Liz Williams

Matt Peiken | BPR News

Around 9:30 this past Friday night, Asheville’s Pack Square sounded eerily familiar. There were no protestors or counter-protesters surrounding the Vance Monument, no police on bikes or in riot gear. A busker serenaded people—almost all of them white—waiting in a tightly packed line outside French Broad Chocolate.

If it weren’t for the relatively few wearing masks, you’d swear this was so 2019.

But if you rounded the corner onto Broadway and looked up at the facade of the Asheville Art Museum, you saw beautifully rendered drawings of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop and, yes, George Floyd, dissolving into text quotes from the novelist James Baldwin and the activist Cece McDonald, along with the call to “Defend Black Lives.”

Liz Williams


Al Murray and Liz Williams met less than a year ago, but their pairing as artists in a new exhibition is two lifetimes in the making.

The exhibition “Up/Rooted” is at Revolve Gallery, in Asheville’s RAMP Studios building, through Sept. 3. The Campaign for Southern Equality supported the creation of this work and is presenting the exhibition.

“I’ve always been drawn to metalwork as an expression of a working-class masculinity that I’ve never known how to embody,” Murray said.