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William King celebrates art ‘From These Hills’

October 14th, 2013 9:11 am by Entertainment Staff

William King celebrates art ‘From These Hills’

To celebrate the opening of its 11th biennial exhibition “From These Hills: Contemporary Art in the Southern Appalachian Highlands,” William King Museum in Abingdon, Va., is throwing a fundraising party with all things “from these hills.”

From 7 to 10 p.m., Oct. 17 at the museum, guests can enjoy food catered by Bonefire Smokehouse, Harvest Table Restaurant and Anthony’s Desserts, and drinks from Abingdon Winery and Wolf Hills Brewery. Party-goers can also use their drink ticket (one is included with the purchase of each ticket) on a special Virginia Sweetwater Moonshine mixed drink stirred up by award-winning bartender Melanie Holmes. A cash bar will also be available.

Local entertainers The Boys will provide music, and a jam session open to all will follow.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Joining in the festivities will be “From These Hills” curator Steven Matijcio as well as the artists whose work was selected for this year’s show.

William King Museum strives to ensure art from the region is recognized and exhibited in a public setting, and the museum’s “From These Hills” exhibition spotlights a variety of artists from around the region who are working in all mediums.

Every two years, artists from Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia are invited to submit portfolios of their work for consideration of inclusion in this exhibition.

For every biennial, a guest curator is chosen to review the portfolios. Steven Matijcio, curator at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the guest curator for the 2013 exhibit. 

Matijcio was formerly the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and received his master’s degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York.

Matijcio has held positions in a number of important galleries and museums, including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.

Matijcio was awarded a prestigious Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award in 2010, and was chosen from an international field of candidates to take part in curatorial residencies in Gwangju, South Korea and Berlin, Germany. In 2012, Matijcio was named the Curator of the 4th Narracje Festival in Gdansk, Poland, which projects large-scale video art across the city.

He has lectured on theory and criticism, written for numerous catalogs and journals, and was commissioned by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to curate one of its first online exhibitions.

This year, nearly 100 portfolios were reviewed by Matijcio, and 20 artists were selected for the 2013 “From These Hills” exhibition: Gerry Bannan, Robert Sulkin and Taliaferro Logan, all of Roanoke, Va.; Gwen Bigham, Erin Castellan, Melanie Norris and Kirsten Stolle, all from Asheville N.C.; Charlie Brouwer of Willis, Va.; Donna Cooper Hurt from Charleston, S.C.; Nick DeFord and Denise Stewart-Sanabria, both of Knoxville; Robin Johnston of Penland N.C.; Megan King and Katie Sheffield of Johnson City; Jeana Eve Klein, Jim Toub and Edison Midgett, all of Boone N.C.; Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido of Morehead, Ky.; Michael Murphy from Morristown; and Ilasahai Prouty of Bakersville, N.C.

Their work will remain on display in the museum’s United Company Contemporary Regional Gallery through Feb. 16, 2014.

To purchase tickets to the opening party, visit the museum’s online store at or email Callie Hietala at

For more information on the “From These Hills” exhibit, log onto or call (276) 628-5005.

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