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Luminary craft event shines in Asheville

Photo by: Emily Arismendy
Light designer, Nick Moen poses in front of his work, the light fixtures hanging above the bar.

Nora Donovan
News Writer
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The Bright Angle in collaboration with Lexington Glass debuted their latest collection of finely crafted porcelain light pieces last week and hosted brand new light fixtures along with local music and other pioneers in the Asheville media and contemporary art industry.
Nick Moen, a longtime Asheville resident and owner of the Bright Angle company aspires to change the way people view lamps.
“We are responding to the horrible trend of exposed light bulbs,” Moen said. “The porcelain shades diffuse light to provide a warm glow at eye level while the opening at the bottom produces direct white light on active spaces. We are changing the face of contemporary ceramics.”
The porcelain shades, which took six years to make, stood as  the centerpiece of the exhibition while Asheville resident and world renown musician Jonathan Scales indulged patrons with the ambient sounds of the steel drums. 
Moen, a big fan of Scales, reached out to him play this event specifically.
 “He thought that some of my music, as a soloist could kinda set the tone for tonight,” Scales said. 
Scales’ rhythmic playing synchronized to the light collection with red, green and blue technology. RGB technology allows the lights to move in time with any music playing.
Scales specified to the crowd to not treat this as a concert, but as an experience. Onlookers were invited to come close and touch the art, speak about the art and feel at home.
Moen unintentionally moved to Asheville when his van broke down in the Wedge Brewing parking lot years ago. He then set up roots here, eventually moving on to study at the highly accredited Penland School of Craft. According to Moen, his new exhibition at the Wedge has really made it a “full circle moment” for him. 
“I’ve been in this industry for 15 years and can honestly say, I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Moen said. “While I have seen a few other translucent porcelain lights around, they are not made with the same mastery of material and proportional design sense.”
Scales credits Asheville with giving him the freedom to try what he wants.
“When an audience latches onto something they’re receptive to whatever the person’s gonna try to do. So it’s given me the freedom to explore what I want to explore without having the pressure of thinking I need to write a certain way or do the same thing,” Moen said. 
Jefferson Ellison curated the event, making sure no art was out of place and no person felt unwelcome To him, the atmosphere of the cloud room was the perfect place to evoke the message of the Bright Angle.
“Moen really wanted to show the lighting in its natural habitat- in use, surrounded by great vibes, good people and intentional design. Celebrating local artists who have a connection to the community and creating custom lighting pieces for the event is so authentic to the brand because it represents the core of what the Bright Angle offers, craftsmanship,” Ellison said. “It’s great for Asheville but it’s also just great for the design community as a whole.”
Other artists on board at the event were local videographers Matt Wegleitner and Micah Yaple who premiered their first video performance as Aerial Asheville. Unique drawings by Daniel Garver adorned the perimeter walls. Jamie Karolich’s college art was on display, as well as prints from BJ Lumbaugh.

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