Editorial note: This Curator Diary is an editorial feature documenting curator and local Bushwick hero Jason Andrew’s trip to Asheville, North Carolina to mount an ambitious exhibition of work by Jack Tworkov. The column will explore the day-to-day process of curating. Andrew is curating Jack Tworkov: The Accident of Choice, which opens tomorrow, June 17, at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center (56 Broadway, Asheville, North Carolina) and runs until September 17, 2011.

In this final entry into Jason Andrew’s Curator Diary, the curator gives a lecture on Jack Tworkov’s life and work and wraps up his time in Asheville, making last stops at local galleries and homes of friends. The journey ends with a trip back to the airport. It’s the surreal end of a curating job — put up the exhibition, show it off, then pack up. — KC

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Day 6: Saturday, June 18

At right, paintings by Cory Bradley, at left, “Power Struggle” by Sean Pace

Morning. 6AM. Run. Pullups. Gotta look good for my lecture. J Dress up in a tie. At least I’ll look the part of the ‘historian.’ I’m feeling down and displaced. With the show up this all seems so foreign.

Coffee. Still feel foreign. Work on the powerpoint for the lecture. Lots of material to plow through. I hope I can do it. Tworkov’s story is so interesting with so many facets. The story of an immigrant from Poland. The struggle to assimilate to American culture. Greenwich Village in the 1920s. Discovering Cezanne. Hitchhiking to Provincetown. De Kooning. New York School. The Club. Abstract Expressionism. Recalibration of gesture. Geometry. Minimalism. Diaries. Five decades of painting…

Arrive at Museum. 10:30AM. Test drive the powerpoint. Bridget saves the day again. Alice hauled in a banana nut bread from the North Asheville Tail Gate Market. Full house. Audience all but to capacity. Amazing. Introduced by Brian Butler. He comments on my biceps. Blush.

11:15 start lecture. 1PM finish. Wow. What was that? Great comments from everyone … I thought maybe it was too long. Did the usual check in throughout the talk … everyone wanted more.

Meet and greet some more. Falling in love with this place.

Meet up with Jolene cause I wanna see the exhibition she curated FLOOD AND THE PUMP at Upstairs Artspace in quaint little town of Tyron. I’ve been waiting all week to see the artist of Flood Gallery in one exhibition. Jolene parks next to the Nina Simone Plaza. Walk across the street to Upstairs Artspace.

Stunning space. Greeted by Cory Bradley’s painting “Strange Fruit,” and Allen Leper Hampton’s self-portraits painted using his own blood. Wow such explosive imagery. Patrick Glover’s series. Melissa Terrezza. Madison Cripps puppets. Larkin Ford is gonna have me up for weeks with is nightmare charcoals. Exhibition totally has an post apocalyptic feel. I could store all my memories in the Cornell like boxes by Nicole McConville. Sean Pace (Jinx) always surprising. More of Cory Bradley’s work downstairs.

Drive back to Asheville. Catch up on email. Quick run. Shower and in a car with Alice for dinner at Connie Bostic’s place. So desperate for a home cooked meal!

Connie’s place is a vision. The house is set back off a main road. Before dinner, with a glass of red wine in our hands, Connie walks us over to her little pond to show us her frogs. Dinner on the porch with candles as the sun sets behind us. Great food and terrific conversation. Asheville gossip. The German ladies had me rolling on the floor.

Alice drives me home. We say goodbye.

Email. Bed.

Day 7: Sunday, June 19

At left, gallery installation shot, at right, Heinz Kossler

Slept late. Missed my skype date with Cologne. L Laundry. Packed up. Coffee. Thunder. Lighting. Down-poor rain. God I hope my flight doesn’t get cancelled!

Jolene picked me up. Down poor rain. We drove to Jongo Java, Hendersonville’s first environmentally responsible coffee house. Jolene had arranged a brunch meet-up with two artists: Margaret Curtis and Taiyo la Paix. We chatted up a storm. Margaret Curits use to show with PPOW in the 80s. Taiyo is getting ready for a new show in Asheville. I like Taiyo’s drawings best.

Jolene also arranged for me to meet up with Rimas Zailskas the founder and editor of three magazines in the region. Rimas agreed to do a story on the upcoming ballet project I’m producing at Asheville’s Masonic Lodge on August 6, along with Ann Dunn and a bunch of other great local artists. Yeah!

On the way to the airport Jolene tells me about her children’s programs at FLOOD. Particularly, she mentions a six-week program for Black History Month. She arranged for nearly 30 kids to get a harmonica with lessons. She also told me how she gathered all the kids around her, turned out all the lights, flipped on her lighter (Jolene is smokes like a chimney), and proceed to tell the kids how Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Then the kids learned the harmonica and drew pictures, with or without the devil! I love that Jolene!

At the airport. Jinx and Michelle come to say goodbye. So nice. Jinx leaves me with this anecdote: “Yea, I’m from the South where people are as wild about art as bleach is about color.”

Board my plane. Goodbye Asheville. See you in four weeks! Leave for France tomorrow…!

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...