The inside of the STEAM Studio is where the magic happens. | Photo via UNC Asheville STEAM Studio
If you combine engineering skills with unbridled creativity, your result will be the work of the UNC Asheville STEAM Studio. The studio was founded in 2016 as a collaboration between the engineering and sculpture departments. And since then, it’s been pumping out multidisciplinary creations stemming from academic classes and special projects.
Let’s dive into three particularly inventive + impressive projects that have come out of the studio.
Storytime at Woodland Cove
You might recognize these creatures from the North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights exhibit. Students from UNC Asheville’s senior engineering design class worked together to create an animatronic elk, bear, bobcat, raccoon, goose, and squirrel. But it wasn’t just engineering students that brought these animals to life — students from the drama department gave the creatures their storytelling voices, and the animals were dressed with help from the department’s costume designers.
In the fall of 2019, you may have seen this massive animatronic sculpture installed at 44 Collier Ave. UNC Asheville students worked with local artist Mel Chin to construct the work at the STEAM Studio. The body of the sculpture was modeled after the USS Nightingale, while the figurehead depicts Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind (aka The Swedish Nightingale). The motions of Jenny’s head and body were programmed based on movements of one of the university’s theater students.
Eager to see some of the works from the STEAM Studio? A selection of pieces are currently on display at the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery in Owen Hall on UNC Asheville’s campus. Head there on Monday, Sept. 18 before the exhibit closes at 7 p.m. to see the innovative creations.
Youth Photovoice Exhibit Reveal | Thursday, Sept. 14 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Buncombe County Health and Human Services, 40 Coxe Ave., Asheville | Free | Explore this exhibit from NC Health Transitions with photographs from local youth that represent what mental health means to them.
Therapeutic Recreation Adult Supper Club | Thursday, Sept. 14 | 6-8 p.m. | Murphy-Oakley Community Center, 749 Fairview Rd., Asheville | $5 | Individuals with disabilities ages 18+ are invited to prepare and enjoy a meal of hamburgers and hot dogs at this monthly event.
Friday, Sept. 15
Mountain Folk Harp Society of Asheville | Friday, Sept. 15 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Weaverille First Baptist Church, 63 N. Main St., Weaverville | Free | Tune in to Irish and Scottish melodies along with original folk songs from these local harpists.
Superhero Movie Trivia | Friday, Sept. 15 | 7-9 p.m. | The Mule, 131 Sweeten Creek Rd., Asheville | Free | Show off your knowledge of the superhero universes with a chance to win tickets to Beer City Comic Con (and other prizes).
Saturday, Sept. 16
Welcome to Jazzville | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 7 p.m. | Diana Wortham Theatre, 18 Biltmore Ave., Asheville | $20-$25 | This dynamic jazz quartet’s performance will be music to your ears.
Tailgate Party & Cookout | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 3-6 p.m. | Grove Street Community Center, 36 Grove St., Asheville | Free | Come dressed repping your favorite team while you enjoy a meal, play cornhole + cards, and make new friends.
Sunday, Sept. 17
Fling The Fletch Junior Disc Golf Open | Sunday, Sept. 17 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | Fletcher Hall Elementary School, 60 Ridgelawn Rd., Asheville | $5-$20 | After a professional disc golf clinic, families and teens can compete in tournaments.
Mandala Yoga Hike with Tara | Sunday, Sept. 17 | 3-5 p.m. | Location shared with registration, Asheville | $52 | Gather treasures along the two-mile round trip hike to create a mandala at this adventure hosted by West Asheville Yoga Studio.
Friday, Sept. 22
50 Years of Folly | Friday, Sept. 22-Sunday, Oct. 1 | Times vary | Folly Beach, Center St., Folly Beach | Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Folly Beach with street closure festivals, shagging and disco on the pier, a classic car show, a 20’s-themed gala, classic carnival games, and more for all ages.*
Asheville City Council has renewed Debra Campbell’s contract as City Manger. After a closed-door session at the Council’s Sept. 12 meeting, Mayor Esther Manheimer read a statement on behalf of the City Council announcing the renewal.
The Asheville City Council has approved $875,000 in funding to expand homeless shelter capacity. The money comes from city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, matching the amount that Buncombe County is putting forth to aid the expansion. (WLOS)
Chef Silver Iocovozzi of Neng Jr.'s is featured in TIME Magazine’s2023 TIME 100Next, recognizing emerging leaders shaping the world. Chef and author Angela Dimayuga writes about Iocovozzi, stating, “They’ve always cooked how they live, with bold curiosity and vigor.”
Chef Ashleigh Shanti’s Good Hot Fish is the first item on Eater Carolina’s list of “10 Most Anticipated Restaurants Across the Carolinas for Fall, 2023.” The fish-camp-style spot has hosted pop-ups across the coast, but you can look forward to a permanent space this year, although no opening date has been shared.
Asheville City Schools’ (ACS) Community Nights return every Wednesday at Asheville High School and every Thursday at Asheville Middle School, each at 5:30 p.m. Families of ACS students can attend for a catered dinner and homework support from tutors who are ready to assist students of all grade levels.
The NC Glass Center’s upcoming gallery isn’t your average pumpkin patch. From Friday, Sept. 15 to Sunday, Oct. 29, the center will showcase hundreds of glass-blown pumpkins available for purchase from local artists. Proceeds from the pumpkins support WNC glassblowers as well as the nonprofit glass center.
Considering a new HVAC system? Look for systems with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings for cooling + heating, respectively. Bonus: Energy Star certified systems are more efficient and can save you money on energy bills — it’s a win, win.*
Located within the desirable Riverside area near downtown Morganton, this updated 3 BD, 3 BA home is move-in ready. Offering an open floor plan with ample space and a lower-level rec room, office, exercise room, full bath + double garage, it’s sure to go quickly. See inside.*
Have a big Olivia Rodrigo fan in the house? The singer just announced her GUTS World Tour, including a stop here in NC at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center. You can register for access to tickets until Sunday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m.