline skaters, and cyclists alike. The skill level of cyclists ranges from young children and recreational cyclists to elite athletes training for competition. VeloSports Racing produces “The Ring of Fire”, a popular racing series held at the park.

For more information, contact Debbie Ivester at 259-5804, or divester@ashevillenc.gov.

Leave a Comment March 12, 2014

Montford Center reopens gym after renovations, celebration March 13

Bring your A-game! The Montford Recreation Center gymnasium, closed for renovations since August, has reopened and reintroduced programming to the newly unveiled facility. The improvements include a new maple wood sports flooring system as well as competition-level fiberglass backboards with breakaway goals, wall pads and bleachers.

New wallpads and bleachers make the facility top-notch for players and spectators.

New wallpads and bleachers make the facility top-notch for players and spectators.

The renovations were completed in early February, and athletic groups are once again playing sports like basketball, volleyball, badminton and table tennis at the center. The climbing wall is also back in use, with a new textured paint job that better simulates a rock surface.

“We are so excited to have this popular facility reopened and the renovations are fantastic,” said Center Director Kim Kennedy.

A new floor, new baskets and backboards and LED lighting are highlights of the Montford Center's reopened gymnasium

A new floor, new baskets and backboards and LED lighting are highlights of the Montford Center’s reopened gymnasium

The gymnasium also got a new paint job and new LED lighting. The LEDs save an estimated $6,500 a year in electric costs and have a positive impact on carbon reduction equal to planting 24 football fields of forests. Additionally, the LEDs operate on a dimmer and have immediate turn-on, turn off capability. That saves even more energy, as the previous lighting took time to warm up and had to be left on all day. The LED replacement resulted in a $9,000 rebate from Duke Energy Progress – funding that will go into more sustainable upgrades in parks facilities.

The Montford Recreation Center entrances will soon be replaced to improve accessibility and bathroom renovation designs are in the works, said Project Manager Pete Wall.

The City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department has plans to make improvements to other recreation centers as funding becomes available, including the Linwood Crump Shiloh Complex and the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center.

The Montford Recreation Center will officially recognize the renovations and re-opening with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and see the work that has been done.

The climbing wall got a new coat of textured paint that better simulates rock

The climbing wall got a new coat of textured paint that better simulates rock

For information about programs at the Montford Center, go to www.ashevillenc.gov/parks.

Leave a Comment March 4, 2014

Azalea Road project improves flood management, park access

Things are happening along the Swannanoa River. The river banks adjacent to Azalea Road and Gashes Creek road are undergoing a makeover that will not only ease one stream bank at the City of Asheville’s Recreation Park, but will also relocate a section of the Swannanoa to have less impact during high water events. Since December, heavy earth moving equipment has been visible making changes to the landscape in the area that will greatly improve multimodal park access and safety.

Azaleasmall

What is it?

Phase I of the Lake Craig/Azalea Road Improvements Project is an effort to better manage high water during flood events and create new and improved infrastructure for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists at one of the City of Asheville’s most popular park complexes.

This flood control project involves lowering a streamside multi-use field to the east of the GashesCreekBridge to give high waters a place to expand when the Swannanoa crests its banks. Another step will install breaks to slow the water down as is passes through RecreationPark. Both moves protect property and infrastructure downstream. The relocation of the stream just west of the GashesCreekBridge will straighten a curve in the river, lessening the impact it has on the steep bank below Swannanoa River Road near the intersection with Azalea Road.  This will reduce stream bank erosion in that location and prevent undercutting of the roadway.

LCASmall

Why was this location chosen?

The SwannanoaRiver, flowing from BlackMountain to its confluence with the French BroadRiver in West Asheville, is one of Asheville’s major water corridors and can be greatly affected by heavy rain events. In past rain events, flooding on the SwannanoaRiver has affected BiltmoreVillage, Swannanoa River Road and surrounding businesses and residences.

Because of the surrounding park facilities, work can be conducted in the area with minimum disruption to businesses that line other parts of this section of the river.

The location is considered part on an ongoing flood remediation study by the Army Corps of Engineers, says the city’s Stormwater Services Manager McCray Coates.

An added benefit is the partnership with NCDOT to make improvements at the intersection of NC 81 and Azalea Road.  NCDOT plans to install a traffic signal and turn lane along NC 81 which will benefit users of the WNCNatureCenter, RecreationPark and the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex.

How does the new infrastructure fit in?

“When we have large projects like the stream bank improvement plan, it makes sense to combine these efforts and go after some needed sidewalks, waterline and roadway improvements while you are in there,” Coates said.  The City is also excited to be partnering with the NCDOT for the installation of a new traffic signal and turn lane at the intersection of NC 81 and Azalea Road.

Sidewalks, a bike path, road improvements and a one-way roadway facility down into the soccer complex will improve access to one of Asheville’s most popular park facilities. Additionally, the soccer complex will get a long-needed water line installed to serve the user of the facility.

detail

Detail from the plans for Phase I of the Azalea Road/Lake Craig Project

How is it funded?

Phase I of the Lake Craig/Azalea Road Improvements project is financed by a mix of state and City of Asheville funds. The total project cost is $3.7 million dollars.  The Hurricane Recovery Act of 2005 allocated funding for these types of projects, and covers $1,143,380 of the total project cost. The remainder is funded through the Sullivans Act funding in the amount of $2,748,002 and the city’s Water Resources Department ($371,127),

What’s next?

Phase I of the project is expected to be completed by December 2014. Leading up to the groundbreaking, project engineers and city staff held three community meetings to take input and inform the public about the impact of the construction and the benefits of the project’s completion. Special attention has been paid to coordinate and minimize the impact of construction during special events for the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex, the WNCNatureCenter and RecreationPark.

“We know this is an extremely popular area,” Coates said. “We don’t want this to interfere with any soccer tournaments or NatureCenter events. Summer is a big time around here.”

Asheville City Council approved Phase I of the Lake Craig/Azalea Road Improvement Project October 22, 2013.

Leave a Comment February 5, 2014

WNC Nature Center unveils new playground at Saturday’s Howl-O-Ween

This exciting announcement comes from the WNC Nature Center:

Round up your favorite ghouls and goblins and head out to the Western North Carolina Nature Center on Saturday, October 26, 10:00 am–6:00 pm for the annual HOWL-O-WEEN event. Enjoy the season with a walk through the Creepy Crawler Cabin along with a variety of crafts and activities. Kids are invited to dress in costume and take part in the ever popular costume parade and contest at 5:00 pm.

Come climb the new Arachnid Adventure Playground at the WNC Nature Center

New at this year’s HOWL-O-WEEN is the grand opening of the Arachnid Adventure Playground, a web of climbing and play for kids and adults. The Arachnid Adventure Playground officially opens at 11:00 am with a grand opening ceremony at the playground. Along with the playground, the newly expanded red wolf exhibit will be open for the first time featuring incredible views of the world’s most endangered canine.

All activities are included with paid admission to the Nature Center. Admission: adults $8 ($6 for Asheville residents), senior citizens $7 ($5 for Asheville residents), youth ages 3-15 $4, and children age 2 and under are free.

For more information including directions and special programs visit the Nature Center website at www.wncnaturecenter.com

The WNC Nature Center features over 220 animals native to the Southern Appalachians including red wolves, otters, birds of prey, black bears, and reptiles. The Nature Center is a service of the City of Asheville and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Leave a Comment October 25, 2013

New public art installation and renovation at U.S. Cellular Center

***UPDATE*** Click below for a video showing how this great piece was installed!

A new chapter in the 4-year renovation and updating of the U.S. Cellular Center begins this week with the installation of a new terrazzo floor in the lobby of the Thomas Wolfe Theater.

The public artwork, designed by artist Joan Weissman, will be a vibrant addition to the U.S. Cellular Center, enhancing the experience for visitors while preserving the architectural feel of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and Asheville’s Art Deco style.

Artist Joan Weissman's design for the terrazzo floor at the U.S. Cellular Center


“The goal was to respect and refer to the site’s structural and decorative details, while adding a fresh and dramatic new focal point,” Weissman says.

Weissman was selected from a pool of 50 artists who responded to the City of Asheville’s call for artists in April. The call for artists was open to artists both local and national and who had experience in terrazzo floor design. Three finalists were selected, and a panel consisting of local artists and representatives from the City of Asheville and the Public Art and Culture Commission brought its recommendation before the full Commission for approval.

Noted for her rug designs, Weissman also creates designs for terrazzo floors, tapestries and fabrics. Her work has been featured in Interior Design, Hali, Western Interiors, Paris Home and Veranda. Her floor designs can be found at the University of New Mexico Center for the Arts and in the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion.

Like Weissman’s design, the floor installation itself incorporates a new vision with a historical component: Asheville Tile, the company performing the installation, represents three generations of work in the city. Owner Ronnie Smith’s father Albert laid the original lobby floor when the Civic Center was constructed in 1974, and Smith’s grandfather installed the mosaic on the front of Asheville City Hall.

“It’s really a neat thing to see this kind of family tradition being carried out in person,” says U.S. Cellular Center General Manager, Chris Corl. The installation, Corl says, is being recorded in the form of a time-lapse video that will be posted online when the project is complete in mid-September.

The City of Asheville remains dedicated to providing public art that enhances and confirms the city’s artistic culture and creative economy.

“This public art project perfectly illustrates how art creates economic opportunity that ripples through the community, providing opportunities for local companies and craftspeople,” said Debbie Ivester, assistant director of the City of Asheville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.

The installation of the U.S. Cellular Center’s terrazzo floor is part of an ongoing $12 million renovation of the facility. Needed roof repairs, restroom updates, box office redesign and other enhancements have already been completed. Funding for the renovations comes from the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, the Tourism Development Authority and U.S. Cellular. Ongoing projects include the expansion of convention and box seating spaces and the exterior lobby entrance. The enhancements are a large part of attracting new business and events like the SoCon Basketball Championships to Asheville.

More from the coablog:

U.S. Cellular Center prepares for audience of conferences and trade shows

Leave a Comment October 1, 2013

Call for Artists for 51 Biltmore Art project

Cool announcement for artisits from the City of Asheville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department:

The City of Asheville is seeking to commission a qualified artist or team of artists to create a permanent exterior public art feature above the parking garage exit at the north side of the Aloft Hotel on Aston Street. The Aloft Hotel at 51 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville is a visible landmark in the skyline, set apart by its contemporary architecture and vibrant color scheme. 51 Biltmore is the shared address of the City of Asheville’s new parking complex which is the site for the public artwork. The 51 Biltmore Public Art Project is intended to enhance the sense of local identity in downtown Asheville, as well as compliment the architecture of the Aloft Hotel and is part of the City’s Percent for Art mandate.

This is a nationwide call with preference given to all qualified local artists/teams of artists who currently live in North Carolina in Buncombe, Yancey, McDowell, Rutherford, Polk, Henderson, Madison, Haywood, Transylvania, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay and Cherokee counties (proof of residency will be required).

Artists’ qualifications will be accepted electronically through October 30, 2013 at CallforEntry.org, also known as CaFÉ™. Project specifications and instructions on how to apply are located at www.callforentry.org. For information about the call for artists, contact Basil Punsalan at 828-259-5552 or bpunsalan@ashevillenc.gov.

The City of Asheville Public Art Program oversees Asheville’s public art collection with assistance of the Public Art & Cultural Commission. The collection includes the popular Urban Trail, a historic walking tour of downtown Asheville; along with other prominent works in the downtown area including but not limited to the Pack Fountain, Energy Loop, Deco Gecko and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Download the RFQ.

2 Comments September 18, 2013

Shiloh Community Celebration Sept. 7!

Leave a Comment September 6, 2013

Did you know about the Storm Cleanup information button?

This summer’s rainfall certainly put Asheville on the charts, making it the second-wettest city in the U.S., according to the National Climactic Data Center. And the rainfall was not without its costs. Landslides, sinkholes and flooding were all impacts of the high volume of rain.

From time to time, the City of Asheville experiences extraordinary weather events, be they rain, wind or snow, and that’s when city crews from Public Works, Streets and Water Resources work their hardest to restore the City of Asheville back to normal.

To keep you informed of where work is happening and how it is progress, we’ve included a “Storm Cleanup” button on the front page of the City of Asheville web page, ashevillenc.gov. The button takes you to a dedicated page with locations and updated information about storm damage remediation.

In addition, the page offers important numbers you can use to report potential hazards and storm damage.

The City of Asheville offers several tools you can use to report or find out about important weather related events in your community, including the Citizens Alert Information tool, the Asheville App and the Storm Cleanup page.

Leave a Comment August 27, 2013

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