The Asheville Gallery of Art presents “The Nature of Summer,” a group show featuring 21 of the gallery artists opening August 1st and running through the end of the month. Summer brings the spirit of adventure, bright colors, landscapes bursting with life, and extra time for travel, friends, and family. The sights and sounds of the Blue Ridge Mountains beckon tourists and locals alike, inviting discovery and exploration. In “The Nature of Summer,” AGA artists share the unique energy this season brings to them and their artwork. The warm weather and lush foliage create the perfect opportunity for painters to embrace plein-air studies to capture light and color for their studio work. Karen Keil Brown shares the inspiration behind her oil painting “A Summer Morning Hike”: “For me an early morning trek in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the perfect outdoor activity. The cool air and the morning’s misty light create a beautiful vista for me to enjoy and paint.” Terrilyn Dubreuil embraces experimentation in her “Hay Barn” piece, a soft pastel on heavily textured pumiced board. While barns are a familiar subject for landscape painters, Dubreuil takes it a step further with her vivid choices of color and unconventional mark-making, bringing energy to what can be an otherwise sedate subject matter. Gallery artist Chris Bell invokes a sense of personal nostalgia for her contribution to the show. Bell says, “Growing up with no air conditioning, summer in WNC oftentimes meant middle-of-the-day escapades to escape the heat.” These journeys led her to many hidden gems in the mountains, including a meadow swaying with crimson flowers, as depicted in her mixed-media painting “Summertime Poppies.” For a more domestic floral scene, viewers can admire the realism of Bill George’s watercolor “Antique Vase,” a delicate representation of roses from his previous New York garden arranged in his wife’s treasured vase. The play of live roses against the roses painted upon the vessel makes an intriguing composition that fully captures the beauty of these classic summer blooms. And what is summer without a trip to the beach? Claire Simpson-Jones’ watercolor painting “Kiawah Island Sunrise” beckons the viewer’s eyes down a rustic boardwalk and towards the peaceful surf at daybreak. Simpson-Jones reflects on her idea of the nature of summer: “It begins with a warm glow as it brings to mind the soothing sound of ocean waves and spectacular sunrises.” Visitors to Asheville Gallery of Art can see these paintings and over a dozen more for the entirety of August. On Friday, August 6th from 5-8 pm, there will be an artists’ meet-and-greet with many of gallery artists in attendance. The gallery is open seven days a week, 11am-6pm.