When Allison Weeks Thomas came to Western North Carolina, she was trying to find her niche in the talented world of Asheville-area artists. Less than two years later, her calendar is filling fast and she’s hitting her stride.
Now in a house with its own small studio space (no more using the dining room table) and her daughter in preschool, Allison can be more productive—and that’s a good thing because her work is in demand. Thursday, February 7, marks the opening of Allison’s solo show at Desoto Lounge in West Asheville. The opening reception for “Sideshow” is from 7-10 p.m. and will continue until the last week of March.
“The pieces for the Desoto show have more of a vintage feel,” Allison says about her works, which are inspired, at least in part, by Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani. With long necks and tilted heads, Allison’s figures have had more of a fairy tale setting. She says the characters for the new show are “a little darker” with more of a muted, antique look.
Two days later, on February 9, Allison is part of a group show at ZaPow in downtown Asheville. The show is titled “Steampunk Carnival” and the opening reception is from 7-9 p.m. Allison has incorporated steampunk aspects in her painting, which is multimedia. She laughed, admitting she’d finally get to use a bunch of watch parts she’s had sitting around for a while. And speaking of ZaPow, Allison has also been the featured artist on the gallery’s website.
After the concurrent shows in February and March, fans won’t have to wait long until her next Asheville solo show, which will be at The Junction in May. In addition to her shows, you can find her work regularly in Asheville at ZaPow, Blue Rage, and the Woolworth Walk. She also has works at galleries in Morehead City, North Carolina, which is her hometown; Carolina Beach, North Carolina; and Smyrna, Tennessee.
Allison says she tries to keep the price point on her works reasonable so that original art can be affordable to everyone. Enthusiasts of her work have additional opportunities to own her art, too, in the form of a variety of items that feature her paintings including spoon and wooden tile pendants, cosmetic bags, spoon keychains, button mirrors, and greeting cards. Such items are available at ZaPow and also on her Etsy site.
Like many artists, Allison explains that she loves the physical work of creating art. She’s not nearly as keen on the business aspects of it, though. She’s also thinking of cutting back on her number of art/crafts shows. “The great thing about shows is that there is a lot of immediate feedback from customers, which is great,” Allison says. “Plus there are the immediate sales. But it’s a lot of work. It’s not something I can do very well by myself. So then if I bring my husband to help we have to bring our daughter, and that creates some long days. I do love getting that feedback, though, which is something that happens at show openings, too.”
Overall, though, Allison is quite pleased with how her art is progressing. She says in a few years she’d simply like to be doing what she’s doing now, but better and more of it. “I’d like to continue expanding,” she says. “I’d like to be reaching more people.” She adds that she still holds on to a dream of writing and illustrating children’s books. Allison worked on a book in grad school, and she says she has another story in mind as well. “I just haven’t had much time to think about it,” she adds, which is a good problem to have. “I love that I’m staying so busy.”
For more information about Allison Weeks Thomas, visit allisonweeksthomas.com.