By Toni Tronu
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Each year Greenhill does a fall pickup in Asheville to collect art for Winter Show (on exhibit from December 6, 2015 -January 15, 2016). Not only does this take a load off of artists during a busy season, but it also gives Greenhill a chance to stay abreast of what galleries in the area are doing. Communicating through emails and phones calls is efficient, but there is no comparison to meeting an artist in person. It is so nice to finally put a face to the artists that many of us at Greenhill spend hours researching. 

On left: artist Grant Penny On right: artist Heather Spontak and Laura Way at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts

Doing a pickup is a lot of fun, but it is also a ton of work. Between finding a good day, scheduling a time convenient for most artists, and finding a location, logistics can be tricky. This year Emily Shank, Laura Way, and I did the pickup on October 23. After having a rental car fiasco (meaning for the second time our reservations were messed up), we set off for Asheville with one very large moving truck and my very small hatchback. 

On left: Laura Way with out check off list, On right: our box of fragile glass (note: it's important to label boxes and check off artists as they come...there's nothing worse than leaving and not having an artist work.)

The day before the pickup we arrived in Asheville and we were able to visit Sculptural Clay artist, Daniel Johnston's newest installation at CCCD. Two of our friends were kind enough to allow us to stay in their house.  We all went out to dinner at Avenue M where I endulged in some delicious Fettuccini Alfredo.  Laura Way was able to stealthily corral or waitress in surprising Emily with a special birthday dessert - hot brownie with ice cream.  No, there was no singing involved, but appropriate birthday embarrasment. 

On left: Laura Way and Emily Shank On right: artist Keith Spencer at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts

The kind folks at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts allowed us to set up shop outside their location in the middle of the River Arts District. This was perfect because many of the artists dropping off had studios right around the corner. There were a lot of people to keep in order; I am guessing we had around 25 artists to meet with. We wrote a list and made sure to check everyone off after receiving their pieces. I was also able to swap out pieces with artists from The Shop. We took special care to label all the boxes, because it made life much easier once we got back to Greenhill. 

Above: Edie Carpenter, Jaymie Meyer, Erin Riggins and Laura Way unloading our loot

We unloaded the truck back at Greenhill on Friday night. Luckily the Greenhill staff was on hand and ready to take all the boxes back to our storage space and offices. This trip was a big help, but there is still much work to be done. Now Erin is working on organizing and painting the pedestals, Edie is coordinating the closing of our current show and curating this one, Lauren has designed the invitations for Collector's Choice (Saturday, December 5 | 7-11 PM) that will be mailed this week, and I'm busy getting The Shop ready for the big holiday season. Bring it on! I am such a lucky lady to work with these amazing people.