A&E roundup: Pickens commissioned to create Wortham Center courtyard mural

A few weeks after completing her role as one of the three lead artists on the Asheville Area Arts Council’s downtown Black Lives Matter mural, Jenny Pickens is hard at work on her next endeavor. The Asheville native is the first artist-in-residence for Randy Shull’s and Hedy Fischer’s 22 London studio and exhibition space, and has been commissioned to design and paint a 4-by-24-foot mural for the courtyard of the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts. In designing the mural, Pickens researched thousands of performances at the Wortham Center and filtered her findings down to images that synthesize over 20 years of programming. She recently began working on the three-panel mural at 22 London and aims to have it completed by the end of August or early September. Shortly thereafter, it will be installed in the courtyard. avl.mx/7y5

Writing range

Among the books by local authors published in August are a pair of decidedly different offerings. Available since Aug. 11, Bee Locke’s Creative Woodburning (avl.mx/7y7) is a visual guide for pyrographers of all levels, featuring 20 step-by-step projects that teach readers the basics, plus advanced techniques like shading, creating realistic fur and adding color. Joining it is Sebastian Matthews’ Beyond Repair: Living in a Fractured State (avl.mx/7y8), a memoir in essays that finds the author struggling to reconnect with society after three years of recovering at home following injuries from a major car accident. The book, which attempts to capture the polarized condition of the nation 2014-19, will be published on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

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