While the state is under social distance restrictions, East Carolina University alumnus Sim Asher, who is also the communications and events coordinator of the Greenville Museum of Art, continues to make and sell his artwork while contributing to the arts relief effort which helps support local artists during COVID-19.
Asher, who is employed full-time by the Greenville Museum of Art, said he has had more flexibility in his schedule, is able to gain more commission work for customers and sells his paintings in Greenville and surrounding towns.
His artistic inspirations come from many different sources, including those close to him and things he does in his daily routine, according to Asher himself.
“Whether it's a family member, a friend, a movie or what I ate for dinner, some daily factor will play a role in how I am feeling when approaching a new project. The key is knowing how to transcend those feelings into visual interpretation. I consider myself a mixed-media artist. I still very much practice the art of photography, utilizing traditional film practices along with digital image making,” Asher said.
Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Asher said he moved to Greenville with his mother, father and two older brothers at the age of four years old. He said that being creative stuck with him throughout his life and though he played sports as a child, he felt more challenged when making or constructing something.
Asher said that he enjoys painting and working heavily with mixed media application, as well as experimenting with various matte and gloss mediums and painting types. He also works with different brands to see how far he can control the manipulations of color, text, dimensions, materials and composition.
When he is not creating art photography, Asher said he works freelance jobs for more commercial and documentary style photography. He said his goal for his artwork is to continue creating art and sharing it with anyone who’s willing to take a look.
Asher said he has contributed his artwork to several exhibitions and venues in Greenville, such as the Wellington B. Gray Gallery, Burroughs-Welcome Gallery, Emerge Gallery & Art Center, Uptown Art Supply, Art Avenue, PCC Goess Center, Starlight Cafe, Uptown Greenville Office, Tipsy Teapot, Trollingwood Taproom & Brewery, Uptown Greenville Umbrella Market and Moxie POP.
Asher said he has been featured in local publications such as Greenville Magazine, Impressions Magazine, Rebel Literary Arts, the Greenville Times Magazine, Mixer Magazine and online features with all of the above, also including the Convention at the Visitor's Bureau.
Customer Samantha Eubanks, who is also a junior pursuing her Masters degree in environmental educator/MAEd science education, recently purchased artwork from Asher, who delivered the art and installed hardware to help her hang the piece. Eubanks said she appreciates her artwork from Asher and that he offers great accommodations to his customers during this time.
“He (Asher) was incredibly easy to work with and more than generous with his accommodations. Sim creates beautiful art and encourages customer participation in the process,” Eubanks said.
Local artists are in financial trouble because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so artists need the support of the community even more, according to Asher.
“Artists rely heavily on the support of their communities. If you're unable to purchase local artwork, the best thing you can do is share the artwork of artists through word of mouth and social media. Sharing goes a long way,” Asher said.
With his commissions, Asher supports local artists by promoting the arts relief fund sponsored by the Pitt County Arts Council and designing and campaigning a fundraiser through the online selling of photographic prints from his website. He donates a percentage of the funds raised to the arts relief fund to help artists who are facing financial hardships to make ends meet or to run their businesses.
Asher’s work can be found on his website which solely features art photography. He will be rebranding the website over the summer and it will include art from photography, painting, mixed media to furniture projects. His art is also featured on Instagram page @simagery.